Baked Falafel with Quinoa Tabouli

I freaking love falafel, and for some reason I’ve always enjoyed the baked kind more than the fried. Maybe it’s memories of greasy kebab shops with crispy oily falafels that leave a coating in your mouth. Maybe it’s the fact that you can put them in the oven and leave them be to do their thing without too much worry. Whatever the reason, they rock.

I actually made this recipe back in Gympie when we were living in the van. Oh, how it seems so long ago…cooking in our tiny fold out kitchen on the side of the road or in the bush. Those were the days! I didn’t have an oven then to bake them, but have since made the recipe again and enjoyed it as much.

What I liked about these is how moist they are, they don’t dry out even when baked. Rather than being like dry biscuits, they are like mouthfuls of creamy hummus. And who doesn’t love hummus?! They are also one of those magical foods that taste even better the next day, so they make great leftover lunch.

Of course, tabouli is the perfect match for falafels, and I love the hint of mint hidden away in it – so fresh and zangy. Oh and the parsley helps with the garlic breath you may find you have after eating all this. You’re welcome.

falafelBaked Falafel with Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli:
(serves 4 as a side dish)

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 bunch flat leafed parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon
3 Tbsp olive oil

Rinse and cook quinoa according to instructions. I usually do 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. Allow to cool.

Add quinoa, tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley and mint to a bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Pour over tabouli and mix through.

Ta-daaaaa! Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Baked Falafel:
(makes 12-14 small falafels)

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 brown onion, diced
2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp hulled tahini
3 Tbsp chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C and lightly grease a tray.

Blend onion, garlic, parsley and coriander in a food processor or blender.

Add half of the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, lemon juice and tahini and mix until well combined.

Add the remaining chickpeas, and pulse until just combined. I like to leave half of them kind of chunky.

Transfer mix to a bowl, and stir in flour and baking powder. The mix should be like a thick paste or soft dough and you should be able to roll it into balls without making too much of a mess. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, try adding some more lemon juice or water.

Roll mixture into balls and lay out on the tray, press slightly to flatten into disc shapes. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil (optional).

Cook for 15 minutes, then carefully flip each falafel over. Bake for another ten mins, until golden brown.

Serve with tabouli and dressing of choice – here I whisked together some tahini, white wine vinegar, water and smoked paprika, then topped with some hot sauce (of course!)



  1. Yum yum… I’ve been looking for new recipes, and a way to finally give Quinoa a try. The question is, will it pass the ‘Little Man’ test? Lol. I can on lily try 🙂

    1. Oooh! I’m going to say there’s a 50/50 chance there, haha. Maybe the parsley would be too strong a flavour for him? Or does he like that kind of thing? When my cousin was little, he lived for olives. I couldn’t believe someone so young would like such an intense flavour! Each to their own I guess.

  2. I love falafels – and these look so good – what a nice healthy bowl of dinner. I love falafels baked or fried and haven’t made them for ages because I love the ones they make at our local falafel shop Half Moon Cafe – I really love how green theirs are. I am curious if you had a food processor with you when you were in the van or did you just use a fork to mash up the chickpeas – impressed you made them in the van!

    1. Oh my gosh, I need to get to this Half Moon Cafe – lately their falafels are ALL I hear about! Seriously! Three people at my work were all talking about them the other day, and then another friend mentioned them shortly after. They are infamous!

      We did have a little stick blender in the van – we could only use it when we plugged the van into power as the blender was too powerful for our little battery inverter. Ha ha – really roughing it right? It was quite funny, we would get really excited on the days we were plugging into power because we’d get to have smoothies for breakfast. Once we found a power point in the middle of a park, and sat there making smoothies hehe.

  3. Falafel & creamy hummus are the best! I like both types, but enjoyed the baked version the most and I know the feeling about ‘greasy kebab shops’, it’s nice to make your own and do what you want with them. I’m impressed that you made this while living in the van – I wanna see some pictures of the kitchen, I’ve actually never sat in a RV or a trailer before 😦 Ahhh your quinoa tabouli sounds so good…love the fresh ingredients in it. I want to make some baked falafel right now… I miss all of these Middle Eastern dishes! I’ve been eating too much pasta and bread now…must take a break! Have a great weekend, Caeli ❤

    1. I definitely agree Rika – there’s nothing worse than biting into a big puddle of oil! I will have to track down some pictures of the van kitchen, it was really quite funny. At one point I was going to do a post about it, but never got around to it. Standing in the kitchen was basically standing in the living room and bedroom all at once. Ahhh those were the days! I know the feeling of eating too much bread and pasta – I have been taking a break from it the past couple of weeks after overloading. It’s nice to lighten the load a little sometimes! Xx

  4. I made your falafels! I loved them, although I may have massacred them just a tiny bit. My shop didn’t have tahini so I used ground sesame seeds instead and added a little peanut butter to make it into more of a paste, lol. And you’re right… It was all a bit much for Little Man, he wouldn’t even look at the tabouli. He did take a big bite of the falafel though… I was so excited, until he opened his mouth and started wiping it out with his hands. Lol. Oh well, baby steps… And until then, there’s more for mum. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Ooh, peanut butter falafels – oddly I like the sound of that! Very resourceful!

      Ha ha, ohhh, each to their own I guess. I imagine it is a strange flavour and texture for little mouths, maybe in a few more years 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it at least!

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