A homemade vegan falafel sandwich with all of the fixings - lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and fresh dill. This Mediterranean lunch or dinner idea is full of plant-based protein and flavor!
For the Falafel:
- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight*
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions (white part only), sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, quartered
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil if frying or 1/4 cup olive oil if baking
For the Sandwich:
- 3 pitas
- 1/2 cup lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, quartered
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dill or parsley, roughly chopped
- Optional: 1/4 cup hummus, tahini or vegan tzatziki
- Optional: 1/4 cup vegan feta (I love Vio Life's feta)
- A day in advance, soak the chickpeas with the baking soda (see notes) overnight in your refrigerator. Make sure the water is about 2-3 inches above the chickpeas because they will expand. When ready to make the falafel, drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Add all of the falafel ingredients to a food processor, and pulse until well-combined. Be careful to not over pulse, you still want some texture, not mush.
- Place the falafel mixture in a bowl, and refrigerate for an hour. This will allow the starches from the chickpeas to develop more and the falafel balls will hold together better during the cooking process.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop 2-tablespoons of the falafel mixture. Shape into a ball, flatten the top and bottom just a little to form a disk shape and place on a plate. Repeat until all of your falafel disks are made (you should be able to make 9 falafel).
- You can either fry or bake the falafel. To fry: heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Place a few disks in the hot oil and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until all of the falafel are fried. To bake: Preheat your oven to 400°F, and brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Place all of the falafel on the baking sheet and brush each of them with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking, until golden brown.
- Now assemble the pitas! Cut about 1 inch off the top of each pita, forming a pocket. Add 3 falafels to each pita, and divide the toppings (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, parsley/dill) evenly between the pita pockets. Finish off the pitas with a drizzle of tahini or vegan tzatziki, and some vegan feta if desired.
- Enjoy your falafel sandwich!
It is important to get dried chickpeas as opposed to chickpeas in a can. Using dried cashews that have been soaked overnight, and rinsed before you are ready to make the falafel will result in the best texture and taste!
Adding the baking soda to the water you're soaking the chickpeas in is a must! It allows the chickpeas to soften more and they will also cook better during the frying/baking process.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Stovetop or Oven
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 1 pita
- Calories: 500
- Sugar: 7.2g
- Sodium: 844mg
- Fat: 22.6g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9g
- Carbohydrates: 65.3g
- Fiber: 13.1g
- Protein: 15.6g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan lunch, Mediterranean, falafel, pita, pita sandwich, greek