A food that I hadn’t tried soon enough is falafel. The first time I ever tried it was at a Middle Eastern restaurant that we tried and unfortunately it didn’t survive. But the food was SO good and I was inspired to make it at home. As I learned more about falafel, I realized that it is traditionally deep fried and while they are delicious, I know that baked is much better health-wise. This spin on traditional falafel, vegan baked pinto bean falafel, is a healthier bean version of a typically chickpea based fried food.
Falafel is a great addition to meatless meals because it packs the plant-based protein without the texture or normal flavor of beans. I know plenty of picky eaters that are not fans of beans, and this is a way to get them to enjoy beans in a healthy way. This recipe includes lots of antioxidant rich ingredients and veggies. It also goes great with foods like salad, rice, or vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes.
What you’ll love about this oven-baked pinto bean falafel?
- It’s healthier than traditional fried falafel.
- It’s vegan. A great plant-based protein option that doesn’t require eating beans or chickpeas in their whole form.
- They’re easy to make. Put everything in a food processor and pulse together. Once they’re blended up, scoop on a pan and bake.
- Same great flavor, no additional fried fats.
How to make oven-baked pinto bean falafel?
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a food processor, combine all ingredients together and pulse until all ingredients are chopped up but take care not to grind too far as it will turn to the consistency of hummus.
- Using a 1 tablespoon scoop or small cookie dough scoop, scoop the mixture on a lined baking sheet. Flatten so they are more like patties.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes on one side. Remove from the oven and flip with a spatula. Return to the oven and continue to bake another 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with a salad, rice, vegetables, or dressing. Remaining falafels can store in the fridge for up to 1 week in an air-tight container.
Oven Baked Pinto Bean Falafel
- 2 cans pinto beans rinsed and drained, about 3.5 cups cooked if you use dried beans
- ½ red onion roughly chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, pulse together the onion, cilantro, and jalapeno until they are finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until it forms a rough mixture, some of the beans may still be intact. You don't want to pulse too long or it'll turn into the texture of hummus.
- Using a 1 tbsp spoon or small cookie scoop, scoop balls onto a lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly so they are more like patties.
- Once all batter is used up, bake for 18-20 minutes on one side. Flip with a spatula and repeat for the other. They should get slightly crisp on the outside. They will still be slightly soft on the inside when they are done.
- Remove from heat and serve with your favorite salad, rice and vegetables, or dip. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to one week in an airtight container.
I’d love to know what you thought of this recipe? What did you eat your falafel with? My favorite is with a little bit of salad and rice mixed and a yummy tahini dressing over top. Let me know in the comments how you ate yours. Also feel free to leave a rating, it helps me improve my recipes! Thanks for reading.