Easy Beet Falafel

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Lemon wedge next to a plate of stacked Beet Falafel and fresh dill

After an intense craving for beet falafel, I felt drawn to the kitchen to play around with a way to infuse this incredibly nourishing vegetable into falafel.

The result was a vibrant-colored, magenta falafel that was garlicky, zesty, crispy, and incredibly delicious. Plus, just 8 ingredients and simple methods required!

Shredded beets, garlic, parsley, lemon, salt, tahini, and chickpeas

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.

Our inspired version uses chickpeas as a base and includes shredded beet for color and added nutrition. For a more traditional version of falafel, check out this recipe from Tori Avey, or this recipe from The Kat Chef.

Blender with beets, parsley, cumin, salt, chickpeas, and tahini

How to Make Beet Falafel

This recipe starts with baking the chickpeas for 10-12 minutes to dry them out and yield crispy falafel! This a trick I learned from a friend years ago, and it’s yielded delicious vegan sausage, burgers, falafel, and more!

Next, shredded beets and baked chickpeas are added to a food processor along with garlic for zing, parsley for a fresh and herby flavor, cumin for smokiness, and sea salt for overall flavor.

Tahini and lemon juice add a little liquid to help everything blend into a tacky dough. But be careful not to over-mix as you’re not looking for a purée. See photo below for reference.

Forming beet falafel patties

If the falafel dough is too dry, you can add more tahini or lemon juice. And if it is too wet, you can add some oat flour or gluten-free flour.

When the falafel is the right consistency, scoop out 1 ½-tablespoon portions and use your hands to form them into little patties (about 1/2-inch thick).

For cooking, you have a few options:

  1. Bake – this option uses less (or no) oil and is mostly hands-off.
  2. Pan Fry – this method is ideal for crispy falafel or if making just a few at a time.
  3. Pan Fry, then Bake – for even crispier falafel, you can pan fry them for a crispy exterior and then bake for 5-15 minutes for even firmer / crispier texture.

You can freeze uncooked falafel between layers of parchment paper. Then, when ready, just thaw and cook as instructed.

Parchment-lined baking sheet of beet falafel patties

We hope you LOVE these beet falafel! They’re:

Garlicky
Smoky
Crispy
Salty-sweet
Customizable
& Delicious!

While delicious on their own, these falafel are elevated by the addition of hummus, (dairy-free) yogurt sauce, or tahini sauce. They would make a great snack, appetizer, or light meal. Or for a more filling meal, serve in a pita, on a salad, or in a bowl such as our Mediterranean Bowl.

More Falafel Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Baking sheet and plate of Beet Falafel next to a bowl of Yogurt Dill Sauce

Easy Beet Falafel

Beautiful bright pink beet falafel made with 8 simple, wholesome ingredients including raw beets, chickpeas, parsley, and tahini. A plant-based, gluten-free falafel perfect for wraps, salads, bowls, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Plate with a stack of Beet Falafel topped with vegan yogurt sauce and dill
4.5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 (Falafel)
Course Entrée or Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Middle Eastern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

FALAFEL

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (~1 ½ cups as recipe is written)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded raw beets
  • 4 cloves garlic, skins removed (4 large cloves yield ~2 Tbsp or 12 g)
  • 1 ½ cups loosely packed chopped parsley (some stems okay)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 Tbsp oat flour or GF flour (optional)
  • 1-3 Tbsp avocado or olive oil (for cooking) (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add rinsed and drained chickpeas to the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly cracked and dried out. Set aside. NOTE: Keep oven on if baking falafel or you want crispier edges!
  • Shred beet using a box grater or grater attachment on the food processor, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  • To food processor add garlic and parsley and pulse to chop into small bits. Then add baked chickpeas, 1 ½ cups shredded beets (as original recipe is written), cumin, salt, tahini, and lemon juice, and pulse for about 15-30 seconds. Be careful not to overmix — the mixture shouldn’t be puréed, just a tacky texture that forms easily when squeezed between your fingers. If too wet, you can dry it out with some oat flour (but we didn’t find it necessary). If too dry, add more tahini or lemon juice.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more salt to taste, cumin for smokiness, or lemon for acidity (just be careful not to add too much lemon or the falafel will become too wet).
  • Scoop out heaping 1 ½-Tbsp portions of falafel dough (we like this scoop), and use your hands to form them into approximately 1/2-inch thick patties. As written, recipe makes ~16 small falafel or 8-10 larger falafel.
  • NOTE: If not cooking all of the falafel right away, FREEZE uncooked falafel between layers of parchment paper and store in a container in the freezer up to 1 month. Then just thaw and cook as instructed!
  • TO BAKE: Arrange falafel on the parchment-lined baking sheet from earlier. Spritz or brush with oil for crispier texture (optional), and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crispy on the outside.
  • TO PAN FRY: Heat a large skillet over medium / medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp oil (or lesser end of range if adjusting batch size). Swirl to coat pan. Add only as many falafel as will fit comfortably in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2-3 minutes more. If you prefer them crispier, transfer them to the oven and bake for another 5-15 minutes.
  • Enjoy as is or with sauce of choice. These would be especially delicious with pita, on a salad, or in a bowl such as our Mediterranean Bowl.
  • Store leftover falafel covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days and reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven. See freezing instructions in step 6.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amounts of sea salt, oat flour, and avocado oil, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 falafel Calories: 43 Carbohydrates: 5.4 g Protein: 1.6 g Fat: 0 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.91 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 116 mg Potassium: 85 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Sugar: 1.5 g Vitamin A: 264 IU Vitamin C: 5.21 mg Calcium: 20.54 mg Iron: 0.7 mg

