Skip the frying instead try this baked falafel recipe. Great served as a naan or pita sandwich or a hearty topping to salads.
Today I will be showing you how to make a healthy baked falafel recipe that is crispy perfection. Falafel are super great alone or served as a falafel sandwich.
I’m not a fan of frying food it freaks me out a little so today I’ll be showing you how to baked these falafel balls in the oven instead of frying them. Don’t worry they’ll still be crisp outside and totally delicious!
What is Falafel?
Traditionally falafel is made from chickpeas ground up with herbs such as parsley and cilantro. Spices like smokey cumin bring out a deeper flavor. Instead if frying, today we will be making a baked falafel recipe instead. It's a bit more healthy and no oil splatter. Falafel is commonly found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
How to bake Falafel?
You might be wondering how we are going to make this healthy baked falafel recipe? Or how long to bake falafels? Well lets get in to the details shall we?
Like I mentioned earlier the oil splatter just isn’t my thang’. Instead of fried falafel we are making a baked falafel by adding some oil to the chickpea base mixture and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. (easy clean up obviously) The rolled balls get placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. We will be baking them at 375˚ F for 28 minutes rolling over half way through.
Another method thats very popular is putting oil directly on the baking sheet with no parchment paper and letting the balls do their “fried” thang’ in the oven. I’m not really into that mess or splatter either so to each their own I guess if you want more of a fried look give it a try.
Baked Falafel Ingredients:
- Chickpeas- dry/raw NOT CANNED. Soak the chickpeas overnight 20-30 hours. The fresher the chickpeas are the less time they take to soak. They will triple in size when ready. Chickpeas not soaked long enough they will be bitter and leave you with a chunky falafel texture. Be sure to leave enough time for them to properly soak. Canned chickpeas do not work, they contain too much wet-ness you would have to combat with a lot of flour which significantly dulls the flavor. (see my recipe notes for more details on this)
- Parsley and Cilantro is what gives these falafels not only they green color but the majority of their herby flavorful goodness.
- Onion- I used a yellow one because I prefer the flavor. If you only have white or purple onions on hand that works fine just note it will be slightly more spicy as those onions tend to have bit more of a kick to them.
- Garlic- I used fresh, but if you only have garlic powder on hand, no worries add ½-1 teaspoon per clove of garlic depending on your preference.
- salt, pepper, and cumin- bring out the flavor in the this recipe. The cumin compliments the parsley and cilantro by bringing out the herby fresh aroma while the pepper gives a little heat and salt enhances all the flavors even more.
- Olive oil- is nice and mild in flavor and is my preference for this recipe.
- Flour - For a mixture too wet or not sticking together add a little flour slowly. IF YOU DO THIS you will need to add more herbs and spices. The flour significantly reduces the flavor, so just be patient and keep in mind its a fragile mixture so work with it gently. (more details in recipe card below)
How is Baked Falafel served?
Serve falafel with bread such as pita, lafa, or as we are using today, Naan. Toppings usually include things like tomato, cucumber, lettuce, onion, pickles and other garnishes. Falafel is traditionally topped with a tahini sauce or a yogurt sauce. I opted to use a roasted red pepper hummus. I gave it a little extra kick of tang with fresh lemon squeezed in it!
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This falafel recipe is baked in the oven instead of fried, naturally vegan and healthy. Falafel are made form chickpea and herbs and are usually found in middle eastern cooking. Great served as a naan or pita sandwich or a hearty topping to salads.
- Prep Time: 24 hours
- Cook Time: 28
- Total Time: 24 hours 28 minutes
- Yield: 24 1x
- Category: main course
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
2 cups dry raw chickpeas
2 cloves Garlic
½ cup yellow onion
1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 TBSP olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cumin
optional: 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Bake for 28 minutes
- Chickpeas must be soaked at least overnight 20-30 hours (I soaked mine for 24 hours you may need longer or less depending on how fresh they are as fresh takes less time to soak) and then drained and rinsed, pick out any rotten chickpeas or rocks that sometimes make it it into dry beans.
- In a food processor add your soaked chickpeas, roughly chopped onion and garlic, parsley, cilantro, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, and olive oil. Pulse until broken up and well combined.
- *Carefully form balls and place on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (**see notes about adding the flour)
- Bake for 28 minutes optionally flipping them over half way through.
Makes 24-28 golf ball sized falafel balls
Store in a sealed container in the fridge up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month (thaw in fridge from freezer and re-heat in the oven)
*expect the mixture to be crumbly and fragile, I find it best to grab a handful and squeeze the mixture and then go back and forth between my two hands squeezing to form a ball, do not try to roll between your hands it won’t work just squeeze the mixture until it sticks together.
** if you absolutely can not form balls with the mixture you can add flour, I used all purpose flour because of the glutinous texture it provides, oat flour would probably work as well BUT add the flour significantly reduced the flavor in these baked falafels so with that being said I would recommend adding more herbs and spices to the mixture if you add the flour, just add some more parsley, cilantro, garlic, onion and cumin to the food processor (or finely chop by hand) and then fold it into the mixture.
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