Falafel sandwiches used to be my to-go lunch on busy days. There’s a falafel place close-by that Dennis gets take-out from so often that the guy knows him by name. The falafels are fried, so they’re really not the best option. (We now like to get fattoush salads and a throw a few falafel balls on top when we get takeout.)
When I know that life is going to get hectic, I like to make falafel balls ahead of time, so I can throw them in salads and sandwiches. I really like the baked falafel recipe from The China Study Cookbook.
Years ago, I had a part time job in Borders Books and Music in a small mall here in New Jersey. (Rest in peace, Borders!) I worked there two nights after my full-time design job, and I’d often stop at a Mediterranean food stand in their tiny food court for dinner. Once, I heard someone ask the guy behind the counter what a falafel was. He said that falafels were little veggie burgers that came in a pita with lettuce and dressing. I hadn’t thought of falafels like that before then, but I guess he was right!
So why not take the falafel balls out of the pita and make them an actual burger? They can be made really easily, with just a few ingredients! (Faster than it takes to drive to that takeout place and back, actually!) These burgers are baked rather than fried, so they’re a much heathier option than those takeout sandwiches I used to eat often.
- First, you pulse parsley in your food processor.
- Then, you add the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt, and pepper and process until everything is well incorporated. It will resemble a chunky paste.
- Once everything is well mixed, you mix in the chickpea flour.
- Next, you form four patties and bake them for about 25 minutes, flipping them at the halfway point.
- Your burgers are ready to serve with your favorite toppings!
I use chickpea flour in this recipe as a binder, to help the burgers stick together. Other flours might work, but they won’t keep the burgers together as well. Chickpea flour is sometimes called garbanzo bean flour, besan, or gram flour.
I think falafel burgers are best served with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and a few lettuce leaves. Top your falafel burger with whatever your favorite fixin’s are. Make sure you don’t skimp on the tahini dressing though, because a falafel just isn’t a falafel without tahini dressing!
My favorite burger buns are Ezekiel 4:9 Sesame Sprouted Grain Burger Buns, which I get from the freezer section at Whole Foods. They’re covered with sesame seeds, which really complements the falafel burgers well here. Of course, any bun will do, and if you’re gluten-free, you should use a gluten-free bun. These burgers can also be served in a lettuce leaf or collard green wrap, or you can serve them on a platter with a salad.
If you’re having a party, make the patties smaller and serve then on small buns as sliders! They’re terrific for Memorial Day, Father’s Day, or the 4thof July!
Baked Falafel Burgers
For the Burgers
- 1 bunch parsley stems trimmed
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
For Serving, optional
- 4 whole wheat or gluten-free buns
- 1/2 cup lemon tahini dressing
- Sliced cucumber
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced onion
- Lettuce leaves
Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the parsley in a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Pulse a few times, until the parsley is chopped.
Add the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Process until everything is mixed together, and the mixture resemble a chunky paste. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of your food processor once or twice. Pulse in the chickpea flour.
Form the burgers into four patties. If you have one, a ring mold will help shape them, but forming patties by hand is completely fine.
Bake the burgers for 10-12 minutes. Flip them and bake for an addition 8-12 minutes. They should be golden brown and firm.