Sweet Potato Falafel


Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

  • Total: 72 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
319 Calories
6g Fat
56g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 319
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 538mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Protein 12g
Calcium 126mg 10%
*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.)

This recipe for sweet potato falafel is a win-win situation. Sweet potatoes are not only reasonably priced and readily available, but they also have a more interesting flavor than the white potato and are good for you.

Falafel is a Middle Eastern food that's made of highly spiced ground chickpeas that are formed into balls or slightly flattened croquettes and deep-fried. 

This recipe combines ground chickpeas with mashed sweet potatoes for extra flavor and the falafel are baked instead of fried for a lighter calorie load.

Typically, falafel ​is tucked into a sliced pita to be eaten sandwich-style, but they also can be eaten as an appetizer with garlic yogurt sauce, toum, and tahini sauce. Or serve them warm with a thin slice of cucumber on top, held together with a toothpick.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 large yellow onion (finely diced)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat oven to 425 F.

  3. Bake sweet potatoes for one hour or until they can be pierced easily with a fork. Alternatively, you can microwave the sweet potatoes (usually 20 minutes for two large sweet potatoes, depending on your microwave). Allow sweet potatoes to cool completely. Once cooled, peel off skins and discard.

  4. Place cooled sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add flour, chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, and salt. Continue to mash with a fork until well combined and smooth in consistency. Alternatively, pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor for quick mashing.

  5. Using your hands, a melon baller, cookie scoop, or tablespoon, form mixture into small balls and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the desired amount of sesame seeds. Chill falafel balls in the refrigerator about 45 minutes.

  6. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove the chilled falafel balls from the refrigerator and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and crispy.

  7. If you choose to flatten the balls with a fork for a small falafel patty, bake them for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Leftover Sweet Potato Falafel

  • If you are starting with leftover cooked sweet potatoes, skip step 1 and go straight to mashing skinned cooked sweet potatoes with spices.
  • Leftover cooked falafel can be saved if covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Reheat them in the oven or in the microwave.
  • Try using the leftovers in a green salad with tahini sauce for the dressing or in pita pockets with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, and tahini sauce or garlic sauce.