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Falafel Pita Sliders

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 25 mins
Total time 8 hrs, 40 mins
Yield

Serves 4 (serving size: 2 filled pita pockets)

The secret to crisp, tender falafel is starting with soaked dried chickpeas instead of canned—dried chickpeas retain all their natural starch so the mixture can come together without any binders like egg or flour. You don’t even need to cook the chickpeas before blending. Why falafel patties instead of balls? The wide, flat surface area gets extra crisp when seared and baked, a lighter approach to shallow frying. Stuff into mini pita pockets with lettuce, tomato, and green onion, or load up as the Israelis do with a chopped cucumber, tomato, and parsley salad; pickled cabbage; and tahini sauce.

Ingredients

Falafel:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 cups finely chopped white onion
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Cooking spray

Pita Sliders:

  • 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 (1-oz.) miniature whole-wheat pita rounds (such as Toufayan)
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula (about 2 oz.)
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

Nutrition Information

  • calories 379
  • fat 8.5 g
  • satfat 0.7 g
  • monofat 3.1 g
  • polyfat 3.2 g
  • protein 17 g
  • carbohydrate 63 g
  • fiber 14 g
  • cholesterol 1 mg
  • iron 6 mg
  • sodium 642 mg
  • calcium 132 mg
  • sugars 10 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. 1. To prepare falafel, combine 6 cups water and chickpeas in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 8 hours or overnight. Drain.

  2. 2. Preheat oven to 450°F.

  3. 3. Combine chickpeas, onion, and next 9 ingredients (through ground red pepper) in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Divide and shape mixture into 16 (1/2-inch-thick) patties (about 1/3 cup per patty).

  4. 4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 8 patties in pan; coat patties with cooking spray. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place on a wire rack set on a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining patties. Place baking sheet in oven; bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Reserve 8 falafel patties for Falafel Pizza and Falafel, Feta, and Tomato Salad.

  5. 5. To prepare pita sliders, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Cut off top fourth of each pita (reserve for another use). Spoon about 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture into each pita pocket; top with 1 falafel patty, 1 tomato slice, 1/4 cup arugula leaves, and about 1/4 cup red onion slices.