Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Falafel Recipe -- Grain Free, Delicious, and Easy

I have a lot of chickpeas in my house, but they just sit there since I don't always have the energy to cook things from scratch, and when I do, I want to make sure my family will eat it and it won't go to waste. Last night I put up a package of chickpeas to soak, intending to make hummus with it, when I decided last minute to switch it up and make homemade falafel instead. Because of that, this recipe is written using soaked chickpeas instead of dried or canned (however I did some research to find out how many cups dried chickpeas it would be if you're starting from that point and not with already soaked beans). And though I have two other falafel recipes written here on my blog, this one is get another, because it is not made with chickpea flour or lentils, but actually is made the standard way, with soaked raw chickpeas.
This recipe is completely gluten free, grain free, flour free, vegan, and using only standard ingredients that I have at home. I was even out of coriander seeds which I often put in falafel, and made them without, only with the spices I had on hand, and it was still awesome. I'd have to say that these falafels were some of the best I've ever had, if not the best. My children loved them as well, and I was told to make these again and again, that they enjoyed their falafel meal even more than pizza meals!
I served these falafel as one gets them in a falafel restaurant, together with a chopped tomato cucumber salad, hummus (which I made using the rest of the soaked chickpeas), zhug (hot pepper paste), homemade french fries using potatoes that were wrinkly and on their last legs, homemade tahini sauce, onion salad, and homemade gluten free flatbread, using only what I had in the pantry. A successful pantry challenge meal, frugal, healthy, and absolutely delicious! (And best of all, I was tempted to eat it even though legumes generally bother my stomach, and so far so good, my stomach isn't complaining!)

I highly recommend this recipe!
I know some people are skeptical about gluten free vegan falafel recipes, afraid that they'll fall apart when frying, but I can assure you that these hold together beautifully and don't fall apart at all. They result in a moist, delicious, and flavorful falafel ball.

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Falafel Recipe -- Grain Free, Delicious, and Easy

3 cups soaked chickpeas, or approximately 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup dried cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for deep frying

1. If your chickpeas aren't already soaked, soak them for 8-12 hours and then strain, rinsing well. If not, move on to the next step.

2. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor, pushing down the sides, until smooth.

3. Heat up oil deep enough so they'd cover falafel balls roughly half way up.

4. Make falafel balls approximately the size of a large marble, and place them in the oil so they aren't touching one another.

5. When starting to brown, roll over the balls (but don't move them before that), and when they are at least 80% covered in the browner area, remove them from the pan and strain them to remove excess oil.

This recipe made enough balls for two batches in my cast iron skillet, so it was relatively quick to cook. It was enough for a falafel meal for my family with all the fixings with some people having seconds, and a little bit left over.

6. Serve with tahini sauce for dipping, along with salad and hummus, or stuffed in a pita, or rolled in a flatbread.


Do you enjoy falafel? Do you usually buy it at a falafel stand or restaurant, use a ready made mix or frozen balls, or make it from scratch? If you make it from scratch, what do you put in yours? What fixings do you like to eat together with your falafel? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?


  1. woohoo looks so good. Can't wait to try. I have been adding lentils and beans to my diet as of late to cut some cost down. Thanks so much for sharing and I so love your blog.

  2. That looks delicious! I love falafel but I've shied away from making it at home, since I don't enjoy frying things. We have a local falafel restaurant that we visit every now and then that we enjoy, but I do make hummus at home, and this post is a good reminder about tahini dressing. I love that stuff but I haven't made it recently (it's so good on roasted vegetables). Putting that on the menu! :)

  3. So, how do you make your tahini sauce?

  4. I make them to freeze for an easy dinner during the week. We love our pulses, particularly chickpeas. I'm always on the look out for traditional recipes to add to my repertoire. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I would love to see if these worked BAKED and not fried. Anyone tried it?


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