Full of flavour and plant-based goodness, these Falafel Bowls make the perfect healthy lunch or dinner meal. They’re simple to make, consisting of easy oven-baked or air fryer chickpea falafels, fibre-rich quinoa, crisp fresh vegetables, a quick lemon tahini sauce and feta cheese. This Falafel Bowl Recipe recipe is vegetarian and can easily be made vegan and gluten-free.

falafel bowl and lemon tahini dressing

As a dietitian, my goal is to share simple and nutritious main dishes for you that are also incredibly tasty. These Fresh and Healthy Falafel Bowls are just that! They come together in about 40 minutes, and are so flavourful and good for you.

What is Falafel?

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish often served on platters or stuffed in pita at Middle Eastern or Mediterranean cuisine. Falafel are patties or balls made out of chickpeas or fava beans (sometimes both), herbs, and spices, and are traditionally deep fried.

It tends to be vegetarian or vegan, with ingredients including chickpeas, fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro or dill, spices like cumin and paprika, and aromatics like onion or shallot and fresh garlic.

Falafel is also a great recipe for experimentation by incorporating various ingredients like different herbs, spices, nuts and seeds, and other legumes like lentils.

falafel bowls with quinoa, vegetables, feta cheese and lemon tahini dressing

Is Falafel Good for You?

Generally speaking, the ingredients in falafel are nutritious and quite healthy for you. However, I did mention that falafel is traditionally prepared by deep frying, which may not be the most beneficial cooking method from a health standpoint. This is because deep frying requires a lot of oil (which is actually healthy in moderation) cooked at very high temperatures. This can lead to the formation of trans fats, which has been associated with higher risk of health outcomes like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.

That being said, we will be baking or air frying our falafel in this recipe, which are more favourable cooking methods for health. So yes! The falafels in this recipe are good for you as they’re a great source of plant-based protein, fibre, and healthy fats.

These Falafel Bowls are also a great balanced meal option, because they offer us protein, fibre-rich carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lots of nourishing vegetables.

Ingredients for These Falafel Quinoa Bowls:

To make these bowls, here’s what you’ll need:

For the Falafels:

  • Canned chickpeas
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Flour
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil for cooking

For the Bowls:

  • Arugula
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Feta cheese
  • Sesame seeds
  • Parsley/cilantro for garnish

For the Lemon Tahini Sauce:

  • Tahini
  • Lemon juice
  • Liquid honey or maple syrup
  • Garlic
  • Water

How to Cook the Chickpea Falafel:

Making the chickpea falafel is actually really simple! Start by combining the falafel ingredients in a high-speed blender of food processor, until the mixture is well-combined but still textured (not a puree).

Next, shape the mixture into patties (about 1 heaping tablespoon per patty). The mixture should make approximately 20 falafel (4-5 per serving).

Brush the uncooked falafel with olive oil, then arrange them evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment or your air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in 2-3 batches.

For oven baking: Bake the falafel at 375F 10-12 minutes, flip the patties, and bake for another 10-12 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside.

For air frying: Air fry the falafel at 375F for 8 minutes, flip the patties, then for another 8 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside.

How to Make Chickpea Falafel Bowls with Lemon Tahini Sauce:

While the falafel cooks, you can prep the vegetables and lemon tahini sauce. To make the sauce, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, liquid honey, and salt. Add water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.

Once the falafel is cooked, you can build the bowls. Start with arugula as the base, add cooked quinoa, chopped cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese and sesame seeds. Finish it off by drizzling on the delicious lemon tahini sauce and serve!

Substitution Suggestions:

Make Vegan Falafel Bowls:

To make them vegan, you can either omit the feta cheese or substitute it for a plant-based feta variety. You can also use maple syrup instead of honey in the tahini sauce.

Make Gluten-Free Falafel Bowls:

To make them totally gluten-free, just use a gluten-free flour (I recommend 1:1 gluten-free flour) instead of all-purpose flour in the falafel.

Storage/Meal Prep Tips:

If you have leftovers, I recommend storing the fresh ingredients separately from the cooked ingredients in the fridge so that you can reheat the cooked ingredients that are meant to be served warm, then combine everything together. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge up to 5 days.

For longer storage, the falafel is freezer-friendly. Store the falafel in an airtight container in the freezer and it should keep for 2-3 months.

This recipe is also great for meal prep! You can batch prep the falafel, bowl ingredients, and sauce to keep on hand for lunch/dinner all week. Or build 4-5 falafel bowl servings at once and store them in individual meal prep containers to grab and go for cold lunches!

falafel bowl and lemon tahini dressing

Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you try it, let me know what you think by leaving a rating and a review in the comments below. Oh, and be sure to take a photo and tag me on @hannahmagee_rd so I can see!

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falafel bowl with quinoa, vegetables, lemon tahini sauce and feta

Fresh and Healthy Falafel Bowls with Easy Lemon Tahini Sauce

Full of flavour and plant-based goodness, these Falafel Bowls make the perfect healthy lunch or dinner meal. They're simple to make, consisting of easy oven-baked or air fryer chickpea falafels, fibre-rich quinoa, crisp fresh vegetables, a quick lemon tahini sauce and feta cheese. This Falafel Bowl Recipe recipe is vegetarian and can easily be made vegan and gluten-free.
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Ingredients

For the Falafel:

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, can sub. with gluten-free flour
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • olive oil, for cooking

For the Bowls:

  • 4-5 cups arugula
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 large cucumber, chopped
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • more cilantro/parsley, for garnish

For the Tahini Lemon Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, (approx 2 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tbsp warm water, to thin

Instructions 

  • Combine the falafel ingredients in a high-speed blender of food processor, until the mixture is well-combined but still textured (not a puree).
  • Shape the mixture into patties (about 1 heaping tablespoon per patty). The mixture should make approximately 20 falafel (4-5 per serving).
  • Brush the patties with olive oil, then arrange them evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment or your air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in 2-3 batches.
  • For oven baking: Bake the falafel at 375F 10-12 minutes, flip the patties, and bake for another 10-12 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside.
    For air frying: Air fry the falafel at 375F for 8 minutes, flip the patties, then for another 8 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside.
  • While the falafel cooks, prep the vegetables and lemon tahini sauce. To make the sauce, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, liquid honey, and salt. Add warm water (up to 6 tbsp) to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.
  • Once the falafel is cooked, build the bowls. Start with arugula as the base, add cooked quinoa, chopped cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese and sesame seeds. Finish it off by drizzling on the delicious lemon tahini sauce and serve!

Notes

How to Store Leftovers:
If you have leftovers, I recommend storing the fresh ingredients separately from the cooked ingredients in the fridge so that you can reheat the cooked ingredients that are meant to be served warm, then combine everything together. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge up to 5 days.
For longer storage, the falafel is freezer-friendly. Store the falafel in an airtight container in the freezer and it should keep for 2-3 months.
Make Vegan Falafel Bowls:
To make them vegan, you can either omit the feta cheese or substitute it for a plant-based feta variety. You can also use maple syrup instead of honey in the tahini sauce.
Make Gluten-Free Falafel Bowls:
To make them totally gluten-free, just use a gluten-free flour (I recommend 1:1 gluten-free flour) instead of all-purpose flour in the falafel.
Did you make this recipe?Be sure to take a photo and tag me at @hannahmagee_rd so I can see!