Baked Quinoa Falafel with Homemade Tahini Sauce
These simple baked quinoa falafel patties are so easy to make. They’re a great meatless option for any meal. Serve with a salad. Or even stuffed inside pita pockets with my homemade tahini sauce. Makes great leftovers!
It’s the return of the chickpea! After making hummus last week, I was dying to have some more of that Middle Eastern cuisine. And this time, its baked quinoa falafel patties. Or as I like to call it, faux-lafel! HA! I’ve been dying to use that one. Can you tell?
Think: lightly spiced quinoa-chickpea-parsley-garlic-olive oil-scallion-tahini patties, soft and textured baked in the oven, brushed with olive oil and smothered in homemade tahini sauce.
This was the year I finally fell in love with quinoa. I used to eye it at the supermarket all. the. time. Scared that it would turn into a gloppy mess when I tried to make it at home. But boy, was I wrong! This stuff is ah-mazing. I’m still learning all the possibilities of quinoa. Of course there’s salads, and casseroles, but veggie burgers and falafel? Who would’ve thought? Needless to say, I am loving all that I can do with this very versatile ingredient.
The ways to enjoy these baked quinoa falafel patties are endless, here are just a few:
– With a salad and drizzled with tahini sauce
– In a pita pocket with fresh tomatoes and persian cucumbers
– Dipped in hummus
– Pita chip + hummus + crumbled quinoa falafels, kinda like a Middle Eastern nachos?
– Between burger buns smothered with hummus and alfalfa sprouts
Traditional Falafel is made with parsley and dried garbanzo beans that have been soaked overnight. I’m taking a shortcut, hence the name, faux-lafel. (last time, promise!) I used canned chickpeas along with the quinoa to these falafels.
Like most burgers, meatball, or veggie cutlet recipes – you need to be mindful with the ingredients. There needs to be enough “stickability” to help the patties hold their shape. Here are a few suggestions:
– Use 1 egg to help with the binding process. This makes it easier if you choose to reheat the leftovers.
– Make it without the egg (like I did) and bring the leftovers to room temperature before eating. Alternately, you can reheat in a toaster oven. Just don’t microwave it!
Let’s get cookin’ –
Cook the quinoa by sautéing in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add vegetable stock (or chicken stock) and bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, paprika, olive oil, tahini paste, salt and pepper. Pulse until all the ingredients are combined.
In a large bowl combine the quinoa, chopped scallions, and chickpea paste. Make 12 portions. I made mine into patties, you can make yours into real falafel by shaping the mixture like meatballs.
These quinoa falafels are truly a keeper in our house. There are just so many way to enjoy them! They make fabulous leftovers. This recipe is perfect for using leftover quinoa. And perfect for any meal of the day! (except breakfast, that’s kinda weird)
For the quinoa:
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the falafel:
- 1 - 16oz can chickpeas (8oz of chickpeas when drained)
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon tahini paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 scallions, chopped
For the Tahini Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or greek yogurt)
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the quinoa falafel:
- In a saucepan, heat the 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sauté the quinoa for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off stove and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff quinoa and let cool.
For the quinoa falafels:
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick spray, set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini paste, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Pulse until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and a thick paste forms.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpea paste, quinoa and chopped scallions. Divide the mix into 12 even patties. Alternately you can shape them into balls like real falafel.
- Place on the greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. After 12 minutes of cooking, gently flip the patties using a spatula for even browning.
For the Tahini Sauce:
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients using a whisk or a rubber spatula. Serve chilled with warm falafel.