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Beans are rich in protein and iron, making falafel an excellent substitute for meat. Done correctly, falafel is dense and heavily spiced. Try this recipe for a savory and aromatic treat!
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Chef Ryan Callahan
Author of Cooking for Chemo...and After! and Cooking for Kids with Cancer

Falafel is the meatball of the Levant. Mostly used on sandwiches, it can also be featured on dinner platters. Due to its construction, falafel is an excellent meat substitute, as the beans are high in protein and iron. Falafel is a food that people either love or cannot stand. Done correctly, each ball should be dense and heavily spiced, leading to a very flavorful treat. Done incorrectly, falafel can be crumbly, grainy, and not very enjoyable.

Tasting Guidelines:

  • Taste is savory and aromatic
  • Weight is medium, but can be balanced with lemon juice and garlic
  • Texture is dense, and is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside
  • Good for people with low-to-moderate treatment side effects
  • Gives an emotional response of an exotic meal
  • Best categorized as classic Mediterranean


  • 2 small cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 can lima beans, butter beans, Great Northern beans, cannellini, or fava, drained
  • 2 eggs, scrambled but uncooked
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Flavor Balancers:

  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice


  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. red curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all beans, taking care to mash thoroughly by hand.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly. The mixture should resemble hamburger or meatballs in consistency. If it’s too wet, mix in corn starch or flour to dry. If it’s too dry, add a little water or an extra egg. The paste should be able to be formed by the hand or an ice cream scooper into balls resembling a small-to-medium meatball.
  4. Spray a muffin pan with pan spray. Fill the muffin pan 1/2” with falafel mix.
  5. Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes. The baking time depends on the size of the falafel balls. Falafel should be crispy on the outside but moist on the inside.

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Last modified: March 10, 2022

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