The Best Falafel Recipe – Quinoa Crusted Lentil Falafels

The Best Falafel Recipe – Quinoa Crusted Lentil Falafels

Crusty on the outside with a subtle crunch of toasted quinoa and sesame seeds; soft, moist and bursting with flavours and texture on the inside, this is the best falafel for the ultimate pita party feast.

Say goodbye to dry and boring falafels and “Hello” to an upgraded and healthy makeover of the Middle Eastern food gem. In fact, I used to be the victim of dry falafels that taste just like spiced ground chickpea balls. Unless dunk in sauce or marginalised by a giant load of salad, those falafel pitas were not a nice experience.

This led to fact no. 2: it was so long ago that I can’t recall when I had last ordered falafel from Maoz or anywhere else. More often, I would use chickpeas for hummus or fritters (trust me, you’d want to check these recipes out!)

However, it’s time for falafels to take back the limelight!

So what makes it better?

The basic ingredients have not changed (chickpeas rule!) but just by adding a few simple new ingredients, we can move from average to great falafels. The secrets are: cooked lentils, avocado, toasted quinoa, and sesame seeds.

Plus, no deep-frying is involved, just healthy falafels in its true sense. We’ll pan fry these babes, or if you prefer, bake them in the oven with some added steam to retain moisture.

Quinoa Crusted Lentil Falafels with sweet potato chips

What makes it best?

To kick the whole game up another notch, let me present you with 2 choices of awesome dipping sauces:

  • Tahini Greek Yogurt Dip, perfect to pair with baked sweet potato chips
  •  Sweet & Spicy Tahini Date & Sriracha Sauce, the ultimate sauce for baked potato chips

You see how the sauces and chips are curated for the perfect balance? Sweet potatoes are in nature already sweet and thus are paired with the nuttiness and creaminess of Tahini & Yogurt combo. Potatoes are blander in taste and thus elevated with the caramel sweetness of dates and spiciness of sriracha.

Pick your (final) battle

Eat your falafels “nude”, in pita, subs, burger, on rice, or dans salade – the choices are many! Load up your favourite greens, snugs these falafels in, drizzle the sauce on and enjoy!

My final tip: double the batch and store the remaining in your freezer. They might save your day and/or evening more often than you would expect.

Quinoa Crusted Lentil Falafels with 2 amazing Tahini Sauces
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Crusty on the outside with a subtle crunch of toasted quinoa and sesame seeds, douce, moist and bursting with flavours and texture on the inside. Served with Tahini Greek Yogurt Sauce and Sweet Potato Chips; or Sweet & Spicy Date Sriracha Tahini Sauce and Potato Chips, your pita party may begin!
Calories: 285 kcal
Author: H.P.
For the falafels
  • 1 can ~265gr chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
  • 100 gr dry green or red lentils
  • 10-15 gr tahini
  • ½ avocado ~40gr, mashed
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium shallot ~40gr, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ~ 2gr salt
  • 3 tbsp 5-7gr chopped coriander
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil for frying OR add to the mixture
  • 3-4 tbsp ~30-40gr chickpea (gram) flour
For Quinoa Sesame Crust
  • 50 gr quinoa
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
Tahini Yogurt Dipping Sauce
  • ½ cup ~80gr Greek Yogurt OR non-dairy yogurt for vegans
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp harissa paste OR sriracha sauce
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 1-2 tbsp minced coriander
  • Salt to taste
Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Date Tahini Sauce
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2-3 fresh dates OR soaked medjool **
  • 3 tbsp ~45ml coconut milk
  • 1 clove garlic OR ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 5 gr ginger grated OR ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ~ 12ml sriracha sauce
  • 20 ml apple cider vinegar OR 1 lime juiced
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 50-60 ml water to thin
Make falafels
  1. Cook dry lentils according to instruction, drained. Takes 20-25mins
  2. In the meantime, rinse and toast quinoa seeds in a pan on medium heat until they become dry and toasted. Set aside
  3. Once lentils are cooked, put all ingredients in a food processor
  4. Pulse until everything is combined but still in coarse texture
  5. Transfer in a large mixing bowl
  6. Add more chickpea flour one tablespoon at a time if mixture is too wet.
  7. If too dry, add another ½ avocado OR ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  8. Shape into balls, between 12-15 pieces depending on size preference
  9. Flatten them a bit
  10. Mix toasted quinoa seeds with sesame seeds (*)
  11. Coat both sides of falafels in the seeds
  12. Cook in pan for 3-4 mins per side until golden OR bake at 180C for 18-20mins
Tahini Yogurt Dipping Sauce
  1. Mix everything in a bowl
  2. Garnish with sesame seeds & chopped coriander
Tahini Yogurt Dipping Sauce
  1. In a blender or food processor, blend everything until smooth
  2. The sauce should have similar runniness as tahini
  3. Garnish with sesame seeds & chopped coriander
Recipe Notes

• (*)You can you either toasted or untoasted sesame. They cook up pretty quickly on pan/in oven. I like pre-toasting quinoa as it usually takes longer to be cooked. It also adds extra nuttiness crust
• (**) If use dry/medjool dates, soak in hot water for 10-15mins. This step is not required if used fresh dates

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size piece
Servings Per Container 3

Amount Per Serving
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 96.3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.7g 16%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 6.8g 27%
Sugars 1,4g
Protein 13.5g 27%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.