This dietitian-approved baked falafel salad is a delicious, healthy way to reap the benefits of the plant-based protein from chickpeas.
Photo: Kiian Oksana/Shutterstock
Trying to work more plant-based protein into your diet? The humble chickpea has a lot to offer, with about 6 grams of filling fiber and 6 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving. Plus, there's no need to just toss them raw and naked onto a salad; falafel (which, ICYDK, is made from chickpeas) is a delicious way to add this legume—plus variety and flavor—to your meals this week.
Traditional falafel is fried, but it's super easy to bake it instead. Aside from being a healthier option, it's also a lot less messy. Serve it over salad to keep carbs in balance with your other important macros.
This recipe makes extra falafel so you can use leftovers throughout the week either in more salads or over cauliflower rice with veggies—it's seriously delish with roasted or grilled eggplant, zucchini, and red pepper—and feta. (Or in these other healthy Mediterranean recipes.)
Baked Falafel Salad Recipe
Makes: About 16 pieces of falafel, 2 salads
Total time: 35 minutes
For the falafel:
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- Sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons water as needed to thin out
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced cucumber (optional)
For the salad:
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup cauliflower rice (raw or lightly cooked)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- Optional: 2 tablespoons hummus or babaganoush
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Combine all falafel ingredients except water in a food processor. Pulse until smooth but not pureed. Add water one tablespoon at a time to smooth out, as needed.
- Grease a foil-lined baking sheet. Form dough into small balls (about 16 total) and place on baking sheet. Flatten each ball into a small patty.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes on each side or until just beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, and spices. Thin with water if desired. Fold in cucumber if using. Set aside.
- Place all salad ingredients except hummus in a large bowl. Add dressing, and toss well to mix.
- Divide salad between two plates. Top each plate with four falafel. Top with hummus or babaganoush, if desired.