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!
I like your stories that go along with each recipe you post :)
Now about those cocktails…
I love falafel!!! I haven’t found a recipe that’s really worked for me yet, so I’ll definitely give this one a try :)
I love, love, love falafel! This entire recipe looks absolutely fantastic! I’m especially drooling over that yogurt sauce!
Isn’t that what vacations are all about? Acting like beached whales and ordering too many drinks? ;) I just put the ingredients I need to make this on my grocery list, can’t wait to try it!
I was impressed too, although she is very docile. One of my coworker’s watched her for me while I was gone and apparently her teenage daughter has a thing for painting people’s (and dog’s) nails. I didn’t even realize until the next day when we took her for a walk. It was pretty funny. :)
Why do I look at your gorgeous pictures just before lunchtime? I am seriously hungry now! haha I’m a BIG fan of falafel, although I don’t make it enough. It’s really healthy fast food at its best! The addition of the creamy yogurt sauce is great. I will have to make this pronto! Delicious recipe share! :)
Thank you so much for this recipe. I absolutely <3 falafels and my son is on a very restricted diet. Now I have something new to make for him:)
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This was OUTSTANDING!!!! Best falafel recipe ever!
I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for the review, Erin!
I made the gf version last night. The flavors are spot-on, but I had trouble pan-frying them. The ones I pan-fried crumbled considerably, and also absorbed ALL of the oil, plus all of the extra I added to keep the pan from burning. I’m not sure what I did wrong. The remaining ones, I put in the air fryer and while they held form *much* better, they’re also more dried out because of the frying method. Can you help me understand what I did wrong?
I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out well for you. Did you make any changes to any of the ingredients? Did you use chickpea flour or a different flour?
Thank you for replying! I did use chickpea flour. The only thing I changed in the recipe was the oil; I have an avocado allergy () so I instead used a mixture of duck fat and olive oil. I had the heat of my pan on med-low so the olive oil wouldn’t smoke, so maybe a lower cooking temp provided the chickpea flour with more time to absorb the fat and oil? I mean, this won’t deter me from making it again. I’ll probably just use the air fryer because I can get away with less oil.
That could have definitely been the issue! I’m not familiar with duck fat but I use a good amount of oil when I cook them (and also at medium-high heat) because it helps the outside get golden and crispy like fried falafel. I haven’t tested them in the air fryer but if they work for you that way then that’s great. I hope they turn out better next time!
I’ve tried so many different falafel recipes in the past and it was always either way to dry or too wet or crumbly or didn’t want to stay together but this one delivers a perfect product every single time! Thank You for a perfect recipe and yummy falafel!