Perfect Whole30 Blender Cauliflower Falafel Tahini Bowl
These warm flavorful falafels are better than the real deal, because they are packed with cauliflower and fresh herbs! A low carb delicious whole30 meal that is easily made in a blender.
Take me back to my health food store days, falafel!!!! (when I actually lived close to the store; thank you amazon, where would I be without you?!). These warm scrumptious balls of herbs and earthy flavor are pretty much heaven.
When I was a kid, my treat from Mom would be a warm falafel from the health food store. It came wrapped up in natural brown parchment paper. And each bite was like a teleport machine, where I was instantly whisked away to a European town, standing on a cobblestone bridge, clicking my leather boots together, and happily munching on my epic falafel. Don’t ask me why I correlate falafel with world travel.
falafel obsession. Nothing has changed.
Things haven’t changed much since then. I am still carried away with each bite of falafel. Maybe it’s the rich flavors that burst in your mouth, making each bite as exciting as the first. Maybe it’s the cute little round shape they come in that lends to it being such a whimsical experience. All I DO KNOW is that I could eat these all. day. long. And on this rainy day in the Cascades- I think I’ll do just that!
Don’t you just love mixing up things with cumin, turmeric, and cilantro! All those happy colors and vibrant feels makes my heart so happy! Go ahead, try it; resist not being happy when you make these paleo falafels.
Who else is jumping for joy that these falafels are PALEO!!!! And Whole30!!! What?! So super stoked!! All that yumminess packaged up in a beautiful crisp little offering has to be one of the best things ever… But my absolute favorite part about falafels is their distinct aroma. I could catch it a mile away (and come running!). This bowl of healthy goodness is incredibly easy to make! Because, I used my food processor to make the entire batch of falafels and tahini dressing.
- 2 cups minced cauliflower To make minced cauliflower, just blend the cauliflower in your food processor until it's minced.
- 1 cup minced fresh onion
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teapsoon chili powder
- 4 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
- 1/2 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or date paste for whole30.
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4-8 cups baby kale Make your salad as big or small as you want.
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in halves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
|Cook Time||40 minutes|
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor blend all the ingredients, except the minced cauliflower and olive oil. Blend until the herbs are minced.
- Once the herbs are minced, add in the minced cauliflower and pulse until combined.
- Form the falafel dough into 16 1 1/2" round balls. Use a pastry brush and brush each falafel with olive oil.
- Cook for 20 minutes on 400F then rotate the falafels and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients for the tahini dressing in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Plate the greens then top with falafel and tahini dressing.
Perfect Whole30 Blender Cauliflower Falafel Tahini Bowl
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 169mg 7%
Potassium 105mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 29%
Vitamin C 38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Ugh I LOVE falafels! You ROCK for making a paleo + whole30 version! This is soul food right here!
Thank you Bethany!! 🙂
This looks SO delicious! Honestly, I’m blown away by your photography…. I’m so glad I found your blog!! 🙂
Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad you found me 🙂 I love your blog too by the way!
Amazing a recipe. I am lover of Cauliflower. And seeing you can bake them, so much healthier.
Thank you. Plan to make it today.
Yay! Hope you love it 🙂
I am loving your recipes, everything looks so good. I would love to try this , but I am struggling with finding arrowroot flour, do you think I can substitute with something else ? Btw I am not on whole 30.
Sorry for my bad English, I hope this is understandable 🙁
Lots of love for you, thank you for sharing such a good recipes ❤️
Hi Stefanija, thank you for your sweet words! You can sub the arrowroot for tapioca flour or just completely omit it.
Hi there! Did you squeeze out the after fom the cauliflower after you processed it? Do you think the recipe would work with frozen riced cauliflower? I’m sure that would need to the water to be squeezed out.
Hi Robin, I think that frozen would work just fine- squeezing out excess water would be a good idea, since you will have to cook it till it’s soft. 🙂
Hi-those look great! how many falafel make up a serving? its not on the nutrition info.
It makes 16- that’s how the nutrition info is set 🙂
Is this minced cauliflower incorporated into the falafel raw? Or is it cooked before hand? Thanks!
