Healthy Falafel Recipe!

I LOVE falafels. There’s a little stand near the house I grew up called “Falafel Drive-In” – and they make the best falafels I’ve ever had! But – I tend to not eat them often, because they’re not very healthy: falafel’s are DEEP FRIED chickpea patties with a calorie-packed sauce, served in a white pita (so no whole grains). Not much nutritional value there! So I was SUPER excited when I found this recipe from HungryGirl for a healthy, baked falafel! And guess what – it tasted great! The recipe (with my modifications) are below – hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients – Falafel Pockets

  • Whole-wheat or high-fiber pitas
  • One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped (I used red onion because I like the color/flavor better)
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • Two 2-second sprays olive oil nonstick spray
  • Baby spinach
  • Diced tomatoes

Ingredients – Sauce

Note: The hungrygirl site has a good recipe for the sauce (made with yogurt). I found that you can create a great sauce from pre-made hummus – super simple, low calorie and tasted great! I only have 2 ingredients for the sauce: 1) Pre-made hummus – I LOVE Trader Joe’s hummus dip and 2) water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas, baking powder, and nonstick spray) in a food processor, and give them a good chop. Transfer into a bowl, add the baking powder and stir together. Using a potato masher, mash any big chunks that remain – Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.
  3. Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a 2-second spray of olive oil nonstick spray.
  4. One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 parts hummus to 1 part water, and stir until blended (add more water to taste depending on how watery you like your sauce). Season to taste with salt / black pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.
  7. Cut the whole pitas into halves, toast or warm all pita halves slightly, fill with spinach, 3 falafel balls, diced tomato, and top with spinach and sauce. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

  • Serving size: 1 pita half with 3 falafel balls and 1-3 tbsp dip
  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 2.25g
  • Fiber: 8.5g
  • Protein: 10g
Trader Joe's Hummus!

Trader Joe's Hummus!

Falafel Balls - before going into the oven

Falafel balls - ready to eat!

Finished pita pockets - yum!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas and nonstick spray) in a large bowl, and give them a good stir. Using a potato masher, mash well. Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.

Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a 2-second spray of olive oil nonstick spray.

One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.

Bake in the ove n for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dip in a blender or food processor, and pulse until just blended. Season to taste with black pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.

Cut the whole pitas into halves, toast or warm all pita halves slightly, and then fill each with three falafel balls and 3 tbsp. dip. Enjoy!

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23 Comments

Filed under Picky Cooks (Favorite Recipes)

23 responses to “Healthy Falafel Recipe!

  1. I love your healthy spin on falafel. We have been obsessed with cooking Middle Eastern food lately, but haven’t made falafel in a long time. Great idea!

  2. hum… I have to say that looks fantastic! I was just actually walking in front of the “Falafel Café” in Cleveland, and was thinking how good that would be… I will definitely make these some time soon!

  3. These look great, I’m a few minutes a way from Falafel Drive in and I’m due to get some this week. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  4. I’ve saved this dish to make later. I looks absolutely delicious.

  5. AHHH! Falafel is my favorite. I needed a new reciped for a baked version. I have yet to find a good recipe. Thanks!

  6. You had me at Falafel. I have been searching high and low for a good recipe falafel recipe.
    I buzzed and saved this recipe. Well done.

  7. Baked rather than fried seems like a wonderful idea. Thanks.

  8. A wonderful healthier falafel, super delicious!

  9. I love these–but seem to not make them very often because I tend to not have pitas on hand–this rendition looks tempting (pitas on the list now)! Thank you for the great recipe!

    • anjalim

      no problem! also – if you don’t use pitas often, you can buy them and freeze them (that’s what I usually do). They can last up to 6 months in the freezer and still taste great!

  10. Pingback: Falafel time « Run Sarah

  11. lo

    Love falafel. But, I’d agree that the restaurant version is usually packed with fat and devoid of the nutrition you really want when eating chickpeas! We often bake our falafel — and I think it’s just about as good as the fried version!

  12. Kat

    Yum! I love falafel, but I HATE frying food because it smells for days. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Wow this looks great! I’m making this tomoz (and have put a link in my blog – I’m new to this blog stuff, hope I’m doing it right!) I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

  14. I CAN”T wait to try these!

  15. KC

    These falafel had SUPERB flavor! However I blended mine too long so they didn’t hold a ball shape… woops! But they were still absolutely delicious and I will definitely make them again!! 😀

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  19. Sara

    THESE WERE SO GOOOOOOD!
    nomnomnom

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