This easy vegan falafel bowl recipe is an all-time favorite dish of mine that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner.
While I refer to this recipe as a falafel salad bowl, it could also be called a falafel buddha bowl – the concept of adding various recipe components together in one serving bowl with a drizzle of homemade tahini sauce, or whatever sauce you enjoy the most.
This Mediterranean falafel bowl is extremely versatile – easily add or remove ingredients to build the baked falafel salad bowl that’ll suit your own taste preferences.
It’s delicious, simple, and incredibly nutritious!
Are Falafels Vegan?
Yes! A thousand times, yes! Falafels have grown in popularity over the years as a healthy alternative to meat, a healthy snack, or recipe filler.
The falafels made with my recipe are as plant-based as they can be, making them appropriate for vegetarians, vegans, or those flowing a gluten-free diet.
What You’ll Need
The following ingredients are enough to make 2 main-meal sized falafel bowls (around 14-16 balls total).
Ingredients for the Falafel:
- Dry chickpeas, soaked for at least 12 hours (or you can use canned)
- Chickpea flour
- Fresh parsley
- Salt & Pepper
- Oil for frying
Ingredients for the Tahini Sauce:
- Maple syrup
And to serve, you’ll want some leafy salad greens and cherry tomatoes.
How to Make a Falafel Salad Bowl
Add onion, garlic, and parsley into your food processor and pulse a few times.
Add drained chickpeas, cumin, salt & pepper, and process until you have a granulated texture.
Transfer the mix into a bowl, and add the chickpea flour. Stir well and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Roll the mixture into balls – it should make around 14-16 falafels.
Add oil to a skillet and fry the balls until lightly brown and crispy. Turning as necessary.
While the falafel is cooking, prepare the tahini dressing by adding all the ingredients together in a bowl, and whisking to combine. Add more water if you like a runner sauce.
Once cooked, place the falafel onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Assemble your bowls by adding greens, tomatoes, and falafel to a bowl, and drizzling the tahini dressing on top.
Can You Make the Falafels Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can! I’ve made use of dried chickpeas for these falafels which require soaking for at least 12 hours. But you can also use canned chickpeas to save time.
Assembling and frying the individual falafel balls ahead of time will also seriously cut down on the overall recipe time when it comes to making your easy falafel bowl.
To store your falafel balls, simply transfer them to a parchment-lined cookie sheet to harden in the freezer for about 1 hour, after which you can store them in the freezer for 1-2 months in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.
Thaw them in the refrigerator and reheat them in the microwave or oven before adding them to your vegan falafel salad bowl with the rest of the fresh ingredients.
Can You Make Falafel Balls in an Air Fryer?
Absolutely! If you don’t enjoy cooking with much oil, air frying these falafel balls is a great healthy alternative.
Once your falafel balls are assembled, add them to the air fryer basket for 15 minutes at 375℉, flipping them after the first 10 minutes.
Make sure that you space the balls out sufficiently so that they can crisp up evenly without hindering the air circulation. You should also spray the air fryer basket very lightly with some oil to prevent the falafel balls from sticking to the basket.
Easy Falafel Bowl Variations
- I haven’t specified the types of leafy greens for this vegan falafel bowl recipe. Feel free to use whatever you enjoy the most – crispy lettuce, baby spinach, and rocket are all great options.
- Bulk up your easy falafel bowl by adding in some rice, barley, or quinoa.
- If you don’t want to make an entire falafel bowl, you could just make the falafel balls and enjoy them as standalone snacks with your favorite dipping sauce. This is also a great idea for a party appetizer.
- Use the falafel ingredients to make burger patties instead of falafel balls.
Tips for Making this Easy Vegan Falafel Salad
- For uniform-sized falafels, use a cookie scoop.
- Double the batch of falafels made and store half away for other recipes such as a falafel pita pocket, a falafel sandwich, falafel lettuce wraps, or as a topping to pizza (once crumbled).
- Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices when making your falafel mixture. Cilantro, cayenne pepper, paprika (regular or smoked), coriander, and dill would be delicious but there are endless combinations you could have fun with.
Other Delicious Vegan Salads to Try:
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 12 hours (or two 15oz cans of cooked chickpeas)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- Olive oil for frying
- 2 tbsp tahini
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups green leaves
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- Add onion, garlic, and parsley into your food processor and pulse a few times.
- Add drained chickpeas, cumin, salt & pepper, and process until you have a granulated texture.
- Transfer the mix into a bowl, and add the chickpea flour. Stir well and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Roll the mixture into balls - it should make around 14-16 falafels.
- Add oil to a skillet and fry the balls until lightly brown and crispy. Turning as necessary.
- While the falafel is cooking, prepare the tahini dressing by adding all the ingredients together in a bowl, and whisking to combine. Add more water if you like a runner sauce.
- Once cooked, place the falafel onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Assemble your bowls by adding greens, tomatoes, and falafel to a bowl, and drizzling the tahini dressing on top.
You could easily make this into a buddha bowl by adding other ingredients such as corn, beetroot, hummus, kimchi, or quinoa to your bowl too! Be creative.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 484Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 691mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 12gSugar: 30gProtein: 16g
Nutrition information should be considered as an estimation only.