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