Vegan Falafel Balls with Kale Cashew Pesto

by Amie on October 1, 2010

I recently had a yearning for some falafel after seeing them on the streets of Manhattan at every street fair imaginable… I thought I’d recipe test by creating a vegan falafel ball with a kale pesto dipping sauce.  I opted to add the Kale Cashew Pesto as a dipping sauce for an extra kick, you can also add in more cashews for a creamier texture.

Vegan Falafel Balls


  • 1 (16 oz. can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small skillet over medium heat to toast cumin seeds.  Toast until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. In a food processor combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, sea salt, white pepper and chili powder; pulse process until coarsely chopped. Add water, ground flax seeds and rice flour.  Using your hands, mold into golf-sized balls.
  4. Place falafel balls on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and serve warm with Kale Cashew Pesto (below).

Kale Cashew Pesto


  • 2 cups kale, steamed and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup cashews, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Place kale and scallions in food processor and pulse until chopped.
  2. Add cashews, nutritional yeast, rice milk and garlic, pulse again to combine.
  3. Slowly add sea salt, lemon juice, oil and chili powder.
  4. Continue pulsing until smooth.

Have you ever made falafel? If so, I’d love to hear your recipe…it’s such a fun, creative way to jazz up a classic recipe such as falafel and add in your own ‘kick’ of flavor.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) October 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

This sounds so good. I always forget how much I like falafels. Silly huh? I’ve never made them from scratch either – always buy the boxed stuff. Thanks for sharing!


The Healthy Apple October 1, 2010 at 10:50 am

Thanks so much, Heather; so glad you enjoyed the recipe…Let me know how they turn out. Have a great weekend. Best, Amie


homecookedem October 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I’ve been craving falafel balls lately!! Thanks for your recipe!! :)


The Healthy Apple October 2, 2010 at 8:39 am

Enjoy; they’re quite delish…have a great weekend! Thank you!


Sarah C. February 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

The vegan falafel and pesto ROCKS!!!! Love this stuff! Thanks for a great recipe!


Amie February 14, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thanks so much, Sarah; I hope you enjoy it. It’s my favorite recipe….Have a great day and let me know how you like it.


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