As my littlest one has firmly entered the finger foods stage and almost always insists on feeding herself, I’ve been trying new recipes with her in mind—like this Baked Falafel Recipe. There are lentils and carrots tucked inside and the patties are easy for her to self-feed for a nicely balanced mix of ingredients. Plus, the rest of the family likes them too!
Easy Baked Falafel Recipe
I played around with this idea for the past few weeks and seriously streamlined the method. I also adjusted my original plan so that these are nut, egg, and dairy free. And while you do need to use the food processor to grind up the batter, the recipe comes together entirely in the food processor and then the cooking method is hands off so you can go play with the kids while dinner cooks.
We like these vegetarian burgers on rolls, alongside a grain (like rice or quinoa) or even as a snack on their own. And I like to send one, diced, in the baby’s lunch to her sitter’s when there are leftovers—or add a few to a spinach salad for myself. Lentils are such a budget-friendly source of protein but some babies and toddlers have a hard time picking them up. These falafel patties solve that problem!
I often make these in the morning and let them sit in the fridge all day. They are totally fine after a quick reheat in the oven or microwave. (They can get pretty soft when reheating, so err on the side of less time reheating, especially if using the microwave.)
Nutrition: This Baked Falafel recipe has fiber, protein, iron, and B vitamins from the lentils and Vitamins A and C from the carrots.
These have the flavors of traditional falafel, but are made with iron-rich lentils. They’re a nice vegetarian main dish option.
- 2 cups fully cooked lentils
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and coat a baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Place all ingredients except the flour and breadcrumbs into a food processor. Process until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container as needed, for about 1 minute.
- Pulse in the flour just to combine.
- Place breadcrumbs into a bowl. Use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to measure the batter into balls. (The batter will be very moist.) Use your finger to push out each portion of batter into the breadcrumbs. Coat each ball of batter in the breadcrumbs and flatten slightly. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with rolls, with a side of rice or another grain, or over a salad for mom and dad.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve.
You can cook the lentils from dry yourself or purchase fully cooked ones from your supermarket.
The batter is very moist, but coating it in breadcrumbs helps make it possible to flatten it into a disc. You may need to wash your hands halfway through making.
Serve with a favorite dipping sauce like Tahini or ketchup.
To make gluten-free, use gluten-free cup for cup flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs.