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Vegan Sesame-Crusted Carrot Falafel

These vegan sesame-crusted carrot falafel are made with a base of finely grated carrots and almond meal. Flax eggs and tahini moisten and bind everything together while herbs, spices, and other flavorful additions (i.e., red onion, garlic, fresh lemon juice) create layers of flavor. I recommend serving these falafel with a my hemp-based green tzatziki sauce and tucked into warm pita bread, but you can also serve them over a bed of fresh greens.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Bigger Bites
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 28 falafel
Author: Ashley


Sesame-Crusted Carrot Falafel

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1 pound peeled and diced carrots (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • cup packed cilantro, tough stems removed and chopped
  • cup packed flatleaf parsley, tough stems removed and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly minced
  • 2 tablespoons pourable tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons ground cumin, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sesame seeds or as much as needed to coat the patties

Green Tzatziki

  • ¾ cup shelled hemp seeds**
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup stemmed cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup stemmed flatleaf parsley
  • ¼ cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, peeled, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • ¼ cup grated cucumber


For the Sesame Crusted Carrot Falafel

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
  • Meanwhile, add the carrots to a food processor fitted with the s-blade and pulse 40 to 45 times, or until very finely grated (about the size of uncooked cous cous). Then, add the flaxseed mixture, almond meal, oat flour, cilantro, parsley, red onion, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, coriander, sea salt, and black pepper to the food processor; pulse 40 to 60 times to thoroughly chop and mix, stopping frequently to scrape down the sides and fold ingredients in toward the blade. You want everything to be well-incorporated but be careful not to over process because you still want a bit of texture. It will be a wet, damp mixture but should hold its shape.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill the mixture.
  • About 10 minutes before removing the mixture from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 375F and line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Pour the sesame seeds into a shallow bowl or dish.
  • Using a lightly greased 1 ½-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out mounds of the falafel dough, drop into the sesame seeds, and use a spoon to evenly coat, and carefully transfer to the lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture. You should have about 28 falafel balls.
  • Bake 26 to 30 minutes, or until the exteriors are crisp and golden and the bottoms are golden-brown (note: there's no need to flip them). Let cool slightly before serving.

For the Green Tzatziki

  • Add the hemp seeds, water, chives, cilantro, parsley, peeled and diced cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and sea salt to a high-speed blender.
  • Blend on high for 2 minutes, or until completely smooth.
  • Transfer to an airtight jar or serving bowl and stir in the grated cucumber.
  • Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble.


*For a grain-free version, substitute the oat flour with more almond meal (so 2 cups total almond meal).
**Feel free to substitute raw cashews, just be sure to soak them for two hours before blending to soften a bit.