Baked Chickpea Parmesan

chickpea patties with mozzarella and marinara sauce on a plate with a fork

Yes, you read that right: Baked Chickpea Parmesan. While I have nothing against breaded and fried poultry, I thought a vegetarian version of the Italian-American classic would be a great addition to my meatless repertoire. Spoiler alert: It’s a total hit. 

Crisp chickpea patties mixed with Parmesan cheese and topped with melty mozzarella makes a delicious, satisfying, and oh-so-cheesy weeknight dinner. Serve with warmed marinara sauce, a simple side salad, and a slice of buttered bread to complete the meat-free feast. A nice glass of Chianti Classico would make the meal even more special, if you partake (spoiler alert: I partake).

A few tips to make this recipe great:

  • Drain the chickpeas well. Wet chickpeas could lead to a slightly mushy middle. If the batter feels too wet as you’re mixing, just add another sprinkle of flour.
  • Use fresh, whole milk mozzarella instead of the pre-shredded, part-skim, low-moisture stuff. Fresh mozzarella will be much richer and creamier while the latter could dry out in the oven.
  • Keep the side salad simple so as to not overwhelm the flavors of the Chickpea Parmesan (and to avoid extra work for yourself!) Try my go-to Mixed Greens and Herb Salad for an easy option.

Let’s make Baked Chickpea Parmesan

mashed chickpeas in a bowl

Heat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

mashed chickpeas on a fork

Add the beans to a large bowl and mash until broken down (you want the texture here to be somewhat chunky, not smooth like hummus).

mashed chickpeas, eggs, flour, parmesan, and spices in a bowl

Add the eggs, Parmesan, onion, garlic, oregano, baking powder, flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, about 1 ½ teaspoons salt (I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt) and as much pepper as you’d like. Mix until well-combined. The consistency of the batter should be like thick cookie dough, not too wet and not too dry. If you don’t mind a little raw egg, taste the batter and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you’d prefer, you can add a tablespoon of the batter to a small skillet and cook, then taste for seasonings.

uncooked chickpea patties on a sheet pan

Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to grease the prepared baking sheet. Spritz a ⅓ cup dry measuring cup with a little nonstick cooking spray (or grease with olive oil), then use the cup to scoop out batter and transfer to the baking sheet into about 8 mounds. Spray the back of the cup measure with a little more nonstick spray, and use it to press the mounds into ½-inch thick patties.

uncooked chickpea patties topped with mozzarella on a sheet pan

Bake the patties for 20 minutes, then carefully flip them over and top each with mozzarella cheese.

chickpea patties topped with melted mozzarella on a sheet pan

Continue baking until the patties are lightly golden brown on the edges and the cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes more.

chickpea patties with mozzarella and marinara sauce on a plate

Serve with the warmed marinara sauce, a buttered roll, and a side salad.

Baked Chickpea Parmesan

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Dinner American, Italian
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Crisp chickpea patties mixed with Parmesan cheese and topped with melty mozzarella makes a delicious, satisfying, and oh-so-cheesy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 (15-oz) cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ of a small onion, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more if needed
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 8 pieces or torn into shreds
  • 2 cups jarred marinara sauce, warmed, for serving
  • Rolls and a side salad, for serving

Instructions

1

Heat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the beans to a large bowl and mash until broken down (you want the texture here to be somewhat chunky, not smooth like hummus). Add the eggs, Parmesan, onion, garlic, oregano, baking powder, flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, about 1 ½ teaspoons salt (I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt) and as much pepper as you’d like. Mix until well-combined. The consistency of the batter should be like thick cookie dough, not too wet and not too dry. If you don’t mind a little raw egg, taste the batter and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you’d prefer, you can add a tablespoon of the batter to a small skillet and cook, then taste for seasonings.

2

Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to grease the prepared baking sheet. Spritz a ⅓ cup dry measuring cup with a little nonstick cooking spray (or grease with olive oil), then use the cup to scoop out batter and transfer to the baking sheet into about 8 mounds. Spray the back of the cup measure with a little more nonstick spray, and use it to press the mounds into ½-inch thick patties.

3

Bake the patties for 20 minutes, then carefully flip them over and top each with mozzarella cheese. Continue baking until the patties are lightly golden brown on the edges and the cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes more.

4

Serve with the warmed marinara sauce, a buttered roll, and a side salad.

Notes

For a fast side dish, my preference is a simple salad with just greens, maybe some fresh herbs, oil, vinegar, and salt. It’s the perfect acidic complement to the cheesy patties.

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