Baked Falafel

April has been a doozy. Not one, but two bachelorette parties for two of my best friends. Neither of them in New York. Both of them in involving lots of good food and lots of good drink. I have nothing against fried food, but in the week and a half that separates the two parties, I certainly can’t be eating fried anything every day for lunch. Hence, the baked falafel.

I loooove falafel. In my slightly deranged mind, it’s health food. Yes, it’s fried, but it’s made out of chickpeas! And garlic! And not much else! If that’s not health food, I don’t know what is. There may be nothing more delicious than a hot, crisp falafel on a soft, warm pita doused in pungent tahini, bright tzatziki, salty feta, and fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions. I had a major craving this weekend and figured I could make a deconstructed falafel sndwich for lunch this week,  but as I said, I wanted to avoid eating fried goodness every day.

I found this recipe over on Can You Stay For Dinner?, which is a wonderful, touching blog by an extremely beautiful, talented lady. I first stumbled upon her blog via a miracle of the interwebs (twitter). Her writing is so real, so heartfelt, and at times heart breaking, that I became hooked, immediately. Finding talented people like this on the internet, people who can write and cook and do a million different things with human grace, is one of the perks of being a computer junky. At any rate, not only can this  woman write, but she can cook too. I’m a tad bit jealous of her.

This recipe hit the spot. It’s everything I need and want out of falafel-just my favorite legume in concentrated form-without the grease. Is it as good as its fried counterpart? Don’t be silly, of course it isn’t. But will it take care of a major falafel craving? Absolutely. It’s been my lunch for the past few days and I haven’t gotten tired of it. Paired with some make-shift tzatziki, fresh veggies and feta, it’s a flavor explosion. A flavor explosion that can bridge one indulgent weekend to the next, without guilt.

Baked Falafel

From Can You Stay For Dinner? Serves 4.

I doubled the recipe and subbed cilantro for half of the parsley. For make-shift tzatziki mix greek yogurt, minced garlic, diced cucumber, lemon juice, chopped mint, and salt (to taste). For Tahini sauce, mix a little tahini paste with lemon juice and salt (to taste). 

2 15oz can chickpeas
1/4 c flour
1/4 c finely chopped parsley (I used half cilantro, half parsley)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

  • Heat oven to 400°F and grease a cookie sheet
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until coarse, but well blended
  • Pat into ~12-16 equally-sized patties (size doesn’t matter, but a flattened ping-pong ball would be a good bet)
  • Place on the greased cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and bake ~20 minutes
  • Serve with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta, tzatziki, tahini and/or pita! Eat while warm! (Or reheat, if you’re saving it for later. Like me)
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