Gluten-free Falafel with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
Gluten-free Falafel- simple to make and served with a delicious lemon yogurt sauce, these vegan falafel are perfect to prep for lunches or dinner.
I’ve had many falafels in my day but I’ll never forget the ones we had on our honeymoon in Maui. We spent our last day snorkeling in the ocean before laying by the pool and ordering falafel along with way too many drinks from our lounge chairs like a couple of beached whales. It was glorious.
It clearly isn’t authentic Hawaiian food but it was one of the best meals we had while we were there. Of course this might have had something to do with eating it after being in the sun for hours and drinking three cocktails but trust me, when I made it at home it was just as good.
Gluten-free Vegan Falafel Ingredients
I’ve found that the winning combination for homemade falafel includes these key ingredients:
- Garbanzo Beans– because, duh. We use a food processor to finely chop them for the perfect texture.
- Carrot– I love the subtle sweetness and texture that finely shredded carrots give to the falafel.
- Garlic– for savory flavah.
- Lemon Juice– for a touch of sour.
- Fresh Parsley– most falafels include a combination of fresh herbs but I’m partial to parsley here since it pairs well with the lemon.
- Coriander and Cumin– just a little spice to make it taste real nice. You could probably get away with leaving out the coriander if you don’t have any on hand but I like to include it.
- Panko Breadcrumbs– breadcrumbs help bind the falafel and the crisp texture of panko keeps them from getting soggy.
- Chickpea Flour– this is my favorite flour to use because the flavor blends right in and when combined with water it does an excellent job binding the falafels. You could probably get away with a gluten-free all-purpose flour here but for best results I recommend using chickpea flour.
I had to test the recipe a few times but when I finally got it right, I made a double batch to have enough to last for lunches during the week.
Needless to say, we’ve been eating falafel non-stop for the past two weeks. I’m okay with that though. I found that my favorite way to eat it is in a pita with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber and the yogurt sauce spread on the inside. SO GOOD. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do!
For the Falafel
- 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, regular or gluten-free
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
- 4 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup avocado oil , for cooking
For the Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- 6 ounces plain non-dairy yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a food processor, combine the carrot, garlic and parsley. Blend on high until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas then blend again until finely chopped. The mixture should stick together when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- To the bowl, add the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, flour, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and water. Stir to combine. Add more flour if mixture is too wet or more water if it's too dry. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form into balls with your hands. Transfer to a lined baking sheet until you have formed all of the batter into balls.
- Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the falafel and cook on each side until golden brown.
- Combine yogurt and lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve warm falafel with yogurt sauce, and enjoy!