Falafel Quinoa Salad Bowl – Vegan & Gluten-free

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vegan falafel recipe buddah bowl

The delicious Falafel Quinoa Salad recipe is vegan and gluten free. Vegan falafels make a protein and fiber packed addition to any salad, wrap, or pita! This plant based falafel is easy to make and loaded with Mediterranean flavors. Here are a few reasons to love this Falafel Buddha bowl: 

  • Freezer-friendly – freeze the baked falafels in a sealed container for a super quick meal anytime. 
  • Made with whole plant foods – if you skip the pre-bake frying, this vegan falafel is oil-free and suitable for the WFPB lifestyle. 
  • High protein – chickpeas and chickpea flour add lots of plant protein to this vegan recipe.
  • Filling and Satisfying – high in fiber to keep you full and packed with flavor to delight your taste buds.
healthy vegan wfpb falafel bowl

How to Make Vegan Falafels

The Falafel is the star of this vegan buddha bowl recipe. Here is how to make a delicious homemade falafel: 

  1.  In a food processor, pulse onion and garlic. Then, add the chickpeas, herbs, and spices and blend until mostly combined, but with some texture remaining. The texture should look grainy, but not smooth. If it’s smooth, you’re just making hummus…
  2. Transfer the falafel dough to a mixing bowl to add the chickpea flour and baking soda. Use a rubber spatula to incorporate the flour into the dough. 
  3. Roll the dough into balls and flatten slightly. 
  4. Heat oil in a skillet and cook each falafel for  couple minutes on each side, until nicely browned. 
  5. Transfer the falafels to a lined baking sheet and bake. I like to slightly fry them for the crispy outer texture, but baking them to cook through reduces the amount of oil needed. This healthier version of traditional falafels is my favorite. If you’d like to be even healthier, you can simply bake the falafels for about 25 minutes for an oil-free falafel. 
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The gluten-free falafels are obviously the star of the show in this Falafel Quinoa Salad, but don’t forget about the rest of the bowl! To keep this meal gluten-free (no pita), load this bowl up with quinoa, greens, chopped fresh veggies, and top it with garlic tahini! 

I’ve found that the most satisfying way to eat gluten-free vegan meals is to put everything in a bowl with a tasty sauce or dressing. I really like these coconut bowls by Bambaw because they are made of coconut shell halves and feel so natural to eat out of! Plus, they don’t break when I accidentally drop them, so it’s a win-win! 

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Falafels are one of my favorite foods and I am starting to notice that anything with chickpeas is at the top of my list! Which is fine because chickpeas are an awesome food with 14 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in 1 cup! Plus, the chickpea is a great source of calcium, iron, potassium, and B-vitamins. So I’m gonna go ahead and eat all the falafels, mmm-K?

Here are some more tasty recipes you’ll like if you’re a chickpea fan like me: 

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Falafel Quinoa Salad Bowl – Vegan & Gluten-free

falafel quinoa buddah bowl recipe

These vegan falafels are crispy on the outside, and fluffy and flavorful inside. This salad bowl (or buddha bowl) is filled with quinoa, greens, and chopped veggies for a delicious and nutritious vegan meal. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time8 hr
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time8 hr 30 min
  • Yield~20 falafels

    Ingredients

    For the Falafel

    • 2 cups uncooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 cup diced onion
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro
    • 1 cup fresh parsley
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced or grated
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, for the pre-bake frying

    For the Bowl

    • Cooked quinoa (about 1/2-3/4 cup per bowl)
    • Greens - like spring mix, kale, spinach, or green leaf lettuce
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Cucumber or zucchini, chopped
    • Green onion, chopped
    • Carrot, shredded
    • Garlic Tahini Sauce (below)

    Garlic Tahini Sauce

    • 1/2 cup tahini
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon
    • pinch cayenne (optional)

    Directions

    Soak the Chickpeas

    1

    Add the uncooked chickpeas and water to a large bowl, cover with a towel or lid, and allow to soak for 8 to 24 hours. Drain and pat dry.

    Prepare the Falafels

    2

    In a food processor, pulse the onion, cilantro, parsley, and garlic together until well combined. 

    3

    Add the chickpeas, sesame seeds, lemon juice, spices, and baking soda. Pulse until the texture is grainy and well combined, but not smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

    4

    Add the chickpea flour to the falafel dough and mix well. You should be able to form the dough into balls easily. If it is too sticky, add more flour one tablespoon at a time until it firms up. Form the dough into 2-inch balls and flatten a bit, into thick disc shapes. 

    5

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the oil to a skillet and bring up to medium/high heat. Once hot, add the falafels and cook 2-3 minutes on each side. 

    6

    Transfer the falafels to a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. 

    Assemble Bowls

    7

    Whisk together all the Garlic Tahini Sauce ingredients in a jar until smooth (this takes a little more time than you may expect). 

    8

    Combine cooked quinoa, greens, chopped veggies, and falafels in a serving  bowl. Drizzle with Garlic Tahini Sauce and enjoy! 

    Extra falafels can be kept in the fridge for a week or frozen in a sealed container for longer. 

    I hope you like this vegan and gluten free Falafel Quinoa Salad Bowl! For more recipes, subscribe to my YouTube channel and check out my cookbooks

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