Falafel and Butternut Squash Sandwich With Tahini

Falafel, Tahini and Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash Sandwich
Anita Schecter
  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
580 Calories
23g Fat
78g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 580
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 918mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 78g 28%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Protein 21g
Calcium 215mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The classic version of a falafel sandwich includes Israeli salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, ideal in the summer when the garden and farmers' markets are bountiful with this produce. But as winter approaches, it is the perfect opportunity to warm up falafel with butternut squash that has been roasted in aromatic cumin. The cool, lemony tahini sauce balances the warmth of the cumin and the sweet butternut squash and is a great counter to the well-spiced falafel. Traditional falafel is deep-fried, but this recipe opts for oven-baked to increase the health factor.

Ingredients

  • For the Tahini Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup sesame paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Butternut Squash:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 pound butternut squash (peeled and diced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Falafel:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 tablespoons prepared tahini sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the Sandwich:
  • 4 pieces of fresh pita or naan bread
  • Optional: a handful of fresh spinach leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. To make the tahini sauce, combine the sesame paste, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. If you refrigerate the mixture and it thickens too much, just add a bit more water to reach the desired consistency.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Prepare the squash by whisking together the olive oil and cumin in a bowl. Add the squash and toss to coat. Spread on one of the prepared baking sheets and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Make the falafel by placing the chickpeas, tahini sauce, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, flour, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until mixed. Or you can combine by hand in a bowl by mashing the chickpeas with a spoon or potato masher and then mixing in the rest of the ingredients.

  6. Spread the olive oil on the parchment paper on the other prepared baking sheet. Scoop 1-ounce balls of the falafel mixture and place them on the baking sheet.

  7. Bake the squash and the falafel for 20 to 25 minutes until the falafel is a light golden brown and the squash is tender. If the squash is not soft, continue cooking for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

  8. Spread some tahini sauce on each piece of pita or naan bread, and add some spinach leaves, if using. Then add some roasted squash and 3 or 4 balls of falafel to each sandwich. Finish with an additional drizzle of tahini.

  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Tip

To make peeling and cutting the squash easier, microwave it first. Poke the butternut squash with a fork in several places and cut off the ends. Microwave for about 3 minutes. Let cool enough to handle and then peel and cut.