Vegan Gluten-Free Oil-Free Baked Falafel that is so delicious, full of flavor and totally healthy. No oil, not fried while baked for a delicious healthy dinner. This recipe is made with only 8 ingredients and yields 10-12 falafel.
- 2 15 oz cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 extra large garlic cloves, with skins still on (for roasting)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 3 tablespoons smooth tahini
- salt and pepper (Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
- 1/2 cup cooked, mashed and tightly packed gold or red potato
- 3/4 cup packed flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons water (use 3 if not using the optional hot sauce)
- Optional for a kick of heat: 2 tablespoons hot sauce (so good!) (If you don’t want to use hot sauce, then increase the black pepper to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1 additional tablespoon water)
- To Serve
- Recommended: Creamy Lemon Pepper Sauce
- chopped tomatoes
Read carefully the instructions as to prepare these falafel correctly. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. First drain and rinse your chickpeas. Spread them out evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 25 minutes. This helps them to give more texture to the falafel instead of just turning into mush like hummus when blended. It also gives a bit more flavor.
In the last ten minutes of roasting the chickpeas, add the chopped onion and garlic cloves (with cloves still in their skins!) to another sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Once there is ten minutes left of roasting the chickpeas, add the onion and garlic to the oven to cook/soften them for ten minutes. Just place the pan on the bottom rack. At this time, you also want to cook your potato. You can cooked a small potato in the microwave (with skin on) and mash it and then measured a tightly packed 1/2 cup. Also you can bake the potato if you want, but do not steam or boil as that will make them too moist.
After this remove both pans from the oven. Add the chickpeas to a food processor. Process just until there are no more visible whole chickpeas, but do not over process it too finely. It should look ground up but kind of chunky with no remaining beans whole
Now, remove the garlic cloves from their skins and tear the garlic up a bit and drop the pieces scattered around the bowl, so they blend up evenly. Add the onion as well. Do not blend up yet. You are going to add all of the remaining ingredients now BEFORE blending anything. This is to avoid over-processing it and the mixture becoming too smooth, so you are only processing it one time. When adding the spices, sprinkle them around the bowl so they will blend up evenly. Add the cumin, coriander, tahini, salt, pepper, mashed potato, parsley, water and hot sauce (if using).
Now that you have added all of the remaining ingredients, process until everything comes together and the mixture starts to form large chunks. This may take 10-15 seconds. As soon as it does, stop processing. It should hold together easily when pressed and not be dry/crumbly, but pureed, but still see little chopped bits of onion in it. It should easily form into balls, if not, process just slightly longer.
Preheat the oven again to 375 degrees and line another pan with parchment paper.
Press, form and shape the mixture into tight balls with your hands. They should be about golf ball size and you should get 10-12. Place them all onto the pan and press them down to about 1/2 inch thick. The edges may slightly crack a bit when pressing them down, just piece back the edges with your fingers.
If you like a really crispy exterior, you can always spray them with a little nonstick spray before baking if you prefer. I did not, but it is up to you. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip them over and cook another 10 minutes. If they are not flipping over easily, cook another couple of minutes until they flip easily. This will make sure they hold their shape. They should have nice golden brown tops. If you want these extra crispy, bake them longer, but just keep in mind they may become drier.
Serve with Creamy Lemon Pepper Sauce, chopped tomatoes, parsley and avocado or anything you desire.