All the deliciousness without the frying! This baked falafel is packed with flavor and super easy to make. Stuff it in a sandwich, pile it on a salad, or enjoy it on it's own!
Falafel is one of my favorite takeout dishes. There's nothing quite like a loaded falafel sandwich! But I rarely make my own falafel, because frying. Frying not only results in food that's a little heavy for me to enjoy on a Monday night, but it's also a bit of a pain.
Oven baked falafel is not only way healthier than the fried stuff, but it's also super easy to make.
What You'll Need
- Chickpeas. We're using precooked or canned chickpeas. This isn't what we'd use for traditional falafel (which uses soaked, uncooked chickpeas), but this also isn't a recipe for traditional falafel.
- Panko breadcrumbs. These help bind the falafel and add some texture. You can substitute plain old vegan breadcrumbs if you can find them. Just make sure whatever you use isn't seasoned.
- Spices. This recipe calls for ground cumin and coriander. A pinch of cayenne pepper is optional.
- Lemon juice. Preferably use fresh-squeezed — it's so much better than bottled!
- Baking powder. You can skip this if needed, but it will help give your falafel a lighter texture.
- Fresh parsley.
- Fresh cilantro.
- Toasted sesame seeds. You can leave these out if you don't have any on hand, but they add a nice flavor and a bit of crunch.
- Olive oil. You can use another high-heat oil if you'd like, but olive adds a great flavor to these falafel. You can also skip it for an oil-free version, although your falafel won't brown as nicely.
How to Make Baked Falafel
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
- Place all of your ingredients except for the olive oil into a food processor bowl.
- Pulse the mixture until the ingredients are very finely chopped and well-mixed. Don't overblend — nobody likes mushy falafel!
- Give the mixture a taste-test and make adjustments as needed, adding salt, lemon juice, or spices to get the flavor to your liking.
- Roll the mixture into 1 ½ inch balls, placing each on an oiled baking sheet and gently pressing the tops to flatten them slightly.
- Brush or mist the tops with olive oil. I like to be generous here to get my falafel nice and crispy!
- Pop your falafel into the oven and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, being very careful when you flip them.
- Let your falafel cool for a bit, then serve!
Baked Falafel Tips & FAQ
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Probably! Try subbing vegan and gluten-free breadcrumbs for the panko.
- Shelf-life & storage: Baked falafel will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months. You can also refrigerate or freeze the unbaked chickpea mixture for later, then thaw (if frozen), roll and bake.
- Can I used dried chickpeas for this recipe? Yes, but you need to soak and cook them first. Try this method. You'll need about 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas.
- Can I make baked falafel without oil? Sure! For an oil-free version, line your baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. The falafel won't brown as much, but it will still be delicious.
- How is baked falafel served?
- Stuff it into a sandwich using pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and hummus, tahini, or vegan tzatziki.
- Serve it as snack with hummus or tahini for dipping.
- Serve it as a main dish with Mediterranean sides.
- Use it as a salad topper.
More Vegan Falafel Recipes
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Easy Baked Falafel
All the deliciousness without the frying! This baked falafel is packed with flavor and easy enough for a weeknight. Stuff it in a sandwich, pile it on a salad, or enjoy it on it's own!
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup diced onion (1 small onion)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
Place the chickpeas, panko, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, baking powder, sesame seeds, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.
Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are finely chopped and well mixed.
Roll the mixture into 1 ½ inch balls, arrange them on the baking sheet, then gently press on the top of each ball to flatten it slightly.
Brush or spray each ball with olive oil.
Bake the falafel for 25 to 30 minutes, gently flipping halfway through, until browned on both sides.
Let the falafel cool slightly, then serve.