Lenten Meals: Falafel

I adapted this recipe from the blog “CrockPot 365.” The major difference is that I bake my falafel rather than cook them in the CrockPot, I might have monkeyed with the spices a bit as well. Falafel are traditionally fried and I am sure that someone used to traditional falafel would just roll their eyes at this version, but my family LOVES them.

Falafel are usually served with Tahini based sauces, but we love Tzaziki and that is our go-to dipping sauce for this dish. I’ve included that recipe, along with a recipe for Tabbouleh Salad as well. I am planning on making this for dinner this coming Friday (March 11) so I will get a photo up not long after then.


1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, rough chopped
1 T dried parsley
3 cloves garlic
1t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
juice from one lemon
1 egg
1/2-3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray

2. Add all ingredients, except breadcrumbs, to a food processor with the blade attachment. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender in a pinch. If no blender/ food pro, smash the beans with a fork and mince the onion before stirring in the other ingredients.) Process until it has a paste-like consistency.

3. Gradually add breadcrumbs, stirring between, until the mixture begins to come together and can hold shape. For me, it usually takes closer to 3/4 of a cup but it depends on how wet your mixture is. If you’ve added too many breadcrumbs, add water by tablespoons until it softens.

4. Using your hands or a #30 scoop (1 T volume) shape the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place each ball on the parchment lined or sprayed baking sheet. Repeat until the baking sheet is full.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the falafel balls look dried and are slightly brown on the outside.

6. Serve with cucumber slices, tomato slices, lettuce slices, red onion slices, tzaziki and pita bread. Couscous, Brown Rice or Tabbouleh Salad make great side dishes.
Tzaziki Sauce

2 cups plain greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (if you love garlic, as we do, add more cloves to taste.)

Combine all three ingredients. Chill until serving time.
Tabbouleh Salad

2 bunches parsley
1 head romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes
2 peeled cucumbers
1/2 bunch green onion
1/2 c. bulgur, rinsed (If you can’t find bulgur, quinona makes for a great gluten-free substitute!)
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper
dried mint (to taste)

1. Wash parsley 3 times, discard stems. Wash lettuce. Drain parsley and lettuce in colander in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. Chop parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and green onion until very fine

3. Combine with bulgur, lemon juice, rind, olive oil, salt and pepper. add mint to taste.

4. Chill until serving time.

Lent begins this Wednesday! I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

1 Comment

Filed under dairy-free, food, Lent, meatless

One response to “Lenten Meals: Falafel

  1. My husband, who happens to be part Lebanese, would appreciate this recipe…thank you!

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