Baked instead of fried, this healthy baked vegan falafel combines protein-rich chickpeas with crunchy amaranth for a nutritious and delicious sandwich filling or topping to your salad!
We're halfway through Whole Grain Week and it's seriously been SO much fun! I've loved all your comments on the videos, and can't wait to see all your recreations of the recipes!
We've been flip-flopping between sweet and savory – day 1 was Quinoa Fajita Bowls, day 2 was Mango Buckwheat Porridge – and now for day 3 we're making an easy baked falafel recipe that is crazy delicious and just so happens to be naturally vegan and gluten-free. As you'll see in a moment, it's a cinch to whip up, but my fave thing of all is that these falafel balls seriously go with EVERYthing.
You could serve them up in a pita, traditional-style, or do what I do and go for the bowl. I'm all about high-protein bowl meals and these little bites herby falafel heaven are the ultimate bowl topper!
Our entire recipe is made in the food processor and most of the ingredients I bet you already have in your pantry and fridge. We've got fresh parsley and cilantro as our base, along with some garlic and lemon juice for zing. Then it's just chickpeas, salt, pepper, a little bit of flour and the best ingredient of all..
As you probably already know, we've partnered with BFF's from Bob's Red Mill to bring you Whole Grain Week and in today's recipe, we're using their amaranth, which is part of their Grains of Discovery line. If you aren't familiar with amaranth yet, it's a teeny tiny little seed, that actually happens to look at lot like quinoa, that is high in protein, fiber, and phytonutrients.
Amaranth is an “ancient grain” (just like quinoa) hailing from Mexico and the Aztec era, and while most consider it to be a grain, it's technically a seed. Similar to quinoa and buckwheat, we're again lumping amaranth into the grain family because it acts very similar to other grains. It's fluffy when cooked, it's somewhat starchy, but it's also a complex carbohydrate.
Often times you'll find amaranth made into a porridge, tossed into soups or stews, and sometimes even popped, but today we're actually leaving it raw to make this falafel.
Since it's so small, I've found that you don't always need to pre-cook amaranth in a recipe. This falafel is a prime example; it works wonders for the texture, adding a nice little crunch, while also amping up the nutritional value.
All we need to do to make this recipe is whizz everything up in a food processor, shape the dough into little balls (or cakes) and bake it for 20 minutes. The total hands-on time is just about 5 minutes!
Once you've baked them off, you can serve them pretty much any which way you like.
As I mentioned, I'm partial to bowls or salads, but sandwiches, toast (we should totally start a falafel avocado toast trend), or even as a quick, on-the-go snack, they're perfect.
They also freeze nicely, so you can keep them on hand for a quick and easy dinner whenever you're pressed for time!
Oh and one final thing…we must discuss sauce!
Since falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, I tend to lean towards a lemony tahini sauce, but I do think they would also be delicious with an Asian-inspired sauce, or even something with almond butter. I can't say I've tried either one, but they do sound tasty!
More Middle Eastern Inspired Recipes to Try:
- Saffron Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad
- Beet Noodle Falafel Bowls from Inspiralized Everything
- Baked Grain-Free Falafel Bites
- 5-ingredient Lemon Turmeric Quinoa
- Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
Amaranth Baked Vegan Falafel
- 1 1/2 cups parsley
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill amaranth
- 1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons quinoa flour or flour of choice
- Vegetables/sandwich to serve: salad or pita I used a mixture of shredded red and green cabbage and sprouts
- Tahini dressing to finish
- Add herbs, garlic and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until finely chopped. Add in chickpeas, amaranth, salt and pepper, and process again until a dough comes together. You might have to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get the ingredients to evenly mix.
- Pulse in the quinoa flour, then transfer this mixture (in the food processor bowl is fine) to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and either using your hands or a cookie scoop, scoop the dough into little balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used. Gently flatten and tighten the balls with your hands until they are uniform in shape.
- Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes, then remove and serve how you like! Drizzling with this tahini dressing is highly encouraged!
This post was sponsored by the awesome folks Bob’s Red Mill! Make sure to check out their entire line of products – there’s tons of amazing gluten-free options. Thank you for supporting the brands that I am passionate about, it allows me to continue to produce these recipes for you!
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