Who can say no to savory baked falafel? Not me, that’s for sure. I like to make a double batch of these babies, which yields forty small falafel. They freeze beautifully and heat up in the microwave in one minute, max! You can serve them as the main attraction of a meal, as part of a salad, or as the filling for a falafel pita sandwich, which is my favorite use for them. They are also easy to make and inexpensive, considering you can serve ten people a whole pita sandwich or twenty people if you serve half-pita portions.

Yesterday I had an amusing conversation with a friend of mine. Sabbah owns a Mediterranean restaurant in a nearby city that I frequent whenever I’m in the area. Rich and I love to order from his soup and appetizer menu where we can always find WFPB options like hummus, baba ghanoush, eggplant salad, tabbouleh, and lentil soup. On weekends he sometimes serves an eggplant, okra, or green bean stew that is plant-based. Otherwise, vegan options are slim pickings.

I’ve had Sabbah’s delicious falafel, too. It is a gift of food that appears at our table almost as an amuse bouche expression of his affection for us. This is a decadent treat that I never order from the menu because I am aware that Sabbah’s falafel are fried in oil, the way they are traditionally prepared in the Middle East. I try to stick to a low-oil, if not an entirely oil-free diet. However, when Sabbah sends a plate of his prided falafel to me as a gift, you can bet I’m going to eat those suckers! They are sin-sational morsels of goodness, a party in the mouth! Sabbah has generously shared with me his recipes for hummus and baba ghanoush, which we enjoy on a regular basis, albeit without the oil.

Over the years, we have gotten to know Sabbah, which is not his real name. This was the name imposed upon him by his previous employer, Saddam Hussein. I kid you not. For twenty years, Sabbah was personal chef to Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq. When he first went to work for him, Hussein noticed him in his kitchen. “Hey, baldie!” Saddam exclaimed. “Come over here. What’s your name?” Evidently, my friend’s real name was too complicated for the former ruler to remember, so he said, “I’m going to call you, Sabbah. Is that okay with you?” So, Sabbah he became, and that is what I call him today. It’s a little joke between us that never fails to make him laugh. As a Christian, Sabbah had to flee Iraq with his family before the second Gulf War to avoid religious persecution. He recently became an American citizen and is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

So, what does that have to do with falafel? Yesterday, I showed Sabbah a photo of my latest falafel pita creation over which I was immediately subjected to a minute interrogation as to my ingredients and process. He expressed considerable skepticism over my policy of baking but otherwise was satisfied that I got the ingredients and the process right.

So, there you have it! A Sabbah-approved falafel recipe that is just about as Middle Eastern as you can get. Check out my recipes for Whole Grain Pita Flatbread, Tzatziki sauce, and Mediterranean Hummus to complete the meal. They are also quick, easy, and inexpensive.

Preparation:

Carefully inspect dried chickpeas for dirt and debris. Wash and drain, then cover the chickpeas with three times water to bean ratio for twelve full hours and up to twenty-four hours.

Drain and discard liquid. Allow the beans to sit in the strainer or colander for several minutes to completely drain. Pat the bottom of the strainer with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove excess water. Transfer to a food processor.

Wash the parsley and shake out the excess water. Set aside.

Peel a small onion (about one and 1/2-inches in diameter) and cut into chunks. Peel two cloves garlic.

Directions:

Transfer beans to a food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of fine gravel. You want them thoroughly minced and moist, but not creamy. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Chickpeas in Food Processer
In the food processor (you don’t have to clean it), add the remaining ingredients and pulse until minced. Add back the beans and pulse a few times until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Remove blade and transfer mixture to the medium-sized bowl or a measuring cup.
With clean hands, take a portion of the mixture and form into balls, then pat into disks. The most accurate way to get uniform sizes is to weigh them on a kitchen scale. The weight I prefer is 24g. This will give you twenty uniform-sized falafel per batch. The size is personal preference.

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, make a ball about one and 1/2 tablespoons in size.

I like to flatten mine out into disk-shapes because they fit better into pita pockets this way. However, if you are serving them in a salad or as a main course, you may roll them into a ball. If you choose to flatten them, be sure you tidy up the edges by pressing them in a little. Jagged edges will cause your falafel to become crumbly and they may fall apart during cooking, so be sure to take the time to press them into tight, clean edges.

