Herb & Pistachio Falafel

Herb & Pistachio Falafels

Vegetarians don’t have hot dogs to turn to when they crave fast food. We have falafel in bread. Deep fried chickpea balls served with vegetables, tomato salsa, hummus and a yogurt sauce. During my years as a vegetarian I have probably tried every single falafel restaurant in Stockholm, many in other parts of Sweden, and a few on other places around the world. But strangely enough I have only made them myself a handful of times. So we thought it was about time that we made our own version of falafel in bread.

When we first started talking about this, we quickly agreed on some ground rules:
1. To skip the bread and wrap them in big green leaves instead. We learned to do this on our trip in Vietnam. Cabbage leaves are perfect in size and have a great crisp taste. You could also try big lettuce leaves.
2. To bake them instead of frying them. The whole deep frying thing doesn’t rhyme well with us. Also, it is not necessary at all. As long as you bake them on a high temperature they will be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
3. To make them green. We once tried these really nice tasting falafels that were completely green on the inside. We can’t remember what they were made on, but in our version we used pistachio, parsley and mint to achieve the green look. Apart from looking nice, these ingredients also makes them taste divine and oh so flavorful.
4. To make them vegan. Even though we eat egg and some dairy products, we try to keep some of our recipes vegan. This time we made the yogurt dressing on soy-yogurt (look for it in health stores). Since we used buckwheat flour we also managed to keep them gluten free.


Baked Herb & Pistachio Falafel
Serves 4-6 (about 24 falafels)

We used mint and parsley to flavor and color the falafels, but feel free to try it with whatever fresh herbs you have growing in your garden at the moment.

8 sprigs of fresh mint
8 sprigs of fresh parsley
200 g pistachio nuts
2 cups/4,8 dl garbanzo beans/chickpeas (we used canned)
2 cloves garlic
½ small onion
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp flour (we used buckwheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder

Start by blending the herbs in a mixer for about 30 seconds. Add pistachio nuts and pulse until well combined. Rinse the garbanzo beans. Add them and the rest of the ingredients into the mixer and blend for about a minute. Youmight have to stir around with a spoon occasionally. Try to keep the texture of the falafel dough a little rough. Make 24 small round falafels, place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes on 375°F/200°C, turn every 5 minutes to get an even brown color.

Cashew Nut Dressing
6 tbsp cashew butter (look for it in health stores or make it yourself)
6 tbsp canola or rapeseed oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
a pinch of salt

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until they are combined.

Mint Yoghurt
1 cup/2,4 dl soy yoghurt (or regular if you prefer)
4 sprigs of fresh mint (chopped)
1 lime, juice and zest 

Add yoghurt, mint and lime in a bowl and stir around until combined. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to get an intense mint flavor.

Tomato Chili Salsa
3 tomatoes, chopped into small dices
1/2 red chili, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
fresh oregano
salt & pepper

Chop the ingredients and add everything to a serving bowl. Stir around. Add salt and pepper according to taste. Serve immediately or put in the fridge for 30 minutes to get more intense flavors.

Assembling the falafel
1 head white cabbage (or any lettuce with big leaves)
1 red romaine lettuce
falafels (recipe above)

cashew nut dressing  (recipe above)
mint yoghurt (recipe above)
tomato salsa (recipe above)
fresh herbs

Separate the leaves by turning the lettuce and cabbage upside down and removing the stem or cone with a knife.
Put it under running water and gently separate the leaves one by one. Pat dry.

Hold one cabbage leaf in your hand, place a lettuce leaf inside of it, add 2 or 3 falafels, a spoonful of cashew nut dressing, mint yoghurt, tomato salsa and top with some fresh herbs, chopped pistachio and a couple of raisins. Fold it gently. Enjoy!