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  1. Mel says

    Had a great time making (and eating) these falafel! I chose to use dried chickpeas which I soaked for 24 hours before continuing with the rest of the recipe. I chose to bake mine in the oven for 20-25 minutes and they held together very well. I found the flavours all worked very well together and the shredded beets added a wonderful sweetness once the falafels were cooked. They’ve been a huge hit even with those that claim to not like falafel! Looking forward to making these again.

    Thanks for the fantastic recipes :)

  2. Mia says

    These were a HIT! They were pan fried with olive oil on each side until a golden layer formed, then baked for around 10 mins. The end result were perfectly light yet moist, which I find store-bought falafels lack being that they are often quite dense and dry. Paired with your tzatziki recipe on pita with veggies. Will be making this easy recipe time and time again!

  3. Jessica says

    We found ourselves with more beets than we knew what to do with this week, so decided to give these a whirl. They were so delicious! The pink colour is SO pretty and such a delightful novelty. We made according to the recipe and found that they were perfect. The beets added excellent moisture and a slightly sweet flavour to these otherwise fairly standard falafel patties. Served on a bed of kale with a garlicky lemon tahini sauce drizzled on top.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Jessica! Love the way you served them too! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Austin Z says

    The beet falafel was delicious and packed a ton of flavor! Instead of the 4 cloves, I used two plus some garlic powder, as well as a dash of cayenne pepper to add some kick and it came out great! The patties were the perfect consistency with a tablespoon of gluten free flour.

    Would definitely recommend and make again!

  5. katya says

    Thank you for the recipe. I wanted to make something with beets! They are super tasty! And healthy :) definitely will make it again.

  6. Maren says

    I really enjoyed this on whole wheat flatbread with pickled onions, cabbage and a lemon yogurt sauce. I made it as written (baked) and did need a bit of the flour.

  7. KC says

    We don’t love beets all that much, so they were okay, but a bit too beet-y. Otherwise, tasted okay! And those of us who like beets were fine with it :)

  8. Aira says

    I made the beet falafels today to top a salad. Quick, easy to follow recipe. The texture and flavour are great. I baked mine (oil less) and opted out of the flour so I needed to be careful flipping but they held together well!

    I did add some sauteed onions to them (it’s a clean-out-the-bottom-of-the-fridge day).

  9. Elizabeth says

    These were delicious and so filling! Everyone loved them. We served them on a pita with couscous, baked yams, leftover beets, and tzatziki. We will definitely make again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay, we’re so glad everyone enjoyed them! That meal sounds lovely! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Kristen says

    The flavor on these is really great; they came out a bit mushy, but I think that’s because they needed more flour. I think next time, I’ll make them as burgers.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Kristen! This will depend on how crispy the chickpeas got when baking, as well as the texture of your tahini. Add some oat flour here as needed to thicken!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that’s difficult as chickpeas are a key ingredient. You could possibly try a soaked nut, such as cashew?

  11. katie says

    I made these, but when I attempted to pan fry, the first batch fell apart! They taste amazing, but I was disappointed when they crumbled to pieces. I froze the second batch. Hopefully, when I fry those, they won’t crumble. Suggestions?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie, these can be a little more tender than traditional falafel. They tend to firm up after refrigerating / freezing, so let us know how that goes. Next time try adding in a little oat flour or all purpose flour if not GF to help them form a bit better!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would think so, yes! We don’t have one, but a convection oven is basically the same and that worked for me!