Baked Quinoa Black Bean Falafel

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Serving bowl featuring our Black Bean Quinoa Falafel on a bed of mixed greens

Falafel with black beans! Yeah, we’re kind of crazy about falafel over here and always looking for more ways to enjoy it.

If you’re a falafel lover like we are, you must try this black bean version! It’s baked instead of fried, oil-free, and big on flavor! Let’s do this.

Pumpkin seeds, quinoa, garlic, black beans, and spices displayed on a cutting board for making Black Bean Quinoa Falafel

Origins of Falafel

The origin of falafel is an ongoing and heated debate. Some would say it’s a quintessential Israeli food, while Palestinians claim its Arab roots, and still others claim it originated in Egypt, Lebanon, or Yemen. 

While we claim no expertise on the origins of falafel, we do know we absolutely love its crispy texture and rich flavor. Falafel is traditionally a fried ball or patty made from fava beans, chickpeas, or both. What’s not to love?

Those looking for a deeper dive into the much-debated history of falafel can find more information here and here.

This version is not traditional in terms of ingredients or flavors, but mimics the incredible texture we love so much about falafel! For a more traditional version of falafel, check out this recipe from Tori Avey, or this recipe from The Kat Chef.

How to Make Black Bean Falafel

This 10-ingredient recipe is easy to make, and it comes together in 1 hour from start to finish.

It starts with cooked and cooled quinoa and black beans that have been baked. Baking the beans is key, as it dries them out and makes the falafel crispy instead of mushy – a trick I learned from a friend! The quinoa adds moisture and nutrition, and pumpkin seeds add a bit of crunch.

Black beans, pumpkin seeds, and garlic in a food processor ready to be turned into delicious gluten-free Black Bean Quinoa Falafel

The rest of the ingredients are all about flavor: garlic, tomato paste, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce*, coconut aminos, cumin, coriander, and sea salt.

*Note: learn more about chipotles in adobo here.

The result is a smoky, savory falafel dough that’s perfectly seasoned, and it easily forms for baking.

All the ingredients in the food processor for gluten free and vegan Black Bean Quinoa Falafel

The beauty of this recipe is it’s oil-free and doesn’t require frying! They crisp up perfectly in the oven. Swoon!

Perfectly baked Black Bean Quinoa Falafel on a parchment-lined baking sheet
Large serving bowl featuring Black Bean Quinoa Falafel on top of fresh greens and other vegetables

I hope you all LOVE these falafel. They’re:

Crispy on the outside
Tender on the inside
Easy to make
& SO tasty

These would make the perfect addition to Mediterranean- and Greek-inspired meals, like Mediterranean Baked Sweet PotatoesThe Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl, Greek Goddess Bowls, or even this Roasted Rainbow Vegetable Bowl. They’re also delicious atop a green salad with tahini dressing, hummus, or baba ganoush.

And if you like falafel, also check out our Easy Vegan Falafel, Traditional Vegan Falafel, and Better-Than-Restaurant Falafel.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Serving bowl filled with greens and vegetables and topped with Black Bean Quinoa Falafel to make a hearty plant-based meal

Baked Quinoa Black Bean Falafel

An easy, healthy take on falafel with wholesome black beans, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and garlic. Baked instead of fried, smoky flavor, and entirely vegan and gluten-free!
Author Minimalist Baker
Large wood bowl with Baked Quinoa Black Bean Falafel over green salad
4.94 from 65 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 (falafel)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Mexican-Inspired, Middle Eastern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (make sure it’s cooked and completely cooled before using)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (rinsed, drained, dried)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted)
  • 5 cloves garlic (skin removed and crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (omit for less spicy falafel)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)


  • If you haven’t prepared your quinoa yet, do so now (make sure it’s cooked and cooled completely before use).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Add rinsed, dried black beans to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until beans appear cracked and feel dry to the touch (see beans in food processor photo). Remove beans from the oven and then increase oven heat to 375 degrees F (190C).
  • Add black beans to a food processor along with pumpkin seeds and garlic (see photo) and pulse into a loose meal. Then add cooked/cooled quinoa, salt, cumin, coriander, tomato paste, coconut aminos, chipotle pepper in adobo, and nutritional yeast (optional). Blend to combine until a textured dough forms (you’re not looking for a purée).
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more coconut aminos for saltiness/depth of flavor, adobo sauce for heat, cumin for smokiness, or salt for overall flavor.
  • Scoop out 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts (using this scoop or a Tablespoon) and gently form into small discs using your hands. Add formed falafel to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Then flip to ensure even baking and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
  • These falafel are delicious with hummusgarlic dill saucebaba ganoush, or tahini sauce. Try garnishing with chili garlic sauce for extra heat. Serve over greens or in pita, or enjoy as is!
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. To freeze, either freeze once baked and cooled OR before baking. Then add to a freezer-safe container and freeze up to 1 month. Reheat in a 375 degree F (190 C) oven until warmed through.



*Prep time does not include cooking and cooling quinoa.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 falafel without extra sauces or sides.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 Falafel Calories: 60 Carbohydrates: 9.9 g Protein: 2.9 g Fat: 1.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 85 mg Fiber: 1.8 g Sugar: 0.5 g

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My Rating:

  1. Caroline Gibney says

    I made these and they turned out great – a lot better than any other falafel I’ve tried to make at home, and better than almost all the vegetarian burgers too. I tried two things that might have helped. I used a pre-made falafel spice blend from a specialist shop – it was super delicious and might have added something I’d been missing from my other efforts :) I also did these in an older style air fryer with a very thin coat of oil, they crisped up really well but were still moist inside. My quinoa was very well done and that might have helped them stay together. I love that there are pumpkin seeds in the recipe too. Will definitely do these again.

