Global Recipes/ Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Sandwiches and Wraps

Baked Falafel with Smoky Tahini Dressing

Fried foods aren’t great for you, which is why this recipe for baked falafel is such a pleasure. Besides being healthier, it’s also much easier to make. Plus, frying is just messy. Serve these little balls of happiness with the accompanying Smoky Tahini Dressing atop rice or whole grains or in pitas or wraps with fresh tomatoes and lettuce.  Contributed by Dynise Balcavage, from Celebrate Vegan* (Lyons Press, ©2011).

Baked Falafel with Smoky Tahini Dressing

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp flour, plus more, if needed
Smoky Tahini Dressing
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (sauté first if you don’t like raw garlic)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sumac (lemony Middle Eastern herb)—see note
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drizzle a little of the oil onto a high-sided cookie sheet or in a baking pan and spread it evenly. Or, you can just use baking parchment.
  2. Place remaining oil and the rest of the falafel ingredients in food processor and pulse on and off until the mixture holds together in a dough-like mass. You may need to remove the dough with your hands and work it a bit. Add enough flour so that it holds together.
  3. Falafel wraps
  4. Form into 2-inch balls or patties. Place in the oiled pan.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes on one side, or until golden. Flip and bake on the other side for 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels.
  6. While the falafel is baking, rinse out the food processor. Combine the ingredients for the Smoky Tahini Dressing in the work bowl and process until smooth. Pour into a spouted container. Serve as suggested in the headnote, above. Pass around the Smoky Tahini Dressing.

Note: Substitute lemon-pepper if sumac is unavailable.

Dynise Balcavage is also the author of Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine.* and blogs at Urban Vegan.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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  • Reply
    February 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Love your recipes, but for some reason, I can’t pin them onto my Pinterest board. 🙁

    • Reply
      February 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Aly, have you tried the Pinterest tool that shows up when you hover over the images? The one in the row of tools doesn’t always work.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    That works, thanks!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    The temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius (176c) did not work. They were “raw” when I took them out the first time to turn them. I decided then to increase the temperature up to 220c, of course, lowering the amount of time (8-10 min). They did not develop any color, and they were more solid, but still raw. I wonder what is wrong. I followed exactly every step, measurements, etc. I guess Ill have to fry them in the pan. baking is not working.

    • Reply
      February 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Yvette, I’m sorry this didn’t work for you. I’ve made them a few times and it always works as stated. Sometimes oven temperatures are not accurate. Likely a bit more time in the oven would have done the trick, or next time, use a slightly higher temp from the start.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Wow! This is the first recipe I try on your website and I fell in love with these falafels plus that tahini sauce, omg! I’m so excited to make this for my bf this week.

    • Reply
      March 29, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Thanks, Jeanette — I hope he enjoys this as much as you do!

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Hi Nava. May I ask how many pieces of falafel does this recipe make? I know it says it serves 4, but my husband loves falafel so much I have to make sure I’m making enough for both of us lol. Thank you in advance!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    This is a great recipe, but I would suggest doubling the baking time and increasing the temperature to get the desired result (20 minutes at 400 degrees on each side). I made the falafel into patties and lightyl coated the baking tray with olive oil, and then swabbed the top of each patty with more oil to keep it moist. There was no need to drain any excess oil when they were done. It’s also important to use more coriander and parsley as opposed to less to keep the falafel light. You don’t want to end up with it being too doughy.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      Thank you so much for your suggestions, Michael — I like the idea of using more fresh herbs, especially.

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