These baked lentil falafels are simple, delicious, and a great way to bump up the nutrition of any meal.
Last night, I read some excerpts from one of my favourite thinkers, cultural critics, and environmentalists, Wendell Berry. All of his words hit me on a very deep and soulful level, but one quote that was particularly poignant to me was, “I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.” The more time that I spend in the city, the more I crave the peace of living on and being a steward of the land. How powerful it would be to enjoy the fruit of the trees that you have planted, to “climb into the healing shadow of the woods” in the heat of the day. To be surrounded by the sounds and sights of life rather than the endless roar of automobile traffic and endless cement and skyscrapers. To dance in the rhythms of the natural world, rather than the frenzied pace of human-constructed urban life.
I crave so much to be involved in the production of food, rather than merely in its purchase and consumption. Yes, I adore creating recipes and playing in the kitchen–there’s no denying that it brings me immense joy. But Wendell Berry has also said that if you are interested in eating food, you must also be interested in its production, and that resonates very deeply, too. I have had the occasion to dabble briefly in organic food production through the incredible experience that is WWOOFing, and I feel a strong pull back into that world. It’s a difficult dance, given the uncertainty about the future caused by the global pandemic, but I do know that as soon as this is over, I will certainly be leaving the city for greener pastures, so to speak.
Bridging the gap between this conversation and the recipe I’m about to share is a challenge, so I don’t think I am even going to attempt a segue. I just wanted to share what is on my mind this morning, which I like to do from time to time. 🙂
lentil falafels? intriguing! tell me more!
Falafels are usually made with chickpeas, but I like to experiment with different legumes. I feel that lentils are an excellent substitute for chickpeas: they take less time to cook (if you cook your lentils and beans at home) and they’re highly nutritious! They are more moist than chickpeas, so the texture of these little falafels will throw you for a loop as you are forming them. Just trust that they do firm up as they bake!
lentil falafel ingredients
These falafels are made with everyday ingredients: cooked lentils, onion, garlic, lemon, cumin, chili flakes, salt, pepper, oat flour, sunflower seeds, cilantro, parsley, and olive oil.
to make these lentil falafels, you’ll:
- Cook the lentils (if you haven’t already done so!).
- Pulse together all of the ingredients in a food processor until almost smooth.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the mixture firm up slightly.
- Form into little patties and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Enjoy in grain/veggie bowls with a sauce, or on a pita with tomatoes, lettuce, and a sauce, such as the lemon tahini sauce from my protein power noodle bowls recipe!
I hope that you enjoy these easy little lentil falafels as much as I do! I’ve been making a batch almost every week and keeping them in the fridge for those instances when a quick protein boost is needed.
If you make these easy baked lentil falafels, leave a comment and rating below. And if you share a photo to Instagram, tag @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen. I love re-gramming your photos in my stories!
Easy Baked Lentil Falafels
Simple oven-baked lentil falafels that are made with pantry ingredients are a great way to boost the nutrition of any meal!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes (not including cooking the lentils)
- Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
- Total Time: 58 minute
- Yield: 12 falafels, or 3–4 servings 1x
- Category: Lunch, Supper
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 1/2 cups cooked French green, brown, beluga, or regular green lentils (from 1 cup dry lentils)
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp-1/2 tsp chili flakes (depending on spice tolerance)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until mostly smooth, but some texture remains. The mixture will be more moist than a typical falafel dough, but this is normal.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form the mixture into 12 patties and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy around the edges.
- Use in bowls, salads, wraps, pita sandwiches, etc.
Keywords: baked falafels, lentil falafels, vegan falafels