Oven-baked, low fat, vegan and gluten-free beetroot falafel recipe - easy to follow and perfect on their own or in a falafel wrap.
Easy Vegan Beetroot Falafel
No matter whether you've been vegan for 2 years or for 20 - falafels are probably well known to you! For a long time, they've been a key ingredient in a vegan's eating out experience, and only in recent years restaurants and takeaways have started listing other vegan options as well. Oh, the good ol' falafel! This Vegan Beetroot Falafel Recipe is an ode to those wonderful little bites of goodness. With earthy flavors and vibrant color from the beetroot, these beetroot falafel are oven-baked and hold a tasty crunch - perfect as a little snack or as part of a falafel wrap!
What you'll need to make beetroot falafel
- dried chickpeas
- pre-cooked beetroot
- olive oil
- red onion
- sea salt
- fresh coriander
- ground cumin
- ground coriander
- black pepper
- sesame seeds, plus extra if you like them crispy
- food processor
- fridge-friendly container
- baking parchment
- oven trays
How to make beetroot falafel
Step 1: Soaking and cooking the chickpeas
To make these beetroot falafels, let's start by soaking and cooking the dried chickpeas. Soaking and cooking times depend on the brand and size you're using, so I would recommend that you go with the packaging instructions - however, most average size chickpeas will require soaking them in fresh water overnight or for at least 8 hrs. You can leave the chickpeas in water for longer as well - to do so simply refresh the water every 24 hrs and use the soaked chickpeas within 3 days.
They will increase in size as they soak, so ensure to use a container with a little extra wiggle room and ensure the chickpeas are completely submerged in water.
Once the time has elapsed, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Then transfer them to a saucepan, cover them in fresh water and bring them to a boil. Allow for them to boil for 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 85 minutes. It's best to stay nearby and check if the water needs topping up - as a general rule of thumb, you should be fine when adding 3 times as much water as chickpeas though.
If you're planning to use tinned chickpeas instead of dried ones, please see the notes below.
Step 2: Creating the falafel batter
When your chickpeas are almost done, heat the olive oil in a small non-stick pan and fry the chopped red onion for a few minutes until softened. Sprinkle in the salt, then add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, then remove from the heat.
Transfer the pre-cooked beetroot, onion, garlic, cooked and drained chickpeas, and the fresh coriander into a food processor and pulse roughly 10-15 times or until the chickpeas and beetroot is roughly broken down, The mixture should be chunky, but sticky, so ensure now to overmix. Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, pepper, and sesame seeds.
Step 3: Shaping and baking
Preheat your oven to 200°C and line 1-2 baking trays.
For best results use a tablespoon to scoop out the falafel mix. Between your hands, roll and shape the falafels into bite-size balls. It's probably best to wear gloves and an apron for this if you don’t fancy staining your hands! Gently place them onto a lined baking tray and give them a little squeeze from the top to shape them into mini patties. For an extra crunch in your falafels, you can roll them in more sesame seeds, giving them a crunchy crust.
Transfer the tray(s) to the fully preheated oven and bake at 200°C for 20-22 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
Step 4: Serving the beetroot falafels
You can enjoy these beetroot falafels hot or cold - on their own, with a delicious drizzle or dip - such as harissa or tahini - or also as part of a tasty vegan falafel wrap. It's also delicious in freshly toasted pitta bread alongside tahini, lemon juice, lettuce, and pickles. Simply delicious!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use tinned chickpeas instead of dried ones?
In general: yes. However, dried chickpeas have a better bite and create a better texture for falafels. If you're in a rush or simply only have tinned chickpeas to hand, you can use those as well. Your falafel mix might be a little too wet when using tinned chickpeas and I recommend adding a little bit of chickpea flour (gram flour) to the falafel batter to counteract the added moisture. You can also add a few more sesame seeds to the mix so that your falafels still have a great crunch.
This recipe is:
- 100% vegan
- low fat
- 1 of your 5-a-day
- super easy to make
- great to make with dried chickpeas
- perfect on its own, with a dip or in a falafel wrap
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📖 Recipe Card
- 1 large bowl
- 125 g dried chickpeas
- 150 g pre-cooked beetroot
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 red onion (roughly 100 g) chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves minced or grated
- 10 g fresh coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds plus extra (optional)
- Start by soaking the dried chickpeas in fresh water overnight. The next day drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them into a saucepan with 3x the amount of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 85 minutes until the chickpeas are softened.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and fry the red onion until softened for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in the salt, then add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute, then remove from the heat.
- Place the pre-cooked beetroot, onion, garlic, cooked and drained chickpeas and fresh coriander into a food processor and pulse for 10-15 times until the mix is roughly broken down and sticky. Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, pepper and sesame seeds, then preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Carefully scoop out the falafel mix and roll into bite-size balls - it’s best to wear gloves for this, if you don’t fancy staining your hands! Gently place them onto a lined baking tray and give them a little squeeze from the top to shape them into mini patties. For an extra crunch, you can roll them in more sesame seeds.
- Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and bake at 200°C for 20-22 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
- If using tinned chickpeas instead of dried ones, add chickpea flour to the falafel batter to balance the moisture and get a sticky, shapeable mixture.
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