Easy Falafel Bowls

falafel_bowls

Falafel Bowls

Falafel Bowls are an easy, budget-friendly meal to make for Meatless Monday. Homemade falafels are pan-fried until crisp and golden and served over savory herbed quinoa rice with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta.

Serve up a delicious Middle-Eastern meal that is healthy, wholesome, gluten- free and 100% plant-based with these savory falafel bowls. 

 

What is Falafel Made of?

Traditional falafel is made from dried and rehydrated ground chickpeas or fava beans, herbs, and spices. The mixture is then formed into balls or patties and deep-fried for a texture that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipe that’s enjoyed as street food with pita and tahini and often served up as part of a mezze (appetizer) platter.

For this easy falafel recipe, we are using canned chickpeas rather than dried to save time.   We dry the chickpeas out before using them and add a hint of flour to help bind the falafels together.  You can use all-purpose flour, ground flaxseed, almond flour or chickpea flour.   If you prefer to use dried chickpeas – we’ve included the instructions in the recipe card below. 

 

What to Serve in a Falafel Bowl?

To make a falafel bowl, we take the pan-fried falafels and serve them over a grain with a side of creamy hummus, tangy feta, 

hummus – we love this Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

tomatoes

crunchy veggies like cucumbers, red onion,

you could also serve over tabouli,  cauliflower rice – this Greek Spinach spanakorizo cauliflower rice would be amazing as a base for a falafel bowl.

 

 

Ingredients in Falafel Bowls

Falafels

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour (chickpea, all-purpose or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Falafel Bowl Toppings

  • 2 cups prepared quinoa or rice/quinoa blend
  • 1 cup prepared hummus
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbled
  • pita bread, toasted
  • parsley, chopped for garnish

falafel_ingredients

How to Make Falafel Bowls

Prepare quinoa or rice according to package directions so that it is ready when the falafels are ready. 

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then spread the chickpeas on paper towels to dry out.  

In a food processor, combine the dried chickpeas, garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, baking powder and flour. 

Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles wet sand. 

Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.  This step ensures that the falafel balls hold their shape while cooking.   

Prep the bowl toppings – chop the tomatoes, and cucumber, and crumble the feta so your toppings are ready to assemble the bowls. 

Remove the falafel mix and use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture into 1 1/2″ round disks.  Place the falafel disks on a plate and set it aside. 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Working in batches, add the falafel disks to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.  Do not crowd the pan. 

Assemble the bowls by placing 1/2 cup of quinoa or rice, the hummus, falafels, and crunchy veggies, and top with feta cheese.  To make the bowls lower carb, use a bed of salad greens rather than rice/quinoa.

 

 

falafel_mix_balls

 

falafel_bowls_hummus

Falafel Bowls

Falafel Bowls are an easy, budget-friendly meal to make for Meatless Monday. Homemade falafels are pan-fried until crisp and golden and served over savory herbed quinoa rice with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta.
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Falafel Bowls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

Falafels

  • 1 can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 small yellow onion quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour chickpea, all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Falafel Bowl Toppings

  • 2 cups prepared quinoa or rice/quinoa blend
  • 1 cup prepared hummus
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup Persian cucumbers sliced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup red onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbled
  • pita bread toasted
  • parsley chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Prepare quinoa or rice according to package directions so that it is ready when the falafels are ready.
  • Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then spread the chickpeas on paper towels to dry out.
  • In a food processor, combine the dried chickpeas, garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, baking powder and flour.
  • Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. This step ensures that the falafel balls hold their shape while cooking.
  • Prep the bowl toppings – chop the tomatoes, and cucumber, and crumble the feta so your toppings are ready to assemble the bowls.
  • Remove the falafel mix and use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture into 1 1/2″ round disks. Place the falafel disks on a plate and set it aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the falafel disks to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Do not crowd the pan.
  • Assemble the bowls by placing 1/2 cup of quinoa or rice, the hummus, falafels, crunchy veggies and top with feta cheese. To make the bowls lower carb, use a bed of salad greens rather than rice/quinoa.

falafel_bowls_recipe

 

Can Falafels be Made in the Air Fryer?

I originally set out to make this an air fryer falafel bowl recipe, but honestly, they didn’t taste as good as the pan-fried versions. 

While technically you can make falafels in an air fryer, I don’t recommend it.  The air-fried falafels were dry and crumbly compared to the pan-fried falafels that held their shape and had a delicious crunchy exterior.   The old is a critical part of the falafel experience.  It gets absorbed during pan-frying, contributing to the crispy texture.  

falafel_hummus_plate

 

 

You can get all the ingredients for these recipes at your local Safeway, which also offers curbside pick up and Safeway Home Delivery!
 

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