Spinach Chickpea Falafel with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

It’s green recipe time!! Looking ahead at my calendar for the next few posts, I may or may not have at least two more dishes that are gorgeously green. Just like these spinach chickpea falafel!

Mayyyybe I should have posted some of them before St. Paddy’s Day. But. My mind is solely focused on all things spring. And spring = green. Truth.

Fresh, simple and packed with flavor, these spinach chickpea falafel are hard to resist! Serve with lemon greek yogurt sauce for a perfect pairing!

Anyway. Let’s talk about today’s recipe specifically. After a slightly ridiculous amount of time spent debating over what I should name these, I decided to go with falafel. Since they are definitely falafel-ish. And yet also fritter-ish … and burger-ish … and patty-ish. Okay I’m stopping now. But you catch my drift. Call them whatever you would like. Anything goes.

So the idea for these falafel (?) came after I had some totally awesome fried spinach chickpea fritters at a restaurant. They were soooo good. But umm, also super fried. So I decided to health-ify them up and make my own version at home!

Which brings us back to these bad boys. Which, while they may have a semi-long title, I promise are not hard at all to pull together. Everything just gets pulsed together in your food processor, mixed up with some flour and egg, and then formed into patties.

We cook them up until the outside is nice and crisp (but the inside is still soft and moist!) and then serve with some creamy lemon yogurt sauce for dipping / smearing. {I might also insist that you serve with some roasted veggies on the side. Best. Dinner.}

Fresh, simple and packed with flavor, these spinach chickpea falafel are hard to resist! Serve with lemon greek yogurt sauce for a perfect pairing!

Now, a few tips and tricks!

Spinach Chickpea Falafel!

  1. Make sure that you really squeeze the spinach dry before adding to the food processor.
  2. If desired, you could absolutely shape the falafel into smaller-sized patties.
  3. Don’t skip the cornmeal! It gives the exterior of the falafel this extra bit of crisp / crunchiness! I’m pretty sure that I saw Giada do this cornmeal trick on an episode of her show, but I may be wrong there. Don’t quote me on it.

Fresh, simple and packed with flavor, these spinach chickpea falafel are hard to resist! Serve with lemon greek yogurt sauce for a perfect pairing!

And then, when you are ready to enjoy …. we dip, I dip, you dip! Anddd now I have that song stuck in my head. You too? You’re welcome.

Yield: about 12 patties

Spinach Chickpea Falafel with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time:20 minutes

Cook Time:20 minutes

Total Time:40 minutes

Fresh, simple and packed with flavor, these spinach chickpea falafel are hard to resist! Serve with lemon greek yogurt sauce for a perfect pairing!

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • juice of ½ a medium lemon
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of pepper

For the falafel:

  • ¼ cup cornmeal, divided
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • juice of ½ a medium lemon
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ⅓ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • olive oil or grapeseed oil, for cooking

Directions:

For the sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste and season with additional salt / pepper if needed. Set aside.

For the falafel:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal. Set aside.
  2. To the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas, green onions, parsley, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and finely chopped. Add the spinach to the bowl and pulse until combined and the mixture starts to pull together into a sort of large clump (scraping the bowl as needed). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add in the flour, salt and pepper. Mix until combined and the flour is mostly absorbed, then taste and season with additional salt / pepper as needed. Add in the egg and mix again until well combined (if the mixture is too wet to form into patties, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Don’t add too much, or you’ll dry out the burgers!).
  3. Scoop about ¼ cup of the mixture and form into a patty (about 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter). Place on the cornmeal dusted baking sheet. Once all the patties are on the baking sheet, sprinkle the tops with the remaining cornmeal.
  4. Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in some oil (once the oil is hot, you want there to be enough so that there is a very very thin layer in the bottom of the pan). When hot, add in as many patties as will comfortably fit. Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until browned and crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat for all the patties.
  5. Serve with the yogurt sauce for dipping!

I try to use as little oil as possible when cooking the patties in the skillet. Exactly how much you need will depend on the size of your pan. I use about 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil total in my large skillet (that fits about 6 patties at a time). I add 2 tablespoons initially and then 1 more after the first batch.

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