The chickpea leafminer, Liriomyza cicerina (Rondani), is one of the most destructive insect pests of cultivated chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) in the Mediterranean region under field conditions. For sustainable and environmentally friendly chickpea production, efforts have been devoted to managing the leafminer via decreasing the use of insecticides. Breeding of new resistant varieties is not only an efficient and practical approach, but also cost-effective and environmentally sensitive. To improve resistant varieties, breeders need reliable biochemical selection criteria that can be used in breeding programs. The first objective was to investigate the possible introgression of resistance to the leafminer from C. reticulatum Ladiz. (resistant) to C. arietinum (susceptible), then, to estimate inheritance of resistance to the leafminer for efficient breeding strategies, and finally, to study organic acid contents as selection criteria. Recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and their parents were evaluated using a visual scale of 1-9 (1 = free from leafminer damage and 9 = mines in more than 91% of the leaflets and defoliation greater than 31%) in the field under natural infestation conditions after the susceptible parent and check had scores of >7 on the visual scale. Superior RILs were found for resistance to the leafminer, and agro-morphological traits indicating that introgression of resistance to leaf miner from C. reticulatum to C. arietinum could be possible using interspecific crosses. The inheritance pattern of resistance to the leafminer in RILs was shown to be quantitative. Organic acids, including oxalic, malic, quinic, tartaric, citric and succinic acids in RILs grown in the field under insect epidemic conditions and in the greenhouse under non-infested conditions were detected by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In general, organic acids were found to be higher in resistant RILs than susceptible RILs. Path and correlation coefficients showed that succinic acid exhibited the highest direct effects on resistance to the leafminer. Multivariate analyses, including path, correlation and factor analyses suggested that a high level of succinic acid could be used as a potential biochemical selection criterion for resistance to leafminer in chickpea. Resistant RILs with a high seed yield resembling kabuli chickpea can be grown directly in the target environments under leaf miner infestation conditions.