Easy Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters) Recipe

These golden, crunchy gluten-free fritters are made using chickpea flour and are the perfect filling for a satisfying vegetarian sandwich.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes, plus setting for at least 5 hours
Servings: 6


2 ¾ cups|303 grams chickpea flour
⅓ cup|17 grams finely chopped parsley leaves 
kosher salt, to taste 
peanut oil, for frying 
bread, preferably traditional Sicilian bread, “Mafalda”, with some white sesame seeds, to serve
1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place 5 cups|1.2 liters of cold water in a large saucepan. Sieve the chickpea flour in, whisking vigorously so as to avoid lumps, until the mixture thickens. Season with salt, then turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly and removing any foam that forms on the surface, until thick, about 8 to 9 minutes. Stir in the parsley, then remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours.
  2. After the panelle has set, carefully remove from the loaf pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into .12-inch thick slices, and then into (1-inch) squares. Heat 2-inches peanut oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 340°F|170°C. Working in batches, fry the panelle until golden and crunchy, but still flexible, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Keep warm. 
  3. To serve, cut the bread open (best if it’s the traditional Sicilian bread, “Mafalda”, with some white sesame seeds), and put inside as many panelle as you want. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the panelle and season with black pepper.

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