Baked Falafel is the ultimate plant-based protein source to serve as an appetizer, snack, or topping for salads and grain bowls. This easy vegan recipe is easy to make, packed with flavor, and comes together in just 30 minutes!
Baked Falafel is my saving grace whenever I’m looking for a delicious plant-based protein to complete my favorite meatless meal recipes. Made simply by tossing the ingredients into a food processor, this easy falafel recipe is comes together in only 30 minutes for the perfect weeknight meal.
This plant-based recipe is made with wholesome ingredients like chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and spices. Formed into patties and baked to crispy perfection, this homemade falafel is a delicious way to add more meatless meals to your routine.
If you’ve been looking for a fun new protein source to use in salads, grain bowls, and wraps, this is the one. It also works wonderfully as an easy appetizer for dinner parties or the star of your next mezze plate. It pairs so well with Hummus, Tzatziki, Red Pepper Dip, and this Easy Mediterranean Salad.
Baked Falafel is one of those super versatile dishes that can be served in a ton of different ways, so feel free to let your creativity shine. Even the die-hard meat lovers in your crew won’t be able to deny how delicious this dish is! Not a fan of chickpeas? Don't miss this Lentil Falafel.
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a great source of plant-based protein made from ground chickpeas. It’s a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is often mixed with herbs and spices like cilantro, parsley, cumin, and coriander.
While falafel is traditionally deep-fried, many people bake it instead for a healthier version, like in this recipe. It makes the perfect vegan-friendly protein source to add to grain bowls, salads, wraps, and mezze plates. It’s easy to make and packed with flavor!
To make this delicious Baked Falafel, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Chickpeas: Ground chickpeas are the star of the show here. Packed with protein and fiber, these legumes are often used in plant-based recipes. Soaking your chickpeas beforehand softens them to the ideal texture and consistency.
- Onion: Chopped onion adds a delicious bite and tons of fresh flavor to this healthy falafel recipe, as well as a boost of essential nutrients.
- Whole-wheat flour: Flour helps to bind the mixture together and keep its shape. I prefer using whole-wheat flour, but you could use gluten-free flour to keep this dish gluten-free.
- Baking soda: Baking soda helps the patties rise, which is essential for getting the right shape for this dish.
- Lemon juice: While this may not be a traditional falafel add-in, I love adding lemon juice to add freshness and enhance the flavor profile of the dish.
- Herbs and spices: I like to use a combination of chopped garlic, fresh parsley, cilantro, cumin, and salt. However, feel free to mix up your spices to suit your preferences.
Recipe Tips for Making the Best Homemade Falafel
Want to make the best baked falafel your family’s ever had? Of course you do! To help you achieve this, here are some of my top tips and tricks:
- Coat your baking sheet with olive oil. Coating your baking sheet with olive oil helps to get the falafel nice and crispy. It also saves time by eliminating the need to individually brush each falafel patty with oil.
- Soak your chickpeas. For the best results, soak your chickpeas in cold water before blending them. This will soften them up so you get a soft and tender texture on the inside.
- Pat your chickpeas dry before blending them. When you use wet chickpeas, you risk winding up with patties that fall apart when you’re drying to form them. There’s nothing worse than soggy falafel!
- Refrigerate the falafel patties before baking. Another hack for preventing your falafel patties from falling apart is to pop the patties in the fridge before baking. After 20-30 minutes, they should be good to go!
How to Serve Baked Falafel
This dish is a delicious plant-based protein source that is often served as an appetizer, tucked into sandwiches, atop salads, and on mezze plates. If you need some inspiration to get you started, here are a few of my favorite ways to serve falafel:
- Wrap it in pita bread. Falafel makes for the shining star of a delicious vegan-friendly sandwich that is chock-full of protein. Wrap the falafel in pita bread alongside your favorite veggies for the ultimate lunch.
- Top off a salad or bowl. Falafel is a great plant-based protein to add to your favorite salads, grain bowls, or even to this Chicken Kofta Bowl. You can’t go wrong in pairing this dish with a bed of fresh greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, cucumbers, and a sprinkle of cheese.
- With a dipping sauce. Serving up this dish as an appetizer or snack? Try pairing it with hummus, tzatziki, feta dip, or tahini sauce.
How to Store Baked Falafel
Not only does it store incredibly well, but Baked Falafel is a delicious source of protein that tastes great with all sorts of meals.
Making a big batch of falafel early in the week means you can serve it with salads, grain bowls, pasta dishes, and sandwiches throughout the week. Simply place the leftovers in an airtight storage container or bag, then store them in one of two ways:
- In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- In the freezer for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:
Is falafel healthy?
Falafel is a delicious source of protein that is full of fiber and micronutrients, which helps curb your appetite. However, falafel is usually deep-fried in oil, which increases the calorie count and fat levels. Baked Falafel is a healthier alternative that cuts back on all those unwanted fats, while still getting all the wonderful nutrients.
How do you keep falafel from drying out?
Soaking your chickpeas before blending and cooking them is the key to keeping falafel from drying out. Olive oil is also super helpful in keeping your falafel patties nice and soft. Also, it is important to make sure the falafel batter is moist before baking. If it seems dry, consider adding some Greek yogurt, olive oil, and even a touch of water.
How do you keep falafel from falling apart?
There are a few things you can do to keep your falafel from falling apart. Start by soaking your chickpeas, then drying them completely. If the dough mixture is too wet, it will fall apart. Scooping the balls of dough tightly together is another way of preventing them from falling apart.
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- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (or gluten-free)
- Cooking spray
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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