For those of you who are not familiar with a Pita Falafel Sandwich and tahini sauce, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern recipe.
I’ve loved falafels for many years after discovering them while living in Isla Vista during my college days at UC Santa Barbara. The smell of them cooking can transport me back to those crazy days. This falafel pita sandwich recipe is a perfect addition to my weekly meal plan!
Try My Pita Falafel Sandwich Recipe For Lunch
A traditional falafel sandwich is made with dried chickpeas that have been soaked and then prepared with fresh herbs and garlic. While I love the soaking method — dried chickpeas are less expensive than canned — I use a can of chickpeas for this falafel pita recipe. If you prefer dried chickpeas, you can absolutely go for it. You’ll want to make sure that they have been soaked and cooked before you start.
I use the tahini sauce as a condiment for dishes like hummus, falafel, and baba ganoush. Tahini is a dense paste made from crushed sesame seeds. The sauce combines tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and water. It pairs perfectly with this falafel sandwich recipe!
More to Learn About This Falafel Sandwich Pita
Falafel is traditionally fried, but I like to bake mine instead for this falafel pita sandwich recipe. If you’ve eaten falafel before, you’ll notice they aren’t as dark in color as the fried ones. That said, in my opinion, they’re so much better for you when baked instead of fried in a ton of excess grease! Plus, they’re much easier to make than you might imagine.
There’s no need to remove all of the leaves from the cilantro and parsley for the added spices and seasonings. Just add about 1/2 cup of each, stems and all.
My tahini sauce is super lemony and adds so much to the flavor of the falafel sandwich pita. If you’re a big fan of citrus, don’t be afraid to add even more. And, don’t forget the yummy accompaniments… dill pickles, sliced onion, tomato, lots of lettuce, and — of course — the tahini sauce.
How to Make Falafel Pita Sandwich
Head to the recipe card below for information about the ingredients you’ll need to make this falafel pita sandwich recipe!
Step 1: Recipe Prep
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and place a layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet. You can also use a silpat if you have it!
Step 2: Make the Falafel
Place the drained chickpeas into a food processor and add the red onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, nutritional yeast, spices, salt, and pepper. Pulse until blended, then incorporate the chickpea flour 1 tablespoon at a time so that the mixture starts to hold together. Aim for a slightly crumbly texture!
Step 3: Bake the Falafel
Divide and shape the mixture into 12-14 patties. Each falafel patty should contain around two tablespoons of the chickpea mixture. Arrange them on the baking sheet, then bake on one side for 12-15 minutes. Flip, then continue to bake for another 10 minutes.
Tip: You can also use your falafel in a salad with the same falafel toppings. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber! I added a little nutritional yeast to this recipe which provides vitamin B-12.
Step 4: Create the Tahini Dressing
Add the tahini, water, raw garlic, lemon juice, and salt to your food processor and blend until smooth.
Step 5: Assemble Your Falafel Sandwich Pita
Cut the pita bread in half and toast if desired. For each sandwich, add chopped lettuce, 3 falafel patties, the tahini sauce, dill pickles, red onion, and a bit more lettuce on top. Serve and enjoy!
I could barely finish the photo shoot without reaching over to take a bite. This falafel sandwich recipe is uber-delish! Make them today! Be sure to serve extra sauce and pickles.
Fun Variations for Falafel Pita Sandwich
- Use a different type of bread. I swear by pita, but you could also use a flatbread like naan instead.
- More condiments. If you like spicy food, I recommend adding a dollop of fiery harissa sauce to the top of your falafel sandwich pita! You could also use your favorite brand of hot sauce.
- More veggies. You can also include fresh chopped cucumbers or extra pickled vegetables like radishes, onion, or red cabbage. I’ve also had falafel pita with roasted eggplants, which was delicious!
Storing Falafel Pita
You should always store each ingredient separately, or else you’ll end up with a soggy mess. Falafel will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The tahini sauce will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
What is a Falafel Sandwich Recipe Made Of?
My falafel sandwich recipe is served in a pita! Pita is a type of bread that’s soft and chewy. It has a very subtle flavor, meaning it goes with almost anything. All falafel sandwich recipes will differ slightly, but most include falafel and fresh veggies. I love the addition of dill pickles too. It adds a crunch and tang that I can’t get enough of!
Do You Use Cooked or Raw Chickpeas for Falafel Pita?
Chickpeas come in two forms: dried or cooked. I like using canned cooked chickpeas to save time, but as I mentioned, you can also use dried ones. Just follow the soaking and cooking instructions on the package before adding them to your food processor.
I’ve also heard of another trick when making falafel for falafel pita sandwich: soak the dried chickpeas, but don’t cook them. Grind the soaked legumes while still raw, then add them to your food processor with the remaining ingredients. I’ve never tried this technique, but some chefs swear by it!
How do You Make a Falafel Ball Stick Together?
Remember to add the chickpea flour before forming your falafel patties. It acts as a binder so that the ingredients hold together. You won’t need much — add one tablespoon at a time. I typically use three tablespoons in total.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Falafel Sandwich! If you have a photo, post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
More plant-based sandwiches:
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Grilled Mushroom, Eggplant Sandwich
- Tempeh BLT
- Tempeh Reuben Sandwich
- Tofu Eggless Salad Sandwich
This recipe is Certified Plantricious because it meets the following guidelines.
The Trusted Seal for
- Must be whole food plant-based, contains no animal products
- May be minimally processed
- No added oil
- No added sugars
- No artificial additives or preservatives
- Sodium (mg) to Calories ratio, 1 ≤ 1
- Total Fiber to Calories, 2g ≥ 100 calories
Pita Falafel Sandwich with Tahini Sauce
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup red onion chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves & stems
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves & stems
- 3 cloves garlic rough chopped
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp salt optional
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste
- 1/4 cup water or more for consistency
- 2 cloves raw garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- salt optional to taste
- dill pickles sliced
- tomatoes sliced
- red onion sliced
- lettuce shredded
- whole wheat pita bread
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silat.
- Place the drained chickpeas into the bowl of your food processor.
- Add the red onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, nutritional yeast, spices and salt & pepper.
- Pulse for a few seconds and then stop to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Process again until the mixture holds together adding a tablespoon of the chickpea flour at a time. You don't want it completely smooth but more crumbly. You can test it by squeezing a small portion in your hand.
- Using about 2 Tablespoon’s worth, shape the mixture into 12-14 small patties. Place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes on one side then flip and bake another 10 minutes or so on the other.
- To prepare the sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients into your rinsed food processor bowl. Blend until the sauce is smooth, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides.
- Serve falafels on top of a salad or in pita bread. Cut pita bread in half and toast a little to warm. Place a little chopped lettuce in the bottom of the pita. Top with 3 of the falafel patties, a tablespoon or two of the tahini sauce, dill pickles, red onion and more shredded lettuce.