It goes in raw and then gets cooked with the rest of the ingredients once the falafels are formed. 🙂
followed the recipe to a tea but my falafel were more of a patty than a ball. Any suggestions? Sincere thanks 🙂
Hmmm, did you form them into a ball? Or did they spread out when cooking?
My falafel balls came out the same way. When I blend the ingredients in the food processor the mix comes out rather runny and they come out more like pancakes. I’ve tried the recipe several times with the same outcome. I’m trying it again as we speak and adding more flour to get a better consistency. Love this recipe and would like to continue making it…any suggestion how to get the nice ball texture to it?
It sounds like you may be mincing the cauliflower too much maybe? Are you pureeing it? It should be course, not runny.
Hi, this looks delicious! But I’m not a fan of pine nuts, what would you recommend as a substitute?
You can just leave them out. 🙂 Or add another nut that you like.
I’m a little confused, it makes 16, but how many is a serving? 2 balls? 4?
The serving is 16 falafels.
I have been making these every 2 weeks since I found your recipe. So Healthy!
I love to hear that! Glad you are enjoying the recipe. 🙂
Hello, is there something I could substitute for the egg please?
You could try subbing with a flax egg.
I used chia seeds just like one would for flaxseed; for 1 TBSP of chia or flax (ground) add 3 TBSP of water. Stir until gelatinous.
Hi, I just made these and they are very delicious! They came out a bit squishy when forming them into balls but didn’t fall apart, yay! Also, I’m trying things other than eggs and so I used chia seeds just like one would for flaxseed; for 1 TBSP of chia or flax (ground) add 3 TBSP of water. Stir until gelatinous.
I cooked them for a lot longer than 40 minutes because they were still too soft. However, now they are nice and crispy on the outside. Can’t wait to chow down. Thanks!
Thank you Martha! Glad you enjoyed these and loved hearing the egg subs!
These are delicious! A great filling recipe, especially since I’m a vegetarian and currently on whole30. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I also just had a co-worker try these and ask for the recipe. <3
So good to hear Rachel!
Made these tonight – absolutely fantastic even without the tahini dressing! I forgot the onion (woops!) so added it to the salad. These will be regulars in house! Thank you for the recipe!
I make these every two weeks. Everyone that has tried it, loves them and so do I.
So good to hear! Glad you love them 🙂
I am so looking forward to making these! Can I sub sesame oil?
Yes, you can use olive oil for sesame. 🙂
Thank you so much!!! They turned out amazing! Love your blog! (apologies for the hasty comment below, it showed that my comment was no longer on the site 🙂
Guess not lol
how much (heads or weight) cauliflower is 2 cups minced?
Made these they taste great!!! But mine did not brown up at all like the picture. They were very soft and when it was time to turn them over, I was unable to because they were so soft. An suggestions.
Hi Amanda, your cauliflower may have had more liquid- i suggest adding more flour to absorb it next time. That will help brown it up and keep them firm. 🙂
This recipe is SO good! Thank you so much for creating and sharing. It has officially been added to our regular meal rotation and we can’t wait to try more of your recipes!
So good to hear Tanicia! Thanks! 🙂
Can I use chickpeas instead of cauliflower?
Hi Zivile, i’m sure that would work, I haven’t tried though.
Hello what is the serving size here
Hi There, it’s per falafel with a serving of kale, sauce, and greens. 🙂
Found your blog and this recipe and will definitely be making it again! Notes for other: squeezed a little excess water out of the cauliflower, did not brush them with olive oil, and they browned perfectly! If they seem too soft and aren’t keeping their shape, add a little more of one of the flours. I will warn others: Do not add the salt until the end and then only to suit your tastes.. 1 tsp was far too much for us but the underlying flavors, perfect texture, and ease of the recipe makes this an absolute keeper!
Hi there! I live in Brazil and have a really hard time finding arrowroot flour (even though it’s a native plant, go figure!). Do you think I could sub by tapioca starch? Have you ever tried subbing it? Thank you so much for the recipes and beautiful pictures!
