Herb Walnut Falafel Bowls with Cashew Tahini Dressing
Everyone should have a great falafel recipe in their back pocket. Not only is falafel delicious (obviously) but it makes a great addition to weekly meal prep. I love having falafel around in my fridge as a simple snack dipped into my (addictive) cashew tahini sauce. Or I can easily add it to my salads and grain bowls throughout the week. And bonus, the falafel recipe I have for you today is baked not fried — which makes it an even healthier everyday option!
These herb walnut falafels are classic, crispy, savory and super easy to throw together. Just blend, shape and bake. And not only are they naturally gluten free, but they’re made with equal parts chickpeas, walnuts and fresh herbs. Which means these have a nice nuttiness and a big kick of herbaceous flavor.
I usually use parsley and dill in this recipe, but you could go for mint, basil or fennel as a substitution. You could also choose to sub out half of the herbs for spinach or kale! Gotta get those greens, maaaaan.
The cashew tahini sauce is a favorite of mine — it’s creamy, tangy, bright and complex. It’s made with cashew butter, tahini, dijon mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, miso paste and a touch of maple. I literally lick it right off the spoon — that’s how good it is! I hope you love it as much as I do. It’s killer.
I usually throw the falafel and cashew tahini sauce together in a big salad like the one pictured (made up of butter lettuce, tomatoes, more herbs, walnut and cucumbers). Or I’ll serve them on top of a cooked grain with za’atar roasted vegetables and drizzle the sauce over top.
Don’t forget to tag me on instagram if you make this recipe! xo — Renee
Baked Herb Walnut Falafels
Author: Renee Byrd - Active prep time: 5 mins - Inactive prep time: 0 mins - Total bake time: 25 mins per baking sheet Makes: 24-30 falafels
Notes: These herb-infused falafels are perfect served over a light and bright salad. They’re a bit on the delicate side, so it’s best to toss your salad first and then add these falafel to the top of each salad when serving.
2 cups raw walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mixed herbs, chopped (I used dill and parsley)
3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (~2 13 oz cans)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 tbsp tahini
Juice of lemon
Zest of a lemon (~1/4 tsp zest)
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Optional: salad ingredients like butter lettuce, cucumbers, more chopped herbs, cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper — or grease lightly with olive oil. Set aside.
To the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade add walnuts, minced garlic and chopped herbs and blend for about a minute — you’ll end up with a coarse mix. To the food processor add cooked chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper and process, stirring frequently to incorporate all ingredients until the mixture is combined into a paste.
To form the falafels, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop rounded balls of the mixture onto the baking sheets. You want golf-ball sized rounds. To smooth out the falafels dip your fingers in a bit of water and smooth them out with your fingers as needed. Use about half of the falafel mixture for each baking sheet.
Bake the first tray of falafels at 350F for 15 minutes on the center rack.
While the falafels are baking make the Cashew Tahini Sauce (recipe below).
At 15 minutes remove falafel from the oven. Turn the oven up to 400F. Brush the tops of the falafel with olive oil, and return the baking sheet to 400F oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and let cool OR optionally you can broil the falafel for 1 minute (watch closely) if you want them crispier and more deeply browned.
Once the falafels are done, serve over a simple salad with butter lettuce, cucumbers, chopped herbs, tomatoes and cashew tahini sauce. Squeeze extra lemon juice over top as you like.
Falafels will keep in the fridge (covered) for up to a week. Falafels will keep frozen and sealed for up to a month.
Cashew Tahini Sauce
Total prep time: 3-5 mins - Makes: 1 1/2 cups
Notes: If you’d like to go for a tzatziki variation of this sauce, add 1/4 cup grated cucumber, a handful chopped fresh dill or mint and a pinch of za’atar spice.
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients — cashew butter, tahini, olive oil, miso paste, dijon, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, water and salt — in an upright blender and blend on high until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust salt and add pepper as you like.
This Cashew Tahini sauce will keep in the fridge (covered) for up to a week.