Summerfield Delight | Spicy Herb Falafels

As a vegetarian I try to find ways to punch up sometimes drab protein offerings. Falafels are in no way drab, but I do need to mix it up every once in a while. Adding a bunch of herbs and peppers really enhance the flavor without changing the name of the game.

I have found that there are two methods of creating falafel a) canned garbanzo beans vs b) dried. I find the canned tend to need some sort of additive like flour of almond flour to bring them less pasty and not super dense. The dried version you have to plan ahead (not always something I remember to do), but allows me to add more flavor and not add other things to get the right patty at the end. 

For these I used very little oil in a pan, however I often bake homemade falafels, just use a spray version of olive oil (it's hard to find other kinds) and place them on parchment paper and bake for around 20-25 minutes at 350F. This is going to vary based on the thickness of your falafel.

The second thing to note before you start this recipe is the quantity. I didn't write it in the description below because I want to talk about it. It fills one of those 4 cup pyrex things and then some. How many falafels this makes is going to depend on how big you make them. I prefer, especially when pan frying them to keep them thin about 1/2 inch and about 2 inches in diameter. This for me makes more than I can even eat in a month. SO. I find some good freezer safe tupperware (again I use the glass pyrex kind) and store the mixture in the fridge for up to 2 months. 

These are great freezer dinners, bake the falafels, make a simple salad and dolop a nice heap of store made (ahhh! no really store made) tzatziki and you can have me over any night for dinner.

They are really best cooked when  you eat them or the next day for lunch, I wouldn't go longer than that, they tend to dry out and you really don't want to come home to dry falafels. Nothing about that is good.

Spicy Herb Falafels with Yogurt Sauce



  • 1 lb bag of dried garbanzos (soaked overnight)
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 1 cup fresh parsley 
  • 1/2 cup  fresh cilantro 
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • cooking oil



Really the only way of getting a good falafel mixture is by using a food processor or blender. I use a blender here, so don't feel like you HAVE to have one. Also, for the spice of the jalapeño to show up, you really need to save the seeds, otherwise you can eliminate the whole thing, since it really won't effect the flavor unless you keep them.

Peel your onion, and remove seeds and top from poblano, and top from jalapeño pepper. Add to blender and pulse. Add the herbs and chop until blended. Next add your soaked garbanzo beans and blend until you can shape the mixture with your hands and find it doesn't a) fall apart and b) stick to your hands too much.

If you can't fit the whole mixture in your blender/food processor remove some of the mixture and then blend back together in a bowl once all ingredients are the same consistency. This is not favorable, but it does work.

If you read the above description you know this makes a large quantity, and my suggested patty size is 2 inch diameter by 1/2-2/3 inch thick. To pan "fry" these guys, add about two tablespoons of a high smoking temp cooking oil  and place falafels down in pan. They only need about 3 minutes on medium-high heat and will continue to cook once out of the pan. 

To serve I use a quick yogurt sauce to go with them. Blend the leftover herbs you have in your fridge with plain yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice with 1-2 tablespoons tahini = yum. You won't regret this addition.