Baked Quinoa Falafel with Green Tahini is an easy, healthy and delicious plant based dinner that's perfect for cozy weeknights at home. Simple and satisfying!
I love traditional falafel, but it's a lot of work to make from scratch, and since it's deep fried, it's not exactly the healthiest option out there. This recipe is much easier and better for you since it incorporates quinoa, a magical ingredient I love using to make crackers, patties, soups and more!
Why this recipe works
- Utilizes a can of cooked chick peas rather than the traditional dried and soaked variety for ease and convenience.
- Made in the food processor for faster mixing.
- Achieves a classic falafel-like texture from the addition of cooked quinoa.
- Packed with herbs and spices to give it tons of flavor.
- Baked rather than fried, so it's easier, healthier and way less messy.
- Can be made vegan by swapping in a flax egg.
- A great way to use up leftover quinoa and any herbs you have laying around.
- Served with an optional herby green tahini sauce to make it even more delicious!
- Quinoa - Any variety of quinoa will work in this recipe. I love making quinoa falafel when I have leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge that needs to be used up. Otherwise, it needs to be cooked first.
- Egg - One egg is used to help bind the ingredients together, but it can easily be substituted with a flax egg to make the quinoa falafel vegan. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 5 minutes and add to the recipe in place of the egg.
- Almond Butter - Opt for a smooth rather than crunchy variety and make sure it's well mixed before adding to the food processor. If you have a nut allergy, use sunflower butter instead.
- Herbs and Spices - What makes quinoa falafel taste so good is the abundance of herbs and spices mixed into the batter. You can adjust the quantities to suit your tastes and use whatever you happen to have on hand.
Step by step instructions
Make the Quinoa Falafel
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high head.
- Add the onion and saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chick peas, cumin, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, then saute until the spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes more. Let cool slightly.
- Transfer the chick pea mixture to a food processor. Add the salt, herbs, egg and almond butter, then puree until smooth.
- Add the quinoa and pulse until just combined. If the mixture is hot, let it cool down and thicken a bit before forming patties.
- Use a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop (you can also use a spoon) to form balls roughly 2 heaping tablespoons in size. Use your hands to form them into discs until you've used up all of the mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, then brush an unlined sheet pan with a light coating of olive oil. I usually like to line my pans with parchment paper for easier clean-up, but the falafel get crispier without it.
- Place each quinoa falafel disc on the pan, then brush the tops with olive oil (you can also spray with an olive oil spray).
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned on the bottom, then flip to the other side and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Make the Green Tahini:
- Add the garlic, scallions, jalapeño, herbs, tahini, salt, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water to the bowl of a blender or food processor.
- Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice if needed. Green tahini will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Tips for success
- Make sure the chick peas are well drained and dried before adding them to the food processor to avoid the batter becoming too wet.
- To substitute a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon flax seed meal (or ground up flax seeds) with 3 tablespoons water. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until thick.
- This recipe calls for baking the quinoa falafel, but they will turn out extra crispy and delicious if you pan fry them in olive oil. They're also great in an air fryer!
- The mixture will be quite loose after blending if it's still warm. Stick it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before forming the patties.
- A small ice cream scoop or cookie scoop is the easiest way to make uniform portions. If you don't have one a regular spoon will work just fine!
- The green tahini is optional, but delicious. If you don't want to bother with it, these taste great with a squeeze of lemon or Greek yogurt mixed with a healthy pinch of salt.
Faq about Quinoa Falafel
There are so many ways to enjoy this delicious quinoa falafel. The traditional way would be inside a big piece of pita bread with tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, lettuce, a drizzle fo green tahini and some feta cheese or hot sauce if you desire. My favorite way to enjoy them is over top of a big leafy green salad dressed wtih lemon and olive oil and a drizzle of the green tahini. There's no wrong way!
Yes! Once cool, freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. The reheat very well in a toaster oven or air fryer straight out of the freezer.
Did you make this recipe and LOVE it? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and/or comment to help other readers. I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments. I love seeing when you make my recipes, so please tag me @ColeyCooks on Instagram and I will repost!Print