One day you’ll be cooking with dried chickpeas.
But, today is not that day.
Falafel is traditionally fried and made with soaked dried chickpeas. But, canned chickpeas are just so darn easy. So, this baked falafel with canned chickpeas recipe takes advantage of them.
No soaking, just can opening.
Crispy is the official favorite texture of walktoeat. And healthy is the official feeling. Those two don’t always jibe. But, don’t worry, these baked falafel patties get browned and crispy in the oven.
I love these little guys as a healthy finger food appetizer served next to a container of yogurt or on top of a bowl of veggies to make a filling falafel bowl meal. If I was a vegetarian, I would eat these easy baked falafel patties all the time to give me a meat fix. Well, I eat these all the time anyway.
Grab your favorite friend (canned chickpeas) and make this falafel recipe using canned chickpeas.
What Is a Falafel Made Of?
The backbone of falafel is chickpeas. Traditionally, dried chickpeas soaked for several hours or overnight are used.
The chickpeas are ground up with spices, herbs, sometimes flour, and other aromatics like onion and garlic. Then the mixture is rolled into balls and fried in hot oil.
This version of baked falafel varies from the more traditional method to make it healthier and easier to make.
Baking instead of frying is healthier and easier (who wants to have a pot of hot oil sitting in their kitchen?). Falafel with canned chickpeas means it can be made at a moments notice. No planning 8 hours in advance needed.
How to Make the Best Falafel With Canned Chickpeas: Cooking Tips
Coat Your Baking Sheet in Oil
Want and extra crispy exterior just the like the fried version of falafel?
Well, coating your baking sheet in a layer of oil will help you achieve that. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to your pan before placing the patties on it. Doing this will allow the bottom of your patties to fry in the hot oil and get extra crispy.
Variations to This Falafel With Canned Chickpeas
A can of chickpeas is blank slate for building flavors. Here are a few ideas to change up this falafel.
- Herb falafel – Toss in a few handfuls of fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint or a mix. This will turn the falafels into an interesting green color and pump up the healthiness.
- Swap chickpeas for lentils – Calling lentil patties falafel is a stretch. So, turn this falafel recipe into lentil patties. Add an egg to help keep the patties together.
- Swap chickpeas for black beans – Use another bean instead of chickpeas to make filling bean patties.
- Add different spices – Cumin, paprika, and chickpeas are a match made in heaven. But, you can really load the spices into this recipe. Try adding turmeric, cinnamon, and/or ground coriander.
How to Serve Falafel Patties
There are a ton of different ways to enjoy falafel. Here are some favorites.
- Finger Appetizer – Serve falafel alongside a tasty dipping sauce like this garlic yogurt or lemon tahini. Or skip the sauce prep and just serve it next to a bowl of yogurt (my personal favorite).
- Falafel Sandwich/Pita/Wrap – Toss a few falafel patties into a pita or wrap. Then fill it up with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and whatever cheese you have in your fridge. Drizzle olive oil, yogurt, tahini, or other sauce for the icing on the cake.
- Falafel Bowl – Pack a bowl with veggies (roasted if possible), grains, and leafy greens. Top with falafel and drizzle with tahini or yogurt. Enjoy a filling meal!
- Falafel Salad – Similar to a falafel bowl, but leave out the veggies and grains. Top a green lettuce salad with falafel and top with a tasty dressing like this shallot vinaigrette.
Can I Use a Food Processor?
A food processor would make this recipe even easier. If you have one, I suggest tossing all of your ingredients into the processor and combining that way instead of mashing manually.
I didn’t use a food processor for this recipe because I wanted to make it suitable for those folks who don’t have one.
Can I Use Dried Chickpeas?
I love dried chickpeas. They are the ultimate in affordability. Learn how to cook dried chickpeas here.
But, canned chickpeas sure are convenient.
If you want to use dried chickpeas, you have two options:
- Soak and cook them. Then substitute the cooked chickpeas directly into this recipe (canned chickpeas are just cooked chickpeas) using 3 cups cooked.
- Soak only. Soak the dried chickpeas overnight. Then substitute 3 cups (about 16 oz.) of soaked chickpeas for canned. Reduce yogurt amount to 2 tablespoons.
I Don’t Have Chickpea Flour. Can I Use Another Type of Flour?
Chickpea flour is a gluten free flour that is packed with nutrients. I always have a container in my pantry for making falafel, patties, or the tiny amount of gluten-free baking that I do. It is a great binder compared to other flours.
Since it is such a great binder, if you use another type of flour, you’ll need to add a bit more. Substitute 6 tablespoons of all-purpose, whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour.
When you go to form the patties, if the mixture is breaking apart, try adding a little more flour. I haven’t tried using all of these types, so you may need to add more than 6 tbsp. But, it can be done.
How Long Do These Falafel Patties Keep?
This falafel will last 4-5 days covered in the refrigerator. Alternatively, store in the freezer for several months.
These OXO containers are the best reusable containers you can get. No leaking. And microwave, dishwasher, freezer, oven, and freezer safe.
Is This Baked Falafel Healthy?
There is a reason why chickpeas are a critical component in plant-based diets. It’s because of their relatively high protein content. According to Medical News Today, chickpeas are rich in folate, fiber, phosphorus, and iron to name a few. Chickpeas also have certain characteristics that may help defend against heart disease and cancer.
Get a blast of protein and healthy carbohydrates with this falafel recipe.
Easy Baked Falafel (With Canned Chickpeas)
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 16 oz soaked or cooked)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 5 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup whole milk or Greek yogurt (or tahini or dairy-free yogurt)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Add chickpeas to a large bowl. Mash with the back of a fork or potato masher until most of the chickpeas are broken up.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the chickpeas. Mix thoroughly to combine. Alternatively, all ingredients, including chickpeas can be added to a food processor and combined that way.
- Add olive oil to a rimmed baking sheet. Move the pan around to coat evenly.
- Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the mixture. Shape the falafel into small patties about 1 inch thick. Place each falafel patty onto oiled pan.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through until golden browned on each side. Store covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or store in the freezer for several months.
Ready to Make These Falafel Patties?
These falafel patties are like crispy little nuggets. The last time I made them, I set them next to a bowl of yogurt and used it as dipping sauce. I felt like I was eating an order of chicken nuggets, without the guilt and shame.
Next time you have a fast food chicken nugget craving, opt for these easy baked patties. I think they’ll satisfy your fix.