Quinoa Falafels

September 7, 2010

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Quinoa Falafel Balls - You can't eat just one | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.com

In college, I discovered falafels.  I happen to be a lover of most things fried (unfortunately for me) and eating a falafel with tons of veggies and avocado makes devouring them a bit more acceptable. I was reading one of my favorite books; Dave Lieberman’s  the 10 things you need to eat, and I found his falafel recipe mae with quinoa.

Dave taught me a thing or two about quinoa. Most recipes that I have read or even made suggests a 2 to 1 ratio when making most grains. However, up until acquiring Dave’s book, I was no good at making quinoa and basically, gave up.  He has changed all of that. His tip: use 1 1/4 cups water to 1 cup quinoa.  Genius!

Homemade Hummus | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI like to make a big batch of quinoa and keep it in the fridge.  It lasts for about a week and it is a good, healthy option to have on hand. Not only do I make these amazing falafel balls, but I also love to make quinoa cakes (similar to a veggie patty) and the quinoa breakfast cereal .

This recipe has become a staple in our home.  My kids have fallen in love with these.  And getting this kind of protein in them makes me very happy!  I like to serve them with fresh whole wheat pita, homemade hummus and a huge Israeli salad! The one downside to these is that they must be eaten immediately.  They do not make good leftovers, which makes M sad.

Israeli Salad | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.com

Quinoa + Chickpea Falafel
yield: 30 falfel balls

1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 tsp. black pepper
canola oil for frying

• combine chickpea flour, cumin, olive oil, and boiling water in large bowl. mix well with a fork to form a paste.  let sit for about 10 minutes.  add the remaining ingredients except for the canola oil.
• heat the canola oil in a small dutch oven ( i use a small le creuset) on medium heat ( you don’t want to burn the oil).  using a deep frying thermometer, heat to 350*
• using a small, 1-2 tablespoon size ice cream scooper, scoop batter to make free formed balls and dump, gently into the hot oil. put 5-6 in the pot at at time.  you don’t want to overcrowd the pan and you also don’t want to reduce the heat of the oil. cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
• drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.  repeat with the remaining batter.
• serve at once.
• serve with warm pita, hummus, Israeli salad, eggplant dip, or whatever suits your fancy!

I like to make hummus and keep it in the house.  It is so inexpensive to make and literally takes 5 minutes from start to finish.  And in my opinion, the only way to make an Israeli salad is to chop the veggies really, really fine.  Keeping this on hand keeps me far away from the cookie jar!


yield: 2 cups

1 15oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed twice (reserve the liquid)
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
4 Tbls. freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbls. reserved liquid
several dashes of Sriracha (Asian hot sauce)
chopped parsley

• put garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to chop.  add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until pureed.  taste for seasoning, add kosher salt and a little pepper to taste.  sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley.  serve with toasted pita chips and cut up veggies.

Israeli Salad

• 3 Roma tomatoes
• 4 Persian cucumbers
• 1 red bell pepper
• 7 radishes
• 1/2 red onion
• 1 stalk of celery
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1-2 Tbsp. good olive oil

• chop all veggies fine and mix in a bowl.
• store 2 days in the fridge

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 NikiTheo September 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Mmm…. I just had a falafel pita form Roti for lunch. Yum… This makes me want more, but the quinoa addition rocks! I’m always looking for more ways to use my quinoa (loved the breakfast cereal, btw!). So this is an awesome new way for me, thanks!


2 Justin September 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm

they’re so light in color, i would have guessed they were cookies or something else … definitely not falafel


3 MyLastBite September 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Ooh… you just made me want to eat quinoa!!!


4 Maria September 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Everything looks fantastic! I am in love with the quinoa falafels!


5 marla {family fresh cooking} September 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I agree, once you discover falafel & hummus life is that much more perfect! I love mediterranean food in all forms. Love the quinoa in this recipe!


6 Kim September 7, 2010 at 11:36 pm

What a great meal you’re offering us! I also like fried stuffs… Falafel and hummus, so a great combo!


7 Jeannie September 8, 2010 at 12:58 am

Looks like quinoa is in season now…seen lots of recipes in the blogs lately…am really curious as to the taste of it! Yours looks really good, different from all the rest I have seen.


8 Eliana September 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I absolutely adore falafel but have never had it with Quinoa. This looks like it is definitely worth a try.


9 Cucee Sprouts September 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Can you bake them? Will they keep their shape?


10 Ellie (Almost Bourdain) September 9, 2010 at 4:41 am

Really nice meal! Love your photos and recipes 🙂


11 The Cilantropist September 9, 2010 at 5:00 am

Just noticed I was sharing Best of the Blogs with you today on FoodNewsJournal, and I thought I would stop by to tell you this dish looks fabulous! 🙂


12 Katie@Cozydelicious September 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I love the idea of quinoa on falafel. Excellent! I’m so excited.. I think I’m going to mak ethese this weekend. Yum!


13 The Urban Baker September 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Quinoa is one of those universally, yummy grains. I am so glad you have all been inspired:Niki – the quinoa addition does rock!Justin – falafel they are. made them last night for 25 people and all were blown away!Jo – I will personally make them for youMaria – these are something to fall in love withJeannie – just remember the 1 1/4 to 1 ratio and you will have perfect quinoa every time!Marla – I am with you on the mediterranean food!Kim – in my books, fried is a delicacy!Eliana – it is so worth the try! Let me know how it comes out.Cucee – I wouldn’t bake them. Fry them and just don’t eat them often.Ellie – thanks! It truly is a great meal!Cilantropist – thanks so much for the update on the Best of Blogs on the FoodNews Journal. I didn’t even know it existed. Congrats to you, my dear!Katie – you should be excited. They are addicting and delicious!Enjoy! I love, love, love all your comments!


14 Kyla March 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm

These were SOOO YUMMY. I saved a few calories by pressing the balls flat and baking them! Spray both sides with non-stick spray and bake @ 375 on a dark cookie sheet for about 10-12 minutes, flip them over and bake another 10-12 minutes. They came out awesome, golden brown and crispy and topped with tzatziki! Falafel’s are one of my moms favorites and she said these were the best she’s ever had. Great recipe!


15 Susan March 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi Kyla – that is such a great idea. I love the idea of baking these – great tip! So glad you enjoyed these – they are a household favorite as well!


16 Jen October 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

These are so flippin’ delicious!!!!

I often have a Mediterranean-flavor salad for lunch and I was recently brainstorming how to add more protein but not the usual kinda pasty/dry falafel. And then I thought … I love quinoa and maybe there’s quinoa falafel. Voila! This recipe is exactly what I needed and it is so yummy!


17 Susan October 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

So glad you liked this recipe. I too, love these and I haven’t made them in a while. Thanks for reminding me – they are now on next weeks meal plan!!


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