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Gluten-Free Vegan Falafel Bowls

Crispy Quinoa Falafel Bowls (Gluten-Free, Nut-Free & Vegan)

  • Total Time: 48 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 bowls 1x


This crispy quinoa bowl is super flavorful with lightly pan-fried falafel, creamy hummus and crunchy veggies.

Parts of this recipe can be prepped ahead of time if desired.  Falafel, crispy quinoa and hummus can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.


Units Scale

For the falafel (makes 18-19 falafel balls, you can use 5-6 falafel per bowl... or more!)

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1, 15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, rinsed and mostly dried (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (large, tough stems removed)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (large, tough stems removed)
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons certified gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil for pan frying (2-3 tablespoons per batch)

For the bowl (makes one bowl)

  • 2 cups mixed greens (or chopped romaine)
  • 2 cups crispy quinoa* (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced cucumber, skin peeled if desired
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup creamy homemade hummus
  • optional add-ons: thinly sliced red onion, avocado, fresh parsley, mint and/or cilantro, squeeze of fresh lemon juice


  1. In a food processor, pulse the shallot and garlic until finely minced. Add to the processor the garbanzo beans, parsley, cilantro, pepitas, hemp seeds, oats, salt and pepper. Pulse 5-10 times until the mixture is easily formed into balls.  If the mixture is too crumbly and dry to form into balls add 1 tablespoon of oil or water and blend again.
  2. Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the batter into your hands. Form into small falafel patties using your hands.
  3. Heat a 12-inch non-stick pan over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot (about 2-3 minutes), place the falafel patties on the pan evenly spaced out (they should not be touching).  Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown on both the top and bottom. You may need to add 1 more tablespoon of oil if you do this in two batches or if you want more of the edge to be crispy.  Set aside while you assemble your bowl.
  4. To assemble one bowl, add greens and crispy quinoa to a bowl.  Top with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, cold hummus and warm falafel.  Add thinly sliced red onions, avocado, herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.  Enjoy immediately.
  5. Store extra crispy quinoa, hummus and falafel in separate airtight containers in your refrigerator for up to one week.


To make the crispy quinoa simply take already cooked quinoa (here is How to Make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa) and fluff with a fork to allow all the steam to escape. Next, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick 12-inch skillet. Once the oil is hot, add 2 cups of quinoa to the pan and coat evenly with the oil. Form the quinoa into one layer across the entire pan. Press the quinoa down and allow the quinoa to cook untouched for 2-3 minutes before stirring. Stir well and make another thin layer of quinoa and cook untouched for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. You want to repeat this process of tossing then searing in a single flattened layer until the quinoa is golden brown and slightly crispy. I don’t like to cook it for too long or it becomes too crunchy. Before removing from the pan I sprinkle fine salt on top and stir. This will make more than you need for one bowl, but you can store leftovers for future bowls.

  • Prep Time: 40
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean