I remember the first time I ever tried Middle Eastern food. I was in college working at a breakfast restaurant and my coworker kept telling me about her favorite local restaurant that served a killer vegetarian appetizer platter.
Up until that point, I had literally never heard of falafel or pita and had yet to jump on the hummus bandwagon. It was all a mystery to me.
But that all changed one day after work when she convinced me to join her for lunch. One bite in and I was ruined. Since then, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean have become two of my absolute favorite cuisines. I practically have hummus pumping through my veins at this point.
Though I have mastered the art of Vegan Gluten-Free Falafel, I’ve been craving a falafel burger these days. There’s something so substantial about a burger, and the flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine lend themselves perfectly to toppings and sauces galore.
This recipe is simple, requiring just 7 ingredients. Plus, it’s seriously well spiced with infusions from both garlic and cumin for a tangy, smoky flavor that I absolutely adore.
They’re also baked for a healthier touch, though I do prefer giving them a little sauté beforehand to form an extra crust on the outside. I’m kind of a texture snob.
These burgers are super versatile! Serve them on pita for a more traditional falafel feel, atop greens for a seriously substantial salad, or wrapped in chard for a naturally gluten-free option.
I’m kind of smitten with these burgers. They’re:
Crusty on the outside
Tender on the inside
& Seriously satisfying
I suspect even carnivores would dig this dish. It’s so hearty and substantial with nearly 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per burger! That’s a seriously satisfying and healthy meal even picky eaters will love.
If you guys make this recipe, you know the drill: Let us know!
Take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see! Or PIN it to save for later. I always love scouring my Yummy Eats board when our meal plan is looking grim. Or, when in doubt, 31 Meals to the rescue. Cheers, friends!
Baked Falafel Burgers
- 1 bundle fresh parsley (1 bundle yields ~2 cups chopped)
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 large lemon (1 large lemon yields ~2 1/2 Tbsp juice)
- 1/2 scant tsp each sea salt + black pepper
- 1 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (well rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup ground raw walnuts, pecans, almonds, or GF oat flour
- Add parsley, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and a healthy pinch each salt and pepper to a food processor and mix to combine.
- Add chickpeas and pulse until incorporated but still slightly chunky. You want to maintain a bit of texture.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add nut meal (or oat flour) and mix again until a loose dough is formed that's firm enough to be handled. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a touch more salt.
- Draw an “x” in the dough to form 4 sections (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), then use your hands to form into 4 large patties (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) roughly 1/2-inch thick.
- Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes to firm up. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (in the meantime.
- OPTIONAL STEP: For a little extra crust on the outside, before baking heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil. Swirl to coat pan, then add falafel. Carefully flip once golden brown – about 3-4 minutes - and then cook on the other side until golden brown as well - 3-4 more minutes. Return to baking sheet to continue baking. Otherwise, just add them straight to the oven for baking.
- Bake for a total of 30-40 minutes, flipping once at the halfway point for even cooking. The longer you bake them, the firmer they’ll get!
- Serve warm wrapped in a pita or chard bun and desired sauces / toppings. Alternatively, serve atop a salad and use the garlic sauce as a dressing.
- Burgers will store in the fridge, layered with parchment paper in an airtight container, for several days. Freeze to keep longer.