A Bento Box-Friendly Healthy Falafel Recipe

Falafel is a delicious food, whether it is part of a meal, snack, or appetizer!  I've tried a bunch of different falafel recipes, but use the one below the most - it's quick, simple, low-fat, and packed full of flavor.

As an added bonus, this recipe allows you to mold your falafel into really cute shapes because the pieces are baked instead of fried (which means the shapes can be more elaborate and won't get muddled in the cooking process).  This means the 'protein' part of a cute bento box lunch can be just as creatively shaped as little rice balls - in fact, you can use onigiri rice molds to shape your falafel into small stars, hearts, or other shapes before baking.


The ingredients for this recipe are very simple; feel free to be creative and add / remove things as you see fit - especially the spices!  You might also consider adding the odd fresh herb here or there, or some minced garlic.


  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (425 grams - standard size)
  • 15 grams soy sauce (about two tablespoons)
  • 20 grams of whole wheat flour (about two tablespoons; white flour can be used as an alternative)
  • Paprika to taste
  • Tumeric to taste
  • Cumin seed to taste
  • Chili powder to taste


  • Food processor
  • Onigiri molds (optional)
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven


  1. Drain your can of garbanzo beans into a strainer; rinse thoroughly
  2. Dump the beans into a food processor
  3. Add flour and soy sauce
  4. Add spices - be conservative at first
  5. Run your food processor a bit to blend the ingredients
  6. Stop and smell the result - add more of some or all of your spices until it smells pleasing and balanced
  7. Blend the ingredients more - until most of the mixture is a paste, but some whole or partial beans remain for texture
  8. Dump the contents of the food processor into a bowl (or leave contents in the food processor, if it's easy for you to reach inside
  9. Scoop the paste/dough into balls using a melon baller or teaspoon (if you have small onigiri molds, here's where you'd use them - putting the paste into these molds instead of rolling them into balls.  Alternately, you can form small burger patties of this paste... sky's the limit!)
  10. Place the falafel pieces into a baking sheet
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-20 minutes (baking time varies depending on the thickness of your baking sheet and size of your falafel balls or patties)

Onigiri molds - if you want to make cute-shaped falafel balls

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Comments 10 comments

tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Looks delicious!!

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks! Yesh- they're quite tasty! And pleasantly easy to make, too ^_^

Autumn Lynn profile image

Autumn Lynn 5 years ago from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

I love the idea of shaping them with the rice molds! What a wonderful and simple way to put on a smile on my kids faces. We live in the middle east so my kids love falafal but shaped falafal will gain me major mom points. Thanks.

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Oh, awesome!! I hope your kids like it :D

Andrew Gubb profile image

Andrew Gubb 5 years ago from Barcelona, Spain

Oh man, those falafels look so cute!! I wish I had an oven :(

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Daaaaw!! Well, you could always pan fry them in a bit of butter or olive oil :D

Andrew Gubb profile image

Andrew Gubb 5 years ago from Barcelona, Spain


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

My son is a vegetarian, and loves falafel. But it's only available in a mix near my home. I've eaten great falafel in shops, but every recipe I see looks far too complicated. I love this one, and the idea of shapes is so cute! Falafel is so healthy too, protein, fiber, all that stuff good for us. Thanks, can't wait to try!

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

I hope you (and your son!) like it, Jean Bakula! It's such an easy recipe that even if it doesn't work out, it won't be too much of a time or ingredient waster, hehee.

gryphin423 profile image

gryphin423 5 years ago from Florida

Too funny, shaping the falafel, I love it! And baking is so much better than frying, in my opinion! Voted up!

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