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A Baked Falafel sandwich is a healthy, delicious, and vegetarian Middle Eastern dish prepared with a chickpea-based batter that is baked and stuffed into pita bread with mixed greens, Shirazi salad, and tahini sauce.

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Best Falafel

To date, the best falafel I ever had are Mamoun’s Falafel in New York City. Back in the day Mamoun’s Falafel just sold for $2, nowadays $6. I know. Talk about inflation. Mamoun’s is this total hold in the wall in the West Village and serves up the most delicious falafels I’ve ever had.

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Falafel is typically deep-fried, but since you guys know that I don’t fry food at home, I decided to make a homemade “baked” version of them. These Baked Falafels are even hubby approved which is a big deal. Hope you guys try these falafels.

Baked Falafel (healthy, dairy free)

What is a Falafel?

Falafel is a Middle-eastern street food that’s a deep-fried fritter made with chickpeas, parsley, garlic, and so much more. The falafel is stuffed into a pita with veggies and tahini sauce along with optional dips such as hummus, babaghanoush, and tabouli.

My baked version has a slight Indian twist to it so I replaced the parsley with cilantro in this recipe, I used green chilies for some kick, and I used Desi atta to bind the falafel. Trust me, it still tastes a lot like the middle-eastern version.

Additionally, this Baked Falafel recipe is made with organic canned chickpeas so there isn’t much cooking involved. This healthy baked falafel version is also high in protein and fiber making it very nutritious.

Why You’ll Love this Baked Falafel

  • Healthy & Delicious
  • Nutritious
  • An Easy Baked Falafel recipe
  • It’s a Homemade Falalel that’s baked, NOT fried
  • Packed with Good Fats
  • Dairy-free
  • Makes an Easy Weeknight Meal
  • Vegetarian
Baked Falafel (healthy, dairy free)

How to make Baked Falafel recipe step by step?

Make the Falafel

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine all the Baked Falafel ingredients in a food processor – canned chickpeas, onions, green chilies, fresh cilantro, garlic, spices, egg, olive oil, and lemon juice.

3. Pulse, but don’t blend until smooth. Your falafel mixture is ready.

4. Using a mini-scoop, form little balls and place them on a baking sheet.

5. Into the preheated oven for 25 minutes, flipping halfway.

6. Bake until somewhat golden brown, you also don’t want the falafel to dry out. Set aside.

Baked Falafel (healthy, whole wheat, dairy free)

Prepare the Shirazi Salad

1. Chop cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

2. Top with fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint – you can use any combo you like. Mix well. Set aside.Baked Falafel (healthy, whole wheat, dairy free)

Make the Spicy Tahini Sauce

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.

2. Blend.

Assemble Falafel Sandwich

1. Bake half a whole-wheat pita in a toaster oven – bake for a couple of minutes at 400 degrees.

2. Take a couple of spoonfuls of hummus and spread it inside the warm pita bread.

3. Fill with fresh spinach leaves.

4. Add 3 pieces of baked falafel.

5. Add 2 spoonfuls of the Shirazi salad you prepared.

7. Top with creamy tahini sauce.

8. Top with buffalo sauce.

9. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Serving Suggestions

  • Assemble Falafel Sandwich as indicated starting with a pita pocket, then hummus, chopped spinach (or another mixed green), baked falafel, Shirazi salad, creamy tahini sauce, buffalo sauce, and parsley.
  • For an even healthier version, skip the pita bread and turn this dish into a salad. Place your mixed greens, and top with baked falafel, Shirazi salad, creamy tahini sauce, and parsley. You can add some quinoa to give the salad some substance.
  • You can also serve a Baked Falafel batter with some turmeric rice, Shirazi salad, baked falafel, tahini sauce, and a side salad.

Tips on making Healthy Baked Falafel Sandwich:

  • Pulse the falafel ingredients in a food processor so it’s coarse and not smooth & creamy.
  • Bake the falafels in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • In the meantime, prepare the Shirazi salad and Creamy Tahini Sauce.
  • Assemble falafel sandwiches.

FAQ

1. Can I make this Baked Falafel Recipe without egg? Can I make this recipe vegan?

Personally, I haven’t tried it, however you may try using a flax egg and see how that works out. Mix 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal with 3 tbsp water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then add the flax egg to the falafel mix. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

2. Can I make Baked Falafel Sandwich gluten-free?

The falafel mixture calls for a 1/4 cup of Desi atta which is durum wheat flour.

For a gluten-free option, skip Desi atta and you can try using two tablespoons of rice flour, oat flour, or chickpea flour. Prepare the mixture and add see if you need more flour, then you can add another 2 tablespoons. Alternatively, you can also use 1/4 cup of white gluten-free flour.

The creamy tahini, Shirazi salad, and buffalo sauce are all gluten-free.

Instead of whole-wheat pita bread, use gluten-free pita pockets. 

