Chickpea flour is an ingredient you may not always have on hand. Or maybe it’s not available in your area. Luckily, it’s an easy flour to substitute in most cases.
While working with chickpea flour as a professional baker, I came to appreciate its versatile qualities. So, I created this list of the best substitutions using my knowledge and experience with different kinds of flour.
I researched different flours’ binding ability, texture, rising ability, and of course, flavor. Do you need a replacement for your vegan egg substitute? Another flour for flatbread? Or a breading for vegetable pakoras? I’ve got you covered.
12 Best-Tasting Substitutes for Chickpea Flour
1. All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is one of the simplest substitutions for chickpea flour. It’s perfect to use in breads, breading, and baked goods. It’s also an ideal thickener for sauces and gravies.
Thanks to the properties of gluten in this flour, it’s sticky like chickpea flour. It’s also light enough to make fritters stick together, and it fries up nice and crispy as a breading.
Since it’s the gold standard for most baking, all-purpose flour is a great substitute in most baked items.
This substitution would not be ideal for those who need to avoid gluten. Nor would it be a good substitute for an egg replacer, either (it would be too gummy).
To use this substitute, replace ¾ cup of chickpea flour with 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
2. Fava Bean Flour
Fava bean flour is a great replacement for chickpea flour as a sauce thickener. And it’s a near-match substitute in gluten-free baked goods, crackers, and pancakes.
Since it’s made from legumes just like chickpea flour, it has similar binding properties.
Try fava bean flour in place of chickpea for breading fritters and tofu for a nice crunch. And it can also serve as a vegan egg replacer when mixed with water.
Be aware that fava bean flour has a stronger “beany” taste than chickpea flour. Therefore, when making baked goods and sweet items, you may prefer to mix it with other flours to mellow its flavor.
Substitute fava bean flour at a 1:1 ratio for chickpea flour.
3. Almond Flour
Almond flour is an excellent substitute to use in falafel, cookies, cakes, and pancakes. It can also be used to thicken sauces and soups.
This substitution has a mildly sweet flavor and higher fat content than chickpea flour, which adds nice texture and mouthfeel.
Try using it in veggie burger patties and meatloaf for added flavor and nutrients.
Remember that almond flour usually needs a binding ingredient like eggs or a liquid egg replacer.
Use this substitute at a 1:1 ratio in place of chickpea flour. But be forewarned, nut flours act differently than others, so using it in gluten-free baked goods may require some experimentation!
Pro Tip: Always store almond flour in the freezer or refrigerator to keep it from spoiling.
4. Oat Flour
Great for baking, oat flour can stand in for chickpea flour in cakes, cookies, and pancakes. It’s also delicious in breads and imparts a slightly sweet, pleasing flavor.
Oat flour may make baked goods denser, especially if they’re gluten-free. So consider blending it with other flours for lighter results.
If you’re strictly gluten-free, look for certified gluten-free oats, as they are often processed on the same equipment as wheat.
To use this substitution, use ¾ cup oat flour to replace 1 cup of chickpea flour. Although gluten-free baked goods may need extra adjustments.
Pro Tip: Make your own oat flour at home using whole oats. Blend them in a food processor or blender until you have a fine powder.
5. Quinoa Flour
This high-protein flour can be a stellar substitute for chickpea flour. It works wonders in muffins, breads, cookies, and pancakes. It can also be used to thicken up sauces and soups.
Quinoa is gluten-free and has a light texture that’s great for baking. But, if used in larger quantities, it can have a bitter flavor. So in those cases, it’s best to mix it with other flours.
To use quinoa flour in place of chickpea flour, substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
6. Millet Flour
Millet flour can be a quick stand-in for chickpea flour if you have it on hand. It’s useful in brownies, cookies, and pizza crusts. Try using it for breading and fritters, too.
This flour lends itself best to items that work well with its mildly sweet flavor.
Like most gluten-free flours, millet flour requires a binder, like eggs. And due to its sandy, dry texture, you may prefer to mix it with other flours.
To use millet flour in place of chickpea flour, replace it at a 1:1 ratio. But since it’s a drier flour, it could require a little more liquid than your original recipe.
