Homemade Vegan healthy baked falafel recipe – whether you want falafel balls or patties, this recipe yields delicious crispy-outside, soft-inside falafels – using my authentic Lebanese recipe.
I’m a bit falafel obsessed, it’s true. If that’s not obvious from the fact that I’ve already posted recipes for Easy Rainbow Vegan Falafels 5-ways, a traditional Falafel wrap, and Healthy Vegan Popcorn Falafel Cups (also baked, but mini-sized). After lots of messages on Instagram and a vote, I’m now putting frying the falafels to one side and giving you a recipe for healthy baked falafel.
The actual recipe of the baked falafel is completely gluten-free. To make a falafel wrap you can use gluten-free pita bread or serve it as a salad bowl or make a small Pattie and serve it like a falafel cake.
This vegan falafel recipe is fairly traditional with its use of flavorings; parsley, coriander, garlic, and contains my own favorite combination of the traditional falafel spice mix.
In Lebanon, and the Middle East in general, the falafel is usually fried in super-hot sunflower oil (some also include split broad beans (optional) along with the chickpeas). This method leads to super crispy shells and a soft inside and actually doesn’t soak up too much oil. However I know that for the health-conscious out there fried foods are just a big no-no, so this got to be my favorite falafel recipe baked, not fried, is for you and it tastes as amazing as the traditional version!
Once ready, this cooked falafel can then be served inside homemade pita bread, as a burger patty inside a burger bun (or not – like I have below!), as part of a mezze platter alongside dishes such as Rainbow Hummus, Gluten-free Muhammara Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Dip), traditional fattoush salad, Traditional Tabbouleh Salad ( Tabouli Salad) and Lebanese Spicy Potatoes Batata Harra.
I decided to make mine into a fun snack/ appetizer and served it along with traditional falafel fillings like a simple yogurt tahini dip, some leafy greens, sliced tomatoes and pickles veg – I used homemade pickled cucumbers (gherkins), homemade pickled jalapeños, and pickled turnips (which are naturally colored pink!). It looks beautiful and tastes even better.
It also becomes a lovely appetizer for family gatherings, bbq’s, and more. Plus, the falafel mix can actually be prepped in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer, ready to pull out whenever needed.
The healthy Baked Falafel How-To
The Falafel Ingredients
- Parsley and coriander
- Falafel spice mix
- Baking powder
- Chickpea flour (optional: only if needed to if the mixture is too soft)
- Water (optional: only if needed if the mixture is too crumbly)
How to make falafel
Authentic falafel recipes call for raw chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. You can’t make falafel using tinned/cooked chickpeas. You will end up with a very poor mushy quality and the wrong texture and they will be very difficult to cook (they will fall apart easily).
Keep in mind that 2 cups of dried chickpeas will yield 4 cups of soaked chickpeas.
How to make the falafel spice mix?
The next step is to prepare the falafel mix. I always make my very own falafel spice mix. You just need coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper, red chili powder (or cayenne pepper), and cinnamon (optional).
A DIY for this will be coming to the blog soon so, for now, the ingredients are; 1 part coriander powder, 1/2 part cumin powder, 1/4 part each of black pepper, 1/4 part red chili powder (or cayenne powder), and 1/4 part cinnamon powder (optional). Some falafel spice mixes add both dried onion and garlic powders but since I always add fresh garlic and onion in the actual recipe, I don’t add those.
How to make the falafel paste?
To make the falafel paste, roughly chop the onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander and mix (step 1). Then add them to a food processor/blender and blitz to crumbs (step 2). Next, add the falafel spice mix and salt (step 3) and mix with a spoon to incorporate (step 4).
Check if the mix is too liquidy, add a bit of chickpea flour. On the other hand, if it’s too dry and crumbly, then add a bit of cold water. It should be a paste that you can hold together and can be formed into patties or balls and either water or flour are the only two things you need to achieve this. If you don’t have chickpea flour, just use any normal flour. At this stage, you can refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to bake.
The falafel mixture can be kept in the fridge or the freezer. It will last covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and several months in the freezer. When ready to bake, add the baking powder (step 5) and stir well (step 6).
How to bake healthy falafel?
There are many ways to bake the falafel, I will show a few here. First for a gluten-free option, just Shape the falafel into patties. You can make them the same size as burger patties and place them directly on a pre-greased baking tray or baking sheet or you can use a mini round baking tin. Don’t press the paste hard on them so they stay fluffy.
Another way to bake falafel is by using a muffin tin and shape them into either small or large balls:
If you prefer small size balls, you can do it by halving the large ball and laying them like this:
Bake in a preheated oven at 240ºC for 20 minutes.
To serve the baked falafel balls, there are so many possibilities: I love using a homemade pita wrap and adding traditional fillings which include: yogurt Tahini dip, fresh herbs or leafy greens (like lettuce, or parsley), tomatoes cucumbers, pickles (turnips, cucumbers or jalapeños) (check the video for more details).
What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy falafels? Let me know in the comments.
Other Recipes You May Like
I gave a few options for how you could enjoy your baked falafel above, so here I’ll leave you with some inspiration for further falafel related dishes that you might like. For example, these Baked falafel popcorn in an edible crispy pita cup, naturally rainbow falafel, or this Traditional fried falafel.
If you have questions, ask them in the comments. I also love seeing your recipe recreations, so feel free to tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie
Easy Vegan Healthy Baked Falafel
- 4 cups chickpeas* pre-soaked
- 1 onion or 1 large
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1.5 tablespoon falafel mix** see notes
- 2 ounces parsley leaves
- 2 ounces coriander leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- water optional as needed***
- chickpea flour optional as needed***
- Soak the dried chickpeas overnight (or at least 8 hours) then drain and rinse well.
- Roughly chop the onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander and mix.
- Add the mix and the soaked chickpeas to a food processor/blender and blitz to crumbs.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the falafel spice mix and salt and mix with a spoon or by hand.
- At this stage either refrigerate to bake later or freeze the paste in a freezer-safe container for several months.
- When you're ready to bake, add the baking powder and mix.
- Shape the falafel patties (or small or large balls).
- Arrange them on a greased or paper-lines baking pan.
- Lightly brush or spray with oil (this is optional - skip if you prefer a completely oil-free version).
- Bake in the oven at 475 ºF/240 ºC for 15-20 minutes. They should be golden brown and crispy. To brown even more, turn on the grill/broil for the last three minutes.
- Serve with homemade pitta bread (recipe on the blog,) pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, or your favorite veggies. Serve with taratour dip. ****
If the mix is too liquidy, add a bit of chickpea flour. On the other hand, if it's too dry and crumbly, then add a bit of water as needed (a small amount at a time). ****the dip is made from natural or dairy-free yogurt, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice (can be found in my falafel popcorn recipe). The amount for 5 servings makes about 30 small patties/balls or 15 large ones. The total time does not include pre-soaking of the chickpeas