Oil-Free Air-Baked Falafel with Tzatziki Slaw

Creating this air-baked and oil-free falafel was a long journey, since falafel is usually fried. But it was worth every bite.

Because – very happily, I’ve discovered that falafel becomes wonderfully crispy in an air fryer without any oil at all!

Do not fret if you don’t happen to have an air-fryer yet, because this will work in a traditional oven, too. It just won’t get quite as crispy, but it will still be plenty delicious.

I’m including instructions below for both methods, and I can see it may look like lots of steps, but it’s really not hard.

This actually starts with hands-off oven-roasting time for the chickpeas, onions, and garlic, which gives our crisping process a bit of a head start. From there, falafel ingredients blend together in a food processor, then bake in the oven or air fryer.

Add warm pita bread and serve with Tzatziki Slaw for a cool and creamy crunch in every bite.

OIL-FREE AIR-BAKED FALAFEL WITH TZATZIKI SLAW
Makes 12-14 falafel patties

Falafel

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh flat parsley, minced
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Tzatziki Slaw

1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup plain unsweetened nondairy yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced, and/or 1 tablespoon fresh flat parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Air Fryer Method

Preheat oven (yes, the traditional oven) to 400 degrees.

Using a nonstick roasting pan, roast chickpeas, onion, and garlic in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Add a splash of water, and stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Once the ingredients are golden, remove pan from oven, and set aside.

Into the bowl of a large food processor add all falafel ingredients (including roasted chickpeas, onions, and garlic), and process until almost smooth.

Remove bowl and blade from base. Form falafel mixture into small patties, and place them in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to make two batches. I do.

Set air fryer to 350 degrees. (I use a  Philips Air Fryer Avance Digital TurboStar, and love it.) 

Bake for 12 minutes, or until nice and crispy.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with Tzatziki Slaw, favorite toppings (tomato, pickles, mustard, hummus, etc.), and toasted whole grain pita bread.

Oven Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a nonstick roasting pan, roast chickpeas, onion, and garlic in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Add a splash of water, and stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Once the ingredients are golden, remove pan from oven, and set aside.

Turn oven temperature down to 375 degrees.

Into the bowl of a large food processor add all falafel ingredients (including roasted chickpeas, onions, and garlic), and process until almost smooth.

Remove bowl and blade from base. Form falafel mixture into small patties, and place them on a nonstick baking sheet or oven-safe griddle.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with Tzatziki Slaw, favorite toppings (tomato, pickles, mustard, hummus, etc.), and toasted whole grain pita bread.

To make the Tzatziki Slaw…

Mix all Tzatziki Slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. That’s it!

Refrigerate until ready to serve with warm falafel.

 

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