Oven Baked Falafel With Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce

July 13, 2017

In this recipe, you’re about to discover the legit way of making falafel. A healthy, oven-baked version. Topped with an easy-to-make vegan cashew cheese sauce. When combined with lots of different veggies, it all forms into a heavenly delicious and satisfying falafel bowl. Oh, yes.

I’ve been wanting to post an oven-baked falafel recipe for a long time. When I finally got myself together, did the shopping and had the final coffee break just before getting to baking, something unexpected happened.

As I was searching the web looking for the final notes of the best flavors to add, I realized that the whole time I was making the falafel, I was doing it the WRONG way. And who’s the one to blame? Canned chickpeas!

I’ve always been using canned chickpeas for making the falafel. The falafels always came out on the gooey side, but I thought that’s the way it is. Period. But it turns out that you must use dry chickpeas and soak them in water for at least 12 hours. And they’re ready to be falafel-ized! You don’t even have to cook them in hot water.

After baking the legit-made falafels in the oven, they came out incredibly crisp from the outside and soft on the inside. And la grand finale comes with the rich and creamy cashew cheese sauce.

On top of everything, this recipe is healthy and nutritious. The traditional way of making the falafels is by frying them in tons of oil. But an oven baked version makes the falafel magic happen without all the added fat. And as for the chickpeas, they’re loaded with fiber and protein which will keep your gut happy and your muscles pumpin’.

Yes, you can make this recipe with canned chickpeas. But you might want to add some flour (preferably chickpea or oat flour) to hold the mixture together. However, be prepared that these falafels won’t be as crisp as the ones made from dried and soaked chickpeas.

Lastly, big thanks to Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes who told me the truth about canned chickpeas and inspired me to make this recipe. 🙂

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Oven Baked Falafel With Cashew Cheese Sauce

Makes 12 falafel

Ingredients

For the falafel:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water for at least 12 hours (or up to 24 hours)
  • 1 heaping cup fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for baking

For vegan cheese sauce:

  • 1/3 cup cashews soaked in water overnight (or in hot water for 20 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (or other mustard)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

For serving:

  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • tomatoes
  • avocado
  • spring onions
  • corn
  • carrots
  • any other veggies that you like

Directions:

  1. Start by making the falafels. Drain and wash the soaked chickpeas. Roughly chop the onion and garlic cloves. In a food processor, add all the ingredients for falafel (except the oil, that’s for baking).
  2. Pulse the mixture until it easily comes together and is formable. It’s ok if it’s a little crumbly and it should be a bit wet. You might need to use a spatula to scoop the sides off. If you’re having a hard time getting the mixture to come together (it also depends on your chickpea brand), pulse the mixture for some extra time. Also chilling the mixture in the fridge for about 30 min before forming also helps.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C, lay a tray with a baking paper and sprinkle it with a tbsp of olive oil. With wet hands, form 12 falafel patties and lay them on the baking paper. Gently brush them with the remaining tbsp of olive oil. Bake the falafels for 15 minutes, then flip them and bake for 10 more minutes until both sides are golden.
  4. While the falafels are baking, make the cheese sauce. In a food processor or blender, add the soaked cashews, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, 1 tsp of each sea salt, garlic powder, Dijon mustard and 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric. Blend until you get a smooth sauce. Adjust the spices to your taste if needed.

P.S. If you love this cheese sauce, check out other vegan cheese goodness like vegan cream cheese and vegan mac and cheese!

12 Vegan Substitutes

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baked vegan falafel 2

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4 Comments

  • Reply daniella August 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Is it really 200 degrees in the oven? Mine did not cook crisp at that temp and were very crumbly. I want to try again, maybe I needed to blend the ingredients a little finer.

    • Reply The Thriving Vegan August 1, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Sorry to hear about your issue, Daniella! Yes, the oven should be at 200 Celsius (I hope you didn’t set it at 200 Fahrenheit because that would be way too low!). The raw falafel mixture should come together when pressed between fingers, however, it could be a bit crumbly because of the soaked chickpeas. Mine was a bit crumbly when raw, but when I formed the patties and baked them, they held together perfectly. You can try to blend ingredients a bit finer, that could definitely help. If it still doesn’t hold together, the last thing you can do is add chickpea flour (or any other flour) or flax egg (1 tbsp of ground flax seeds combined with 3 tbsp of water). Really hope the falafel works out next time. Good luck, Daniella! Please let me know how it goes. 🙂

  • Reply Nsncy August 22, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Also chill for a half hr or more before forming ❤️

    • Reply The Thriving Vegan August 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Yes, chilling the dough is helpful! I’ll add this to the recipe. Thanks for bringing it up! 🙂

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