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
- 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)
- ⅓ 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Form into 2-inch balls or patties. Place in the oiled pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- Find more Vegan sandwiches and wraps on VegKitchen
- See more of VegKitchen’s Mediterranean Diet recipes.
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.
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