Falafel has been a longtime favourite of mine and something I've made a lot of in the past, but I never thought to make a falafel burger. I'm so glad I did and created these delicious and easy falafel burgers. These vegan falafel burgers are grain free, packed with fibre and contain tons of fresh herbs. The herbs provide all the flavour and also help make the falafel bright green too.
This post is sponsored by Unbun Foods. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
As someone who is a self-professed foodie, I love taking recipes and finding subtle ways to add a nutrition boost along the way. A lot of times, that means using high quality ingredients. If I'm purchasing a product, I make it a point to scan the ingredients list. It doesn't mean that I'm obsessed with food or nutrition, but it's something that's important to me. So when it comes to which buns to use for your falafel burger, the choices are endless.
One of my favourite products for buns is Unbun, simply because the ingredients are great and they taste really good! They won't fall apart on you, and they're not crumbly like a lot of other gluten-free or grain-free products. So, if you're looking to use a really high quality burger bun and also want it to be delicious, definitely check them out.
You can also see how I used their pizza crust previously, on this vegan mushroom pizza with creamy roasted garlic sauce!
If you need to follow a gluten free diet, I highly recommend Unbuns. Again, not only do they taste really good and have a great texture, they're made with high quality ingredients too. They also keep expanding their product line and now have Unbaguettes as well!
And, if you follow a vegan diet, they make plant based Unbuns, which is what I used for these falafel burgers.
Check out the range of products here.
When it comes to making falafel, or a falafel burger, there are a few things I've found essential to making them hold together and taste amazing.
I've found that using dry chickpeas soaked in water overnight provide the right texture. When you use the cooked ones, the falafel is a bit more mushy and doesn't hold together as well. The starch and firmness adds texture. So long as you remember to soak your chickpeas overnight, this recipe is easy to whip up.
This is what will give you lots of flavour and also provide that beautiful green colour to your falafel. For this recipes, I used a mix of cilantro, parsley and mint. If you don't like one of the herbs, simply take it out and use more of the other one. I really enjoy the flavour that all three provides, but make it your own!
It's really important to refrigerate the falafel mix before forming it into a falafel burger. This helps them hold together. You could even make these ahead of time and let them sit in your fridge for a whole day. Try and let them refrigerate for at least one hour.
When you take the dough out of the fridge and prepare them into patties, you may find the dough is still a little wet. If it feels too wet, add more chickpea flour. If the dough feels too dry (usually not the case, but it could happen) add a little bit more lemon juice. I usually end up adding a few teaspoons more of chickpea flour.
If you're like me, you want to have options for everything. This recipe makes a large batch, so you could always make some into falafel burgers, and others into regular falafel patties. And depending on your needs, you could either, pan-fry them as I did for the falafel burger, bake them in the oven or fry them in a heat stable oil, such as avocado oil.
If you'd like to pan fry them as I did for the vegan falafel burgers, I like to use a cast iron pan and a teaspoon or so of avocado oil. Form them into patties and cook over medium-high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. If you want them crispy on the sides as well, do so after you've cooked both sides. Pan frying is great when you still want that crispy outside and softer inside, but don't want to fry them. When pan frying, you'll want to make them into small patties (or larger like the burger) but not into round balls (that only works with frying).
When baking these falafel burgers, or falafel bites, baking is another great option. I'd suggest baking them on an oiled/greased pan at 375ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping carefully halfway through. If you do bake them, they will get a little crispy on the outside, but not as much as you get from pan-frying or frying, obviously. They are still delicious! Keep them as patties, rather than balls as they won't work if you try to bake them like that.
I'll be honest, frying things kind of scared me and I was a little hesitant to do it. But, I really wanted to see how they'd turn out and I'm happy I did. They're a lot easier than I had thought! I filled a small saucepan with about an inch or so of avocado oil and formed the falafel into balls and went to town. Use two forks to carefully flip them after two minutes and cook the other side. Then carefully remove with two forks and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Frying isn't nearly as scary as I thought! I don't have a thermometer to test the oil, so I just did it over medium-high heat, but if you do have a thermometer, it should be between 350ºF and 375ºF.
These are best served and eaten right away. You can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat on the pan over medium heat for a few minutes.
If you make a falafel burger and want to go the traditional route, I highly recommend using Unbun for your burger buns.
If you decide to make them into smaller balls, you could serve them up in a variety of ways.
As a Salad Topper: I love serving them on top of some massaged kale leaves along with the beet tahini dressing on top. You can see how I make the beet tahini and kale salad on this post!
On a Baguette: You could also use the Unbaguettes and make a tasty sandwich. A slather of the beet tahini dressing, pickled onion, sliced cucumber would all be great additions to a sandwich.
On Their Own: I love serving them with some hummus and more beet tahini and just eating them on their own too. You could serve them with some side salads and make it a full meal too.
This recipe makes about 7-8 burgers and about 18-20 falafel balls.
I was inspired by Downshiftology for this falafel recipe.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.
Tasty, easy and healthy vegan falafel burgers with beet tahini dressing!
For the burgers
For Pan Frying Burgers
For the burgers, I used thinly sliced cucumber, pickled red onion, cilantro and the beet tahini dressing for topping.
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