A vegan staple of the Middle East, falafel is typically deep-fried in oil and can be a real fat bomb, which makes you wonder whether it’s truly a healthy dish. This baked crispy falafel is a healthier version that keeps all the flavor. It is easy and fun to make in a food processor.
These convenient size patties are made from a combination of chickpeas, herbs and spices. They are packed with plant-based protein and fiber, high in vitamin B6 and packed with lots of other nutrients. They help curb your appetite, support healthy blood sugar, and lower your risk of chronic disease.
Falafel can be a stand-alone side dish, but it’s commonly served in a pita pocket, flatbread, or as part of an assortment of appetizers called a meze. A pita pocket stuffed with falafel drizzled with a sauce is a very typical Middle Eastern sandwich.
A few tips:
Make sure you use dry chickpeas. This recipe will not work with cooked or canned chickpeas, they contain too much moisture.
Preheating the baking sheet in the oven is optional but helps get a nice brown and crispy outside while the inside stays tender. Pre-cut the parchment paper you will use to line it, but do not place it on the sheet during preheating.
Be extra careful handling the preheated baking sheet. That’s the only tricky part about this recipe (along with cleaning the food processor, whose blade is one of the most dangerous tools in your kitchen). But it helps get the falafel nice and crisp.
Finally, a pastry brush is a great tool to use a minimal amount of olive oil. Spray bottles also work but I find they end up clogged and have given up on them…
After soaking your chickpeas overnight and draining them, all ingredients go into the food processor…
Carefully transfer the patties to the baking sheet and into the oven they go for 30 minutes. Flip them carefully mid-way through the cooking time to get both sides nice and brown. That’s all there is to it!
This recipe makes about 15 patties.
Keep some baked crispy falafel in your freezer for a healthy anytime protein-rich snack or a quick meal!
Some sauces to serve with it:
Other Middle Eastern recipes you might like:
Baked crispy falafel
- Rinse and pick over the chickpeas. Place them in a large container with a lid and add 1 quart of water. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hrs.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet and reserve it. Place the baking sheet in the oven (without the paper) and preheat to 375°F.
- Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor. Add onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.
- Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form small patties with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Place them on a cutting board and press down with your hand to get a 1/2" thickness. Brush the tops with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Take the warm sheet pan out of the oven. Place the reserved sheet of parchment paper on it and drizzle it with 1 tbsp olive oil. Lift each patty carefully with a spatula to place it on the oiled sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, carefully flipping the falafel after 15 to 20 minutes to get both sides browned.
- These keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for several months.