This vegan baked falafel recipe is healthy, easy to make and full of flavour! They’re perfect for dipping in hummus or tzatziki and adding to pitas and salads.
- vegan and gluten-free – works for those with dietary restrictions
- versatile – enjoy in a salad, pita or bowl, or on their own with your favourite dips and sauces
- nutritious – a good source of plant-based protein and fiber
- chickpeas – you will need dry chickpeas, not canned
- parsley and cilantro – fresh herbs are key for flavor and texture, do not substitute dried herbs
- spices – you’ll need ground cumin, garlic powder, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper (not a deal breaker if you’re missing the coriander but don’t skip the cumin!)
- flax – you’ll need 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed, this helps bind the falafel
- flour – can be all purpose, whole wheat, spelt, chickpea, brown rice, a gluten-free flour blend or oat flour
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Soak the dried chickpeas for at least 12 hours up to 24 hours. Place them in a large bowl and cover with a substantial amount of water. They are going to double or triple in size so you want to make sure they don’t run out of water in the process.
Step 2. Blend the chickpeas and onion. When you’re ready to make the falafel, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add 1.5 cups of them to a food processor along with the diced onion.
Process briefly to break down the chickpeas and combine the onion – we don’t want to start getting close to hummus here, just blend enough to break everything down.
Quick Note: You may have more than 1.5 cups of chickpeas after soaking but just use 1.5 cups worth.
Step 3. Add everything else except the flour. Process briefly to combine and break everything down. Again, don’t over do it! Process just enough until it’s all mixed up.
Quick Tip: Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking tray lined with parchment paper so you’re ready to go after the next step!
Step 4. Transfer the food processor mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the flour. Mix it up really well then let it sit for 10 minutes so the flour and flax can really get to work. Don’t skip this!
Quick Note: You can also just do this in the food processor container if you don’t want to dirty a bowl.
Step 5. Form 11-12 small patties with your hands and place them on the parchment-lined baking tray. Spray them with a light coating of avocado or olive oil cooking spray or use an oil mister and do the same with avocado or olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 10. They’re now ready to enjoy!
Notes and Tips
- I highly recommend using dried soaked chickpeas and not canned, the final result is miles better. If you use canned chickpeas the recipe will work and the flavour will be good but the falafel will be very mushy, almost like an undercooked pancake. With dried and soaked chickpeas, the texture is much more like traditional fried falafel.
- For gluten-free falafel, use a gluten-free flour blend, chickpea flour or oat flour.
How to Serve
- make a falafel plate with hummus, tahini sauce, pickled onions, salad and tabouleh
- add them to any salad
- stuff them in a pita with lettuce, cucumber, tzatziki and hummus
- as a side dish with tzatziki, your favourite hummus and/or tahini sauce
- add them to this Mediterranean farro salad bowl, quinoa bowl or cauliflower quinoa tabouli bowls
How to Store
- Fridge: Let them cool them store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Let them cool then store in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge then reheat as needed.
- Reheating: Enjoy cold, or heat stovetop in a pan, in the microwave in 15-second increments or in the oven on a baking tray.
- Vegan Tzatziki
- Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Roasted Garlic Hummus
- Mashed Chickpea Tabouleh
- Quinoa Tabouleh
- Hummus Bowls
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
This healthy baked falafel is excellent in a pita with veggies and tzatziki or tahini sauce, on its own for a snack or light meal, or as a delicious addition to salads and bowls.
- 1 cup dry chickpeas (1.5 cups/165 g after soaking and draining)
- 1/2 cup diced white onion (80 g)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed, finely chopped fresh cilantro (20 g)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed, finely chopped fresh parsley (20 g)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp ground flax (14 g)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp flour, see notes (25 g)
- olive or avocado oil cooking spray, or olive or avocado oil in an oil mister
- Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with a substantial amount of water, soak for 12-24 hours. The chickpeas are going to double or triple in size as they absorb the water, so make sure they have adequate room and water to do so.
- When you’re ready to make the falafel, drain the chickpeas and add 1.5 cups of the soaked chickpeas to a food processor.
- Add the onion to the food processor and pulse several times until the chickpeas are broken down and combined with the onion. Be sure not to over mix, we don’t want hummus but they should resemble a grainy consistency.
- Add everything except for the flour and pulse a few times to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Dump food processor contents into a large mixing bowl, and stir in flour until completely combined (or just mix it up in the food processor container). Let rest 10 minutes, don’t skip this part.
- Take spoonfuls of the mixture in your hands and form small patties, about 1/2 inch thick and 1.5 inches wide, you should get about 12. Place them on the baking sheet. Lightly mist with olive or avocado oil cooking spray, or use an oil mister to give them a light coating of olive or avocado oil. This is key for crispy baked falafel!
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
- Serve right away with tzatziki, hummus or tahini sauce, on their own or in a pita or salad.
Flour: Flour can be all purpose, whole wheat, spelt, brown rice, gluten-free flour blend, chickpea flour or oat flour. For gluten-free falafel, use a gluten-free flour blend, chickpea flour or oat flour.
Soaking: You may have more than 1.5 cups of chickpeas after soaking but just use 1.5 cups or 165 g. I listed 1 cup dry chickpeas just to be sure you’ll have enough after soaking.
Freshness: If you soak the chickpeas and they do not increase in size or absorb the water, they may be duds and won’t work in the recipe. If they don’t at least double in size, use different chickpeas.
Chickpeas: While this recipe will work with canned chickpeas, I highly recommend following the recipe as written and using the dried soaked chickpeas, the final result is miles better If you use canned chickpeas the recipe will work and the flavour will be good but the falafel will be very mushy, almost like a pancake that didn’t cook properly.
Storage: Let them cool them store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 2 months. If frozen, thaw in the fridge. Enjoy them cold or reheat as needed on the stoveop in a pan, in the microwave in 15-second increments or in the oven on a baking tray until warmed to your preference.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 104
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Sodium: 337 mg
- Fat: 4.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.9 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 4.8 g
Keywords: vegan falafel, baked falafel recipe, vegan baked falafel