These sweet potato falafel bowls are vegan, gluten free and so easy to make. Packed with fresh veggies, garlic tahini dressing, fluffy quinoa and can be baked in the oven or air fried! The perfect meal prep recipe.
My gluten free falafel is such a staple recipe, but these sweet potato falafel bowls are going to be on repeat this Fall!
The falafel can be baked in the oven, air fried (my preference!) and stores really well in the fridge for meal prep.
Sweet Potato. I opted to use freshly steamed sweet potato because I think the texture holds up best, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use canned sweet potato puree instead.
Chickpeas. You just need one can of chickpeas will be the base of this recipe. They’ll add lots of protein, fiber and nutrients to this sweet potato falafel.
Onion & garlic. These are key for flavor! I used yellow onion, but red or white onion will also work if that’s what you have on hand.
Cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, you can sub for parsley, but I prefer the flavor of cilantro.
Olive oil. For an oil free option, you can sub for tahini, but I love the fresh flavor olive oil adds.
Flour. This recipe calls for chickpea flour, but oat flour and all purpose flour are also great options. The flour is key to absorb excess moisture and help bind all ingredients together.
Spices. A mix of cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Feel free to add additional spices of your choice such as cayenne for more spice!
How to make sweet potato falafel
Prep potatoes. Peel and steam or boil your sweet potatoes until fork tender. Drain and mash really well.
Process all ingredients. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and add to a food processor along with the mashed sweet potato (just 1 cup worth) and all remaining ingredients, starting with 1/3 cup chickpea flour.
Process until mostly smooth. If it appears too wet and won’t easily form into balls, add in the rest of the chickpea flour.
Scoop. Use a scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) and roll into balls. Place either in your air fryer basket sprayed with oil or on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake. If baking, bake for about 30 minutes, flipping half way, or air fry for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through the center.
Serve. Assemble your bowls using the quinoa and arugula as the base, then layer on the cucumber, tomatoes, onion and falafel. Add a scoop of hummus and drizzle on top the dressing. Enjoy!
Why does my falafel fall apart?
Sweet potato falafel that falls apart is typically more common when it is fried. This typically happens when the mixture is too wet and nothing is holding it together.
Chickpea flour acts as a good binder for falafel, but all purpose flour is another common one.
How to serve
Falafel can be served as a simple appetizer, addition to salads, in a wrap, with rice, or formed into patties to make a burger.
For these sweet potato falafel bowls, we’ll be serving it buddha bowl style with extra veggies, hummus, quinoa and arugula. Feel free to swap in or out any additional veggies of your choice!
Frequently asked questions
Should I use canned chickpeas for falafel?
This recipe calls for canned chickpeas, but many falafel recipes use dried chickpeas that have been soaked, but not cooked, overnight.
Using dried chickpeas can prevent a falafel that is too mushy, but we’ll just use a bit of extra flour to help absorb excess moisture.
Can I freeze falafel?
Yes! This sweet potato falafel will keep well in both the fridge and the freezer. To store in the fridge, allow it to cool completely, then transfer to an air tight container and store for 5 days.
To freeze, allow to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. I suggest reheating in the oven or air fryer until warm through the center, about 5-10 minutes.
Do you serve it hot or cold?
Either! Falafel can be served cold in a salad or wrap or hot in a buddha bowl like this one. This whole buddha bowl can be served hot or cold, which is why it’s such a perfect meal prep recipe.
If you do prefer eating it warm, just heat up your falafel on the stove or in the oven until warm through the center.
Try these buddha bowls next!
Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls
by: claire cary
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato about 1 medium sweet potato
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3-1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- ½ cup red onion sliced
- 1 batch lemon tahini dressing click for recipe
- ½ cup hummus of choice
- Peel and steam or boil your sweet potatoes until fork tender. Drain and mash really well.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or air fryer to 380 Fahrenheit.
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas and add to a food processor along with the mashed sweet potato (just 1 cup worth) and all remaining ingredients, starting with 1/3 cup chickpea flour.
- Process until mostly smooth. If it appears too wet and won't easily form into balls, add in the rest of the chickpea flour.
- Use a scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) and roll into balls.
- Place either in your air fryer basket sprayed with oil or on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- You should end up with about 16 balls, depending on the exact size.
- If baking, bake for about 30 minutes, flipping half way, or air fry for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through the center.
- Meanwhile, prep the tahini dressing, veggies and quinoa.
- Assemble your bowls using the quinoa and arugula as the base, then layer on the cucumber, tomatoes, onion and falafel.
- Add a scoop of hummus and drizzle on top the dressing. Enjoy!