Baked Falafel Sandwiches

Baked Falafel Sandwiches
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Baked Falafel Sandwiches

Looking for a healthy vegan lunch? These baked falafel sandwiches are full of healthy ingredients – like fresh herbs, chickpeas and flaxseed meal. I wrapped my falafel sandwich is a warm pita and topped it with chopped tomatoes, fresh garden greens, homemade hummus and a cashew cream dill sauce.

Vegan Baked Falafel Sandwiches

What is Falafel?

Fafafel is a traditional Mediterranean dish. It’s a combination of chickpeas, fresh herbs, red onion, lemon juice and a binding agent (in this case flaxseed meal). Chickpeas are a legume and great source of protein and fiber. They’re a popular ingredient in a variety of vegan recipes – everything from homemade hummus to vegan quiche to Chana Masala. If you’d like to learn more about how to cook chickpeas, check out my blog post here

How to Cook Chickpeas

Falafel is an easy, eat-on-the-go meal. In fact, in Mediterranean cultures it’s a fast food, sold by street vendors in toasted pitas with hummus, tahini and cucumber and tomato salad. It’s a refreshing and hearty vegan dish – perfect for walking around in the warm weather. I’m a regular at my local farmer’s market falafel truck. 

How to Make Baked Falafel Sandwiches

I think the biggest challenge to homemade baked falafel is creating a batter with the right consistency. My strategy around this is three-fold: (1) keep the ingredients small, (2) add a binding agent, and (3) start with dried chickpeas. 

Regarding my first rule, I’ve found that large pieces of red onion and/or chickpeas often result in falafel that falls apart. To avoid this, I hit the pulse button on my food processor a few extra times. I’ve also learned that it helps to pre-cut the red onion before adding it to the food processor as it doesn’t break down as quickly as the other ingredients. 

Vegan Baked Falafel Sandwiches

With respect to my second rule, I’ve discovered that adding a simple binding agent – in this case a flaxseed egg – goes a long way toward making falafel that stays together. If you’re not familiar with a flaxseed egg, it’s simple combination of flaxseed meal and water. I usually do a ratio of 1:3. So, for example, if I am using 1 tbsp of flaxseed meal I would combine it with 3 tbsp of water. This combination, when left to sit for 5+ minutes, becomes thick and gelatinous. Flaxseed eggs are a popular tool in vegan cooking. 

Using dried chickpeas in any recipe can be kind of a PITA (Haha! Pun intended!). Like a lot of plant-based ingredients, chickpeas require soaking before they can be added to a recipe. Soaking typically happens overnight which, of course, requires advanced planning. Just what you needed, right? Another item on your to-do list. Rest easy though, there is a quick-soaking method for dried chickpeas (read about it here) or you can substitute canned chickpeas. They’re just make for a softer falafel. 

Turning Falafel into Falafel Sandwiches

Once you have the baked falafel, you’re most of the way there! I like to put mine in a warm pita. I find that, when warm, pita bread is much more pliable. To warm it, I wrap it in a slightly damp kitchen towel and microwave it for about 10 seconds. The moisture from the towel will slightly steam the pita bread. 

Vegan Baked Falafel Sandwiches

To keep things fresh, I added some greens from my garden along with fresh herbs. Since parsley and cilantro are part of the recipe already, I added a bit more of those along with some fresh mint. If you’ve got access to it, red veined sorrel is an amazing addition to a falafel sandwich. I grow it in my garden in the summer. It’s got a bright, lemon flavor. Chopped tomatoes, red onion and hummus are also great additions. Sometimes I make my own hummus. It’s really easy to do! Look for my homemade hummus recipe along with the recipe for that creamy cashew dill sauce in my upcoming cookbook. 

What’s in My Kitchen to Make This Baked Falafel Sandwich Recipe Easier?

