This baked carrot falafel recipe is exploding with flavor from fresh herbs, spices, and sweet grated carrots and has a natural orange color from curry powder. The falafel patties are vegan and gluten free and can be served with or without a homemade vegetarian tzatziki and warm pita.
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Happy falafel Friday!! I don’t actually think that’s a thing, but we can certainly make it one!
Last month, I made the most amazing falafel patties from the Minimalist Kitchen cookbook and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been eating falafel on the reg! It is SO flavorful, incredibly easy to make, and you can make about a million patties at once. (Ok, it’s more like 15-20, but still, that’s a LOT…great for meal prep).
I’ve been itching to make a veggie-loaded rendition for the Veg World ever since. Falafel is already super nutritious and loaded with plant protein from chickpeas, but I knew I could boost the recipe even more by adding some shredded carrots.
Similar to the parsley and cilantro, carrots add some extra fresh flavor…plus some orange color. But I knew that if I really wanted these falafel to showcase that they had carrots in them, I could use curry powder as a natural food coloring! It worked great, and the patties have a gorgeous hue. Not to mention, curry pairs exceptionally well with carrots.
On its own, this carrot falafel recipe is vegan and gluten free (using oats instead of flour). I like to serve the patties inside a pita pocket with tzatziki (recipe below), crumbled feta, and pickled red onions. But if you want to keep it vegan, use a tahini-based sauce instead, and if you need it to be gluten free, skip the pita! However you enjoy your falafel, I know this recipe will be a hit at your house.
How to Make Carrot Falafel
- Add the parsley, cilantro, and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Add the drained chickpeas and grated carrots, and pulse until the chickpeas are roughly chopped.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground oats, cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, curry, and salt. Add the mixture from the food processor to this bowl and mix until it comes together.
- Scoop roughly two tablespoons of batter into your hands and form a small patty, about 2 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the batter to make about 15 to 18 patties. Pop in the oven to bake!
- Traditional falafel is usually made with dried chickpeas that are soaked overnight, drained, and added to the food processor (without being cooked). I used canned chickpeas in this recipe for convenience, but if you would like to do it the traditional way, I recommend using two cups of dried chickpeas.
- I grated the carrots with a hand grater before adding them to food processor, but you can actually use the food processor to grate them if you don’t want to dirty another tool. This is the 11-cup food processor that I use and LOVE it.
- If you have a large food processor, you can probably double the recipe. Let me know if you try it!
- To make carrot falafel ahead of time, follow all of the steps through shaping the patties and placing them on the lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a few hours before baking them.
- Leftovers store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. They may not last that long if you like this recipe as much as we do! You can reheat in the microwave for about 60 seconds on high.
- To freeze the falafel, let them cool completely on the baking sheet. Add them to a large freezer or Stasher bag and store in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat from frozen in the oven, or let them thaw overnight in the fridge.
As I mentioned, my preferred way of serving carrot falafel is in a pita pocket. But feel free to add them to salads, eat them between small slider buns, or just eat them with hummus as a snack.
More Healthy Vegetarian Recipes
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Baked Curry Carrot Falafel
For the falafel
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves – loosely packed
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves – loosely packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup grated carrots – ~2 medium
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas – drained, rinsed, and patted dry
For the tzatziki (optional)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 clove garlic – minced
For serving (optional)
- 4 pita pockets
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until they are blended into a flour. Transfer the oat flour to a large mixing bowl and add the cumin, salt, coriander, curry, and cayenne.
- Add the parsley, cilantro, and garlic cloves to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, about 20 seconds. Add the grated carrots and chickpeas and pulse again until the chickpeas are roughly chopped, about 10 seconds.
- Transfer the mixture from the food processor to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter comes together. Take approximately two tablespoons in your hands and roll it into a falafel patty, about 2 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Place the patty on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the batter until you have 15 to 18 falafel.
- Bake the falafel in the oven for ~25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside. While the falafel are baking, prepare the tzatziki by mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve the falafel inside warm pita pockets with the tzatziki and feta cheese. Alternatively, you can serve them on their own with hummus if you need them to be vegan or gluten free.
- If you have a large food processor, you can double the recipe.
- Make-ahead instructions: Complete all of the steps through placing the patties on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to a few hours before baking.
- Storage and reheating: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave for about 60 seconds on high.
- Freezing: Let the falafel cool completely, then transfer them to a large freezer bag. Store for up to three months. Reheat from frozen in the oven, or let thaw in the fridge overnight.
Have a good weekend! – Lizzie