Ahh, yummy, crispy falafels—a top food choice for just about everyone, especially those aiming for a plant-based diet. Dating back to cultural food traditions in Egypt 1000 years ago, this classic dish traveled to the Middle East where it became a mainstay. Based upon earthy, nutritious chickpeas, spices, and herbs, falafels are a hearty, protein-rich recipe that can be the star of your plate. However, traditionally falafels—small balls of chickpea batter—are fried in pots of oil, thus a fair amount of fat (and calories) can seep into the mix. However, you can make quick and easy oven-baked falafels and skip out on all that oil. Just mix up a batch based on canned chickpeas, herbs, spices, flour, sesame seeds, and a quick brush of olive oil (which you can omit if you prefer) to pop in the oven to make this fabulous recipe lickety split! This healthier version of falafels—low on added fats and sodium—can be made in about 10 minutes in a food processor, and it takes about 25-30 minutes to bake up. This recipe is completely plant-based (vegan), and you can easily make it gluten-free with one swap, too. Serve them with a Tahini sauce, flavorful hummus, or ranch dressing for fun. Enjoy!
Learn how to make a healthier, lighter version of falafels with this super easy, plant-based recipe that you can bake up in 30 minutes.
- In the container of a food processor, place rinsed, drained chickpeas, parsley, garlic, onion, ¼ cup sesame seeds, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, salt (optional), and 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional). Process until smooth. May need to pause to scrape down sides and repeat process. Should make a very thick mixture that is well chopped, but not liquified.
- Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in flour to make a thick mixture. Cover bowl and refrigerator for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Scoop up mixture and roll into small balls with your hands (dip hands in flour to avoid sticking) about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Flatten them slightly into a disc shape, about ¾ inches thick. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Brush the tops of each falafel with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional). Sprinkle the tops with remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
- Makes 24 falafels. (Suggested serving size, 3 falafels per serving)
- May serve with tahini sauce, yogurt sauce, or hummus as an appetizer, entrée, or sandwich filling.
Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour .
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 185
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 137 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 7 g
Keywords: vegan falafels, falafels, easy falafels
For more plant-based Greek inspired recipes, check out:
Greek Butter Bean Salad
Greek Chickpea and Vegetable Filled Pitas
Greek Veggie Balls with Lemon Tahini Sauce
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