If you love falafel but are deterred by the idea of deep-frying at home, these falafel burgers are for you. They’re loaded with vegetables, herbs, and spices, making them not only delicious but healthy, too. Serve with pita, quick-pickled onions, schug, tahini or yogurt sauce — the combination is spectacular 🥙🥙🥙

A halved falafel burger on a plate.

If you, as I, may have been a wee aggressive in your stockpiling of dried chickpeas mid March, I have just the recipe for you: broiled “falafel” burgers.

Made with soaked-but-not-cooked chickpeas, this recipe follows the traditional falafel method:

  1. Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the following day.
  3. Purée the chickpeas with vegetables, herbs and spices.
  4. Portion, shape, cook.

How this recipe differs from traditional falafel methods is in the cooking method. Whereas traditional falafel is portioned into small balls and deep fried, here the “batter” is portioned into larger balls, then formed into patties, and broiled. The mixture also includes a few beaten eggs as a binder, which traditional falafel does not.

For the home cook, broiling is so much more user friendly than deep-frying, the process and clean-up of which I never love. And while pan-frying is less of a hassle, with this wet, delicate batter, it’s tricky. I’ve tried.

Like the sweet potato and mushroom quinoa burgers I revisited recently, these falafel burgers crisp up beautifully under the broiler. Simply brush a baking dish with olive oil, lay the falafel patties on top, brush with more oil, season with salt, and broil away: in 3-5 minutes on each side, the falafel burgers will emerge golden crusted and piping hot.

I’m anticipating a few questions…

Can you use canned chickpeas?

No! Unfortunately, the mixture will be too wet and mushy. You really need to start with dried chickpeas here. Simply soak, drain, and rinse.

Can the Falafel Veggie Burgers be frozen?

Yes! To do so:

1. Freeze the patties in a flat layer until they are solid.

Frozen falafel burgers on a tray.

2. Then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months (or longer).

Frozen falafel burgers in a container.

To cook the frozen patties:

  1. Follow the instructions in the recipe for preheating a broiler and preparing a sheet pan brushed with olive oil. Place the frozen patties on top. Brush with oil, season with salt. Broil 4-6 minutes a side, keeping a close watch the entire time. 

Can You Replace the Eggs with an Egg Substitute?

If you are vegan or allergic to eggs, there are various substitutes, none of which I have tried — sorry! — that may work. A little research leads me to think one of these options might work. Let me know if you try one!

  • Flax egg: whisk 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tablespoons of hot water; let it sit till it gels. (equivalent of 1 egg)
  • Vegan egg replacement such as Ener-G
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas or beans): beat it lightly with a whisk or fork till it thickens slightly and becomes foamy. (equivalent of 1 egg)
  • Instant mashed potatoes: use 2 tablespoons to replace 1 egg

What to Serve with Falafel Burgers?

Half of the fun, for me, of the falafel experience is eating the many condiments that go along with it. Here are a few of my favorites:

Here’s the play-by-play: Soak dried chickpeas (right) overnight or for at least 12 hours. The will look like the bowl on the left after a night’s soak.

Chickpeas two ways: freshly soaked and overnight soaked.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas:

Drained chickpeas in a colander.

Gather some vegetables and herbs; gather some spices:

Ingredients for falafel burger on a cutting board.

Combine all in a food processor:

Ingredients for falafel burger in a food processor.

Purée until the mixture is finely chopped but still has a bit of texture:

Falafel burger in a food processor.

Transfer to a large bowl and add the two beaten eggs:

Adding two eggs to the falafel burger mix.

Stir to combine:

Falafel burger mix in a bowl.

Portion into 8 balls using a 1/2-cup measure.

Falafel burger mix, portioned, balled, and on a tray.

When ready to cook, heat the broiler to high, brush a pan with olive oil, top with as many patties as you wish, brush tops with olive oil and season with salt, broil for 3-5 minutes a side or until tops are golden.

Broiled falafel burgers.

Serve in pita bread with desired condiments.

Falafel burgers on a plate.
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Falafel burgers on a plate.

Falafel Burgers (Vegetarian, Broiled)


  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 8 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burgers

Description

Recipe adapted from the Goldie Falafel recipe in Israeli Soul, which is delicious. 

For the quick-pickled onions: Finely slice a red onion and place in a bowl. Season with a pinch each of salt and sugar. Sprinkle with vinegar — it doesn’t have to be completely submerged, but do saturate it nicely — and let it stand for 15 minutes. 

If you want to make more traditional falafel: Omit the eggs, and stir 1.5 teaspoons baking powder into the mix of spices. When you purée the mixture in the food processor, add a tablespoon or two of water. Scoop the batter into 1-inch balls. Deep fry in canola oil. 

Store uncooked balls/patties in the fridge for up to three days. See notes below regarding freezing and thawing.


Ingredients

For soaking the chickpeas: 


½ pound (1.25 cups) dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and drained


For the falafel:


1.5 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Big handful fresh parsley (35 – 40 g)

Big handful fresh cilantro (35 – 40 g)

1 medium carrot, chopped (105 g)

1 small onion, peeled and chopped (112 g)

1 garlic clove

2 eggs, beaten

Olive oil, for brushing

  

For serving:

 

Pita bread

Tahini sauce or tzatziki 

Schug, optional 

harissa

Chopped tomatoes, optional

Chopped cucumbers, optional

Soft lettuce leaves, such as Boston or Bibb, or chopped Romaine


Instructions

  1. Soak the chickpeas:  Place the chickpeas in a large bowl.  Fill bowl with water.  Let stand overnight on counter for at least 12 hours. Drain and rinse. 
  2. Mix together the salt, cumin, and turmeric in a small bowl. Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro. 
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor — the drained chickpeas, herbs, chopped carrots, onions, garlic, and the mixed dry seasonings. (Note: My food processor is a 14-cup Cuisinart, and this amount of ingredients fills it to the brim. If yours is smaller, consider doing this in two batches.) Pulse until the mixture is very finely chopped, and it holds together when pinched between two fingers.   
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the beaten eggs. Use a spatula to combine. 
  5. Form patties using  1/2 cup measure. Scoop out the mix, squeeze with your hands, form into a ball —mixture will be delicate/wet. Portion out all of the mixture, until you have about 8 balls.
  6. Broil: Heat your broiler to high for at least 15 minutes. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Pat each ball into a patty (or as many as you are cooking at one time) and place the formed patties on top of the oiled sheet pan. Brush tops of patties lightly with oil. Season with salt. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until beginning to lightly brown. Use a metal spatula to flip each patty. Brush tops with more oil. Season with salt. Return pan to broiler and broil for 2 to 3 minutes more or until evenly golden brown.
  7. Serve with pita and other condiments noted above.

Notes

How to freeze the falafel burgers:

  1. Freeze the patties in a flat layer until they are solid.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months (or longer).

How to cook the frozen falafel burgers:

  1. Follow the instructions in the recipe for preheating a broiler and preparing a sheet pan brushed with olive oil. Place the frozen patties on top. Brush with oil, season with salt. Broil 4-6 minutes a side, keeping a close watch the entire time. 
  • Category: Veggie Burger
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: baked, broiled, falafel, burgers, chickpeas, turmeric, cumin, vegetarian