Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

I was so looking forward to pigging out at my favorite Mediterranean cafe but they were closed for the holidays. So I decided to make my own falafels, baked not fried, as part of my healthier 2009 eating initiative.

I thought they came out pretty good. They’re different than the ones I’ve gotten at restaurants, probably because 1. I used canned garbanzo beans instead of dried, 2. I didn’t use a food processor to combine everything and 3. It’s not fried.

Next time I’m going to try using dry garbanzos and a food processor but I’ll leave the frying for eating out as a treat. Besides, I’m much too lazy to clean up a big, fried mess. What? Did you really think I was going to stop being lazy in the new year?

Baked Falafel
Makes about 21 balls

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten. Place onto an oiled baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it’s baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

Serve with mini pita pockets, hummus, tahini sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and/or cucumber.


  1. says

    I found your blog via Foodgawker. This recipe looks wonderful! While a food processor would make the combining job easier, I actually like the texture that you’ve created here through fork smashing. My kids would enjoy these. YUM!

  2. says

    Thanks for this recipe! I saw a recipe for falafel months ago in the NY Times but it was fried and I didn’t want to bother. I will definitely use your recipe! I think my two-year-old will appreciate the bite-sized pieces.

  3. Jo says

    Hi, I actually made a fried version of falafel two days ago. They didn’t turn out as great as I would have liked, and were pretty greasy; not something I would want to eat often. These look like a better alternative to fried falafel that I can eat more often. And I do love falafel! Thanks for sharing this recipe and I’ll be making it soon (:
    Also, I wonder how you could bake these up to get the whole outside crispy? Because I think the crisp outer shell is what makes good falafel. Another thing I would do is seriously up the cilantro. Falafel mix should be green from it.

  4. says

    I make baked falafel all the time where I work- It’s our best seller! That picture look so amazing though, I would happily whip up another batch right now…

  5. says

    I love falafel, but don’t make it because I don’t want the mess of frying. This will definitely work for me. I don’t think I knew you could bake them. They look delicious, and I’m sure they will taste the same. Thanks.

  6. says

    LOVE falafel. I had it first time in Israel in a pita filled with Israeli salad and French Fries.

    The recipe looks great, and I do like the idea of not having hot oil all over the kitchne.

  7. says

    Ooh, those look incredible! All crispy and nicely browned.

    My favorite falafel place is Falafel’s Drive-in in San Jose whenever I’m driving through there before they close, but I’m curious — where is your favorite Mediterranean cafe? Is it delectable?

  8. Valerie says

    This looks so tasty. I live alone, so 21 little falafels would take me a while to eat. Do you know if they freeze well?

  9. Laila says

    I get an upset stomach everytime I eat fried foods, not to mention how bad it is for you! What I like to do with falafel mix is shape it into patties and pan fry them with very little olive oil in a non stick pan. Since it cooks faster than in the oven, it has less time to dry out :) Your recipe sounds delicious!

  10. chow says

    Thanks everyone for your comments! I had no idea falafels are so popular.

    Jo – I’m not sure you can get the whole outside crispy by baking. Maybe if they’re flattened more, like patties, so there’s more surface area touching the pan.

    I thought the mix should have been green too, that’s why I think a food processor would blend it all together better.

    Emily – The place is Jaffa Cafe in San Luis Obispo, I was down there for the holidays. On the peninsula, I like Mediterranean Delite in San Carlos. I’ll have to check out Falafel’s Drive-In (love the name) next time I’m down in SJ.

    Valerie – I haven’t tried freezing falafels before so I can’t help you there. But you can probably just make half a recipe pretty easy.

  11. chow says

    Melisser – Baked falafel is worth another try. :-)

    Arika – Glad you loved them, yours looks great!

    tofufreak – It sure is. :-)

  12. Bunny says

    I made these for dinner tonight. They were super easy and so yummy! I think these will be a staple in our house. Thank you for this great recipe!

  13. Ashley says

    These were SOOO good! We had them in whole wheat pitas with homemade hummus and vegan sour cream and romaine lettuce, and it was just incredible. I think we’ll be making these weekly! Thanks for the awesome recipe :)

  14. says

    Funny, I just made baked falafel from a cookbook yesterday. The recipe I used was very similar, except baked at 450. They were a little loose, but tasted great. I’ll try your recipe.

  15. Ambar C. says

    Hi! In my baked version I substituted the flour for crushed bran cereal flakes (seriously), and they came out great!!! I used a cereal called Fitness, by Nestle, not sure if you guys get it over there. Well, give it a try sans-flour and I guarantee you won´t miss it!
    Cheers :)

  16. chow says

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Ambar C. – Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it sometime without the flour and with the bran cereal flakes. Sounds interesting!

