Un falafel en una mano

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside

This is the perfect recipe to use left-over veggies, or use the “not-so-pretty-and-fresh-anymore” veggies in your fridge in order to clean out before you go to the farmers market again next weekend.  Make sure your fridge is clean and empty before you buy fresh produce.

Vegan Falafels on a black slate

Shocking numbers

Did you know that in the EU around 88 million tons of food ends up in the bin? That’s the weight of like 1.2 million Airbus A320! PER YEAR! That’s crazy!

The production and elimination of that food involves the use of 26 million tons of resources and it causes the emission of 170 million tons of CO2. That’s the same as 75 million return trips Singapore-Newark/US, which is the world’s longest flight with 19 hours travel time. 75 million return trips. And these are the numbers for Every.Year! I mean, I can hardly imagine all of this, these numbers are shocking.

Do it like your grandparents

We have to go back to the habits of our grandparents again. My Spanish father-in-law for example, who is 88 years old, went through Spanish civil war and the whole Franco period, fled from the south of Andalusia to Barcelona to have a better life and better work opportunities.

Well he knows what it really means not having food on the table. That’s why every time he eats, you will not find any micro-crumb anymore on the plate, not the smallest drop of any sauce or any fiber of anything. And my Spanish mother-in-law is the same. She wouldn’t throw anything away, ever! They are very creative when it comes to using left-overs and take advantage of all the veggies and fruits that are available in the house.

So, next time you have some ugly veggies in the fridge, don’t throw them away. Make these crispy vegan falafels with tempeh and walnuts instead.

This recipe is for a biiiiig batch of falafels. Of course you can make half of it and you can also use other veggies. You have eggplants, or red bell pepper? Or zucchini? No problem, use them instead.

Vegan falafel balls, on a baking tray ready for the oven

Adjust veggie stock & dry ingredients in order to get the perfect falafel dough

Depending on your veggies you will need more or less veggie stock for stir-frying. Add only 1/2 a cup of stock at a time and let it reduce again, then try if the veggies are done, and if necessary add more. That way you avoid, that the stir-fry gets too wet.  Depending on the water in your stir-fry you will need to add more walnuts/flour/breadcrumbs in order to get a dough-like consistency to be able to form these crispy falafels with tempeh and walnuts. Just add 1/2 a cup at a time of the dry ingredients until you get the perfect falafel-dough.

Dough for vegan falafels in a bowl

Freeze the ones you will eat later

Freeze the finished, unbaked falafels in an air-tight container. The day you want to make them just take them out of the freezer in the morning, place them on a baking tray and let them defrost. Once they are room temperature you can bake them as in the recipe.

So versatile

You can eat these crispy vegan falafels with tempeh and walnuts just like that, or put them in a burrito, serve with a salad, or I also like to serve them on a chickpea-pancake with cashew cream cheese, hummus, avocado, a spicy veggie stir-fry and a vegan smoked almond-cheddar-cheese. So good!

Another option is to make them with my vegan tofu scramble or make the vegan nacho cheese sauce and put them in a sandwich or tortilla wrap.

Vegan Falafels on a chickpea pancake

Little balls of happiness

They are healthy, packed with plantbased protein and can be made completely oil-free and gluten-free (use gluten-free flour). In case you don’t want to use nuts, just replace them with flour or more bread crumbs. These falafels are so nice and cripsy on the outside and thanks to the silken tofu they are moist on the inside, the perfect combo!

Print Recipe
Crispy Vegan Falafels with Tempeh & Walnuts (oil-free, gf)
A perfect recipe for left-over veggies. These little crispy vegan falafels taste amazing, are healthy, crunchy and very easy to make. Wrap them in a burrito with any kind of sauce, or serve with salad, or just like that as a healthy snack.
Vegan Falafels on a chickpea pancake
Prep Time 60 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Prep Time 60 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Vegan Falafels on a chickpea pancake
  1. Wash & chop the veggies, grate the carrots.
  2. Cut the tempeh into little cubes.
  3. Put a big wok on high heat. Add 1-2 tbsp of oil if you like. If you want to make the falafels 100% oil-free, add some veg stock to the wok.
  4. Add the onions + green bell pepper. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and the carrots, stir-fry for 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Add all the ingredients of the "Spice-Mix" group and the tempeh cubes. Let that cook until all veggies are tender and cooked through. Add veggie stock if the vegetables start sticking to the wok.
  7. Add spinach and silken tofu. Mix everything well and let that cook a few minutes more until the spinach has shrinked down.
  8. Add the chickpeas and mix. Take away from heat and let cool down a bit before proceeding with the food processor.
  9. Place 1/3 of the veggie mix in a food processor and blend until you get a dough like consistency. Repeat with rest of the veggie mix.
  10. Now, start adding 1/2 of the walnuts, flour and bread crumbs quantities and mix through. These quantities depend a lot of the amount of veggie stock you used during the stir-fry. If you used more stock you will need to add more of these dry ingredients in order to achieve a falafel-like dough consistency, so you will be able to form the little balls.
  11. Once you achieve the right consistency start forming the balls. Cover them with the panko breadcrumbs and place them on a baking tray.
  12. Bake the falafels at 200ºC during 25-30 minutes until they get golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  13. The leftover, unbaked falafels you can place in an air-tight container and freeze for later.
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes a good amount of falafels. You can swap the veggies I've used in this recipe for whatever left-over veg you have in your fridge. I like to make a good batch of falafels so I can freeze them for later use.

Once you want to bake the frozen falafels, just take them out of the freezer in the morning and let them defrost on the baking tray. Once they are room temperature you can bake them as stated in the recipe.


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