Sweet Potato Falafel

Tomorrow=Vacation. And can I just take a minute to tell you how ridiculously much I need a vacation? I don’t think I’ve ever needed a break as much as I need one now. Granted, it’s not going to be a very relaxing vacation. I’m headed to Austin, Texas, for Austin City Limits. A full weekend of music, family, food, and fun 🙂 I won’t be catching up on sleep, but I’ll be leaving work behind and having a blast. Thank goodness! Chels and I have been totally consumed with Project Food Blog (you still have some time to vote for us!) and a couple other projects, too. So, we apologize for veering from our “normal” blogging schedule 🙂

I had a few sweet potatoes left that I wanted to use before we left for TX and when I came across this recipe for Sweet Potato Falafel, I knew it was exactly what I was craving. You see, I used to have a bit of a falafel obsession. In high school, I made my mom buy the boxes (Near East) and she would make it for me every other night after track practice and before piano lessons or SAT class. I ate it so much that I got sick of it and couldn’t stand the thought of falafel for a while.

Until I got to college and started eating it at many of the little Middle Eastern eateries in the area. Then a couple years ago, I made it myself and learned how easy it was. This sweet potato falafel is baked instead of fried and one of the easiest things you’ll ever do. You just need to get your hands on some garbanzo flour (or chick pea flour), which I easily found at Whole Foods.

Sweet Potato Falafel (makes about 16 falafel):

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1.5 t ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 t ground coriander
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from1/2 lemon
  • 1 C (scant) chickpea/garbanzo flour
  • Olive oil
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper


Bob’s Red Mill is the best! I’ve been buying so many of their products lately 🙂 Whole Foods has an awesome selection, but Market Basket does, too.


Heat your oven to 400 degrees and put your sweet potatoes in on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Cut some slits in the potatoes with a knife first. They’ll probably take about an hour to be totally tender. (if you’re low on time, you can totally pop them in the microwave for about 8 minutes or so, too).


Once the potatoes have cooled, peel the skin from them and put them in a large bowl.

Add in the cumin, garlic, cilantro, coriander, lemon juice, and garbanzo/chickpea flour. And some salt and pepper if you like.


Mash until smooth and then either put in the fridge for about an hour or the freezer for about 20 minutes.


When you take the “batter” out, it should be sticky, but not really wet. You can add more flour if you need.

Form little balls with the mixture… The recipe said “falafelly looking things”), but I just pretended I was making cookies. I got about 15 little falafel.


I also sprinkled them with sesame seeds:


Then I popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes, until they were golden brown on the bottom.



I served them with some Greek yogurt for dipping.


I was planning on putting them in the pitas, but ended up just gobbling them up!


The falafel were a tad bit dry, but the website warned me they would be and that they’re not the same as normal falafel. The yogurt definitely helped and the flavor was awesome!


I’m probably going to throw a bag of these on my carry-on and snack on them while on the plane to Austin. They look like cookies, right? But they’re definitely a bit healthier. And filling, too. These are the kinds of things I always want to have around for random snacking (I work from home and do A LOT of random snacking!).


I’m headed to bed now to try to get a couple hours sleep in before my flight in the morning. Of course, I’ll be back with some Austin, Texas, fun!! In the meantime, let me know if there’s anything I can’t miss while on vacation in Austin!

And please, vote for us for Project Food Blog if you get a chance and like our post. We’d love to show you what we have in store for Challenge #4 🙂 Thanks, guys, we appreciate all your support SOOOO much!

Are you a fan of falafel? Have you tried making your own?


25 Responses to "Sweet Potato Falafel"

  1. Erica says:

    Have SO much fun on your trip! Take lots of pictures. I’ve heard wonderful things about the area. This falafel looks fabulous. Believe it or not- I’ve never had falafel! I know. I have to give it a go.

  2. Susan says:

    You really do deserve it! Have so much fun. I have a friend that tries and gets us to go every year, but I have yet to add it to my travel schedule.

    Those do look delicious!

  3. girlichef says:

    I love sweet potato ANYTHING…and I do make my own falafel…so I’m definitely feeling the urge to give these a try. They look amazing. Oh…and have fun!! 🙂

  4. Jess says:

    Yum! What a nice combination.

    Have a great and relaxing trip!

  5. love this recipe and will definitely try it- great alternative to buying the fried version!

  6. Simply Life says:

    wow, what a creative way to use sweet potatoes!

  7. Rose says:

    I’ve made falafel before but never with sweet potatoes. Great idea!

  8. Emily says:

    Such a great idea! I love falafel and have only made it with the packets from Middle East… they didnt come out great but I think making them into balls and baking it off would really help it from becoming a crumbly mess!

  9. Have a great time in Austin! I can’t wait to hear/read all about it! I totally agree that #PFB2010 has been throwing off my regular blogging schedule and I can only imagine how hectic it is with two of you and you leaving for vaca. Either way, good luck ladies – you know you have my support! xo

  10. Daisy says:

    I love falafel and have made it (from the Near East box)! College falafel = Pauly Pockets! (? yes?)

    Have a blast in TX!

  11. Kelly says:

    Yum. I have a completely different sweet potato falafel recipe (if you found yours a tad dry, you may want to try the one on my site. It’s pretty moist.), but the end result is the same – delicious.

  12. I didn’t know falafel could be so easy to make! Your pictures make me want to try making it 🙂 Have a great trip!!

  13. Monique says:

    i love this!
    i SOOO want to make it. and I cant wait to see you guys kick ass in Round FOUR… i feel it in my heart you guys are gonna go the distance in this contest!

  14. Emily @ The Happy Home says:

    oh, yum. yum yum yum yum. i grew up in a town with a HUUUUGE lebanese population, and we had the very best falafel restaurant ever. danbury, CT– vivianne’s. it’s addictive. amazing. now i need to make this!

    enjoy your vacation! it’s much deserved 😉

  15. Gina says:

    I love sweet potatoes and falafel, so this sounds wonderful! Not to mention so healthy because they’re baked!

  16. hiplip says:

    Love falafel – will have to try these. We are also going to ACL. If you are into BBQ some recommendations: Rudy’s, Salt Lick, and Lambert’s. Definitely get the Mexican Martini anywhere you go (if they have them) – it’s an ATX staple. Also, try out some of the trailer eaterys like: Torchy’s Tacos and Gordoughs. Have fun!

  17. Kerstin says:

    Mmm, these look great – I’ve never made falafel but you make it look so easy and I love that they’re baked! Hope you have a relaxing vacation! Voted too 🙂

  18. The Duo Dishes says:

    Thanks to fall, sweet potatoes are everywhere. You guys always come up with an interesting way to present them too! Never made falafel at home, but there’s never a better time to try!

  19. i love sweet potatoes! i’ve only had falafel once but i should make it now 🙂

  20. lindsay says:

    SALT LICK! Also….the OASIS for margs, nachos and views, views, views! Hula Hut is super fun too as well as anything near Lake Travis! Carlos and Charlies too! Zilker Park is amazing which I believe is where ACL is. Anything on south congress and restaurants/bars on 6th street are great! I’m heading to austin next weekend and can’t wait to read all about your trip to get some more ideas for things to do/see. Have fun!

  21. erin says:

    I loved (llloooovvveeddd) these and so did all my dinner guest for the third pfb challenge! Not the same as traditional falafels but I think really just as good in their own way!

  22. Vee says:

    Oh my, falafel! L’As du Fallafel in Paris is of course, delicious, and an absolute must! Falafel is great, but to be honest, I’m only a fan of the fried version. Authentic falafel, from what I remember, is made from fava beans which are ground while uncooked or something, it takes some time and effort, I’ve never bothered, especially not when I’m living in a city with a massive Lebanese population! Falafel is the go to food here for post-bar hopping and hangover fixes. Good stuff. Assault it with cabbage salad and hot sauce, it’s amazing.

  23. jen cheung says:

    Congrats Congrats going onto challenge #4!!! Must be exciting for you! Good luck and all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you! You’ll be getting the next vote from me 🙂 Your awesome!

    Have a happy thanksgiving!
    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  24. Sharlene says:

    Hope you’re enjoying Austin! I’m a fan of falafel but have never tried making my own. This looks pretty simple though and I love that it’s baked and not fried. I’m trying to be healthy these days 😉

  25. lauren says:

    Job Lot carries a lot of the Bob’s Red Mill products, they are usually a dollar or more less there too

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