Place on a parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet and bake at 400º for ten to fifteen minutes, turn and bake another five to ten minutes, or until golden brown. (Be sure to check the bottoms of the falafel after ten minutes to make sure they are not scorching. Turn when the bottoms are golden brown. The tops may not brown until turned. Also, be aware that oven temperatures vary.  If your oven tends to run hot, lower the temperature to 375º or use an oven thermometer to adjust your thermostat to a proper temperature.)
With our homemade pita bread, two falafel will fill each side of the pita, slice down the middle. It is excellent with hummus, fresh cucumber and a drizzle of minty tzatziki sauce made with soy or almond milk yogurt.
Baked Middle Eastern Falafel - Easy, Inexpensive, Delicious & Whole!
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Who can say no to savory baked falafel? Not me, that's for sure. You can serve them as the main attraction of a meal, as part of a salad, or as the filling for a falafel pita sandwich, which is my favorite use for them.
Baked Middle Eastern Falafel - Easy, Inexpensive, Delicious & Whole!
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Who can say no to savory baked falafel? Not me, that's for sure. You can serve them as the main attraction of a meal, as part of a salad, or as the filling for a falafel pita sandwich, which is my favorite use for them.
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Carefully inspect dried chickpeas for dirt and debris. Wash and drain, then cover the chickpeas with three times water to bean ratio for twelve full hours and up to twenty-four hours.
  2. Drain and discard liquid. Allow the beans to sit in the strainer or colander for several minutes to completely drain. Pat the bottom of the strainer with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove excess water. Transfer to a food processor.
  3. Wash the parsley and shake out the excess water. Set aside.
  4. Peel a small onion (about one and 1/2-inches in diameter) and cut into chunks. Peel two cloves garlic.
  5. Transfer beans to a food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of fine gravel. You want them thoroughly minced and moist, but not creamy. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  6. In the food processor (you don't have to clean it), add the remaining ingredients and pulse until minced. Add back the beans and pulse a few times until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Remove blade and transfer mixture to the medium-sized bowl or a measuring cup.
  7. With clean hands, take a portion of the mixture and form into balls, then pat into disks. The most accurate way to get uniform sizes is to weigh them on a kitchen scale. The weight I prefer is 24g. This will give you twenty uniform-sized falafel per batch. The size is personal preference.
  8. If you don't have a kitchen scale, make a ball about one and 1/2 tablespoons in size.
  9. I like to flatten mine out into disk-shapes because they fit better into pita pockets this way. However, if you are serving them in a salad or as a main course, you may roll them into a ball. If you choose to flatten them, be sure you tidy up the edges by pressing them in a little. Jagged edges will cause your falafel to become crumbly and they may fall apart during cooking, so be sure to take the time to press them into tight, clean edges.
  10. Place on a parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet and bake at 400º for ten to fifteen minutes, turn and bake another five to ten minutes, or until golden brown. (Be sure to check the bottoms of the falafel after ten minutes to make sure they are not scorching. Turn when the bottoms are golden brown. The tops may not brown until turned. Also, be aware that oven temperatures vary.  If your oven tends to run hot, lower the temperature to 375º or use an oven thermometer to adjust your thermostat to a proper temperature.)
  11. With our homemade pita bread, two falafel will fill each side of the pita, slice down the middle. It is excellent with hummus, fresh cucumber and a drizzle of minty tzatziki sauce made with soy or almond milk yogurt.
Share this Recipe

Below are some of the products I used in this demonstration. Click on the photo to order yours through my affiliate link with Amazon.com. I receive a small commission, which helps me to continue my work, and it doesn’t cost you any more than if you bought it directly through Amazon. I only promote products I have personally used myself, or similar products, when the products I use can no longer be found. I appreciate your support!  Click on product to view link!

Arrowhead Mills Chickpeas, 1-Pound

Arrowhead Mills Chickpeas, Six Pack

You can probably find organic chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) at your local health food store, Whole Foods, or EarthFare, at a better price. Shipping fees tend to drive the price up. These chickpeas are convenient if you don't have the time or desire to do comparison shopping.

Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper Certified Organic, 2.89-Ounce

It is particularly important to buy only peppers that are organically grown. Many peppers, especially hot peppers, not only are high in pesticide residues but they are also sprayed with a neurotoxin (according to the Environmental Working Group) that can be especially toxic. You may not use enough cayenne pepper to justify buying it in bulk, but I'm including a bulk size (which is always more economical) for those who like a lot of spice.

Simply Organic Coriander

Coriander is the dried seed of the herb cilantro. It can be purchased whole or more commonly in the ground form. 

Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper Certified Organic, 2.89-Ounce

It is particularly important to buy only peppers that are organically grown. Many peppers, especially hot peppers, not only are high in pesticide residues but they are also sprayed with a neurotoxin (according to the Environmental Working Group) that can be especially toxic. You may not use enough cayenne pepper to justify buying it in bulk, but I'm including a bulk size (which is always more economical) for those who like a lot of spice.