  • green, gluten free, vegan food, can you have a more perfect post than this? :) And such amazing photos (again). Double bravo. We are so going to make this soon!
  • That looks SO SO tasty, I've never heard of pistachio in falafel! A must try for sure, I'll tell you how it went ;)
  • I'm learning to cook now, tried the broccoli pesto a few days ago, which wasn't such a success, but did the falafel today and it tasted pretty good! Next time, I might even try adding some of the dressing you listed here (I wanted to make the tomato chili salsa, but then there weren't any peppers for sale).
    • Oh using lettuce as a container worked great as well, great tip!
  • To me falafels are the perfect food. These look amazing and I love how you made 3 different sauces and used lettuce as the wrap. Beautiful photos!
  • Iason
    This recipe looks amazing! I am going to prepare it later today. Just a quick question: do you use raw or baked and salted pistachios? I was not sure so I bought raw pistachios since they are going to get cooked anyway. Congratulations on an absolutely beautiful website. The recipes look amazing and the photos are really beautiful. It's a real pleasure to browse your website!
  • I love falafel and love the idea of using lettuce leaves as a wrap. Your blog is wonderful- I am also vegetarian and try to use seasonal produce as much as possible. Thanks for sharing!
  • Diane
    Hello, I just discovered your blog and i already love it. The pictures are really beautiful and there are already so many recipes I want to try !! I'm very interested in healthy eating as well and i've been looking for a healthy falafel alternative that doesn't involvle deeep-frying. I served your version to my guests tonight and i'm very pleased to tell you that they all loved it, even the vegetable-hating guy finished his plate and loved it. I'll definitely try more of your recipes very soon :) Thanks a lot, Diane
  • Paige
    I made these for dinner tonight with a few substitutions and they were a huge hit with my hubby and kids. My son is allergic to most nuts, so I just left out the pistachios. I also did not have mint so I substituted some Thai basil I have growing in my garden, along with fresh parsley. My son likes falafel with spicy red pepper sauce, so that was on the side. It was delicious! I will definitely make these again.
  • These falafels look beautiful and are a lovely change to the traditionnal recipe.
  • Ginger
    I made these last night and followed the recipe exactly. They were so delicious and beautiful. I used all the herbs straight from our garden. My husband loved them too.
  • Really look tasty and i smell healthy:) Simon
  • I agree with all your points and find the recipe genius! Love it, soo light and delicious!
  • I'm not vegetarian by a mile but I do love vegetarian food...funny but true :) And your food always looks and sounds amazingly tasty! I also love falafel...so I need to try this!
  • I've been waiting for a healthier version of falafel for a while now! And this is it.. Thank you! I like the cabbage wrap, very smart. This will be on my menu soon!
  • Wow, how wonderfully inventive and creative. So glad that you baked them as well. A very healthy meal :)
  • valérie
    Bonjour, J'adore votre blog que j'ai découvert depuis peu. De France, je le consulte et à travers vos magnifiques photos il me fait voyager!! Très cordialement, Valérie
  • There are so many colours,looks fairly nice !!I wanna eat XD As a vegetarian I really like herbs wheats and nuts!They bring me a better health~~~~~~~ Thank you for sharing these nice pictures : )
  • I'm not sure this could be much more perfect. We have really no felafel joints in Seattle - or the ones we do have I would be afraid to eat in. I ate felafel constantly in London and I miss them so. I have never attempted them at home because I hate to deep fry but I am totally captivated by this recipe - for so many reasons. I love the color, the roasting, the wrapper, the sauces. I am very happy with my cooking but somehow, whenever I come here, I just want to give up and have you cook for me.
  • I'm not much for making my own falafels either but these sure do look mighty tastey. Instead I usually make my "mississippi balls" which are like unfried falafels made out of sweet potatoes and red lentils. They're not too bad, if I say so myself...
  • These look fantastic, I love falafel- and I love that these are green and in cabbage leaves! What a perfect summer meal. xo
  • I'm a vegetarian falafel fanatic, too! I tried to make them once, but they were so gooey they looked more like chickpea pancakes than balls. Parsley and pistachio sound like they would unique, incredible falafel! It's so hot around here that I'm hesitant to turn on the oven, but these just might warrant the extra heat. :)
  • Mahshid Maleki
    I've been following your blog from Kuala Lumpur for quite some time now and I absolutely adore your colorful and inspiring recipes. I prepared your pistachio falafel recipe today and it was a great success...-so happy that there is still some left for lunch tomorrow!
  • Lovely pictures and great recipes :) i love to try your recipe of Falafel soon ! great work !! all the best :) !
  • Melanie
    Hi from sydney, I found your blog through that other fabulous blog 'my new roots' and I adore u guys. I have checked out all the archives and I have to say u have a very special life outlook and family. Keep it strong and close. And u inspire me to eat the best fresh food. I tried your lentil recipe and it was fab. Loving u gorgeous people.
  • Wow, I'm not vegetarian but that sounds super tasty.
  • These Falafel balls look amazing. I love Falafel cakes and definitely have to try this recipe.
  • I am so in love with this post it's not even funny. I'm prepared for a proposal. B
  • Lovely colours and photos! I just had falafel with authentic Israeli tahini today and it makes me think that I should be eating lettuce wraps rather than dry pita breads! Cheers from Vienna, Austria xxxx Rika
  • Wow. Goodness gracious. Can't WAIT to try this! :D
  • Your falafel looks so fresh and tasty! I love how you married ideas from different cuisines: Middle Eastern + Vietnam.

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