This Vegan Gluten-Free Baked Falafel recipe is full of flavor and easy to make, with chickpeas, spinach, parsley, cilantro onion, garlic, cumin, paprika and gluten-free flour. No dairy, not deep fried, and served with a creamy Tahini sauce!

Vegan falafel on a white plate

Vegan, Gluten-Free Baked Falafel is a scrumptious healthy version of traditional classic falafel. Spinach leaves were added to boost their nutritional value. Baked falafel is so tasty you won’t miss the fried version.

Other baked not deep-fried treats that I like are my, Air Fryer Falafel Salad Bowl,   Broccoli Fritters, and my Cauliflower Hash Brown recipe. 

When we lived in Virginia, there were a few places in Fredericksburg that sold the best falafel ever, one, in particular, Smyrna Meditteranean Cafe, the owner used the olive oil that was imported from his family farm back in Greece. The local hospital would send their cardiac patients to his restaurant. I bought his olive oil and it was so fruity and delicious, none like I had tasted before.

At the time time, I never thought about making my own but as time moved on I wanted to recreate the same flavorful falafel and I believe that this recipe is amazing. The only difference, I used canned chickpeas, gluten-free flour and I added spinach.

falafel on a white plate

What is Falafel? How is it made?

It originated from Egypt before spreading to the Middle East. It became a popular street food there, then spread worldwide because of its versatility, and is now very popular as a substitute for other unhealthy street and fast food. Nowadays through migration, falafel is found here in the USA and in Europe.

In some countries like Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Israel falafel balls may be topped with hummus, tahini sauce, and amba sauce.  They are often served in lava bread (which is similar to a tortilla) along with salad greens and tomato slices.  Falafel can also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze platter.

It is common for falafel to be eaten alongside fried eggplant and/or fresh vegetables such as hummus, and tabouli salad.


  • Chickpeas – I used can however if you are using dried chickpeas. Sort and soak chickpeas for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Add chickpeas, cover with about 4 inches of water above the chickpeas. Bring to a boil. reduce heat to simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. See More How To Cook Chickpeas.
  • Garlic – adds flavor
  • Parsley and Cilantro Leaves – I love the flavor combo of parsley and cilantro, you can use both or your favorite herb here.
  • Spinach leaves – added for an extra boost of nutrients. 
  • Spices – cumin, paprika, cayenne are sure to pack a flavor punch. 
  • Sea salt – or Kosher salt.
  • Gluten-free flour – added to hold the batter together. If you are gluten-free any gluten-free flour can be used or substitute all-purpose flour.
  • Olive oil – for spraying or brushing on the patties

straight on photo of falafels on a plate


How To Make Falafel

  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Place the drained chickpeas in a large mixing bowl and mash well using a fork or your hands. You may use hands to have an even smoother texture for this recipe. You can also use a food processor if you want, but make sure you don’t over-process them or they’ll become too moist. The optimal consistency should be when you can form small patties out of them easily.
  • To the mashed up chickpea add chopped onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, spinach, spices (including salt), flour and olive oil. Mix well until thoroughly combined then let it rest for 10 minutes to allow gluten-free flour to absorb some of the moisture of the veggies.

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Vegan Gluten Free Baked Falafel

This Vegan, Gluten-Free Baked Falafel recipe is full of flavor and easy to make, with chickpeas, spinach, parsley, cilantro onion, garlic, cumin, paprika and gluten-free flour. No dairy, not deep fried, and served with a creamy Tahini sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: falafel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 falafels
Calories: 114kcal


  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 cup spinach leaves loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Tahini Sauce
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons water lukewarm
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground allspice


  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper, grease or spray with oil, and set aside.
  • Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, spinach, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt in a food processor.
  • Pulse until well blended. Add gluten-free flour and pulse.
  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl and form into a large ball.
  • Take pieces and shape into balls and then flatten to 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Place patties on baking sheet, brush with oil.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway or until golden brown.
  • Delicious served with tahini sauce, recipe below!
  • Combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, allspice and salt in a bowl, stirring to form a thick creamy sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 893IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg