Sweet Potato Falafel

Sweet potato falafel recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 72 mins
Chill Time: 45 mins
Total: 2 hrs 27 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
257 Calories
5g Fat
45g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 430mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 18mg 88%
Calcium 133mg 10%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 550mg 12%
*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.

Ingredients

  • 2 (4 1/2-ounce) medium sweet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat oven to 425 F.

    Ingredients for sweet potato falafel
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. 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.

    Bake sweet potatoes
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Peel the skins off the cooled sweet potatoes and discard.

    Peel off skins
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Place cooled sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash with a fork.

    Mash sweet potato
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Add flour, chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, and salt.

  6. 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.

    Continue to mash with a fork
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Lightly grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using your hands, a melon baller, cookie scoop, or tablespoon, form the sweet potato mixture into small balls and place them 2 inches apart on the pan.

  8. Sprinkle with the desired amount of sesame seeds.

    Sprinkle with sesame seeds
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Chill the falafel balls in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.

    Chill falafel balls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Preheat 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.

    Remove chilled falafel balls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  11. Serve and enjoy.

    Serve falafel
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • If you are starting with leftover cooked sweet potatoes, skip step 1 and go straight to mashing skinned cooked sweet potatoes with spices.
  • If you choose to flatten the balls with a fork for a small falafel patty, bake them for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 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.

How to Store and Freeze

If you want some sweet potato falafel ready for later use, make up an extra batch and freeze them. Once you've shaped them into balls, place on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour. Pull the falafel out and place in single layers in an airtight plastic container or freezer bag. To double up the layers, place a piece of wax paper in between. Frozen uncooked falafel should last for up to 6 months in the freezer. To prepare, thaw in the fridge and bake as directed.