Yes, tapioca will work great as a sub!
WHEN do we incorporate the 4 tablespoons of olive oil? Or do we just use it to brush the falafel balls?
It’s just for brushing on the falafels before cooking.
Can I substitute the almond flour with something else? I am allergic to almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
Hi Erin, you can use oat flour!
Hi Kaylie, I want to make this tonight but don’t have an extra onion. Can I leave that out?
Hi Kelly, that may work.
I made this for the first time tonight (as I’m 7 days into the Whole 30) and it was AMAZING! I followed the recipe exactly and loved every bite! Whole 30 or not, this is my new go-to Falafel recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you Angie!
So good! I had my doubts, but there is so much flavor is packed into the falafel… amazing. Next time I am going to try straining the mix through cheese cloth, just to make the balls a little more solid. I will also try less sesame oil, more olive oil in the tahini sauce – that is just a personal preference on the strength of that flavor. Thank you for this delish dish!
Is the sesame oil toasted or untoasted?
Hi Lani, either will work! 🙂
The BEST Whole 30 recipe I’ve tried yet!! The falafels are so flavorful and the dressing! THE DRESSING! So gooooood!! I ended up having to make my own date paste and it turned out wonderfully. Thank you so much for these fantastic recipes that make the Whole 30 almost easy!
So good to hear Alex, glad you enjoyed it!
Whoa. SOOOOOOOPER tasty. Next time, will squeeze excess water out of the cauliflower (used TJ riced/frozen). A Keeper. Even my kids loved it . Recommend massaging the kale with sea salt to tenderize it.
Hi Kaylie. Can you freeze the balls? If so, How long? Thank you!
Yes! I do it all the time, then I just pop them into the toaster when I want to eat, yum! They don’t last long in my freezer, but they should be good in the freezer for about 2 months.
What is the serving size of the baked products?
Hi Tony, I’m not sure about what you mean by “baked products”?
These were delicious! I made half in the oven, and half in my air fryer. I definitely preferred the air fryer falafel. Thank you for this recipe!
Hi! I am trying to incorporate more protein in my diet, do you think I could use unflavored protein powder to them? If so, should I lessen the almond flower?
Hi Rachel, yes that should I work. I would replace the almond flour with protein powder.
Your blog is my new favorite; you’ve got some amazing recipes and you’re an encredibly talented photographer! I can’t wait to try making this recipe tomorrow:)
Thank you Jen! 🙂
Literally just had these for dinner! loved them (and so did everybody else)
what a great veg whole 30 recipe 🙂
Thank you Alicia!
Just starting the Whole 30 and I’m a bit confused… every book talks about absolutely NO sugar and yet in the nutrition chart of many of these recipes sugar is there. the recipes loo delicious and I love the planning done for me… but explain how they are compliant if there is sugar in them.
Hi Diane, fruit sugars don’t count. 🙂
The falafel itself was pretty good, but I reduced the cumin down to 2 tablespoons because 4 seemed like way too much. I also added a little coriander. Still, they were very heavy on the cumin, I would reduce it further if I made again. The falafel also stuck to my baking pan, I would use parchment paper if I made again. Finally, the tahini sauce is awful. I was skeptical of the 1/2 cup sesame oil to 1/4 cup tahini ratio, so I did 1/4 cup sesame oil. Even so, it was much too oily and sweet. I ended up using a whole lemon trying to bring in some acidity, but it was still too sweet and oily. Tahini sauce usually has only a little oil added and uses a lot of lemon and raw garlic for flavor. I usually add water to make it a spreadable consistency ,which works well.
I tried making these for the first time on Saturday night and loved them so much I made a double batch on Sunday to eat for the week….but they’ll most likely only last a few days because they’re so yummy. I made your chimichurri to go with them! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes 🙂
Yay! Thank you Kate 🙂
Ok so I know you have answered this question many many times but I am still confused. So are you saying that a serving is one (1) falafel ball?? One ball plus the salad ingredients is 20g fat?? Thanks for helping my tired brain 😆😆
Hi there, a servings is one falafel with sauce and greens. 🙂
I really want to make this recipe tonight but I can’t find kale anywhere and let alone baby kale :'(
Do you think spinach will work? I mean they are totally different in texture so I am afraid to try it .. Or besides that what can I add to substitute kale ?
