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Updated: Jul 30
A gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, fat free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-carb Middle Eastern treat packed with protein, herbs, and spices.
Falafel, one of the best treats from the Middle East: simple, flavorful, healthy, and satisfying. You can find it from Morocco all the way into the Levant Region and beyond. Each region has a different way to prepare Falafel: some use fava beans while others use chickpeas. I like the chickpeas only recipe.
I have had falafel from Morocco, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon. I took two of my favorite falafel recipes and merged them into one: Israeli and Lebanese. Then added my own personal touch to them. Traditional flavors have been updated with a modern twist. By doing this, I created a falafel with spicy, herbal, refreshing and sweet notes.
You could prep the falafel the day before and let them develop a deeper flavor overnight or make them right away!
Did I mentioned this recipe calls for baking the falafel instead of frying it? It is so much healthy that way and keeps this recipe fat-free.
What is the flavor profile?
Savory, spicy, herbaceous, with garlic and anion notes.
What ingredients will I need to make Falafel?
Chickpeas, garlic, onions, cilantro, mint, parsley, cumin seeds, gluten free flour, and spices.
Can I make substitutions?
I honestly would not recommend making any substitutions to this recipe. Maybe just the gluten free flour. The rest is pretty traditional for falafel.
Can I use canned chickpeas?
No. You will never produce a good falafel using canned products.
Can I fry the falafel?
Yes. By doing so you will be adding fat into the recipe.
What else will I need to make falafel?
Patience, a large mixing bowl, a food processor, and a wooden spoon.
How long in advance can I make the falafel?
You can make the falafel 3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated until you need it. The flavors will become stronger.
What do I serve falafel with?
You can serve it with either Labneh or Tzatziki.
Let's make it!
Prep time: from 12 to 18 hours.
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves up to 12 people
Do not used canned Chickpeas for this recipe. It will not work. You will need a food processor to blend some of the ingredients together.
1 pound of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 large Spanish onion (quartered)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled)
2 bundles of fresh parsley
2 bundles of fresh cilantro
0.4 oz. of fresh mint
2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
1/4 cup of green raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt
1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
1/4 tablespoon of smoked paprika
12 cups of water
Clean and soak the chickpea in 12 cups of water for at least 8 hours.
After 8 hours have lapsed, drain the water and set chickpeas aside.
Remove the stems from the cilantro and parsley. Set aside.
In a food processor add the chickpeas and the cumin seeds. Pulse until it forms a coarse mixture. Do not purée. You want a pliable coarse texture and not mashed chickpeas. Transfer from food processor to a large mixing bowl.
Add onions, garlic, mint, cilantro, parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and the black pepper to the food processor and purée. You will now have a green mixture. Add that to the chickpeas.
To the chickpeas, add the paprika, cayenne pepper, and raisins.
Using your hands, incorporate everything together. Mix well. Taste for salt and adjust.
Now...you have two choices, (a) you could cover the mixture and let it rest for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator or (b) proceed with the rest of the cooking process.
Set the oven to 425 degrees F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Use a large spoon to scoop some of the chickpeas mixture into you hand. Roll like you would do when making a meatball while applying light pressure to ensure the chickpeas mixture bonds together.
Place falafel ball on baking tray. Repeat until all the chickpeas mixture has been utilized.
Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pick one and cut it in half. You will be able to tell if it is raw or not by the interior of the falafel. If it is still raw, bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with Labneh or Tzatziki.
Printable PDF recipe below:
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