Easy Chickpea “Tofu”

I was goofing around with chickpea tofu over a year ago and never got around to posting my discoveries. This morning though, I revisited my recipe and simplified the process quite a bit. So, the silver lining is that it’s good I didn’t post the first more involved version, right? Ha. Timing.

You can use chickpea tofu in anything you’d eat chickpeas in, really, because it tastes like, chickpeas—it’s beany, and has that tofu-like spring we’re familiar with, but it’s a bit more creamy.

You can slice it up and deep-fry it, sauté it, bake it, or eat it once solidified. Try seasoning it with Old Bay, Za’atar seasoning, taco seasoning, jerk spice blend, or harissa. Just share—add what you come up with to the #Yumuniverse!

PLAN AHEAD: make a bunch of chickpea tofu and slice into cubes or strips. Separate and freeze on a baking sheet and then once frozen, transfer and store in an airtight, glass container to use for future meals. Chickpea tofu is a great soy-free, fiber- and protein-rich alternative to soy-based tofu.

Print Recipe
Easy Chickpea "Tofu"
This is an easy alternative to soy-based tofu. Use it in savory dishes that would taste great with chickpeas—which is a lot! You can marinate, bake, stir fry, or scramble chickpea tofu.
Recipe by: YumUniverse
Author: Heather Crosby
Recipe type: Main Ingredient
Allergy Info: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Plant-Based
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (or garfava, besan flour)
  • 1 tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or unrefined coconut oil, plus more for greasing and sautéeing
  • Black pepper to taste (optional)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (or garfava, besan flour)
  • 1 tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or unrefined coconut oil, plus more for greasing and sautéeing
  • Black pepper to taste (optional)
  1. Grease a 9" baking dish with oil, or line it with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, whisk together water, chickpea flour, sea salt, black pepper if using, and oil until mixture thickens to a porridge or polenta consistency.
  3. Use a silicone spatula to spread chickpea batter into the greased dish—smooth out the top as much as possible and allow the batter to cool in the dish for 20–30 minutes. It will solidify.
  4. Carefully flip or transfer cooled tofu onto a cutting board and slice into cubes or strips.
  5. Store in the fridge until ready to sauté, bake, fry, or eat as-is—cook like you would with tofu (best for savory dishes).
Recipe Notes

You can allow your batter to ferment a bit for extra flavor and nutrient benefit if you like. Simply whisk together flour, water, and salt, cover with a towel, and set in a warm spot in the kitchen out of direct sunlight for 12–24 hours. Then, whisk in oil, heat in a pot to thicken, and continue with regular instructions.

Heat will diminish some probiotic benefit, but the fermentation actually enhances digestibility of the tofu.

You can freeze sliced/cubed tofu in an airtight glass container for months. Just thaw and prepare as you like.

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What do you think about chickpea tofu? How will YU use it? Tell us with a comment below.



Read the comments or add yours.

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  1. Kayla

    Oh I love this idea of Chickpea Tofu so much Heather! I love that it is soy free! Will be trying this very soon! Not for sure what I will use it in just yet but whatever I use it in will be extra yummy! 😉

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Loving all your weekly posts Heather! Your blog and recipes are my favorite! 😀


    • Awww, thanks so much, Kayla! I’ve been using it for wraps, noodle bowls, skewers (where I double-bake with BBQ, Almond Butter, or Teriyaki sauce)… lots of recipes coming soon that use it. x H

      • Kayla

        You are so welcome! All that sound delicious Heather! Can’t wait for your recipes! 🙂

  2. Bonnie

    Chickpea tofu is a truly inspired idea! I have some chickpea flour in my cupboard. I know what I’m making tomorrow!!

    • Awesome! Let me know how it goes! I’ve been having so much fun with it… more recipes coming soon that use it 😉

  3. Megan

    My teenage daughter loves tofu. I strongly discourage her from eating it. Maybe she will like this and use it instead. Worth a try!! Thank you!!

    • I hope she does, Megan! Let us know if so… I bet there are some folks around here with teenage kiddos who would appreciate it 😉

  4. Kim

    Do you think if the oil was left out the result would be the same?

    • I think it would still work but you may get some cracking. See my feedback for Emma, I think you two could experiment and let us know how it works, Kim! x

  5. Emma

    This looks great! I don’t use salt or oil, though. Do you think this recipe might work without it?

    • Hi Emma,
      I say give it a try—you may get some cracking, but I bet it would work… maybe let the flour and water soak together for about 1–2 hours before you whisk it together in the saucepan. I’d skip stir frying it after it sets (I’m guessing without oil it will stick to a pan)—instead bake it with your favorite spice or marinade. Let us know how it works!

  6. sew

    I like simple nutritious recipes. Yours are easy to follow. Thank you.
    I like the chickpea tofu because I think I am eating too much real tofu that may contain a lot more estrogen than I need. I will try your chickpea tofu for a change.

  7. I am very curious about this! And interested to try it. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    • Have fun and be sure to let us know if you try it, Priscilla! #yumuniverse 🙂

  8. We tried this last week – and love it so much, we already bought four more bags of chickpea flour. It’s VERY EASY and VERY TASTY – this recipe will be a staple in the kitchen. We have big plans for this and have shared it with several friends as well. Thanks, Heather!

    • I LOVE to hear this, Rissa! 😀 I’m so happy you are enjoying it at home and spreading the word! x

  9. Crystal

    Hi Heather, Where do you find chickpea flour, and/or can you make it?

    • Hi Crystal,
      Chickpea flour is also known as “Besan” or “Gram” and you can find it at international food stores as well as (possibly) where curries and chutneys would be in your grocery store aisles. You can also find it online or grind your own fresh from dry chickpeas if you have a grain/flour mill or mill attachment for a standing mixer (I have one and am bananas for it). Good luck! x

  10. Heather

    This is what I’ve been waiting for! Thank YU soooooo much Heather!

  11. Bernadette

    Wow, love it more than tofu!

  12. Aleta Paradis

    This was just referred to me as a replacement for soy tofu. So happy about this and can’t wait to try it!

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