This Baked Pistachio Falafel Recipe is so satisfying and a fun twist on a traditional food. These chickpea patties are loaded with fresh herb flavor and a perfect complement to salads, wraps, and more. Serve with a minty yogurt-tahini sauce for a satisfying lunch full of vegan protein!
Falafel have made an appearance in many of my favorite food memories. When I was younger and my family visited New York City, we would sometimes stop at the street carts for lunch. Falafel in pita was typically the most satisfying vegetarian option, and I was never disappointed. When I visited Tel Aviv in 2017, I was very lucky to experience their authentic falafel, always a vibrant green color due to heavy amounts of herbs. The true origins of falafelÂ are widely disputed (and often can spark politically motivated conversations).Â I am not an authority on this cuisine, but rather enjoy learning about it.
In the United States, it is common to see box mixes of falafel in grocery stores. Many of these sadly omit flavor-packed mint and parsley. Thus, a lot of commercial falafel in the U.S. is very brown, dry, and crumbly. I am happy that today’s recipe (while not authentic) is a delicious twist on a classic, and full of bright herbs.
What ingredients are needed for pistachio falafel?
- Mint and parsley
- Flour of choice
- Baking powder
- Olive oil
Special Equipment For This Recipe
- Mid-size food processor (a small one will also work, but you’ll want to separate into two batches to avoid overworking the motor)
If you do not have a food processor, I recommend chopping the ingredients as much as possible and mashing to combine. It should still work (a blender may assist).
Traditional falafel are made by frying, which is very delicious but slightly challenging for the average home cook on a weeknight. to keep this as a 30-minute recipe, we are instead baking the falafel on an oiled half sheet pan. if you do not feel like turning on your oven, this recipe can also be accomplished in a skillet on the stovetop.
How to Make Baked Pistachio Falafel
- Pulse herbs in a food processor. Add pistachios and pulse once more to chop into very small pieces. Next add chickpeas, garlic, onion, cumin, flour, baking powder, salt, and olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Oil a large half sheet pan to help with sticking. Form small patties with the falafel mixture onto the tray.
- Bake for 7 minutes, flip, and bake for 7 minutes more, or until falafel are browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
Can I make falafel on the stovetop?
Yes. To make falafel on the stovetop you can either fry in a pot or or pan-fry in an iron skillet. I stay away from frying as it can get very messy. To pan-fry falafel, add a couple TBS of neutral oil and heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes a side, until golden brown.Â This will not dry them out as much as the oven, but can produce a crispy texture rather quickly.
Possible substitutions for this recipe
- Fresh herbs: I prefer a mix of parsley and mint, but feel free to use one or the other.
- Flour: This recipe only requires 1 TBS of flour as a binder. If you do eat a gluten-free diet, feel free to substitute oat, corn, or rice flour.
- Onion: Feel free to sub 1-2 shallots as needed.
- Chickpeas: While garbanzo beans are traditional, this recipe will also work with fava beans.
How to Make a Mint Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Mix 1 cup yogurt of choice (I used Kite Hill non-dairy) with 2 TBS chopped parsley/mint, 1 TBS tahini, 1 TBS lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. This dip is also delicious with roasted vegetables and even on top of burgers and fries.
I hope you enjoy this baked pistachio falafel recipe! If you’re looking for more Mediterranean-inspired recipes, try one of these next:
- Authentic Hummus (from Ottolenghi)
- Mediterranean Nachos
- Crispy Brussels Afelia (from Zaytinya)
- Nutty Coffee Shake with Tahini