Sweet Potato Falafel

by Sara on July 8, 2010

One more day till the weekend! Woot!

Last night’s dinner was a slice ball of heaven. Sweet potato falafel ball heaven, that is.

Even though falafel was one of my favorite foods as a child–we used to go to a local deli and order them for dinner a few times/month–I haven’t enjoyed this treat in years. When I was at Costco last week, I spotted falafel for sale in the refrigerator section and was reminded of it’s crispy, crunchy goodness. I denied my urge to buy them, however, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to polish off 2+ pounds of falafel before the expiration date.

Regrets? Yes! Falafel balls have been on my mind ever since!


dreaming of falafel


Last night, however, I finally got my falafel fix. :-)

I would have never imagined that something could make this Middle-Eastern staple even tastier than it already was.


I came across this recipe yesterday, after my friend, Elaina, sent me an e-mail about the 101 Cookbooks-inspired mock Thin Mints she’d made over the weekend. Naturally, I moseyed my way on over to the website to take a look.

After drooling over the faux Girl Scout cookies, I began clicking my way through recipes and found this gem:

Sweet Potato Falafel

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

The what should I make for dinner question was answered!


2 medium sweet potatoes (about 700g or 1 1/2 pounds–I recommend measuring if you can, so that you end up with the right consistency)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 small cloves of garlic, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

2-4 T. cilantro, chopped

Juice of half a lemon

Scant 1 cup (120g chickpea flour

2t.–1 T. olive oil

Sesame seeds

Salt and pepper


1.  Cook sweet potatoes, either in the oven or microwave, until soft on the inside. (Oven takes about 45 minutes @ 425 degrees; Microwave takes about 10 minutes). Let cool a bit, or until no longer too hot to handle. Peel the skins off the potatoes with your hands.

Hot potato
2. If oven is not already heated, preheat to 400 degrees.

3. Combine the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, coriander, cilantro, lemon juice and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then mash until smooth (no large chunks). The consistency should be sticky, but not wet. (If it’s wet, add more flour).



4. Using your hands, form 20 falafel balls and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top each ball with sesame seeds.


5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until slightly crispy, and the bases are golden brown.


The falafel were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Each ball was packed with the perfect ratio of sweet and savory flavor. YUM!

I served the falafel with garlicky greens, which was another 101 Cookbooks-inspired recipe:

Garlicky Greens

1 large bunch of chard

1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil


5 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional, but definitely worth it!)

This was very easy: De-stem the chard and tear each leaf into bite-size pieces. Heat olive oil in large pan, add greens and salt and saute for a few minutes, or until greens begin to soften. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds more. Remove from heat, plate, and sprinkle with Parmesan.


Chopped tomatoes, drizzled with lemon juice and an aioli of sorts (Greek yogurt, light mayonnaise and garlic) were perfect accompaniments.

What made this meal even better?

Oh my, Peanut Butter Pie!

Click here for the recipe!

I also added the recipe for Berry Tart with Walnut Crust, which was featured in my last post, to my Nourish page. Click here for that recipe!

I hope you have a fun, sun-filled summery weekend!

Are you a falafel fan? Have you ever made a homemade version?

Where you an adventurous eater as a kid?

I LOVED trying new foods when I was young! I would eat ANYTHING! The spicier, more foreign, the better! In fact, I’d be quite disappointed when I’d visit friends’ houses and their parents would fix separate “kid” food for us. I wanted what the adults were eating!




  • http://www.myhealthypassion.wordpress.com Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly

    YAY! I can finally open your blog again!!! So excited! Those sweet potato falafel look delicious! I was definitely an adventerous eater as a kid and I still am! I just had octopus the other day…AMAZING!!

  • http://happinessiswithin.wordpress.com/ Dana

    Oh my gosh, im in love! Im going to pick up some sweet potatos tomorrow, im serious! I love falafels and this recipe looks awesome. Thanks so much :)
    Dana xo

  • http://www.froyofoodie.typepad.com Sara @ Nourish and Flourish

    @ Kelly
    Yaay! So glad! I’ve never tried octopus! How was it prepared? I want to give it a try too!
    @ Dana
    Let me know how you like them! They’re pretty different than regular falafel, but delicious in their own sweet-potato-goodness way! :)

  • Sally

    I ate anything and everything as a kid…good thing because we often traveled abroad and had all kinds of interesting things on our plates!

