Make Ahead

Quinoa and Chickpea Flour Falafel with Romesco Sauce

March 19, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Lindsey Love
  • Makes 32 falafels
Author Notes

Falafel may be one of the most versatile and customizable foods out there. Take the many variations—on the web and in various cookbooks—as proof. Some recipes use cooked millet, others are pulsed with kale or are made with beans other than chickpeas, and some are baked rather than fried.

This basic falafel is my favorite: It has the perfect balance of flavors and spices, holds together without being mushy or moist, and incorporates toasted chickpea flour to both bind the falafel and impart a nutty flavor. —Lindsey S. Love | Dolly and Oatmeal

What You'll Need
  • For the romesco sauce:
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • For the falafel:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup whole mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup parsley, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour, toasted*
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea sat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  1. For the romesco sauce:
  2. Turn oven to broil and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the peppers on the baking sheet and broil, turning over every 30 seconds, until skins are blackened in spots. Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Peel the peppers’ skins with your fingers.
  4. Cut the peppers, removing the white ribs and seeds; then rinse and pat dry. Place the peppers, garlic, oil, hazelnuts, tahini, vinegar, paprika, salt, and cayenne (if using) in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. (Rinse food processor and set aside.)
  1. For the falafel:
  2. Cook the quinoa with 1 cup of water for 12 to 14 minutes, until cooked and water has evaporated; set aside. Meanwhile, fill a small saucepan three-quarters of the way with water, add the mung beans and bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender and doubled in size; drain any remaining water and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water; let mixture sit for 10 minutes, until thick.
  4. In the food processor, add the cooked quinoa, mung beans, flaxseed mixture, parsley, flour, shallots, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and spices. Blend until thoroughly combined; taste for salt and lemon and adjust if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the sesame seeds; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  6. Pinch off golf ball–size pieces of mixture and roll between palms to shape into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheets and repeat.
  7. Lightly brush the tops and bottoms of the falafel with oil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and flipping falafels over halfway through the baking time.
  8. Serve warm with romesco sauce and garnish with parsley.
  9. *To toast the chickpea flour. Place 1 cup of chickpea flour in a large skillet, turn the heat to medium, and stir. Keep stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, until the flour is lightly browned and has a nutty fragrance. Place in a bowl or on a plate and let it cool at room temperature. Store toasted chickpea flour in an airtight container at room temperature if not using right away.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Synky
  • Mayra
  • I_Fortuna
  • Olivia Behaegel
    Olivia Behaegel
  • M.L.
Lindsey S. Love is a food blogger living in Brooklyn, NY with her husband. Her cooking and baking focus on healthful gluten free and dairy free, with occasional vegan recipes. You can follow her at for additional recipes.

11 Reviews

Lauren February 4, 2019
These turned out quite bland. The flavor was flat overall; both the falafels and the sauce. I also did not care for the slightly gritty texture the mung beans provided. They baked up fine and held together well, but were not worth the effort. I would not make these again.
Synky November 23, 2017
Great recipe, so much better than store bought falafal mix. The sauce is amazing, though I mixed in some tomatoes to take the edge off the peppers (pepper sauces tend to be too much for our children). I made this tonight, proportions and quantities are perfect.
Terri May 25, 2017
I'm going to give this recipe a try! I once left mung beans cooking on low for a few hours when I got called into an emergency at work. They were complete mush when I returned so I used them as a base for falafel. The best falafel I've ever had. I think I'll go with an actual recipe this time though.
Mayra March 5, 2017
Hi there, the falafel ingredient list as a typo: 2 teaspoons sea sat (missing an L). Please delete this comment later ;)

Mayra March 5, 2017
and my comment Has a typo too :(
sally May 2, 2016
May I use chai seeds instead of flax
I_Fortuna May 2, 2016
I wouldn't use chia, they get jelly-like when moist. Also, flax seed meal (different texture from flax seeds) has a lot of antioxidants in it so it is healthy too. : )
I_Fortuna April 6, 2016
I love this recipe. I am not sure if toasting the chickpea flour is necessary since the falafel are cooked anyway. Mung beans are so nutritious. I like how they are used here, never thought of it.
Olivia B. March 25, 2016
This is so genius. The chickpea flour, the flax egg, that sauce, ... can't wait to try it out!
M.L. March 21, 2016
what can i use in place of mung beans?
Lindsey S. March 21, 2016
You could most likely use lentils or any other cooked bean. Hope that's helpful!