Thanks so much in advance,
Totally! Spinach will work for sure. Enjoy! 🙂
I made these tonight. It was a little time consuming to put together but so glad I did. These were delicious with and without the drizzle of the tahini dressing. I made a double batch for my weekly lunch meal prep. We will definitely make these again.
I can honestly say that I have never commented on a recipe on the internet. This one was so good, I felt compelled to let you know. My fiancé and I are doing Whole30 right now, and this is by far my favorite meal we’ve made in the past three weeks. The falafel are so perfectly soft inside but crispy outside, and the dressing is sweet but not too sweet. The dough ended up being a little too wet for me to work with at first, but some extra almond flour and these bad boys were good to go. We will be checking back often to try your other recipes out!
Thank you Jake! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
Oh my goodness! I made these for my birthday party this past weekend and they were a hit! I as well, never comment on recipes (someone else said this in the comments) and felt I had to comment. They were eaten very quickly. They tasted like the full carb, falafel balls. I noticed in the comments that a few people were saying that they turned into patties and were a bit more mushy in consistency than what it should have been. So I modified the recipe and prep slightly. Here’s what I did:
1) After I mince the cauliflower in my blender, I squeezed any excess liquid through a cheese cloth. Surprisingly, a lot of water came out. I also did this with the onion as well! LOTS of water came out of the minced onion. I set these aside.
2) I doubled the egg (and whipped the egg first before putting it into the mix) and doubled the arrowroot. Also, to make sure the dough would stick together better.
3) Even though it doesn’t say this in the prep info, I mixed together all of the dry and wet ingredients separately. Just like you do when you bake something, such as cookies. Then I mixed everything together and added in the cauliflower last. The only thing I ran through the blender was the cauliflower to mince it. I felt that running everything through the blender (as it suggests) would possibly cause that gooey patty like consistency possibly.
4) Lastly, when baking these, the recipe says to baste the balls with olive oil. Instead, I just put a good layer of olive oil in the bottom of the cookie sheet and it made them crispy on the exterior.
Thank you Lora! Love your comment as well as your instructions! Thanks so much for sharing, glad everyone enjoyed them. 🙂
I made this tonight and it was FANTASTIC!! Full of delicious flavor. I used pre-chopped cauliflower and my falafel came out perfect!! I had to restrain myself from eating all of them at one sitting!! Excited for leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!
Love to hear this Jen! Thank you!
Man. I hate to even comment here because I am a very experienced cook. I’ve been cooking for over 25 years. I do not know where I went wrong. but my falafels literally caught on fire. Bahahaha!!! The house filled with smoke I had to set up fans to pull the smoke out of the house and when I was finally able to look in the oven after turning it off and clearing the a smoke out, my falafels were burning. I know the oven temp is not the issue. They were definitely not going to be the crisp brown color in the pic, but I think that’s because I didn’t create the balls big enough. They turned into kind of the perfect cookie texture, nice and soft; however, the taste was amazing!! Any thoughts on why my attempt went up in smoke? I’m having a good laugh about this, but I’m sad they didn’t make.
Hi Angela, that’s so crazy haha! Maybe it was because like you said: the falafel were too small- my bet is they cooked too fast and just burn or something, yikes!
I just wanted to let you I used Trader Joe’s frozen riced cauliflower and it worked perfect! I let it defrost and there was not any excess water I had to squeeze out. I followed the rest of your directions making sure not to purée the cauliflower, I just pulsed until combined. My teenage son, who HATES, vegetables ate 8 of them! He had no clue they were made entirely with cauliflower. I’m sure he’d never eat them again if he knew 😉 I’ll be making these again soon!
Great to hear Mindy!!
So glad to find this recipe because I am allergic to legumes. This is so inventive. I can’t wait to try it.
Thanks Janet! Hope you enjoy!
Does the sauce really call for 1/2 CUP of sesame oil? That seems like an awful lot. Making it now and trying to figure out the ingredients , thanks!
Hi.. does the sauce recipe really call for 1/2 CUP of sesame oil? That seems like a lot. So far it’s all delicious… I just want to be sure I get the sauce right! thank you1
Sounds like way too much for my taste buds. Sesame oil is so strong I would use 1/2 teaspoon.
Thanks Michael! I’m with you! I have some in the freezer and just came back to this page to look at the recipe again. I will try again but with much LESS sesame oil!
This was absolutely amazing! The infusion of all the flavors with the dressing felt a party in my mouth! I wish I could upload a photo.
Great to hear Nichole!!
On some responses, it says that one falafel is a serving and in one response, it says 16 falafels are a serving. One ball seems to little to be a serving and all 16 seem like too much. Which is accurate?
Hi Diane, the recipe makes 16 falafel, so it just depends on how many you want to consider a serving.
I made this today with good results. I did make a couple little changes: decreased cumin to 1 teaspoon (I roast my own cumin seeds and grind them fresh. 4 tspn’s would have been overwhelming); used 1 tspn of aleppo powder instead of the 1/2 tspn cile powder. I think aleppo is a little more authentic. I changed the tehini sauce to what I am used to which was taught to me by a Jordanian friend: 1.5 cups tehina, .75 cup lemon juice, ! tspn kosher salt, .75 cup water
Thanks so much for this recipe! My wife and I love middle eastern food and can see this becoming something we have in high rotation on the dinner menu. We love lamb and beef kebobs but are trying to cut our meat consumption back a little. This is an awesome way to do it and stay with very healthy ingredients.
I don’t have a food processor, just a regular ninja blender. What do you recommend to mince the raw cauliflower? Should I just chop the heck out of it? Frozen and raw diced cauliflower is expensive and I’m on a budget.
Hi Julia, you can mince it by hand that works!
Delicious! I rang the excess water out after I minced the cauliflower (I’ve had soggy cauliflower dishes in the past) I blended the herbs and spices in the food processor then combined it with the cauliflower by hand. I added all of the flour ingredients last (again, I thought this would decrease any sogginess) It turned out great!
Great to hear Laure!
This recipe is so healthy and delicious it gets 5 stars from me it was also easy to make
Thank you Dorothy!
I love your recipe! The only problem that I have is that my falafel sticks to my aluminum foil even though I put oil at the bottom. Any suggestion?
Hmm, that’s interesting. Maybe try parchment paper? That’s what I use and it works. Ive never used foil before.
I tried this recipe and used coconut flour in place of arrowroot. The first batch was a bit runny and added a 2 tbsp to the second batch and it was much better. I also threw in some mint leaves since I had them lying around. Tasted great!
these were amazing! definitely will make again
Great to hear!
Quick question, can you freeze the batter ?
That should be okay, although I haven’t tried it to be sure.
Hi, I am confused about the nutrition facts. The amounts are per serving but the serving size is not specified. The recipe can be adjusted by serving size in the drop down box at the top but your recipe is to make 16 falafel which counts as 1 falafel is 1 serving. So 1 falafel is 216 calories? How can this be correct? The picture shows 4 falafel and that would seem like a serving to me, so your recipe serves 4 with 4 falafel each, which equals 16 falafel?, at 216 calories per serving?
Hi Clare, the calorie breakdown is for all 16 falafel. 🙂
I’m so glad I was not the only one confused lol. I try to stick to 1,200 calories a day so I’m always checking serving sizes. I’ve made these before (when I wasn’t counting calories) and they were delicious! Happy to know I can make these again & stay within my calories!!
I hadn’t thought about using cauliflower in place of chickpea for falafel! I’m glad I tried this recipe. I used frozen cauliflower and would recommend warming it and then squeezing out the extra water before you combine everything together. If I made it again, I would use less cumin, add in a step of putting it into the refrigerator for an hour before you bake and top with sesame seeds.