Homemade vegan falafel dinner (low waste too!)

Last night we had homemade falafels, hummus, tahini dressing with pita bread, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Sooo yummy.  And a big green salad.

I adapted the Minimalist Baker’s recipe for the falafels & tahini dressing, used Love & Lemon’s recipe for the hummus, and loosely adapted Cookie & Kate’s recipe for a quick pickled onion.

It was all so dang good.  

And it was almost totally plastic free.  The pita bread came in a plastic bag, which we add to a bag of bags & eventually recycle.  The tahini sauce comes in a metal container with a small plastic lid.  I’ve also gotten it in a glass jar but that also often has a small piece of plastic around the lid.  

You could make your own tahini with sesame seeds from bulk & sesame oil (which we can’t get in bulk but do have in a glass container).

And we could’ve used chickpeas from bulk bins but just used canned instead.  Cans are fairly valuable recyclables, so I don’t feel guilty about that convenience.

Okay, onward to the recipes!

ALSO – a shopping list is at the end of this recipe.  You’re welcome 😊.

Baked Falafels 

(adapted from Minimalist Baker’s recipe):

-1 can of chickpeas

-1/3 c fresh chopped parsley

-4 cloves of garlic, minced

-2 medium shallots (I used 3/4c chopped white onion instead)

-2T raw sesame seeds

-1.5t cumin

-1/4t each salt & pepper

-3-4T flour

-oil for coating baking sheet & brushing on falafels

Preheat oven to 400F

Step 1: Add everything except the flour & oil to a food processor or blender & mix until you get a crumbly dough.

Step 2: Slowly add flour, 1T at a time, until your dough starts to stick together & can be formed into patties without being super sticky.

Step 3: Brush a large baking sheet with olive oil.  Form dough into same-sized flat patties (you decide how large or small you’d like them).  Place the patties onto the baking sheet & brush a little oil over the top of each pattie.

Step 4: Bake until golden brown on bottom (about 5-7 minutes, depending on the size), then carefully flip the patties & bake about 5 more minutes.


(Based on Love & Lemons)

They call it “the BEST” and I’d have to agree it’s pretty dang good!


-1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed (they cooked their own, but we took the shortcut!)

-⅓ cup tahini

-2T olive oil

-2T (or more) fresh lemon juice

-1 clove of garlic

-½ t salt

-5T (or more) water for blending

-(optional) paprika and/or parsley for garnish

Step 1: Add everything except the water & garnishes to a high speed blender & blend.

Step 2: Add water, a little at a time, until you get the smoothness you want.

Step 3: Transfer to a bowl, add optional garnishes.  Done!

So yummy!  I need to remember to make this every week but I never do.

Tahini dressing

(From Minimalist Baker)


-⅓ c tahini

-about 3T lemon juice

-1-2T maple syrup

-pinch of sea salt

-(optional) minced garlic – I always leave this out due to laziness, but it’s probably delish.

-water to thin

Step 1: put all ingredients except water in a bowl, whisk until smooth.

Step 2: add water slowly until you get the desired consistency (I like it thin enough to drizzle over the pitas).

Quick pickled onions:

(From Cookie + Kate)


-½ or more of an onion (white or red, whichever you have on hand will work), thinly sliced

-1/2c water

-1/4c white vinegar

-1/4c apple cider vinegar (or more white vinegar, if you don’t have apple cider vinegar)

-1.5T maple syrup or agave

-1.5t salt

Step 1: put everything in a small pot & heat until it simmers.  NOTE: I forgot to do this step, and they still turned out delish, so in a pinch, just put everything straight into a jar.

Step 2: add the onions & liquid mixture to a jar, let sit for about 30 minutes.

Putting it all together

We toasted the pita bread & then put the falafels in the pitas with hummus, chopped cucumbers/lettuce/tomatoes/olives & pickled onions, then drizzled the tahini on top.

So yummy!  This meal is a new go-to in our weekly meal plan.

Here’s your low waste, plant-based shopping list:

Dry goods

-Pita bread

-2 cans chickpeas


-black olives






-red or white onions (optional: shallots too)




-maple syrup or agave

-white vinegar

-apple cider vinegar

-sesame seeds


-Salt & pepper

-olive oil


Most of this should be available plastic-free in a local store (New Leaf & Staff of Life in Santa Cruz, for example), either in bulk or a recyclable can &/or glass jar.  Pita bread is the one ingredient that you might end up getting in a plastic bag.

Let me know if you make this too!



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