Baked Falafel

Posted on: March 13th, 2014 by
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I recently shared a recipe for tabbouleh salad in which I mentioned how well it goes with a falafel-stuffed pita. (Mmm!) Did you think I would leave you hangin’? I’m a public (domain) servant, so here’s the recipe for baked falafel balls:

Baked Falafel Balls (click on the title for a printable version)
Makes 30-36

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour (or chickpea flour)
4 Tbsp. bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbsp. plant-based milk

Chickpeas, AKA Garbanzo Beans, AKA Food of Heaven Above

Chickpeas, AKA Garbanzo Beans, AKA Food of Heaven Above

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a small heat-safe bowl, add the bulgur and pour the cup of boiling water over it. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit until softened and water is absorbed.

The cooked bulgur wheat.  This ingredient can be found pretty readily either in a package from Bob's Red Mill in your grocery store or in bulk at a natural food store.

The cooked bulgur wheat. This ingredient can be found pretty readily either in a package from Bob’s Red Mill in your grocery store or in bulk at a natural food store.

Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients (except for the garbanzo beans) into a large food processor and process until well-mixed. Once you have a uniform mixture, add in the garbanzo beans and process until a paste-like mixture forms.

In a large bowl, mix the paste with the cooked bulgur by hand using a wooden spoon or spatula.

The ready-to-form falafel paste.

The ready-to-form falafel paste.

Form balls from the mixture that are each about a tablespoon in volume. Place each ball on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. The falafel balls will not expand while baking so they only need to be spaced 1/2” – 1” apart.

The falafel do not have to be very far apart on the sheet, but some distance allows them to cook faster.

The falafel do not have to be very far apart on the sheet, but some distance allows them to cook faster.

Spray lightly with cooking oil spray if desired (I skip this step and they still bake up wonderfully!) and bake on a middle rack in the oven for 30 minutes before checking and turning. Bake for another 10 minutes or until desired tenderness. The longer you bake, the more dry they will get inside- and about 40-45 minutes total baking time seems ideal.

Baking in the oven.  While this is happening, you can cut up some tomato and cucumber to accompany the dish.

Baking in the oven. While this is happening, you can cut up some tomato and cucumber to accompany the dish.


The finished falafel balls.

The finished falafel balls.

Though they will look cracked around the outside, they are cooked and perfect on the inside.  They are also really healthy and haven't been dunked in oil to get fried!

Though they will look cracked around the outside, they are cooked and perfect on the inside. They are also really healthy and haven’t been dunked in oil to get fried!

Traditional (but dairy-free) version of falafel pita with tzatziki sauce.

Traditional (but dairy-free) version of falafel pita with tzatziki sauce.

My new favorite way to eat falafel is wrapped in flatbread!

My new favorite way to eat falafel is wrapped in flatbread!


To Make Patties Instead: Add 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal that has been pre-soaked in 1/4 cup water in with the garbanzo beans. While stirring cooked bulgur in, also stir in 3 Tbsp. uncooked rolled oats. Makes 6 bun-sized patties, or if you want them thicker, 4 patties. Serve with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts (if desired) and tzatziki sauce on a whole wheat bun.

A patty makes a very good Greek sandwich.  We love the burger version as much as the ball version.  Plus forming 6 patties is less time-consuming if you are in a rush.

A patty makes a very good Greek sandwich. We love the burger version as much as the ball version. Plus forming 6 patties is less time-consuming if you are in a rush.

Falafel burger!

Falafel burger!

About the recipe…
This recipe is amazing served Greek-style; place a few falafel inside of a pita and stuff some cucumber and tomato slices in there as well. Drizzle with a tzatziki sauce of your choosing (vegan version available here) and plate it next to some fresh tabbouleh salad!


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