Crispy falafel supercharged with turmeric and protein-packed quinoa served with tangy feta yogurt spread. This flavor-packed, plant-powered main is kid-approved and perfect for make-ahead lunches or dinner on-the-fly.A vegetarian falafel feast! Bring your friends. Invite your neighbors. Save some for the dogs. I can guarantee once you try this falafel recipe, you’ll never impulse buy it from the street cart again.
Unless you’re galavanting on the streets of Israel, of course. And if so, please overnight some to me. There are two common types of falafel. One that is deep-fried (hard to go wrong), and one that is baked (hard to go right). So you either get an oil rigged patty that sends you immediately into nap mode, or a dry, sad cardboard situation that you have to cover in hummus in order to swallow.
I’ve found the key is to lightly pan-sear these suckers in a generous glug of olive oil to get golden, crispy crusts while keeping the melt-in-your-mouth softness on the inside. In other words, we’ve totally hit falafel nirvana with these guys.Another important lesson I’ve learned while falafeling: a coarse texture is absolutely key. If the chickpeas are too finely ground, the falafel will be dense. I’ve had the best results using a potato masher, but you can also use a food processor as long as you don’t get too pulse happy. (get it? pulses. “pulse” happy… ha).
Some recipes call for removing the skins or soaking the chickpeas ahead of time, but I don’t think either is necessary. Just drain ’em, rinse ’em, and mash those suckers up.Now let’s focus on the other key attribute of this recipe: THE FETA YOGURT DIP.
Four ingredients for fifty shades of magical. I seriously want to dunk every.single.thing in this dip and then lather it on every sandwich or wrap I eat from now until forever.
But honestly. It’s cool, tangy, lusciously creamy, and the perfect accompaniment to crispy falafel cakes.Enjoy this recipe with warm pita and crisp veggies or served over a bed of greens. They’re great for make-ahead lunches and will stay fresh up to three days refrigerated.
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
- Place chickpeas in a large bowl. Use a potato masher to thoroughly mash, while maintaining somewhat of a course texture. Alternately, pulse them in the food processor for 5-10 seconds.
- Combine mashed chickpeas with quinoa, egg, garlic, parsley, 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, ½ tsp. of the salt, and ¼ tsp. of the black pepper. Mix to combine. Carefully form mixture into 10 golfball-sized patties. Place on a piece of parchment paper.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook falafel 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate.
- Combine yogurt, feta, green onion, remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper in a bowl. Mix until smooth.
- Serve falafel with yogurt dip in a pita or over mixed greens.