7. Amaranth Flour
The flour made from this tiny, seed-like grain works well in baking recipes. For example, use it instead of chickpea flour for gluten-free pastries and flatbreads. Or, try it as a substitute thickening agent.
Amaranth flour is high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. This is another gluten-free flour that works best when blended with other flours. Blending it helps to lighten up the texture and create a better rise.
This flour also tends to brown more quickly in the oven, so you’ll want to check your baked goods earlier than usual.
Amaranth works best in a flour mixture. So start with a combination that’s about 25% amaranth to start.
9. Cassava Flour
Cassava flour has unique properties that make it work well in place of chickpea flour. Try it in cakes, flatbreads, tortillas, and cookies.
The light texture of this flour can make highly flexible tortillas and flatbreads. But if using it in bread, keep in mind that cassava flour tends not to rise very high.
Be sure to whisk this flour well during the mixing stage, as it tends to clump up if not thoroughly blended with liquids.
Try cassava flour as a 1:1 substitute for chickpea flour. Although you may need to blend it with other flours for baked goods that need a significant rise.
9. Buckwheat Flour
One of my favorites, buckwheat flour, can be a tasty chickpea flour substitute. It makes fabulous crepes and pancakes. It also works well with cookies, crackers, and rich, chocolate-based items like brownies.
This gluten-free flour has a unique, earthy flavor that can’t be beat. It can give baked goods a pleasant, tender texture. I love using it at home for chocolate chip cookies and savory buckwheat crêpes.
Be aware that buckwheat flour can get a bit sandy in high quantities. So for some recipes, you might prefer to mix it with other flours. It mixes well with both glutenous and gluten-free flours.
Try it as a 1:1 substitute to start. And if you find your end product is too crumbly or dry, you may need to use a blend flours.
10. Sweet Rice Flour
This substitute can replace chickpea flour in pancakes, muffins, and most pastries. Sweet rice flour can even make beautiful gluten-free cakes with a lighter texture.
With its silky and superfine texture, sweet rice flour has superior binding ability. So don’t hesitate to use it as a thickener for sauces, soups, and breadings.
Sweet rice flour is also known as “glutinous” rice flour due to the sticky type of rice it’s made from. Even though it does not contain any gluten at all.
It’s used to make chewy Japanese mochi, so you may also find it under the name “Mochiko.”
Use this as a 1:1 substitute for chickpea flour in pancakes, thickeners, and as a breading only. Also, start by using 10% less liquid, and add more if needed.
For baked goods, this flour works better as part of a blend. If the ratio is too high, it can get overly gummy. So, stick to about 40% sweet rice flour in your baking recipes for the best results.
11. White or Brown Rice Flour
These essential rice flours can substitute chickpea flour in most cases. Both can work well in baked goods, breadings, and pancakes.
The downside of white and brown rice flours is that they can have a gritty texture. And they’re slow to absorb moisture.
Like most gluten-free flours, they tend to work better as a blend than by themselves.
Start with a 1:1 ratio to substitute white rice flour for chickpea flour.
For brown rice flour, only substitute 50% of the chickpea flour in your recipe.
12. Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot is a perfect substitute to use as a thickener in place of chickpea flour. Use it in sauces and soups. It also makes a super-crispy breading for tofu, meats, and french fries.
This starchy root will need to be mixed well with a little water before using it as a thickener.
To substitute, use 2 teaspoons of arrowroot for every 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour. Blend or whisk thoroughly with water to avoid lumps.
Tips For Working With Chickpea Flour Substitutes
As you can see, there are many great options when it comes to chickpea flour alternatives. And while some options work well as an equal substitute, it’s important to look through your entire recipe to get the best results.
For instance, if you’re doing gluten-free baking, you may require additional egg or other binders. And many options work best when used in smaller amounts or in combination with other flours.
So, before mixing and baking, be sure you have any additional ingredients that may be required. And don’t be afraid of a little experimentation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you substitute almond flour for chickpea flour?
Yes. Try it in falafel, cookies, cakes, and pancakes. Almond flour can also thicken sauces and soups.
Can I substitute chickpea flour with all-purpose flour?
Yes. In baking recipes and flatbreads, substitute 1 cup of all-purpose flour for every ¾ cup of chickpea flour.
What can I use if I don’t have chickpea flour for falafel?
For falafel, try using fava bean flour or almond flour.