  17. Carly says

    Jo and Chow,

    A lot of falafel are made with half chick peas and half fava beans. The fava beans give the interior a brilliant green color. Perhaps this is what you’re missing?
    Great recipe, but a bit dry, likely because I used re-hydrated dried beans which are never as moist as the canned variety. Will definitely make them again though!

  18. Laura says

    Hi! I loved your recipe, but for some reason, mine came out a little dry. I used my own cooked chickpeas instead of canned. I also omitted the baking powder (because I didn’t have any!) Any idea how I could make them more moist in the future? Thanks!

  19. chow says

    Carly – I haven’t heard of the half chickpeas and half fava beans before. Sounds interesting, I’ll have to try that sometime. Thanks!

    Laura – Not sure why they came out a little dry. The baking powder makes it fluffier. Maybe it’s as Carly mentioned above the dried beans aren’t as moist as the canned chickpeas.

  20. Susan says

    My first batch came out kinda dry, too.

    For the record, I used canned chickpeas.

    For my second batch, I added a little seranno pepper and more olive oil.

    I rolled them into balls and then smashed them more flat to cook, and they crisped up more on the outside (I used a cooking spray on the sheet), and we’re much better.

  21. kim says

    Yummy! We’ve made these several times. My husband, who hates anything too healthy, loves them too. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Erika says

    Hello! I just stumbled upon your recipe and just made it for lunch…the only ingredient i did not have was cilantro but otherwise i followed it exactly and ate the falafel balls over a salad with tahini-lemon dressing…it was AMAZING!! THANKS

  23. Alexa says

    I have made these twice now, the second time had to be a triple batch! Fantastic recipe, I’m not vegan, or even vegitarian for that matter, but I can honestly say that my family and I lived on these for the last week. My brother avoids anything that isn’t meat and potatoes and he’ll eat these. Eat them with pita and lettuce, hummus and pickled turnip, soooo good. Thank you soo much, they will definitley make repeat appearances in our kitchen.

  24. Bucci says

    Hey! I made these for the first time over the summer, and my family loves them so much that they beg me to make them whenever I come down to visit. I’m about to make a triple batch for our Christmas party! Thanks for the recipe :)

  25. Jan says

    I can’t wait to make these – i think a higher temp. is a good idea and a little broil at the end will crisp up – the idea of a wee bit more olive oil sound good to keep from becoming dry. tahini sauce is a must – tahini, lemon and water – shake in a jar and keep to drizzle on these and almost anything. thanks for the recipe…

  26. says

    This was sooooo good! I have a food processor so I did go ahead and use it and they came out awesome. I made my sandwich with a little bit of hummus and baba ganoush (I included a picture on my flickr), romaine lettuce, tomato… and even some hot chili sauce.

    Thanks for sharing!

  27. Emma says

    I am planning to make these with 30 youth on Monday as part of our food program. Do you have any extra tips to ensure success??



  28. chow says

    Emma – That’s so cool! The recipe is pretty straight forward. The only thing I can think of, is if you haven’t made it before maybe try it first so you would know what’s all involved. Other than that, have fun! :-)

  29. Shelby says

    I just made this and it was sooo good. Everyone in my family loved it! You have convinced me that veganism does not equal starvation and I might have to reconsider becoming one (i fear that my addiction to honey might thwart my attempt). Thanks so much! I used whole wheat pitas which were about 110 calories for half and using the tahini sauce and hummus sparingly, this meal was pretty low calorie. Can you say BONUS?! Baked>fried.

  30. chow says

    Shelby – Glad you and your family love it! There’s plenty of good and tasty vegan food, no starvation here. :-) Maybe replace honey with agave nectar?

  31. Danielle says

    I made these for my annual Christmas Potluck, which was Mediterranean themed. They were delicious. I leave out the cilantro, but they are amazing. I use a masher instead of a processor as well. I found I have to broil them a bit near the end to get a good crispy outside, probably just my oven.
    Thanks for the recipe, I make these all the time now!

  32. GitanaGirasol says

    After a failed lentil burger incident a few months ago because the ingredients didn’t bind well, I was extra cautious and threw in an “egg”(1 tbsp ground flax to 3 tbsp water). For double the recipe, I used about 3/4 of the “egg”. The falafel turned out just fine in the over, but GREAT in the pan with a little oil – not fried, just browned on low-med flame.

    Fattoush is a really good (vegan!) accompaniment:

  33. Emma says

    Best falafel I’ve had! Also – I made mine into triangles and baked then for 10 minutes or so a side, I think this helps with covering more area with crispy deliciousness!
    I’ve made these almost every week for a month now!! MMM… falafel! Though I would love to find a good vegan version of a mint yogurt sauce – any thoughts?

