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Easy Oil-Free Baked Falafel {Vegan, GF}

Easy oil-free baked falafel, made in a muffin tin for crispy sides and edges! Made with canned chickpeas, it is also naturally vegan & gluten-free.

stack of baked oil-free falafel patties on white parchment paper

Easy Falafel Made without Oil

Who says you need to stuff falafel into a pita?

I have several falafel recipes with directions that insist on using dried chickpeas. It’s traditional, it’s authentic, and it’s really good, especially when deep-fried in a vat of olive oil. But the recipes are pages long, the preparations tedious, the clean-up lengthy, and the lingering smell of frying oil lasts for days.

Moreover, despite the tastiness, deep fried, labor-intensive falafel is in no way what I want to eat whenway conducive to eating on the run, or eating before going on a run.

So I make my super-easy puck version instead.

I prefer stuffing it straight into my mouth.

Recipe Benefits

  • Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
  • Oil-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Low calorie
  • Good source of protein
  • Baked, not fried
  • High fiber
  • Super-easy
stack of baked oil-free falafel patties

Ingredients for the Oil-Free Falafe

The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)–I have alternatives
  • fresh parsley and/or cilantro leaves
  • garlic
  • canned chickpeas
  • tahini–I have alternatives
  • fresh lemon juice
  • ground cumin
  • Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper

The oats act as a great gluten-free binder. If you do not eat oats or grains, I have some other options in the notes of the recipe, including grain-free options.

The tahini adds flavor, and also works as a binder, but I have several alternatives in the recipe.

Step By Step Instructions

Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.

Step One: Preheat the Oven & Prep the Muffin Tin

Preheat oven to 375F (190 C). Spritz all 12 cups of a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, line the cups with paper or foil liners.

Step Two: Processor the Ingredients

In a food processor, process the oats, parsley and garlic until very finely chopped.

Add the drained chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt and (optional) cayenne. Pulse until grainy/pasty but do not puree. Scrape down sides of bowl.

ingredients for oil-free baked falafel, processed in a food processor

Lots of fresh parsley (or cilantro–my preference) is key for adding fresh flavor. As you can see, it makes the dough bright green, but that changes once the pucks are cooked.

Step Three: Shape Into Patties

Shape the mixture into 12 equal patties (roughly 3 tablespoons/45 mL per patty).

unbaked stack of baked oil-free falafel patties on a piece of slate

Place the puck patties in the prepared cups of a the muffin tin.

Step Four: Bake

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove muffin tin and, using a butter knife or small spatula, flip over each patty (it is a very quick and easy task).

Return the muffin tin to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer until falafel are golden brown.

Step Five: Cool

Let the falafel cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Flip the falafel out onto a cooling rack.

Serve the falafel warm or room temperature.

How to Serve Easy Oil-Free Baked Falafel

The falafel are great plain, as a snack, or tucked into a pita or naan as a a meal.

One of my go-to snacks is the falafel with a schmear of hummus and an extra sprinkle of herbs (e.g., mint, more cilantro, or more parsley).

baked oil-free falafel patty with a spread of hummus on top

Go ahead and eat several. You’re hungry. 🙂

Related Recipes

Yield: 12 falafel

Easy Oil-Free Baked Falafel {vegan, GF}

stack of baked oil-free falafel patties on white parchment paper

Easy oil-free baked falafel, made in a muffin tin for crispy edges! Made with canned chickpeas, it is also naturally vegan & gluten-free.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (33 g) rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
  • 1 cup (packed) parsley or cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1 small bunch)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (see notes for options)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190 C). Grease all 12 cups of a standard muffin tin.
  2. In a food processor, process oats, parsley and garlic until very finely chopped. Add the drained chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt and (optional) cayenne. Pulse until grainy/pasty but do not puree. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Shape the mixture into 12 equal patties (roughly 3 tablespoons per patty); place in prepared cups.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove tin and, using a butter knife, flip over each patty (it's very easy, and quick). Return tin to oven and bake for 10 minutes longer until falafel are golden brown.
  5. Let cool in tin on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes. then flip out onto rack. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 2 months.

Tahini Options: You can use an equal amount of nut or seed butter (without added sweetener) or the oil of your choice. You could also use 2 tablespoons of vegetable puree, such as pumpkin or butternut squash.

Additional Nutrition Notes: No cholesterol / High in dietary fiber / High in manganese / High in phosphorous / High in vitamin C

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1 falafel

Amount Per Serving Calories 58Total Fat 2.1gSaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 58mgCarbohydrates 7.8gFiber 2.1gSugar 1gProtein 2.5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Shawn

Sunday 19th of September 2021

This recipe rules! thanks. falafel is indeed messy and time consuming to make the traditional way. these taste great. I think you need to add salt to the ingredients list as it is called for later on. Next time I make them I'll probably add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt.

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