Baked lentil falafel with beetroot and creamy hummus dressing is an easy meal that is bursting with flavor. This simple falafel recipe is perfect served inside a gluten free tortilla, on top of a kale salad, or eaten alone as a snack.
Who doesn't love a good falafel? Rhetorical question, no need to answer. I am crazy about falafel because of their versatility and ease. I love making a big batch at the beginning of the week and throwing them on salads or in wraps throughout the week. They also make a quick and easy snack, and I have been known to eat them straight out of the fridge.
Traditional falafel are made with chickpeas and Mediterranean flavors like cumin, cinnamon and cilantro. Often they are served with tzatziki sauce in a pita or on a salad. These lentil and beetroot falafel are a flavorful variation of the falafel you know and love. Beets and lentils are combined with balsamic vinegar and walnuts to create a rich and healthy falafel alternative. Topped with creamy oil free hummus dressing these falafel are a sure winner.
How to Make Baked Lentil Falafel with Beetroot
This easy baked lentil falafel recipe can be prepared and ready to go in the oven in less than 10 minutes. To make this recipe more simple I used precooked beets and canned lentils, but you can prepare these ingredients from scratch if desired. See instructions below under "substitutions" for how to prepare these items from scratch.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Start by adding beets, lentils, walnuts, balsamic, flax, parsley and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Process until no big chunks of beets or lentils remain, but do no puree until smooth. It should still have a somewhat gritty texture to it.
Next, scoop the lentil mixture into approximately 3 tablespoon sized mounds on to the prepared sheet pan. I like to use a large cookie scoop to create equally portioned falafel. You can also just use a spoon and create mounds of similar sizes. Flatten the mounds of falafel slightly into patty shapes.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Falafel are done when they have firmed up when pressed in the center and are browned.
While the lentil falafel are baking make the hummus dressing. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add more water as needed to create a pourable sauce.
- Beets - If you want to roast the beets yourself: line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Rub the outside of the beets lightly with oil. Place beets on the sheet pan and roast in a 425F (220C) oven for 30-35 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Roast the beets up to 5 days head and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Lentils - To cook lentils from scratch: rinse ¾ cup dried lentils, add to a saucepan and cover with ½ inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Lentils can be made up to 5 days ahead of time.
- Nut Free - Use sunflower seeds in place of the walnuts.
- Flax - This binds the falafel together. You can use ground chia seeds in the place of flax.
- Parsley - Use spinach, cilantro, or basil. You can also use the greens from a beetroot if you cooked the beets from scratch.
Is Baked Falafel Healthy?
Yes, baked lentil falafel are a healthy addition to your diet. Falafel are traditionally fried in oil and baking falafel drastically reduces the fat content and increases the health benefits. One serving of these beetroot falafel provides you with 33% of your daily recommended allowance of iron and fiber and 7% calcium. These baked falafel are also filled with healthy fats from the walnuts and are low in calories. You will enjoy adding these delicious falafel to your diet and your body will thank you too. Enjoy!
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