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.
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?
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.
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.
The beauty of this recipe is it’s oil-free and doesn’t require frying! They crisp up perfectly in the oven. Swoon!
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 Potatoes, The 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.
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!
Baked Quinoa Black Bean Falafel
- 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.
- 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.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 falafel without extra sauces or sides.