  • http://www.homecookedem.wordpress.com homecookedem

    What a unique spin on falafel!! I only first heard of falafel about 2 years ago. I’ve only eaten it once. I would love to try and make it. Need to put that on my to-cook list!! 😉

  • http://burpandslurp.com sophia

    Ooooh! Those falafels sound awesome, because I love anything sweet potato! They would taste even better fried, though, I think! I wasn’t much of an adventurous eater as a kid…I would only eat fried stuff (haha)…but glad I’m different now!

  • http://ieatasphalt.com Alex @ IEatAsphalt

    I loooove green falafel. That sweet potato version looks like a great option for summer. What is the texture of chickpea flour like?

  • http://www.hungrymeetshealthy.com christina

    i’m so excited you made sweet potato falafel. i’ve been craving falafel like crazy but i consider them a “naughty food” that i need to save for weekends :) these on the other hand look awesome!! :)

  • http://www.fitatheart.wordpress.com Jennifer

    I love anything sweet potatoes! So I need to try that recipe. But I have to say that I love peanut butter pie even more! haha. My husband and I went to TGIFridays not to long ago and I had the peanut butter pie. It was worth every bite. :)

  • http://ktbwood.wordpress.com katie

    OH MY GOODNESS girlfrand these look so good!! ive never had falafel but heard GREAT things about it!! i see it all over the blog world! LOVE PB pie too! u are so full of wonderful things!!! hehe :)

  • http://www.froyofoodie.typepad.com Sara @ Nourish and Flourish

    @ Alex
    This was the first time I’ve cooked with chickpea flour! It’s texture reminds me of coconut flour–slightly coarser than all-purpose. :)

  • http://runsarah.wordpress.com Run Sarah

    I LOVE falafel – can’t wait to try your version, I just need to get some chickpea flour!

  • http://www.healthforthewholeself.com Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    I love falafel, but I’ve never tried making it myself. As soon as I saw the title of this post I was hooked, because the use of sweet potatoes always makes my heart sing. 😉

  • Ashley S

    both of these recipes look fabulous! I will have to try them.

  • http://www.healthydivaeats.com Katie

    I have never had falafel!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes! I need to try this recipe, it looks delish and easy!! Two things I love!!!!
    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww thanks for the congrats love, you are so sweet, thanks for all your sweet support! I also have to say I love the july 4th recap on your previous post! Looks like you and the family had a wonderful holiday!! Your brother is so cute and his girlfriend is so pretty! She seems like a sweetie! Love the pics of you, you always look beautiful! Your blonde hair is just gorgeous, do u color it? It looks beautiful!
    Love the PB loving pic of you too! Ahhhhhhhhh PB is the best!!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend! I wish I was still in DC when you come in town, my last week in DC is next week, we are leaving after that, think movers are coming july 15th, but maybe one day we will meet up somehwere!!!!
    p.s. LOVE that you carry stevia/truvia packets on you always too!

  • http://mutritiousnuffins.blogspot.com/ Meagan @ Mutritious Nuffins

    The sweet potato falafel LOOKS great! What a fun idea. I love sweet potatoes so maybe I will have to give it a try :)

  • http://bitesandbliss.com Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    I’ve never had falafel but have always wanted to give it a try! The original stuff’s pretty unhealthy since they’re usually fried and all that but these looks excellent!! And I’ll take anything sweet potato! Thanks 😀

  • http://fitnfreshblog.blogspot.com Alycia @ Fit n Fresh

    Oh. My. God. I loveeee falafel, but I’ve never made SWEET POTATO ones! You’ve just increased my brain capacity somehow. I NEED to make these!
    You’re the best! (:

  • http://www.runsongreen.com Danielle

    Sweet Potato falafel was actually the first falafel I ever tried! Is it weird that I like it better than the chickpea version?? (but then again, I’ve never made my own so who knows!)
    PB pie with a walnut crust? *Swoon*

  • http://she-fit.com She-Fit

    oh wow! These sweet potatoes look amazing. I just started getting into sweet potatoes so this post is perfect for me! Thanks

  • http://lifeisbetterthanfiction.blogspot.com Meg

    I’ve never had falafel before. At least, not that I know of. I LOVE sweet potatoes to I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing such a fun recipe!
    I have and have always been pretty open to trying new things. My parents took us to all sorts of cultural things growing up. Since we lived in New Mexico when I was really young, the big thing there was green chilies. I have to say I’ve lost some of my tolerance to all that spicy stuff, but I still love it!

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