  34. chow says

    Great idea on the triangle shape! Thanks! Seems like you could probably just whip up your own vegan mint yogurt sauce. There’s plenty of plain soy or coconut yogurt out there to choose from, add mint and whatever other ingredients. I haven’t tried researching recipes myself though…

  35. says

    I just made a slightly different recipe for dinner but it was fried and afterwards I vowed to never make falafels again! But I just found this recipe and think I will go for it and bake them next time. Thank you, thank you for posting this.
    My favorite falafel restaurant closed several years ago and I still remember King Falafel in Grover Beach, CA with fondness.

  36. chow says

    Renela – I never made it to King Falafel before it closed. :-(

    Dg – Caramelized onions! That must have added a ton of flavor, great idea! Thanks!

  37. Stephanie says

    I’ve made this recipe three times, and am about to make it again for lunch. My favorite baked falafel recipe. Fantastic stuff. Thanks!

  38. says

    I just made these tonight and let me say they are AMAZING. I used a little bit extra cumin and only 1 tbsp of parsley (I’m used to brown falafel, not green) and put everything in the food processor. They were actually pretty moist for me and formed patties on their own, which was nice because they came out crispy all over. The only change I’ll make next time will probably be to use a large shallot instead of a small onion, but that may be because my grocery store’s onions are, as a whole, abnormally large. I don’t think I’ll ever buy falafel again–thanks so much for posting this!

  39. donanaPDXfoody says

    I’m going to make these asap! Found your site while looking for salad rolls (love your step by step instructions),and then I got hooked checking out all your creations! Veganism has never looked so good to me before – You’re already on my ‘favorites’!

  40. Michael says

    Used dry chick peas and a pressure cooker. I added a litle extra liquid. 45 minutes at 425 and they were crispy and not too dry.

  41. kim says

    I was looking to make something with chickpeas and found this recipe. I was so excited as I cannot eat anything high in fat or I get sick. Off to the store I went to purchase the remaining ingredients. I was SOOO let down after I made these. They were so dry and bland. I followed everything exact and I don’t understand all the great reviews. I am sorry to say I would never make these again!

  42. says

    Hi, I had been wanting to make healthy homemade felafel for a long time and took a bet on your recipe (triple-size) after pressure cooking several cups of chickpeas. We didn’t have fresh coriander on hand, but used crushed seeds instead. I also used whole wheat breadcrumbs instead of flour. Eaten with a cucumber mint raita sauce, they were great!

  43. Eva says

    I tried these out for a dinner party and they were a huge sucess!!!! Delicious flavor and pretty crispy texture. I will DEFINETLY make these again.

  44. Meg says

    We tried these tonight and they were AMAZING! My 11 year old daughter helped and after dinner declared this a “keeper recipe.” We put ours in pita pockets with cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and avocado. YUM. Thanks for sharing!!!

  45. AmyVeggie says

    I’m a vegetarian who lives mostly off of Amy’s food and other frozen meals. That’s been getting pretty expensive so I looked around online and found your blog :) I made these falafels tonight, and YUM YUM YUM YUM!!! Move aside Amy’s!!! Thank so much for this recipe- do you know if these freeze well? Freezing something that’s homemade is better than pre-packaged frozen stuff… right? Thanks again!

  46. Sophie says

    Just made these – yum! They were crispy on the outside but a little too wet inside, I think I used too much onion. Flavours & texture were great. I served them with rice pilaf and pepperonatta. Next time I’m gonna try a little tahini paste instead of the olive oil.
    Thanks for the delicious, nutricious & scrumptious recipe!

  47. Angela says

    I’ve been cooking these all week! They are delicious!! Better than any recipe I’ve tried for the fried falafel! The fact that they’re baked and crispy makes this recipe a keeper! Thanks for posting!

  48. Tink says

    I love this recipe and THANK YOU for putting it out there! I have made this twice and started using falafel mix as the flour and like it better that way, but either way you make it the recipe rocks.

  49. Sara says

    I loved this recipe!!!
    I had been searching for a good falafel recipe that didn’t involve frying because, let’s face it, it IS much healthier! Haha. I clicked on your site and fell in love….with the falafels. Hehe. And as everyone knows, we eat with outré eyes before we do with our mouth, and the pic on you site was making want to go shopping immediately!!! So I did. I loved them, and so did my mom!

  50. Richard says

    I have made this recipe numerous times over the past few weeks and love it! I found that the food processor works well for combining the ingredients, although it does tend to turn the falafel a weird greenish color from the cilantro and parsley. Someone else suggested tripling the cilantro and that is definitely a needed change to the recipe. Also, the recipe makes about 12, not 21 (as indicated on the recipe).

