Crispy oven-baked falafel are so easy to make from scratch using dried chickpeas! They taste just as good as fried falafel but are much healthier. Serve them in pita sandwiches paired with my light yogurt mint sauce and fresh veggies.
Let me tell you how I came up with these healthy Baked Falafel Pita Sandwiches! One of my favorite food traditions I had with my boyfriend Solal when we were still living in Paris was to go to the Marais and eat a falafel pita sandwiches.
Le Marais is the historic Jewish neighborhood and it overflows with Middle-Eastern restaurants and Jewish bakeries. One thing you can't miss when walking down the streets of this area, especially Rue des Rosiers is the falafel joints.
Waiters call you out, trying to grab your attention and swearing they serve the best falafel of Paris. I haven't tried them all (yet!) but my favorite was a place called Marianne and I tried to recreate their falafel sandwich.
As usual, I've changed a couple of things to "healthify" my falafel. If you're not familiar with falafel, they are basically chickpeas patties or balls, made with fresh herbs and spices.
They are usually deep-fried and...you know me, that was not going to happen in my kitchen so I had to find a healthy way to prepare them. Falafels should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and I'm happy to report that baking falafel led to great results!
Shaping the chickpea batter into patties and not balls helps them to bake evenly and to reach that crispy crust we are looking for. Baked falafel: done!
For the sauce, I opted for Greek yogurt, mixed with fresh cucumber and mint. These Baked Falafel Pita sandwiches are super fresh and really taste delicious!
If you are looking for a gluten-free or low carb option, you could turn them into falafel salad bowls. Simply leave out the pita bread, arrange all the ingredients on a plate and drizzle with the homamde yogurt sauce. I've tried both and loved them equally!
If you tried these baked falafel pita sandwiches, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!
Baked Falafel Pita Sandwich
These crispy oven-baked falafel are so easy to make from scratch using dried chickpeas! They taste just as good as fried falafel but are so much healthier! Serve them in pita sandwiches paired with my light yogurt mint cucumber sauce and fresh veggies.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- olive oil spray
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley about ½ cup, packed
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro about ½ cup, packed
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 ⅕ cups Greek yogurt
- the juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Lebanese cucumber or ½ continental cucumber, with peel, cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 4 pita pockets
- 2 cups lettuce shredded (I used iceberg lettuce)
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- 8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ red onion sliced thinly
For the falafel:
The day before, place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight. Rinse well and drain.
Preheat oven to 430F/220C. Generously spray a baking sheet with olive oil.
Add all the falafel ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until it reaches a thick paste consistency, scraping the edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Using your hands, roll mixture into 1.5-inch (4 cm) balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet. You should get about 16 balls. With the palm of your hand, flatten each ball slightly.
Spray with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until lightly golden. Falafel balls should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While falafels are baking, prep the veggies (lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, onion).
For the sauce:
Prepare the sauce. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt with lemon, salt and pepper. Add cucumber and mint, and mix again.
Assemble sandwich (once ready to eat). Cut each pita pocket in half with a knife or scissors. In each half, add in that order: ¼ cup lettuce, ¼ cup red cabbage, 4 cherry tomato halves, 2 falafels and a few onion slices. Top with 1 ½ tablespoons yogurt sauce and serve immediately.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: serve as a salad bowl, without the pita pockets!