May 9, 2022

Baked Falafel Salad

Perfectly golden brown baked falafel top this salad with carrots, cucumbers, cabbage and tomatoes. It's finished with lemon tahini dressing.

This baked falafel recipe cooks the oven instead of the fryer. Then these perfectly golden brown bites top a salad with a mix of carrots, cucumbers, cabbage and tomatoes that’s finished with lemon tahini dressing.

Salad with baked falafel on a plate.

When it comes to salads, I say the bigger the better. And that doesn’t just mean having a giant pile of greens. What I want out of an entrée salad is a star. For some that might be grilled chicken and for others who are more veggie-minded, it ends up in a different form whether that’s roasted or grilled vegetables or something even more special like baked falafel.

This base of this salad is a version of my go-to garden salad with chopped romaine for lettuce along with shredded carrots and red cabbage, sliced radishes and cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta. Where things start to get really exciting is the baked falafel and the creamy tahini dressing.

Salad with baked falafel in a bowl.

What Is Falafel?

Shaped into balls or patties, falafel is street food found in the Middle East. It’s made from mashed chickpeas, spices, fresh herbs, onions and garlic. You will see it as an appetizer with hummus, topping a salad or tucked into a pita for a sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

Falafel is known to have a very crisp and crunchy exterior because it is deep-fried. The interior is soft.  This recipe takes inspiration from the flavors of the traditional version, but skews healthier, baking the falafel in the oven rather than frying them in a vat of oil.

Ingredients including chickpeas, romaine, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes radishes and spices.

Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you need:

  • Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the main ingredient in falafel. The recipe calls for one 15-ounce can. Make sure to drain the can and rinse off the chickpeas before using them.
  • Onions: Chopped red onions add a pop. They are one of my favorite salad onions. You can substitute with white or yellow if that’s what you have in your kitchen.
  • Garlic: With falafel, it’s all about blending fresh flavors with dried spices and herbs. That includes a couple minced garlic cloves.
  • Fresh herbs: I like using a mix of fresh parsley and cilantro leaves, but you can include one or the other. Parsley is the more typical choice.
  • Spices: For seasonings, I include a mix of cumin, cayenne (just a pinch), salt and black pepper.
  • Flour helps to bind everything together. If you want the recipe to be gluten-free, try oat flour or almond flour.
  • Baking powder gives the falafel a touch of lift and lightness.
  • Lemon tahini dressing: It is made from a combination of lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Romaine is my choice for lettuce. You can substitute with another leafy green, but make sure it isn’t too delicate to handle the weight of the falafel.
  • Carrots: I go for the ultimate shortcut and buy a bag of shredded carrots rather than doing it myself.
  • Cabbage is the unsung hero of salads. It adds so much crunch and color.
  • Radishes: Sliced thinly, I adore the peppery bite of this vegetable.
  • Tomatoes can be grape or cherry because they are both small. Just slice them in half.
  • Cucumbers: English cucumbers are my preference because their skin is thin and they have very few seeds.
  • Feta is that final salty finishing touch. If you want to keep it vegan, leave out the cheese or find a plant-based version at the grocery.
Ingredients for falafel in food processor bowl before and after pureeing.
Falafel on sheet pan before and after baking.

How To Make A Baked Falafel Salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Do not use parchment paper. You want the falafel to make direct contact with the metal pan to encourage it to brown.
  2. Make the falafel. Combine the canned chickpeas, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, salt, black pepper, oil, flour and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse everything together. Don’t just let the motor run because it will turn completely into a mash. You should be able to see partial chickpeas.
  3. Shape the falafel into patties. They should be about 2 inches in diameter.
  4. Bake the falafel. Place the patties on the pan. It will take about 25-30 minutes to bake them. Flip them over halfway through cooking, so they turn golden brown on both sides.
  5. Make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  6. Combine the salad ingredients in a big bowl including the lettuce, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and feta cheese. Toss everything to combine.
  7. Serve the salad arranging it on a single serving platter or on individual plates. Place the falafel on top and drizzle with the dressing. You can also serve pita bread on the side.
Salad with baked falafel in a bowl.

Serving & Leftovers

If you are planning to eat the entire salad in a single meal, then go ahead and be generous with the dressing. Try to portion it out if you know you want to end up with leftovers to avoid soggy leaves later.

Store the falafel, salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge up to 4 days. This is a fantastic option for meal prep if you are looking for workweek lunches.

If you want to keep them up to a month, store the falafel in the freezer. Reheat in a 400-degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

More Big Salad Recipes

Roasted Golden Beet Salad
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad
Pistachio Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad
Quinoa Taco Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad

Print
Baked falafel salad on a plate.

Baked Falafel Salad

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Perfectly golden brown baked falafel top a salad with a mix of carrots, cucumbers, cabbage and tomatoes that’s finished with lemon tahini dressing.

Ingredients

  • For falafel
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 115 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley and cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • For dressing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • For salad
  • 1 head Romaine chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • Pita bread for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. To make the falafel, combine the chickpeas, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, salt, black pepper, olive oil, flour and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients until they are well chopped. You should be able to see some partial chickpeas. It should not be completely mashed.
  3. Shape the falafel mixture into 12 patties about 2 inches in diameter and place them on the prepared pan a few inches apart.
  4. Bake the falafel for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through baking, until golden brown on both sides.
  5. For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl until fully combined.
  6. To make the salad, toss the romaine, carrots, cabbage, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta in a large bowl.
  7. Place the salad on a serving dish or plate individually. Top with the baked falafel and drizzle with the dressing.
  8. Additional dressing should be served on the side. Serve with pita bread as desired.

Notes

Store leftover falafel, salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

You can freeze the falafel up to 1 month. Rewarm them in a 400-degree F oven for 10 minutes.

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: baked falafel recipe

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Recipe rating

  1. yummy. delicious falafel. way better for you than the fried kind and no flavor is lost by baking it on the olive oil. thanks for the recipe