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Oven-Baked Falafel

I spent a lot of time thinking about this month’s IMBB, hosted by Cathy over at my little kitchen. Typically when I eat beans, they are of them plain or refried with hot dogs variety. It wasn’t until I reached into my fridge, looking for a snack, and pulled out some hummus that it hit me: chickpeas.

My first thought was to make hummus. I figured that with a theme like Beans, other people might be making hummus, too. I opted for falafel instead – besides, I already had pitas.

I love falafel, but they’re not the healthiest things. The ingredients are super healthy, but they’re traditionally fried. This makes them nice and crispy, but I wanted something less greasy so I decided to oven “fry” mine. You might also notice that they’re a bit greenish, which is a result of using fresh parsley and cilantro in the recipe rather then dried. I won’t discriminate against falafels of different colors as long as they all taste good.

This recipe originated on Food 911 and made about 24 golf-ball sized falafel patties. I served them on pita bread with cucumbers, tomato, lettuce and a combination of hummus, tahini and sweet chili sauce. They froze really well and heated up in the microwave in just a minute. I would definately make them again in a heartbeat.

Oven Baked Falafels

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked 18-24 hours

1 tsp baking powder

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 handfuls fresh parsley

1 handful fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

Soak dried chickpeas 18-24 hours, covered, in 4 cups of water.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and well-combined.

Spray foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray.

Shape into large, round tablespoonfuls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until dry and a bit firm to the touch.

Note: Be generous with the salt and pepper as you’re making them. The first batch I made was underseasoned.

If you want them to be golden all over, I recommend flipping them halfway through baking or switching your oven to broil for the last minute. I tried spraying them all over with cooking spray and it had very little effect. My tasters actually prefered the ones that I hadn’t sprayed a second time.

Update: I have since made these successfully using canned chickpeas, although I do think that the dried are the best way to go if you can remember to soak them ahead of time.

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  • Cathy
    January 23, 2005

    Nicole – I actually had falafel for the very first time only recently. I really liked it and like the looks of yours. I love the fact that they’re baked and will definitely plan to give these a try! Thanks so much for participating in IMBB 11!


  • Zarah Maria
    January 24, 2005

    This is such a great idea Nicole – I once tried frying falafels and they absolutely and totally fell apart – so annoying. I’ll definetly be trying this soon…

  • Nic
    January 24, 2005

    Thanks Cathy!
    And Zarah – I’m sure that they’ll come out. I hope you like them as much as I liked mine!

  • Lynn
    January 25, 2005

    Wow, they look so yummy, and I like the green color! I definitely want to try this. Do you think canned chickpeas will work too? I’ve never seen dried ones sold in Tokyo.

  • Nic
    January 25, 2005

    Hi Lynn. I have heard that this will not work with canned chickpeas, but I would give it a shot anyway (a can of chickpeas won’t break the bank, and you could always use it to make hummus!). Drain them really well and eliminate the soaking. Let the chickpea mixture sit in the refrigerator for a bit before you form balls, so it will hold together a bit better. Let me know how they turn out!

  • Lynn
    January 25, 2005

    Thanks for the advice. I’ve bookmarked your page and will definitely let you know how it turns out.

  • Lynn
    January 30, 2005

    Nicole, I made your falafal to great success by using canned chickpeas. Taking your advice, I drained them overnight. I used one can and cut your recipe in half and it was perfect! My husband said it smelled nice when I was only blending everything in the food processor! Thanks a lot for a low fat AND great tasting recipe.

  • Nic
    January 31, 2005

    I’m so glad that it worked out for you, Lynn. It’s great to know that the recipe works with canned chickpeas, as well as dried!

  • Zarah Maria
    May 10, 2005

    Well, it wasn’t soon I tried the falafels, but now I have! They were great Nic, I’ll definitely be doing them again! I used canned chickpeas to, sans problems! Yummy!

  • Nic
    May 12, 2005

    Zarah – I have also tried making this using canned chickpeas, since I heard that Lynn had good results with it. My only complaint was that they were ever so slightly more crumbly than the originals when I froze and defrosted them (I make big batches). But they still tasted great. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  • Joy
    November 22, 2007

    This was my first time making falafels. I followed the recipe exactly, except for changes in seasonings. I could only get my processor to blend so far though. I am not sure if it was smooth enough though? How smooth is it supposed to be?

