Food You Can Eat: Baked Falafel


Falafel, a mixture of coarsely processed chickpeas, dried spices, and fresh herbs, is a top contender for my favorite vegetarian food. When well prepared, it is crispy and light, while still providing a hearty and satisfying protein component to a meal. Typically falafel is presented as deep-fried balls, but the ‘dough’ can be a little bit fussy and tends to fall apart in the oil if the chickpeas are processed too coarsely or if they are not fried at the correct temperature. In general I don’t enjoy the process of deep-frying at home, and in the current conditions even thinking about the time, attention, and cleanup efforts required for home deep frying opens a portal directly to my own personal hell. Full disclosure, my first attempt at pan-fried falafel (which is where these pictures came from) was not as successful as I’d hoped. As such, I present to you a baked alternative.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • Rough handful of fresh herbs. Really whatever you have growing will work. I used green onion, parsley, and thyme. It should amount to 1/4 – 1/3 cup of leaves stripped from their stems.
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp za’atar (blend of oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sprinkle black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flour


Preheat your oven to 400F. Pulse shallot, garlic, herbs, and spices in a food processor until a coarse paste forms, and transfer into a medium sized mixing bowl. You’ll want to scrape down the sides of the food processor periodically to ensure an even mixture.

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Next, process your chickpeas to a similar consistency using the same ‘pulse-and-scrape’ method with the food processor. Transfer this mixture into the same mixing bowl and add the egg, flour, and baking powder. Mix by hand until everything is reasonably evenly distributed, and then form into patties about 1/2″ thick. Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes, flipping the patties halfway through cooking time. Serve these on a salad, or in a wrap with some lettuce, tomato, red onion, and tzatziki. Happy quarant-eating!

A picture of my first attempt. They came apart as I tried to flip them on the stovetop.



  1. These will be good to cook ahead and freeze, for the nights the carnivorous spouse requires meat and I am left food-adrift. Thanks for the recipe!

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