This yummy meal is basically a falafel sandwich deconstructed into a salad. It’s packed with bright, middle-eastern flavors of parsley, lemon, tomatoes, and a simple hummus dressing that ties it all together.
This recipe uses a bit of chickpea flour which has awesome binding properties, but you could swap it for almond meal or any flour of choice. It is made only from chickpeas, gluten and grain free, and is usually well tolerated by people who prefer not to eat processed flours. Don’t leave the flour out, you do need some kind of binder, otherwise your falafel will fall apart.
In this recipe, it is important to use soaked, uncooked chickpeas (rather than cooked or canned chickpeas) because otherwise your falafel will be too wet and mushy. If you don’t have time to soak chickpeas, check out this page for a quick-soaking method for chickpeas using the Instant Pot.
This salad is also delicious with a Tzatziki dressing, or a simple dressing of yogurt, cucumber, lemon, and herbs pulsed in a blender cup for a few seconds.
Falafel (Makes 10-15 Falafel Balls)
- 8 oz dry chickpeas soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup white or yellow onion roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 2 Tbsp chickpea flour or almond meal
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 1 Squeeze of lemon
- 1 tsp salt
Tabouleh Salad (Serves 2)
- 1 cup cooked or soaked bulgur wheat, cooled 8 oz
- 1-2 Handfuls of salad greens finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes, finely diced 4 oz
- 1/2 cup Cucumbers, finely chopped 4 oz
- 1/2 cup Red onion, finely chopped 4 oz
- 1 cup chopped parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
- 1 small lime or 1/2 of a lemon juiced
Hummus Dressing (Makes 2 Servings)
- 1/2 cup hummus 4 oz
- 1/2 lemon, juiced more to taste
- Pinch of garlic powder optional
- Water to thin to desired consistency
8 Hours Before: Soak the Chickpeas
- Place the dry chickpeas in a large bowl or pot and cover with water, at least 2 inches above the level of the beans. Cover with a lid or towel and let soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse.
- Note: If you have an Instant Pot, you can shortcut this process using the "quick soak" method, see notes.
Make the Falafel
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, process the soaked chickpeas, onion, and garlic until finely chopped but not totally turned to mush.
- Add the herbs, spices and lemon juice and continue processing. Add the chickpea flour and tahini at the end, and pulse to combine.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop roughly 2 Tbsp sized dollops of falafel mixture onto the parchment paper. Use your hands to form and compact them into balls, and flatten a bit if desired.
- Bake for 18 minutes, flip them, then return to the oven for another 15-18 minutes.
Make the Tabouleh Salad
- Bulgur wheat doesn't technically need to be cooked, it can be sufficiently hydrated by soaking. You can also cook it, if you don't want to wait for it to soak. Soaking times will depend on the grind, you'll need to read the directions on your package of bulgur. I prefer to use a larger grain bulgur and cook it on the stove, using the same method I would use for quinoa.
- Combine 1 cup of bulgur and 1 ¾ cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let sit, covered with a lid, for 10 more minutes to steam and fluff up. This step can be done ahead. Allow to cool, or refrigerate.
- Toss the salad ingredients together. This can also be done in advance and it keeps well in the fridge.
Make the Dressing
- Stir together the hummus and lemon juice, thinning with water to your desired consistency.
Assemble the Salad
- Add the tabouleh salad on top of a small bed of greens, top with the falafel, and drizzle with the hummus dressing. Yum!
- Chickpea flour has awesome binding properties, but you could swap it for almond meal or any flour of choice. It is made only from chickpeas, gluten and grain free, and is usually well tolerated by people who prefer not to eat processed flours.
- In this recipe, it is important to use soaked, uncooked chickpeas (rather than cooked or canned chickpeas) because otherwise your falafel will be too wet and mushy.
- Check out this page for a quick-soaking method for chickpeas using the Instant Pot.