Want to know what tools and resources I keep on hand to make my vegan cooking even easier? Here’s a short list of what helped me create this blog post and recipe. For the complete list, visit my Shop where you can find the kitchen gadgets I like as well as a list of books that I recommend

Reusable Cloth Napkins - Set of eight, Reclaimed textile zero waste napkins, environmentally friendly napkins

Reusable, Upcycled Napkins

Before I get into cooking, I want to share these napkins. I found these on Etsy over a year ago and, not only do I LOVE them, I buy them as gifts for nearly everyone I know. 

These napkins are upcycled and reusable, allowing you to not only avoid throwing away paper products but to also reuse fabrics – a small but significant way to cut back on water, dyes and chemicals used in the production process. 

These napkins are so darling (they come in lots of different patterns and colors) and they’re machine washable. I just throw them in with whatever load of laundry I’m doing. They don’t wrinkle easily, so a quick fold will have them back on your table doing what they were meant to do… be reused! 

8-Cup Food Processor

I picked the Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Food Processor. I use my food processor all. the. time. But, for this recipe, I used it to make the pizza dough. I like making pizza dough in my food processor because it’s a lot easier than trying to make it with a bowl and spoon and, damn, my KitchenAid mixer is really heavy. I only get that out of the cabinet when there are cookies involved. 

Aluminum Baking Sheets

Down a broiler pan? These aluminum baking sheets come highly recommended by the cooks who know best – EpicuriousCooks Illustrated and Food & Wine. I bought mine because I needed a good, sturdy baking sheet to use under the broiler. One that wouldn’t warp – and this one lives up to the task.Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, so these baking sheets cook evenly. They’re also light in color, so they discourage over-browning. 

Silicon Baking Mats

These things are amazing! When I discovered parchment paper, I thought I had things figured out. No more greasing pans or ruining them with charred food. Then I discovered these silicon baking pads. They’re oven-safe up to 450 degrees, dishwasher safe (top rack only) and easy to clean and REUSE! 

Garlic Peeler

I only bought one of these a few months ago, but wow! I’m so much happier not peeling garlic cloves with my fingernails. I’m pretty sure I’ll collectively get at least a day of my life back because of this device.

A Really, Really Good Chef’s Knife

No, that’s not the brand. It’s just the idea! But, I own this set of Global™ knives and They’re some of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. This set is universally well-rated for the at-home chef and will get you a good, solid set of knives without totally breaking the bank.

Baked Falafel Sandwiches

Looking for a healthy vegan lunch? These baked falafelsandwiches are full of healthy ingredients – like fresh herbs, chickpeas andflaxseed meal. I wrapped my falafel sandwich is a warm pita and topped it with choppedtomatoes, fresh garden greens, homemade hummus and a cashew cream dill sauce.

Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword easy falafel recipe, easy vegan lunch, falafel, falafel recipe, falafel sandwiches, vegan falafel
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or substitute 2 14 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 red onion roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro washed
  • 1/2 cup parsley washed and destemmed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil

Instructions

  1. Add the dried garbanzo beans to a large bowl. Cover with water, making sure that the beans are fully submerged with several inches of water on top of the beans. Allow to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.

  2. Preheat your oven to 400º. Prepare a baking sheet a silicon baking mat. Brush with the safflower oil.

  3. Combine the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside for 5 minutes then stir again.  

  4. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Combine the garbanzo beans, chickpea flour, red onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin in a large food processor. Pulse to combine until the ingredients are a thick consistency. You don’t want any large pieces remaining (a few whole pieces are okay) but you don’t want to reduce the ingredients to a paste.

  5. Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties (~2inches in diameter) and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes,pausing to flip the falafel halfway through.

  6. Serve the falafel in warm pita bread with hummus, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes and fresh greens. I like to add some fresh mint, parsley and cilantro to my greens as well.

About Herbivore’s Kitchen

Kate Friedman Herbivore's Kitchen Headshot

No, that’s not the brand. It’s just the idea! But, I own this set of Global™ knives and They’re some of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. This set is universally well-rated for the at-home chef and will get you a good, solid set of knives without totally breaking the bank.