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!
For the Quinoa Falafel:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking or frying
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup assorted fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, mint or a combination, large stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 large egg or flax egg (see note)*
- 2 tablespoons smooth almond butter or sunflower butter
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (from 2/3 cup uncooked)
For the Green Tahini:
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 scallions, dark and light green parts only
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed for less heat
- 1/2 cup packed mixed fresh green herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill and mint, large stems removed
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3–4 tablespoons water for thinning out sauce
- 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 (I find this the easiest but 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 a sheet pan with a light coating of olive oil. I usually like to line my pans with parchment paper for easier clean-up, but these actually brown better without it.
- Place each falafel disc on the pan, then brush the tops with olive oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven, then flip to the other side and bake for another 10 minutes.
To Pan Fry:
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a large, heavy bottomed saute pan (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat and arrange a cooling rack or paper towels for draining.
- Place a few falafel discs in the hot oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden and crisp, then carefully flip and cook until browned on the other side.
- Transfer falafels to the cooling rack or paper towels to drain, then repeat with the remaining.
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. Serve with quinoa falafel.
*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.
Keywords: falafel, quinoa, baked, plant based