Mini baked falafel burgers are great in a sandwich or over a bed of salad greens.
We discovered that Darrol Henry loves falafel! I am over the moon! This is my stab at a healthier, baked falafel recipe for my guy. These are small enough for him to handle, which is ideal toddler food in my estimation. Anything that he can eat without my help gets a gold star.
More Kid-Friendly Food: Veggie Potato Cakes, Mom and Baby Green Smoothie
Can you believe that Darrol is almost two? His tastes seem to change every single week, and last week he started getting into falafel. The trouble with takeout falafel is that it's deep fried, and I'm not super keen on giving him fried foods regularly. Baked falafel sliders to the rescue!
Traditional falafel doesn't have nuts or grains in it, but I didn't want this to be traditional. Baked falafel isn't traditional anyway (falafel is supposed to be deep fried), so why not change other things up, right?
We got a huge bag of local pecans from a family friend, and I like how these flavors worked together. If you're not partial to pecans, you can use cashews or almonds in their place.
The oats and flax meal work well to soak up some of the extra liquid from the cooked chickpeas. Which is another thing about my baked falafel that's totally not traditional.
"Real" falafel uses soaked, raw chickpeas. But you guys. I have a toddler. Who's soaking beans? Pass the can, please.
The baked falafel dough should be chunky and not too sticky. If you feel like your dough is too sticky, add a little sprinkle of extra flax meal.
If it's too crumbly, add water a teaspoon at a time until it comes together. The difference in moisture depends on how thoroughly you puree the nuts and beans and how long ago you bought the oats and flax meal.
It's OK if the dough sticks to your hands a little bit, but it shouldn't seem impossible to handle. It can be chunky, but it shouldn't fall apart when you make the patties.
Baked Falafel Sliders
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup minced carrots
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas - drained and rinsed (or 1 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ fresh lemon - juiced
- 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon flax meal
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Cook the onions and carrots until they soften, then transfer them to a large bowl.
- Put the pecans into your food processor and grind until you get a coarse meal. Add that to the bowl with the veggies.
- Put the chickpeas into your food processor with the soy sauce and lemon juice and puree until they’re semi-smooth (some chunks are totally okay). You’ll probably need to stop and scrape down the side a few times to get things moving. Transfer those to the same bowl, then stir in the oatmeal, flax, and spices. Make sure everything is incorporated really well, and use a fork to mash up any big pieces of chickpeas that you encounter while you’re stirring. It’s totally okay if you don’t mash every single chickpea. This recipe is very forgiving.
- Use your hands to create 14 or 15 small patties from the dough, and arrange them on a greased baking sheet or one lined with a Silpat. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for 15 minutes more.
- Serve stuffed into a wrap, on small buns, or on top of salad greens with Magical Tahini Dressing.