This takeout favorite is traditionally made with dried chickpeas that have been soaked and ground. To speed things up, I used canned beans and whir everything together in a food processor. Baking the falafel does away with the mess (and fat) of frying. If you don't have a food processor, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher, and finely chop the garlic and parsley before combining everything.
Make Baby Food: If your baby likes well-seasoned food, there’s nothing in the falafel he can’t eat. If you’re concerned about the crunch outside, pull a few out of the oven before they get too well done. Hummus and pita are both fine for young’ns.
“I took the lazy way out and whizzed the onion, garlic, and parsley together in the food processor before adding the chickpeas, and it worked out fine. The lemony salad on top of the creamy hummus with the crispy falafel was a very satisfying combo. My husband really enjoyed it, despite, normally being suspicious of things that aren’t Italian or Mexican or a steak.” —Alana D., mom of one, Providence, RI
“I tried freezing half the mixture in little flattened balls. It worked well (with slightly longer cooking times, of course), and being able to make a big batch to freeze is a HUGE bonus to me. I did not have high hopes for baked falafel, but they were great, and far better than the home-fried ones I’ve tried. This is going to be my new lunch standard!” —Darcy G., mom of two, Pleasant Prairie, WI
Serves2 to 3
Cooking Time35 min
Cooking Time - Text35
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecrisp, garlicky, herby, savory
- One 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 small onion or 2 scallions (white and light green parts), roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Juice of 1 lemon, divided (3 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- A mixture of salad vegetables, such as romaine, cucumber and grape tomatoes
- Whole-wheat pitas
- Store-bought hummus, tzatziki, tahini, etc.
Preheat oven to 450°F, and set racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Grease or line 2 baking sheets.
Combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour, baking powder, half of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor. Pulse until well combined but mixture is still relatively coarse. You do not want a puree.
Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, shape the mixture into about 24 balls (roughly 1½ inches in diameter) and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each slightly, and brush the tops with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, then turn patties (rotating the trays when you take them out) and baked for another 10-12 minutes. You may find it easiest to turn them using two forks.
Toss the salad vegetables with the remaining lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hummus or other condiments, as sandwiches or as a platter.
2012 Debbie Koenig