These Baked Lentil Falafel taste just like traditional falafel but are made with lentils instead! These healthy, baked, fiber filled patties make a delicious sandwich filling and vegetarian meal.
We love falafel around here but the deep fried version isn't the healthiest option! That's why we started making these Baked Falafel with Lentils instead. Packed with all the flavor of take-out falafel but baked in the oven for a healthier treat. Serve them alongside some Artichoke Hummus and an Israeli Salad for a delicious meal.
I can't get enough of ethnic foods — especially Mediterranean ones. While there is definitely a time and place for tacos (okay multiple times and places for tacos), sometimes I want that Middle Eastern flavor. Give me all the hummus and cumin and chickpeas. The garlic and lemon and parsley. Whip it all together and put it in my belly.
That was where I was mentally when I saw this recipe on Pinch of Yum. I was scrolling through Pinterest looking for some spicy inspiration when I saw it: falafel. The words were practically neon, flashing before my eyes, beckoning me to click. And I'm so glad I did.
First of all, I loved the idea of using lentils instead of chickpeas to make a healthy baked falafel, not only because I love lentils (because I do) but also because I eat a lot of chickpeas, so it's nice to mix it up sometimes. This recipe combines simple ingredients — lentils, cilantro, parsley, basil, lemon, garlic, and spices — that are basically just thrown into the food processor where they magically transform into delicious, little falafel patties. (Okay you do have to do a leeetle work forming the patties yourself, the food processor isn't THAT magical — yet.)M,
If you want to kick the falafel up a bit in the heat department, just throw in a jalapeno or some red pepper flakes. You can also use homemade cooked lentils instead of the canned ones, whatever you have on hand is fine. Lastly, these patties freeze really well so think about making a double or triple batch and throwing some in the freezer for future meals.
Ways to Serve Baked Lentil Falafel
You can really use falafel patties so many different ways. I am not sure I can even name them all. But I'll try!
- Add three right on top of a piece of pita bread with hummus, feta, some olives, pickled beets, shredded lettuce, or any toppings you want, really.
- Add these yummy little patties to a Greek salad instead of chicken or salmon. (Leave them right on top, and cut them with your fork as you grab bites — don't mix them in or they could crumble too much.)
- Eat them on a sub bun, like you would meatballs and add similar toppings as you would to pita bread.
- Crumble the falafel onto a bigger bowl of hummus. Top with feta cheese and a little olive oil for a really delicious appetizer. Serve with pita chips.
- Make bigger falafel patties and use them as your own Mediterranean veggie burgers.
- Swap out the sausage on the side of your eggs with falafel for a healthy breakfast.
- Instead of making patties, you can use falafel mix as a stuffing for other veggies. You can stuff peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, or other squashes.
- Use falafel mix as a crust for a Greek pizza or as a bun for a veggie sandwich.
How can I use leftover falafel?
If you have any leftover falafel, congratulations. Around my house, I find there is rarely any leftover, unless I make a huge batch. Leftover falafel is great for:
- Sandwiches. Where you'd typically put the meat, add falafel and fun toppings and condiments instead.
- Add diced falafel to cold pasta with some feta, red onions, and black olives. Make a tahini dressing and pour that over the top. Mix together and enjoy!
- Falafel quesadillas! Try feta (I know, I know, but I really can't get enough of that delicious, salty cheese!) or goat cheese instead of your typical shredded cheddar.
- You know how you'd usually use mashed beans on a tostada? Instead, mash up the falafel with a little olive oil and use that as your base for a new kind of tostada topped with all the other goodies.
- Just warm it up and eat it!
How do you cook dried lentils?
Lentils are easy to cook. They don't require any pre-soaking like other beans, either, so you can take them from pantry to table in about 30 minutes. Not bad, not bad!
First, though, you should rinse them and pick out any little rocks or shriveled lentils that may have gotten into the bag. Then, add lentils, water (the ratio is two-to-one, water-to-lentils, like rice), a bay leaf, and garlic to a pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook them uncovered for 20-30 minutes until they are nice and tender. If they aren't finished cooking but are getting dried out, you can add a little more water as you go.
When they are finished cooking, allow them to cool before adding them to your other falafel ingredients. If they make the mixture too wet, add more flour until they are easier to patty up.
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Baked Lentil Falafel
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- 2 cups canned lentils, rinsed and drained (you could use traditional chickpeas)
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 2 tbsp. basil
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 2 U cloves garlic
- 1 U lemon (zest and juice)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse everything except for the flour in a food processor until the mixture is combined. It will be dry but when you press it together with your hands, it should form patties. Stir in the flour, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until it easily forms patties and is easy to handle. Form into patties, about 3 per serving.
- Place on a prepared baking sheet. Cook for 16-20 minutes until browned and cooked through.
* 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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