For the purpose of developing an in vitro regeneration system for chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an important food legume, immature cotyledons approximately 5 mm long were excised from developing embryos and cultured on B5 basal medium supplemented with 1.5% sucrose and various growth regulator combinations. Only non-morphogenic callus was formed in response to concentrations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) previously reported to induce somatic embryogenesis on immature soybean cotyledons. However, 4.6, 13.7, and 45.6 μM zeatin induced formation of white, cotyledon-like structures (CLS) at the proximal end of immature cotyledons placed with adaxial surface facing the agar medium. No morphogenesis, or occasional formation of fused, deformed CLS, was observed when zeatin was replaced with kinetin or 6-benzyladenine, respectively. The highest response frequency, 64% of explants forming CLS, was induced by 13.7 μM zeatin plus 0.2 μM indole-acetic acid (IAA). Within 20–40 days culture on zeatin, shoots formed at the base of CLS on approximately 50% of CLS-bearing explants, and proliferated upon subsequent transfer to basal medium with 4.4 μM BA or 4.6 μM kinetin. This regeneration system may be useful for genetic transformation of chickpea.