One of my husband’s favorite take-out meals is falafels… I never had actually had them until I met him and I must say – they are absolutely amazing! It’s basically this little deep fried nugget packed with crazy complex flavors paired with tzatziki sauce, which is such a great combination.
I actually came across this recipe on Instagram… But, they were deep fried in tons of oil – which is delicious – but I wanted to see how they would turn out if I changed up the recipe and baked them instead of frying them.
As my husband claims – the result was a 4 star recipe! 🙂
He loved them so much – the flavor was “spot on” and he didn’t even care (or notice, for that matter) that the falafel wasn’t deep fried. He actually said he enjoyed it better because it had a lighter feel to it and was less greasy.
Case in point: give these baked falafels with tzatziki sauce a try if you’re looking to liven up your dinners and keep them healthy yet satisfying!
For the Falafels:
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 medium yellow onion
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cups panko breadcrumbs
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried oregeno
For the Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber (peeled, seeded, diced)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper
pita (I used the SMART POCKETS, a 100-calorie pita pocket)
- You will want to make the falafels first: start by using a food processor and pulse onion and garlic until minced.
- Take the beans and drain them, pour them into a large bowl and use a fork to mash completely.
- Add onion/garlic mixture to the bowl and stir until well combined. Then add salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, baking powder and egg. Mix until fully incorporated.
- To make the patties, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spray your hands with cooking spray and roll the bean mixture into balls (about golf ball size) then place them on the baking sheet and flatten them into patties. Repeat until you have used all the mixture (about 16 falafel patties).
- Since the mixture is pretty wet I refrigerate them for about 1 hour or so, so they don’t fall apart.
- While they are in the fridge you can make the tzatziki sauce. Combine Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste), drizzle in a little olive oil and stir to combine. Set in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot place the falafels in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat until all falafel patties are seared and then place in the oven for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through just to make sure they are fully heated and cooked through.
- Once they are all cooked you can start to build your falafel in a pita, wrap or just have them by themselves with toppings.
Nutritional Information: *
Servings: approx. 16 falafel patties
Serving Size: 1 falafel patty
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 3 g
* The nutritional information is just for the falafel patty – you will have to account for the pita, sauce and additional toppings.