3. What sauces can I use in a Falafel Sandwich?

For this recipe, I made my own creamy tahini sauce which tastes incredible. It’s totally worth the step. I love using buffalo sauce for some extra heat and tang. 

4. Can I use store-bought tahini? 

Sure. I feel homemade is best and it doesn’t require much time, but yes you may use store-bought.

5. Can I use store-bought hummus?

Yes! I am working on perfecting my hummus recipe, in the meantime, I bought my hummus from the Farmers Market and it’s so delicious.

6. What kind of pita bread should I use?

I strongly recommend using pita bread with pockets. I got mine at Trader Joe’s and it’s whole wheat.

7. Does this Baked Falafel really taste good? Are you sure I won’t miss the fried stuff?

Yes, the Baked Falafel tastes amazing, but fried is fried, and yes, fried will taste better but not by much.

Here you’re eating a healthy, nutritious meal that tastes amazing and you won’t feel guilty eating it any day of the week. 

8. Can I use canned chickpeas for falafel?

Yes! For this recipe, I have used organic canned chickpeas that have been rinsed and drained.

You may also use dry chickpeas that you will first need to soak in water and then cook, but it is more work.

9. Will this Baked Falafel recipe work for meal-prepping?

Yes. I ate Baked Falafel on 3 different days. The falafel will last for 5-6 days in the fridge. The tahini sauce will last for up to a week. The Shirazi salad will keep in the fridge for 5 days. So yes, you can make this early in the week and it’ll last you a good 4-5 days. You can also skip the pita bread and enjoy it as a salad.

10. Can I use frozen falafel instead?

Sure. If you don’t want to bother making the falafel, use frozen falafel – I love Trader Joe’s Frozen Falafel. Then prepare the Shirazi Salad and Spicy Tahini Sauce, and follow the rest of the recipe as is.


More Chickpea Recipes

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5 from 8 votes

Baked Falafel (healthy, dairy-free)

By: Nisha
A Baked Falafel sandwich is a healthy, delicious, and vegetarian Middle Eastern dish prepared with a chickpea-based batter that is baked and stuffed into pita bread with mixed greens, Shirazi salad, and tahini sauce.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 falafels

Equipment

Ingredients 

Baked Falafel

  • 15 ounces organic canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1 small onion
  • large handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 green chilies
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup desi atta, Indian flour or white flour

Shirazi Salad

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled & diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped

Spicy Tahini Sauce (or use store-bought)

  • 1/2 cup sesame tahini, I like Joyva brand
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste

for each Falafel Sandwich (makes 8 half sandwiches)

  • 1 whole-wheat pita bread, baked a couple minutes to warm
  • 2-3 tbsp hummus, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/3 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 baked falafel pieces
  • 2 spoonfuls Shirazi salad
  • 2 tbsp spicy tahini sauce
  • 1 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • fresh parsley to garnish
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Instructions 

Make the Falafel

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine all the Baked Falafel ingredients in a food processor – canned chickpeas, onions, green chilies, fresh cilantro, garlic, spices, egg, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  • Pulse, but don't blend until smooth. Your falafel mixture is ready.
  • Using a mini-scoop, form little balls and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Into the preheated oven for 25 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • 6. Bake until somewhat golden brown, you also don't want the falafel to dry out. Set aside.

Prepare the Shirazi Salad

  • Chop cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
  • Top with fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint. Mix well. Set aside.

Make Spicy Tahini Sauce

  • Combine all the tahini sauce ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth & creamy.

Assemble Falafel Sandwich

  • Bake half a whole-wheat pita in a toaster oven – bake for a couple of minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Take a couple of spoonfuls of hummus and spread it inside the warm pita bread.
  • Fill with fresh spinach leaves.
  • Add 3 pieces of baked falafel.
  • Add 2 spoonfuls of the Shirazi salad you prepared.
  • Top with buffalo sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley.

Notes

Baked Falafel was first published on September 4. 2020 and has been updated since with new photos.

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1434mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1291IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 6mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle-Eastern
Tried this recipe?Mention @honeywhatscooking or tag #honeywhatscooking!

Hi, I'm Nisha!

I'm a foodie who is passionate about healthy-ish living and mindful eating. You'll find a bit of everything here. I use mostly organic real ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce in my cooking. I believe food is medicine. Join me on this soul-searching journey as I share my love for good food, and I hope I inspire you to eat better somewhere along the way.


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5 from 8 votes

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49 Comments

    1. hi Danielle,
      I have not tested this so I can’t say. Feel free to keep the batter in the fridge for a day or two. I wouldn’t leave it in there more than that.

  1. 5 stars
    Doubled the recipe, Left out the egg and cooked them in the air fryer and soooo excited about having these for meal prep this week. Never knew falafel this yummy was so easy to make!

    1. So glad to hear that Paige. I bet they’re even better in the air fryer. I need to get one. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