Homemade Baked Falafel
Over the past few years, we’ve all seen a trend toward more plant-based eating. I love it. I’ve always been a big vegetable lover — I’m always diving into the crudités and filling up my plate with sides. That being said, I’m not the biggest tofu or tempeh fan, so I need to find plant protein in other places. Enter falafel. ☺️
Falafel typically consists of ground chickpeas mixed with delicious flavors and spices.
We got hooked on the falafel at one of our favorite local Mediterranean places, Babas. Farid and the team there make amazing food (don’t miss the zucchini fries if you go)!
Also trending for the past few years has been eating out less… so we’ve been trying to make our favorite things at home. Hence homemade falafel!
While falafel is traditionally fried (and delicious that way), I wanted to try to lighten them up a bit and bake them. Enter the amazing team at Love & Lemons. They have some of my FAVORITE recipes and are maybe 50% of my inbox folder “recipes to try someday.” They put together a recipe to make crispy, delicious falafel that worked out for me perfectly*!
- You cannot use canned chickpeas, sorry. To make this recipe, you’ll need a bag of dried, uncooked chickpeas – which you can find in the aisle with bags of rice and beans.
- You have to soak said chickpeas OVERNIGHT. Again, you can’t just make this for dinner right this minute, it takes at least one day’s planning for the following evening.
- L&L uses fresh herbs but, unfortunately, mid-winter I do not have any, so we used the next best thing – Garden Gourmet lightly-dried spices. You find them refrigerated in the produce section.
- *Spices are up to you! Tom doesn’t love things as spicy as I do, so we added more chickpeas after I added too much cayenne. Check out the original Love & Lemons recipe for their original plans!
CRISPY BAKED FALAFEL
Inspired by Love & Lemons
- 1-1½ C uncooked, dried chickpeas (YOU CANNOT USE CANNED!)
- ½ C shallot and/or yellow onion (chopped)
- 3-5 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 container lightly-dried cilantro by Garden Gourmet
- 1 container lightly-dried parsley by Garden Gourmet
- 1 tbsp olive oil (+ more for drizzling)
- cayenne pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil (all we had).
In a large food processor, place all the ingredients in and pulse. Make sure you combine them but don’t fully puree. You’ll have to use a spoon or tool to push down the sides of the bowl as needed.
If they are too dry, add olive oil a ¼ teaspoon at a time. If they are too spicy, add more chickpeas (it works…trust me haha).
Use a tablespoon or your hands to create small patties. Pack them together so they don’t fall apart, but keep them small and light. You’ll end up with approximately 12-20 (we had more because we added more chickpeas).
Place the patties on the baking sheet and drizzle GENEROUSLY with olive oil. It’s not quite frying them, but you still need the hot oil to help them crisp up!
Bake for 15 minutes then turn them over.
Bake for 15 minutes then you can be done OR…you can bake an additional 7-10 minutes on a third side for even more crispiness.
- Serve with hummus or in a bowl with rice and veggies or in a pita with feta and veggies!