Inspired by traditional Middle Eastern falafel, these baked falafel are an easy recipe for lunch or dinner. This recipe be made ahead and kept in the fridge for use on salads, as finger food, or a quick nutritious bite. A simple garlic dill dip, made from a base of sunflower seeds, is a lovely accompaniment for this recipe.
I'm always on the lookout for great finger food for our son. The other day, I had an intense craving for falafel so, I decided to try making them at home. I quickly realized that crafting non-traditional falafel is no easy task!
Nevertheless, the result I achieved was a flavourful baked falafel with a crunchy outside and a good texture on the inside that reminded me of a traditional falafel. Like traditional Middle Eastern falafel, this recipe is high in fiber and protein; my four year old happily devoured a sizeable portion exclaiming "these Pa-lapels are so gooood, mommy"!
Pair them with my easy Garlic Dill dip made from a base of sunflower seeds; this recipe makes a great lunch, snack or quick dinner. I hope you love them!
Baked Falafel Bites with Garlic Dill Dip
Inspired by traditional Middle Eastern falafel, these baked falafel bites can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for an easy salad topper, finger food, or snack. While blending, be sure not to over-process or puree the mixture- a coarse crumb with several larger pieces is optimal. Garlic dill dip is an easy and flavorful accompaniment.
For the Falafel
- 3 cups (485g) unsalted canned chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- ⅓ cup parsley
- ½ (115g) medium red onion roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoon spelt flour or all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
For the Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip
- ½ cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoon water
Prepare the Falafel
Preheat oven to 385°F. Brush a large baking sheet with a thin but generous layer of oil. Set aside.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then pat to dry to remove excess moisture. Place the chickpeas, parsley, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, olive oil and salt in a food processor, then pulse until the ingredients resemble a coarse crumb (about 10 pulses).
Scrape down the sides of the food processor, then sprinkle in the flour, sesame seeds and baking powder. Pulse another 5-6 times or until the mixture resembles a fine but coarse crumb with a few larger pieces. Be sure not to puree the mixture! Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and give it a couple stirs to make sure all the flour and sesame seeds are combined.
Shape the Falafel: measure approx ~2 ½ tbsp, then roll it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet then gently flatten it with the palm of your hand until it's ~½" thick. Brush a small amount of oil on the top of each falafel and bake for ~30 minutes in the preheated oven, carefully flipping the falafel halfway through the cooking time. The finished falafel will have a nice golden brown colour. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving.
Prepare the Garlic Dill Dip
To a high powered blender, add all the dip ingredients and blend on high until the mixture is smooth and even. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with the baked falafel as desired.
Because canned chickpeas can vary in texture, if your mixture is too crumbly (i.e. doesn't stick together when pressed between your fingers), stir in ~1 tablespoon of water. Baked falafel will last for about 4-5 days covered in the fridge, however, they will lose their crunchy texture if not eaten right away. Garlic dill sunflower sauce can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.