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Are you a falafel fan? I really love any kind of grain and bean burger but try to shy away from deep fried foods (most of the time). I’ve always wanted to make baked falafel burgers so I researched many, many recipes coming up with a base plan. I drew a lot of inspiration from recipes posted on The View From Great Island and Minimalist Baker. Some falafels are made with chickpeas and fava beans so I thought perhaps I could change mine up with a combination of chickpeas and cooked red lentils.
Simple ingredients transform into a wonderfully flavored healthy burger. These are not meant to be a substitute for the meaty tasting man-burger, but they are a filling and satisfying main course with whole grain oat bran and lots of legumes.
Process the parsley, cilantro and garlic in a food processor until chopped and well blended.
Add the spices, lemon juice, 1/2 the cooked lentils and chickpeas to the processor and pulse until blended but slightly chunky.
Pour the chickpea mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining cooked lentils, some of the cooking liquid, oat bran or oat flour, and finely diced onion. Fold together until blended.
Form into 8 patties and preheat the oven. I baked mine in a preheated cast iron skillet greased lightly with vegetable oil. This gave the falafels a nice crispy crust on the outside and a tender soft middle.
Serve on a salad, in a pita with hummus, with hot sauce, or anyway you’d like. We prepared ours in the more traditional pita pocket, with an aioli made with Vegenaise and hot sauce, topped with tomato, red onion, spinach and cucumbers. Delicious!
Don’t forget your PIN!
Baked Falafels with Red Lentils
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 can (15-oz) drained chickpeas
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more or less to taste
- ½ cup cooked red lentils
- ⅛ to ¼ cup oat bran or oat flour
- Vegetable oil for cooking
Optional for serving:
- pita bread
- sliced cucumber
- sliced red onion
- spinach or lettuce
- hummus or tahini sauce
- hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat (or other oven proof skillet or baking sheet.)
- Pick over the lentils removing any debris or rocks. Add the lentils to a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Heat on medium until the lentils come to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the lentils or done. Drain the lentils reserving the cooking liquid. Set aside.
- Place the garlic, parsley and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well mixed and chopped.
- Add the chickpeas, ½ the cooked lentils with some of the reserved cooking liquid, spices, and lemon juice to the processor. Blend until mixed but still somewhat chunky.
- Remove the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining lentils, 2 tablespoons of the oat bran, and the red onion. Fold together using a rubber spatula until blended.
- If the mixture seems dry add a little more of the reserved cooking liquid. If too wet add another tablespoon of the oat bran. In the end the mixture should be damp and hold together well, but not wet.
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the hot skillet and place the falafel burgers in the pan. Do not crowd the pan and cook them in two batches if needed. I used two skillets and had plenty of room.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning carefully after 15 minutes to ensure both sides are crispy.
8-12 inches of snow are in the forecast for tonight. We’ve complained all winter that it has been brutal cold but no snow. I guess that’s all going to change tonight. Maybe I should head to the grocery store and see if they are busy today? Nah – we’ll just eat some left over falafels and anything else we can find in the fridge and pantry. Happy President’s Day! Thanks so much for stopping by!