    I found that I could make a big batch and then take it cold for lunch throughout the week – delicious! Thanks for a great recipe! In fact, I think I’ll have some tomorrow!

  51. db says

    Hey, thank you for posting this. I usually fry the falafel & its quite messy and makes the kitchen hot. This has been much easier. REGARDS

  52. Cindy says

    Made these this evening and loved them. We baked them and they fell apart a bit, but were still really good. Hoping to figure out how to keep them from falling apart the next time. We used fresh chck peas and rye flour. We also made the yogurt cucumber sauce with them and served them with that and the tahini sauce. Healthy and yummy!We did use dried chick beans that I had baked this morning instead of canned.

  53. says

    I made these for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and since then we’ve had them twice more. They’re quick, easy, and delicious!

    Tonight my (non-vegetarian) husband said that I should make them even more often, and I’m totally okay with that!

  54. Katerina says

    I just made these. The chili pepper seeds got away from me and I used way too much but otherwise it is just amazing. I had trouble keeping them together but they firm up with baking. Thanks for the recipe!

  55. Pam says

    Found your recipe via pinterest a while ago and finally got around to trying it. It was delicious! On a pita with some hummus, lettuce and tomato I really couldn’t even tell the difference between these and the fried I get when I order out. This is going in the dinner rotation for sure! Thank you!

  56. Linda says

    I made this tonight, and it was awesome! I doubled recipe and flattened them, & baked @370 15min. per side. My came out crispy, and my husband said, they taste just like flafel! Will make all the time.

  57. Lorna says

    This is soon to be a weekly recipe at my house! Delicious, easy and raves from all present!
    I think I’ll try some grated carrot in a few, maybe some bulgar wheat too!
    Hummus with olive tapenade was yummy!
    Great recipe!

  58. Michelle M. says

    I’ve been eating falafel my whole life and dont really mind that they r fried. I just saw your recipe on the Eat Well Enjoy Life facebook page and I have to admit, they look yummy, will definitely be trying this recipe.

  59. says

    I loved these. I tried baking them two ways — some flat on the baking sheet and the other half in little reusable muffin baking cups I have. The cups works well to make them a perfect little shape. I did have to cook mine longer than you recommended, though, maybe 10 minutes (and I flipped the ones on the sheet after 15 minutes).

    I live alone so I put the leftovers in a baggie in my refrigerator. They look like a bag of oatmeal cookies and since I’m on a diet that doesn’t allow cookies (or sugar), it’s kind of nice. When I get hungry for meals, I pop one of these in my mouth and it’s like I’m getting a flavorful bean and cumin cookie! Thank you for the recipe.

  60. angelina says

    Ok. Lemme tell you about these falafel. They are so stupid tasty, I’ve got my second batch in the past 24hrs in my oven, right now. I’ve never made falafel from scratch, and admittedly having to really work the final mixture ( think SQUEEZE the ball in your hand repeatedly to get the form to stick in a ball), I thought the whole process was quick. The 30min baking time sucks bc you want to eat them immediately! I served them with Karma Chow’s avocado mayo which is also ridiculously easy to make. Thinking about making some falafel sliders outta this recipe. :)

  61. Cathryn says

    Made these tonight for dinner and they were so tasty! Thanks for the great recipe, I will definitely make again and recommend it to my friends!

  62. Kate says

    I’ve never cooked falafel before but I love them. Thanks for the recipe. Lots of good suggestions in the posts as well. I made them with a mixture of 5 bean mix and chickpeas (both tinned) similar to how Jamie Oliver made them on his 15 minute meals. I would add more garlic next time and someone else suggested fava beans for the green colour. So many things to try out. I loved them and will def be making them again. Kate , from Sydney, Australia

  63. Alexandra Bobrow says

    Great recipe! Decided to use a food processor instead of mashing it because I liked the finer consistency. I also didn’t have fresh coriander but it still tastes great!

    I’m making this as the vegetarian option for new years dinner tomorrow so I hope my friend likes it as the alternative is sheep ribs :P

  64. Todd says

    I made this tonight. I used dried herbs, sorry fresh was not available. I also used my food processor in short bursts to achieve the desired consistency. Lastly I used parchment paper and did not treat the patties with oil (the included olive oil was enough). They CAME OUT GREAT! Crunchy on the outside, soft inside. We will double the recipe next time and put some away in the freezer for later meals. I can’t say enough how easy this was with the food processor. Many thanks from a largely carnivorous family.

  65. Karen says

    These are amazing! I used cooked dried beans instead of canned. I smashed them with a potato masher…next time I’ll dig out the food processor! Thank you so much! I crave these now!

  66. says

    I love love love this recipe! It turns out perfect every time and it really saved me while I was on a 2 year breastfeeding elimination diet! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!


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