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The Ultimate Falafel Veggie Burgers

Falafels are pretty much the world’s perfect meat substitute. This is no surprise when we consider that falafels are made primarily from chickpeas, and chickpeas are a powerhouse of plant-based nutrition. With their high levels of fiber and protein, these burgers are insanely healthy, delicious, and satisfying. Even better, unlike normal falafels which are deep fried (gasp!), the ones here are just lightly pan-fried to make them extremely low in fat. Top them with fresh lettuce, tomato, red onion, and the homemade lemon tahini mayo recipe below for a truly incredible veggie burger.

In 2011, even McDonalds got onboard the falafel movement by introducing the McFalafel (no joke) throughout Israel and other Middle East countries. Personal biases against McDonald’s aside, if I stumbled across a McFalafel here in California, I might have to wander inside and see what’s going on…

Falafel Veggie Burger

Makes 3 big burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Whole wheat rolls or Ezekiel bread
  • Avocado, lettuce, tomato, and red onion
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste

Falafel Burger and Fries

The Lemon Tahini Mayo

The lemon tahini sauce (last four ingredients) is a deliciously creamy mayonnaise-like sauce that pairs perfectly with these burgers. To make, simply whisk together equal parts tahini and water with a squeeze of lemon juice, garlic powder, and sea salt until everything is incorporated. Give it a taste and feel free to adjust anything as needed. It can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Step One

Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas and add about half of them to the food processor with the chickpea flour, parsley, chopped green onions, garlic, coriander, lemon juice, and sea salt. Process until everything is well-incorporated. Then add the remaining chickpeas with a handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes and pulse just a few times, so that some chunks remain. This is a horrible analogy, but the texture should resemble Play-Doh at this point (hey, you know you ate that stuff when you were a kid) – dry but still pliable. If it’s too wet, simply add more chickpea flour

Falafel Burger Processor

Step Two

Using your hands, form into flat rounds about 4 inches in diameter for the burgers. For even cooking, make sure they are no thicker than 2/3 inch. Heat a skillet with a few drops of olive oil (or optionally omit if using a non-stick pan) and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side until slightly browned.

A note on texture: texture always seems to be an issue with veggie burgers. Thankfully, these actually hold together really nicely. Right after cooking, the insides have a softer texture, which I think works well. But if you prefer them to be a little more dry and crumbly, try this trick: leave them in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, they’ll be much more firm, even after being reheated.

Step Three

To serve, grab some whole wheat buns (Ezekiel brand is great) and spread a layer of tahini sauce on each half. Top with the burger, tomato, lettuce, red onion, and avocado. Take that, McFalafel.

Falafel Burger Open

Falafel Burger

37 Comments

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    • Oh that’s right! You were looking for a mayo recipe. If you like the taste of tahini, this will be great sub for anything like burgers and sandwiches. And it literally takes 30 seconds to make.

  1. Oh gosh I haven’t made falafel in what seems like forever. A giant falafel patty in a bun with all the fixings sounds even better ๐Ÿ™‚ This weekend maybe?!

  2. Andrew,
    I recently found your website having done a search for pinole recipes. I read your goal for the site and was hooked. The pinole recipe was fantastic and just this week we tried the Buddha bowl, which was awesome. Now that I see this recipe for falafel, my personal all time favorite food, I think you have won my heart and soul. Keep up the excellent work. I am overjoyed you are out there spreading love one recipe at time. Thank you!

    • Hey Jill! That’s so great! I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed the recipes and have resonated with my message. I love hearing that, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I’m thankful for this tasty recipe :0). I just saw a recipe a few days ago for a falafel burger & liked the idea but wasn’t sure about a lot of ingredients they had chosen.-I mean it’s bizarre to see something so natural be made so unnatural. Then, I saw this on your site today & thought here’s how it’s meant to be :0). I esp. enjoy the scallions & sun-dried tomatoes being in it & the quick “mayo”!

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ I definitely try to keep things simple here, with only real ingredients. The scallions and sun-dried tomatoes are awesome in this, they’re a simple way to add so much depth of flavor.

  4. Gracias! Can’t wait to try these, might tonight! I usually only find sundried tomatoes in oil, is that the kind you use? / does it work OK in the recipe?

  5. This one looks amazing and we are planning it for dinner tonight! Could you recommend a substitute for the chickpea flour? I’ve been 4 places and haven’t found it. A local organic market told me their distributor stopped carrying it because it didn’t sell well.

  6. Hi Andrew! I’m steadily making my way through your recipes (I’ve commented on the frozen burritos) and this is next on my list! Alas, I’m the only one who will eat this in my house, and so do you know if they hold in the fridge for a few days before cooking? Cannot wait to try it.

    • Hi Ivan, sorry for the delay. Actually I’ve found that they hold together quite well after being cooked. They become slightly more dry and firm and it adds a great texture. Although, I imagine either way (refrigerating in a sealed container before or after cooking) would be fine.

      • Ended up perfect, had it the next day too and it was perfect from the fridge. Thanks for another great recipe! I’ll certainly be doing this one again.

      • Actually one thing is that I needed way more flour than you have here, not actually sure how much I ended up using, seemed like a good bit though. And I think some more spice/flavour would be great, for next time.

  7. I actually made these burgers for my Thanksgiving day meal. They were delicious!

    I think I packed the chopped parsley into the measuring cup too firmly because my burgers were greener than yours. It didn’t seem to matter though.

    I replaced the avocado with sliced cucumber. It’s probably good either way.

    I think in the future, I will add an equal amount of cumin as I did coriander. I was missing that flavor when reminiscing past falafel experiences.

    Overall, this recipe is a real winner. The combination of fresh bright flavors, healthful ingredients, and appetite satisfying size are what did it for me.

    Thanks for all of the time and effort you put into it.

    • I forgot to mention that I made a double batch so I could freeze some of them.

      I froze the burgers uncooked and later thawed them out at room temperature until they were soft again. Then I browned them in a skillet as usual, and they turned out just fine.

  8. My wife liked these which is high praise.
    The tahini sauce was easy to make and complimented the burger.
    I grilled them on a Panini for 6 minutes and they came out perfect.
    thanks

  9. I wanted to tell you that I make these little and wrap them up in little tortillas. Tonight I cooked them in my new air fryer and served them with tofu based taziki sauce, tomatoes and black olives all wrapped up in Trader Joe’s lavash wraps. So delicious! Huge hit! Thank you again for all your wonderful recipes!

  10. I want to try these and I was wondering, can I bake these in oven? (if yes, how long and how many degrees?) Looking forward to making them cause they look delicious and everyone here says they turned out very well!

    • Hi Nusa! I think that would be totally fine – bake them at 350 until they’re fully cooked. Let us know how it turns out, I’m curious to hear if the oven works better than a skillet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hello, I’ve got two more questions! I will oven dry cherry tomatoes, so I need 5 halves or 5 whole cherry tomatoes for the recipe? And can I use dark tahini? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Nusa, it doesn’t matter too much how many cherry tomatoes you use; you can add them to taste. As far as dark tahini, I’ve never heard of that, I’ve only ever seen one type of tahini.

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