    My chickpeas were still kind of chunky in spots and after blending everything together, it still wasn’t what I would call smooth. I couldn’t form a pattie or ball with it, without it crumbling all over the pan. I then added some flour 2 Tbsp. a time. (I used brown rice flour). Goodness, I ended up using about 1 3/4 C before it would even hold together- and then it still crumbled, just not as much 🙁

    I would like to know what I did wrong and could it be that I need to upgrade my processor?

    Thank you very much! Your help is greatly appreciated. I really want to learn how.


  • Joy
    November 22, 2007

    By the way, I did manage to salvage what I had though, and instead cooked them in my skillet with only a little garlic oil. First, I added some of the mashed potatoes I had already cooked for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner, which is to go along with this falafel mix, when it is all done. The goal I have is to make a falafel stuffing, Italian style, in memory of my Dad. (except his version was all meat) 😉

    The mashed potatoes helped some, and actually ends up being similar to some other Italian recipes which use mashed potatoes to use up leftovers. I then managed to chop it down to look like stuffing and so far so good. 🙂 I will add the finishing touches tomorrow, when I finish cooking the other half of the batch. (It took so long with my little tiny processor to get this far). It may not have turned out the way this recipe was supposed to, however I managing with what I have managed to create. 🙂

    I still would appreciate feedback as to what went wrong for me with this recipe though, since the others seem to have had such good luck- although with canned beans instead, whereas yours was not.

    Thanks in advance!

    JOY 🙂

  • elizabeth
    February 10, 2008

    I just tried this recipe tonight– WOW! It’s wonderful! I’ve tried making fried falafel before and they always fell apart, so it’s good to see a recipe that’s intentionally for baking.

    Joy, mine never quite got a “smooth” consistency either, but when I added juuuust a bit of lemon juice and tahini it held together enough to bake. The fact that there were still visible pieces of chickpea helped add some delightful crunch to the finished batch.

    Now I’m stoked about all the falafels I’m putting in the freezer… the joy of these will last for ages!!

  • Emily
    May 11, 2008

    I made these falafel for my friends the other night and they worked out really well. I actually used a dried soup mix that included barley, lentils, and kidney beans (no chickpeas). They required a little more cooking than posted but they were delicious. I am in the process of making them again :).

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Kevin
    May 24, 2008

    I had a go with the felafel recipe today, and I reckon it’s great! I didn’t measure things quite precisely, but the felafels still came out very nicely. Thanks for making your recipe available (:

  • Rhapsody
    February 4, 2009

    Works great with Garbanzo flour too! Just be careful of how much liquid you use..

  • clothes shopping
    June 3, 2009

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for first aid for a heart attack and your post looks very interesting for me.

  • Claudia
    July 1, 2009

    I’m so glad I found this recipe, and it has been reviewed.

    I was uncomfortable with frying falafel, but I love it so much. I hated going to the Purple Onion and paying 6 bucks for a sandwich that was fried and on white flour pita to boot. I will try to remember to post a review on this page when I make the falafel, which should be this weekend.

  • Eric
    July 2, 2009

    Peace and blessings everyone! Can I use dry Navy beans instead of chickpeas for this recipe?

  • James Joyce
    July 21, 2009

    Well researched site – love the kitchen gadgets! – Will look to incorporate some of your ideas into my site. Thanks!

  • Cafe World Strategy
    March 12, 2010

    Excellent articles on your blog, i share it with my friends from UK, keep growing it, Cheers !

  • Ami
    June 25, 2010

    Hi, I tried making your recipe last night and it turned out delicious…. The only problem I had was that it never really cooked through even after I left the balls in teh oven for about and hour at 450. I have always had this problem when making falafel, whether fried or baked. I usually use canned chick peas for my recipies. Any ideas on what would help?

  • SS
    January 18, 2011

    I tried this with canned chickpeas, and it worked really well! I baked them on parchment paper. I had previously tried frying eggless falafel, and they disintegrated. Baking worked perfectly! Thank you!

  • LNG
    March 28, 2011

    For those who have tried using canned chickpeas, what volume should I used for this recipe? I looked up some information on bean conversion, and they say beans will triple in size when soaked, so in this case that would be 6 cups of chickpeas. Does that sound about right?

    This recipe looks great, I can’t wait to try it!

  • Lay the table
    June 8, 2011

    This recipe is amazing! I just used 400g canned chickpeas and it came out perfect!

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