  2. Tara says

    This recipe is super healthy and delicious- I’ve been making it for a couple years now. (I also meal prep these and have them for lunch the next two days)
    Let me warn you though- this recipe is WORK. It’s not simple and quick and it can be messy. Tonight I let my husband make it and he’s been in the kitchen for over an hour and a half and the balls aren’t even in the oven yet 😂 so just know it takes effort and may be longer if you haven’t done it before.

  3. Anne says

    Holy cow! This is so amazingly good! I used cannellini beans instead of black because it’s what I had. Served over greens with cucumber, tomato, and your 3-ingredient tahini sauce. What a fabulous summer meal! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Amy says

    Made this tonight and it was a big hit! I thought I had tomato paste, but couldn’t find it in the cupboard, so I used two cherry tomatoes and it came out fine. I made this with israelí couscous and tomatoes and a tahini lemon dressing and a side of roasted broccoli. Husband says it’s a winner!

  5. Shawna says

    This is an amazing recipe that I will make again and again. I made some tweaks based on dietary needs and suggestions in other comments. I used pinto beans because black beans don’t agree with me. Per another user’s question, I used tahini in place of the tomato paste (not supposed to have nightshades). Finally, I adjusted/replaced seasoning to what I can eat: 1 tsp each oregano, thyme, crushed rosemary (all dried), omitted chipotle pepper, and used 2 tsp nutritional yeast. FANTASTIC! Another poster mentioned they made these burger-sized — I will be trying that in my next batch. These were crispy and delicious. My house smelled amazing while these baked. One last note — I used Whole Foods brand cooked and frozen quinoa to save some cooking time. I’m so happy to have a non-garbanzo version (cuz I don’t want to overdo them and then develop a sensitivity to them). Thank you for this great recipe!

  6. Sha says

    I made it but it came out dry and crumbly and it fall apart …any advice or suggestions …wanna try again till perfect….still give 5 star

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sha, sorry to hear that! It sounds like they needed more moisture. You can add more coconut aminos or tomato paste / chipotle pepper to bind. Hope that helps!

  7. Paul Steenwyk says

    The end product is garlicky and delicious :)

    I used a cookie scooper, rather than my hands to form the falafel into balls before baking.

    Because the scooper can exert less pressure than one’s hands, the falafel that resulted broke apart after baking, and I could not even flip it.

    Definitely use your hands to form the “balls”.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Paul! Glad to hear you enjoyed them overall!

  8. Dhruvi Ashar says

    I loved this recipe so much.The falafel’s were crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.I had the falafels on a bed of fresh salad and in the recipe itself I didn’t have chipotle in adobo so I used chilli powder(to taste) and substituted coconut aminos for 1/2tbsp soy sauce.

  9. Natassia says

    I have been an avid MB fan for almost 5 years! I’ve made SO many recipes and this one is most definitely one of my family’s top 5. I have always wondered how it would work as a burger and finally made the plunge with one batch last night (I never make less than double as it freezes raw beautifully) and holy moly!! I had to bake them longer to dry out but they eventually did and this was my set up: toast, spicy mustard, avocado, adobo seasoning on avocado, pickled onions, homemade red cabbage sauerkraut (6 week ferment), and miyokos pepperjack cheese. I had the exact same thing for BREAKFAST this morning because it was all I could think about. I highly recommend this one for ease of ingredients, reliability, and massive flavor. I also agree with one comment that its good raw (so is the green chili burger batter!) Thank you so much for your creative brilliance! I give it 5 stars with hesitation because it deserves more!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      oh my goodness, WOW! Thanks so much for sharing, Natassia! We love your creative spin! Sounds absolutely delicious.

  10. chaya says

    These were so delicious! I’ve made them a couple times and switched out pumpkin seeds for sunflowers seeds when I didn’t have pumpkin, and kidney beans instead of black and still really good. Great recipe

  11. Mina Shah says

    Oh wow!!! So, im a picky eater, also im vegan and gluten free. These turned out WOW! i didnt have the aminos or the chipotle, but i did have hot paprika. Also, i added seasame seeds to mixture once out of processor, just give added falafel taste! Delicious. The texture before cooking was lovely to work with and after cooking was crunchy but soft. Thank you for this amazing recipe!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Mina! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  12. chaya says

    Made these for dinner the other night with homemade pita and hummus and they were a huge hit! Really tasty and crispy. Loved the texture and taste.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deb, perhaps tahini or cashew butter? Just adjust flavor as needed as it will be impacted.

  13. Hope says

    This is my first time making falafel and it turned out amazing! The texture was absolutely perfect. I left out the coriander and used homemade tomato paste. I served over a salad with spinach/mixed lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and avocado.

  14. Vanya says

    This recipe looks amazing! Especially because it’s oil free! Do you think this could be made grain-free? If so, what would be some good replacements for the quinua? Or maybe I could make it without the quinua? I’m hoping to try it with that adjustment. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we’re not sure whether a grain-free substitute would work. Maybe more black beans or perhaps cauliflower rice that’s been squeezed to remove moisture? Let us know if you do some experimenting!