Easy Vegan Falafel (Crispy Outside, Soft Middle)

The best food created by man… falafel.

Have you tried falafel before?

I remember the first time I had it, I’d bought one of those pre-made packs from the supermarket. I must admit it was a little dry and it crumbled everywhere. Eating it was like eating dry Weet-Bix; all the saliva in your mouth is gone within the minute. This experience put me off falafel for a while, and it wasn’t until a year or so later that I actually fell in love with this incredible food.

I’m now very careful to avoid any store-bought versions.

This plant-based meal has quickly worked its way up to being one of my favourite go-to’s. I particularly love making a nourish bowl with it, incorporating these homemade falafel along with a few other ingredients (my falafel bowl is listed below).

Homemade Easy Vegan Falafel

I usually prefer to make my own sauces and dips, as the pre-made versions often contain additives and preservatives.

If you use chickpeas from the can, you can use the leftover chickpea “juice to make vegan meringue!

Before we get started in learning how to make these super delicious, homemade falafel – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

Vegan AND gluten-free homemade falafel

If you make these falafel, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic or 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3-4 tbsp rice flour

To make:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). On a baking tray, lay down a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add all the ingredients except the baking soda and flour, and pulse until just combined. Do not over-process the mixture or it’ll end up as hummus. Having a few chunks of chickpeas gives the falafel a nice texture.
  3. Stir in the baking soda and rice flour with a spoon until well combined. By this point, your mixture should be holding together quite well.
  4. Scoop spoonful’s of the mixture onto your palm and form into small patties, then place on the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, then flip the patties over and bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until falafel are golden and cooked through.
No more dry, crumbly falafel; this version is deliciously crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.

If you’d like to make the falafel bowl I mentioned earlier, then continue with the following recipes.

DIY Creamy Hummus

This hummus is way better than store-bought varieties, and only requires 9 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas with reserved cooking liquid or 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2–3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid or water

Toppings:

  • Drizzle olive oil,
  • Garnish with cooked chickpeas or roasted pine nuts
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper or paprika

To make:

  1. If using dried chickpeas; start with 1 cup, soak them overnight in cold water, then discard the soaking liquid and add the chickpeas to a large pot with 6 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40-60 minutes or until chickpeas are tender, but not mushy. Remove any chickpea skins that have floated to the top, then drain – reserve the cooking liquid – and rinse with cold water.
  2. If using canned chickpeas; you’ll need to drain reserve the cooking liquid – and rinse them.
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for flavour and add anything you think it needs.
  4. Depending on the size of your lemon, you may need to add an extra 2 tbsp of water for a slightly thinner consistency.
  5. Transfer to a bowl for serving, and add toppings of choice or enjoy plain.
  6. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
hummus pic
This has been given the tick if approval by so many of my friends and family, and it’s so easy to make!

DIY Vegan Tzatziki

This vegan tzatziki is cashew-based and dairy-free, and tastes so similar to traditional tzatziki. It’s light, creamy, and filled with cucumber and dill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked 4-6 hours (or overnight)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 large cucumber, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill , chopped, or 2 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*As a nut-free alternative to cashews, use 1 1/2 cups coconut yoghurt*

To make:

  1. Soak cashews overnight, then drain and thoroughly rinse them.
  2. In a food processor, blend the cashews, lemon juice and garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until creamy. If need, add 1/2 cup water to help smoothen.
  3. Use a nut milk bag or clean cloth to squeeze out liquid from shredded cucumbers.
  4. Pour cashew mixture into a large mixing bowl, then add the strained cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and olive oil, and stir to combine.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes before serving, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Creamy Tahini Dressing

This goes so well as a dressing for any nourish bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup plant milk

To make:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed until consistency reaches that of a pourable sauce.
  2. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.

Falafel Nourish Bowl

This is one of my absolute favourite bowls to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice, cooked
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • 3-4 baked falafel
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 2 tbsp vegan tzatziki
  • 1 tbsp pickled onions
  • Drizzle tahini dressing

To make:

  1. Make bowl by first adding the base of baby spinach, then the rice, followed by the purple cabbage, then topped with baked falafel patties, hummus, tzatziki, pickled onions, and drizzle tahini dressing over top. See full guide here for how to make a nourish bowl.

Enjoy!!

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Have you made falafel before? What were they like?! Share below.

Lots of Love,

🖤 Vanessa