Baked Kale Falafels with Sriracha-Tahini-Yogurt

Gluten-free and vegetarian baked kale falafels are wonderfully crisp without all the hassle of deep-frying. Serve them inside a pita for a traditional touch or as a healthy snack with the spicy, nutty and creamy sriracha-tahini-yogurt sauce.

I tasted my first falafel about 12 years ago at a hole-in-the-wall falafel joint in San Jose and it was love at first bite! First of all, I’m game when it comes to anything deep fried and then I realized, falafels are like a long lost cousin of the Indian masala vadas. Falafels are made with garbanzo beans, herbs and some spices and masala vadas are made with the split kernal of the garbano beans (called chana dal / kadala paruppu), herbs and spices. Both are coarsely ground and then deep fried.

Though falafel is a two-day-process and it involves standing next to a hot stove, sometimes it gets not-so-practical with all the hassles of a busy life and our waistline. Canned garbanzo beans is a must-halve-pantry-item, loaded with protein and fiber and it comes in handy when you are pressed for time.

These falafels are incredibly easy to make in the food processor and used my trusty Cuisinart…

….Drain, rinse and pat dry a can of garbanzo beans and grind with all the ingredients in a food processor.

….shape and balls and pat into a thick disc and bake for 20 minutes, turn over and bake for another 5.

I tried several baking methods for this recipe – turning over the baked falafels once, yielded a crisp crust on both sides with a soft and creamy interior.

Stir all ingredients together for a quick and healthy sauce with spicy kick.

Skill level – Intermediate

Baked Kale Falafels with Sriracha-Tahini-Yogurt


Baked kale falafels

1 x 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry

1 medium stalk kale, mid-rib removed and tear into pieces

1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

1/4 cup chickpea flour / garbanzo bean flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt


1/3 cup greek yogurt

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon tahini

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt


To make baked kale falafels,

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process for about 30 seconds, until coarsely ground (stop the processor after 1o seconds, scrape the sides and continue).

3. Shape dough into 2 tablepoons measure balls and flatten slightly to form a disc (a tablespoon measure ice cream scoop helps in making even-sized balls but not necessary).

4. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Spray patties evenly with non-stick cooking spray, bake in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Remove baking pan from the oven and place on a wire rack (do not turn off the oven), turn patties over to brown on the side.

6. Place pan back in the oven and continue to bake for 5 more minutes.

7. Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

8. Serve falafels warm or room temperature with Sriracha-tahini-yogurt

To make Sriracha-Tahini-Yogurt,

Stir together all ingredients until smooth

Makes 18 falafels



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