Who can say no to savory baked falafel? Not me, that’s for sure. I like to make a double batch of these babies, which yields forty small falafel. They freeze beautifully and heat up in the microwave in one minute, max! You can serve them as the main attraction of a meal, as part of a salad, or as the filling for a falafel pita sandwich, which is my favorite use for them. They are also easy to make and inexpensive, considering you can serve ten people a whole pita sandwich or twenty people if you serve half-pita portions.

 

img_1649-copy

 

Yesterday I had an amusing conversation with a friend of mine. Sabbah owns a Mediterranean restaurant in a nearby city that I frequent whenever I’m in the area. Rich and I love to order from his soup and appetizer menu where we can always find WFPB options like hummus, baba ghanoush, eggplant salad, tabbouleh, and lentil soup. On weekends he sometimes serves an eggplant, okra, or green bean stew that is plant-based. Otherwise, vegan options are slim pickings.

I’ve had Sabbah’s delicious falafel, too. It is a gift of food that appears at our table almost as an amuse bouche expression of his affection for us. This is a decadent treat that I never order from the menu because I am aware that Sabbah’s falafel are fried in oil, the way they are traditionally prepared in the Middle East. I try to stick to a low-oil, if not entirely oil-free diet. However, when Sabbah sends a plate of his prided falafel to me as a gift, you can bet I’m going to eat those suckers! They are sin-sational morsels of goodness, a party in the mouth! Sabbah has generously shared with me his recipes for hummus and baba ghanoush, which we enjoy on a regular basis, albeit without the oil.

 

Sabbah

Sabbah

 

Over the years, we have gotten to know Sabbah, which is not his real name. This was the name imposed upon him by his previous employer, Saddam Hussein. I kid you not. For twenty years, Sabbah was personal chef to Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq. When he first went to work for him, Hussein noticed him in his kitchen. “Hey, baldie!” Saddam exclaimed. “Come over here. What’s your name?” Evidently, my friend’s real name was too complicated for the former ruler to remember, so he said, “I’m going to call you, Sabbah. Is that okay with you?” So, Sabbah he became, and that is what I call him today. It’s a little joke between us that never fails to make him laugh. As a Christian, Sabbah had to flee Iraq with his family before the second Gulf War to avoid religious persecution. He recently became an American citizen and is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

So, what does that have to do with falafel? Yesterday, I showed Sabbah a photo of my latest falafel pita creation over which I was immediately subjected to a minute interrogation as to my ingredients and process. He expressed considerable skepticism over my policy of baking, but otherwise was satisfied that I got the ingredients and the process right.

So, there you have it! A Sabbah-approved falafel recipe that is just about as Middle Eastern as you can get. Check out my recipes for Whole Grain Pita Flatbread, Tzatziki sauce, and Mediterranean Hummus to complete the meal. They are also quick, easy, and inexpensive.

 

Ingredients: per batch
1 cup dried chickpeas, (makes a little over 2 cups after soaking) soaked 12-24 hours
2 large garlic cloves
1 small onion, large dice
1 tablespoon cumin
1½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 cup loosely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon baking soda

 

Preheat Oven to 400º

Preparation:

Carefully inspect dried chickpeas for dirt and debris. Wash and drain, then cover the chickpeas with three times water to bean ratio for twelve full hours and up to twenty-four hours.

img_1784

img_1788

img_1813

img_1815

 

Drain and discard liquid. Allow the beans to sit in the strainer or colander for several minutes to completely drain. Pat the bottom of the strainer with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove excess water. Transfer to a food processor.

Wash the parsley and shake out the excess water. Set aside.

Peel a small onion (about one and 1/2-inches in diameter) and cut into chunks. Peel two cloves garlic.

 

img_1825

 

Directions:

Transfer beans to a food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of fine gravel. You want them thoroughly minced and moist, but not creamy. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

 

img_1818

img_1821

 

In the food processor (you don’t have to clean it), add the remaining ingredients and pulse until minced. Add back the beans and pulse a few times until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Remove blade and transfer mixture to the medium-sized bowl or a measuring cup.

 

img_1828

img_1830

 

With clean hands, take a portion of the mixture and form into balls, then pat into disks. The most accurate way to get uniform sizes is to weigh them on a kitchen scale. The weight I prefer is 24g. This will give you twenty uniform-sized falafel per batch. The size is personal preference.

 

img_1832

img_1833

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, make a ball about one and 1/2 tablespoons in size.

