Southwestern Baked Falafels with Corn & Black Beans

These crunchy southwestern baked falafels are packed with corn, black beans, cilantro and lime!

What did the sick chickpea say to the doctor? I falafel!

Ohmygosh, that was really bad.  I am going to admit right off the bat on this one…I totally have writer’s block and just Googled ‘falafel joke’.  Booooo.

I would like to call ‘baby brain’ today.  I haven’t claimed ‘baby brain’ in at least….a week or so.  I can’t remember.  Baby brain.

Baby brain is about 1000 times worse than pregnancy brain. I forget basic words, I have left my keys in the door on multiple occasions.  And don’t even get me started on the grocery store.  Not on the list?  Not coming home {not even a fraction of a chance}.  On the list?  It might make it.  But probably not.

So I hope you forgive me for not having a witty story on how I came up with this baked falafel recipe idea.  I can’t really remember, it just kind of happened.

 Southwestern Baked Falafels with Corn & Black Beans

Southwestern Baked Falafels with Corn & Black Beans

Unfortunately these falafels had to ‘happen’ about five times before I could get them right.

For awhile there, we were up to our eyeballs in baked falafels…dry, chalky ones, dry, crumbly ones, overly-salty ones…Ben was begging me to give up on this recipe.

The thing is…I’m incredibly stubborn.  I could tell these guys had potential and was determined to see it through!  And I’m so glad I did, because the final product is a falafel that had Ben consuming pretty much the entire batch.  I was only able to get my hands on 3 of them, but I can tell you:  they are great!

I thought baked falafels couldn’t have a crispy outside.  Wrong.  Do you want to know my secret?  Dried chickpeas!
Southwestern Baked Falafels with Corn & Black Beans

I am so lazy.  So the thought of having to soak my chickpeas made me unhappy.  But, as it turns out, soaking your chickpeas is really no big deal.  Cover one cup of dried chickpeas with about 3 cups of water, cover, and place in the fridge overnight.  Total effort of less than a minute.  When you are ready to get cooking, drain and rinse…you should end up with almost 2 cups of chickpeas.

I’m telling you now: this extra step makes all.  the.  difference.  The dried chickpeas are essential for the perfect falafel texture.  And falafels are all about texture, right?

Since I’ve never worked with dried chickpeas before, I thought they seemed a lot more firm than the canned ones.  As in “oh my gosh, these falafels are going to be horrible’ kind of firm.

And then, when I scooped the falafels onto the cookie tray, they seemed more crumbly than their canned-chickpea counterparts.  But something magical happened in that oven.  The falafels became crispy {crispy!!!} on the outside.  Tender on the inside.  Magic I tell you!

Southwestern Baked Falafels with Corn & Black Beans

These baked falafels are a tasty, healthy, protein-packed snack.  The lime and black beans bring a fun southwestern sort of flavor to these guys while the corn brings a sweet burst to the mix.  Cayenne brings a real slight spice.  Feel free to up the cayenne if you want spicy falafels!

The best part: there is no oil in this recipe! That means no scary pot of hot oil, no splattering, and {in my case}, no risk of burning your house down!

These guys are best served straight from the oven, with a big old dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

The falafel mix comes together in 10 or so minutes, and they bake for 20 minutes, which makes this a super fast and super easy recipe to whip up.

Which is good, because with my baby brain, I probably couldn’t focus on anything more complicated these days 😉

More high protein snacks for us!

Southwestern Baked Falafels with Corn & Black Beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These chunky falafels are packed with chickpeas, corn and black beans.
Serves: 18
  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked at least 12 hours, drained, and rinsed
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • zest from half a lime (~1 tsp)
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup corn
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • Greek yogurt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine chickpeas and lime juice in a food processor and blend until chickpeas are coarse and mealy (they shouldn't form a paste).
  3. In a large bowl, mix chickpeas with remaining ingredients until completely combined.
  4. Form falafel balls with 1.5 tablespoons of mixture and placed on a cookie sheet lined with a greased sheet of parchment or silicone baking mat. *they may seem crumbly; press together gently. They will firm up in the oven.*
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned on top.
  6. Serve immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt, or other dipping sauce.

Adapted from Epicurious

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