Although San Francisco has a great food scene, I still daydream about my two favorite quick lunch spots in Chicago, Pret a Manger and Roti. Between Pret’s falafel wrap and Roti’s falafel salad, I was pretty set for life. Notice a trend? I’ve got quite an obsession with falafel. Enter these falafel burgers, which are a spin-off from my curried chickpea burgers that I recently shared. These incredibly easy, flavorful and healthy burgers are sure to be a hit in your kitchen.
Just like the curried chickpea burgers, these falafel burgers are made with chickpeas, quinoa, and a few spices and herbs. I realize that quinoa isn’t traditionally in falafel, but I love the texture and protein boost it provides. The best part about these burgers is how quickly they come together. You simply combine all the ingredients in a food processor, form them into patties, and lightly fry them up for a few minutes on each side. The topping options are endless – I recommend adding whatever you usually enjoy with falafel, such as tahini, hummus, tzatziki, cucumber and tomato salad, olives, lettuce, feta…the list goes on. I even love adding pickles, as strange as that might sound.
I wrote about the freeze factor in my last burger post, but it’s worth mentioning again. These burgers freeze really well, meaning you can make a big batch and save them for later. For those days when you’re busy, tired, sick, or simply lazy, it’s wonderful to have a few of these ready for you in the freezer.
- For the patties:
- ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 large clove of garlic, skin still on
- 1 15 oz. can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Handful fresh cilantro
- Tablespoon vegetable oil
- For assembly:
- 4 burger buns
- Topping ideas:
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions; once cooked, let cool slightly.
- While the quinoa is cooking, place the garlic clove (with skin still on) onto a dry pan and toast over low heat for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally. Once it has become aromatic and lightly browned, remove from pan and remove skin. Place in food processor.
- Add all of the remaining burger ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined.
- Dust a small amount of flour onto your clean hands and form the ingredients into patties (depending on how large you make them, you'll likely have between 4-5 patties total).
- Add the tablespoon of oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Fry the burgers for about 5 minutes per side, checking them occasionally to ensure they don't burn. The burgers should be crisp and golden on each side.
- Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with toppings of your choice, such as tahini, hummus, cucumber, pickles, and tomato.
Yum! I’ll have mine with hummus, sliced Kalamata olives, and tomatoes. And since they look so good, can I have another with tahini and pickles?
I doubt you ever tried Chicago’s Haifa Cafe, but they offered a Middle Eastern hot sauce with their falafel that was also quite good.
Traci | Vanilla And Bean says
Mmmm, I like Steve’s idea, Julia! So glad to see you’re back! I’ve missed you, but know sometimes you gotta step away. That’s the beauty of blogging, right? These burgers are fabulous! Chickpeas make delicious burgers that can take on so many flavors! Load them up with just about anything saucy. And freezer friendly! Thats one of the best things about homemade burgers! – love the addition of quinoa in these! Delicious!
Susan Hotopp says
Tahini and pickles for me!! This looks brilliant, Julia…so glad that you are still as creative in the kitchen as ever! So smart of you to whip up a batch and freeze the extras, too. 🙂
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says
I’m going to treat myself to a food processor (I know…) it’s a little strange maybe that I don’t own one (I also have the same hand held mixer that I bought in my university days – I don’t think they even make them anymore :D) but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and I’m especially excited about the prospect of creamy bean dips and nut butters (you can’t beat the processor for that kind of thing) and when I do get it, I will try your version of falafel flavorings. I have to agree with you, there’s just something about the unique set of herbs and spices that’s positively addicting. Plus, I think fresh parsley is one of the most underrated herbs ever. It can take a while to re-situate ourselves gastronomically 😀 I feel the same way… so many things I miss about home but that’s not to say there aren’t new and wonderful food discoveries here; I get it. Happy weekend Julia!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
Another great falafel burger, Julia. Love the addition of quinoa and I’ve got lots of tomatoes and cucumbers growing – they would make a good side dish to go with the falafel. I like your idea of tzatziki – you should post a recipe for that! Looking forward to trying this. Hope you’re summer is going well, Julia!
Success! The burgers turned out great. I have to confess, though, that my one deviation from your recipe didn’t work out so well. Instead of a bun, I used a pita. The problem was that the patty wasn’t distributed uniformly across the bread. I probably should have cut it into chunks and stuffed it in that way. BTW, the hummus, Kalamata olives, and tomatoes were, to my palate, the perfect complements. I’ll try pickles and tahini with the leftovers.