I like to flatten mine out into disk-shapes because they fit better into pita pockets this way. However, if you are serving them in a salad or as a main course, you may roll them into a ball. If you choose to flatten them, be sure you tidy up the edges by pressing them in a little. Jagged edges will cause your falafel to become crumbly and they may fall apart during cooking, so be sure to take the time to press them into tight, clean edges.

img_1834

img_1838

 

Place on a parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet and bake at 400º for ten to fifteen minutes, turn and bake another five to ten minutes, or until golden brown. (Be sure to check the bottoms of the falafel after ten minutes to make sure they are not scorching. Turn when the bottoms are golden brown. The tops may not brown until turned. Also, be aware that oven temperatures vary.  If your oven tends to run hot, lower the temperature to 375º or use an oven thermometer to adjust your thermostat to a proper temperature.)

 

img_1839

img_1845

 

With our homemade pita bread, two falafel will fill each side of the pita, slice down the middle. It is excellent with hummus, fresh cucumber and a drizzle of minty tzatziki sauce made with soy or almond milk yogurt.

img_1650-copyBaked Falafel With Hummus, Cucumber and Tzatziki Sauce In Homemade Whole-Grain Pita Flatbread

Below are some of the products I used in this recipe. Click on the photo to order yours through my affiliate link with Amazon.com. I receive a small commission, which helps me to continue my work, and it doesn’t cost you any more than if you bought it directly through Amazon. I only promote products I have personally used myself, or similar products, when the products I use can no longer be found. I appreciate your support!

 

Click on Product to View Link

 

You can probably find organic chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) at your local health food store, Whole Foods, or EarthFare, at a better price. Shipping fees tend to drive the price up. These chickpeas are convenient if you don’t have the time or desire to do comparison shopping. 

 

Arrowhead Mills Chickpeas, 1-Pound

Arrowhead Mills Chickpeas, 1-Pound Unit (Pack of 6)

 

It is particularly important to buy only peppers that are organically grown. Many peppers, especially hot peppers, not only are high in pesticide residues but they are also sprayed with a neurotoxin (according to the Environmental Working Group) that can be especially toxic. You may not use enough cayenne pepper to justify buying it in bulk, but I’m including a bulk size (which is always more economical) for those who like a lot of spice.

 

Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper Certified Organic, 2.89-Ounce

 

Starwest Botanicals Organic Ground Cayenne Pepper Powder, 16oz

 

I use a lot of both cumin and coriander, so it is worth it to me to buy these spices in bulk. Most Indian, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines regularly employ both of these spices.

 

Simply Organic, Cumin, 2.31 oz

 

Starwest Botanicals Organic Ground Cumin Seed Powder, 16oz

 

Simply Organic – Ground Coriander – 2.29 oz.

Frontier Herb Coriander Seed – Organic -16oz

 

Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda, 16 Ounce

 

I would be hard-pressed to say which piece of kitchen equipment I use more, my Vitamix or my Cuisinart Food Processor. I have the seven-cup and the 11-cup models, both of which I have used for many years without a minute’s problem. I’ve learned they have recently recalled the blades because of some flaw in the design. The blades in the new models have been redesigned. I have my eye on this 14-cup model and am hoping mine will break down soon so I can justify buying an new one! I love this machine!!

 

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel

This half sheet aluminum baking pan comes with a very sturdy rack insert, making it ideal for baking and broiling in the oven. You can use the insert as a cooling rack on your countertop. I only recently discovered this item and I now own three of the half sheets and one of the quarter sheets, which also comes with a non-stick, oven-proof, silicone mat. 

 

Checkered Chef Half Sheet Pan and Rack Set – Aluminum Cookie Sheet/Baking Sheet Set with Stainless Steel Oven Safe Cooling Rack

These silicone baking mats are nearly identical to the expensive French Silpat at roughly a third the cost. These are durable and fit my half sheet pans perfectly. 

 

Silicone Baking Mat – Set of 3 Half Sheet (Thick & Large 11 5/8″ x 16 1/2″) – Non Stick Silicon Liner for Bake Pans & Rolling – Macaron/Pastry/Cookie/Bun/Bread Making – Professional Grade Nonstick

If you prefer not to use a silicone mat, parchment paper is a good option. It is essentially paper coated with silicone. Cutting a piece for the surface of your kitchen scale will make cleanup for this project much easier. I sometimes use parchment paper instead of silicone mats, when I’m using the mats for other purposes.

 

Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper (Premium, Non-Stick, 75 Square Foot Roll, 2 Count

A kitchen scale is an invaluable tool for getting accurate measurements when measuring flour and for determining consistent portion sizes for various dishes. I have had good results with this particular scale. I don’t particularly like flat digital scales (the kind that look like a sheet of glass) because the measurements have wildly inconsistent readings, at least that has been my experience. This is not the scale I am using in this recipe; it is in my Tennessee house. I have both of these scales and I like them equally. The scale I’m using in this recipe is not available on Amazon and I don’t remember where I purchased it.

 

Taylor Precision Products Biggest Loser 6.6-Pound Kitchen Scale with Glass Platform (White)

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