I love falafel, but I’ve found it hard to make my own falafel at home. I can never really quite make it like they do at restaurants, so I decided to create a lentil-based version. By adding some oats, the lentils bind well with the egg and herbs for a solid shape that can be used it many combinations.
You can top these on a Greek-inspired salad, roll them into a pita with some tzatziki or hummus, snack on them with some hummus and crunchy veggies, or even serve them over couscous, with a drizzle of tahini and feta. They’re versatile, packable, portable, and make a great kids’ lunch.
Lentils pack a bigger protein and fiber punch compared to chickpeas, so these lentil balls will definitely satisfy. Also, I love dipping falafel in hummus, but I always feel like I’m eating so many chickpeas – this adds a nice variety!
Pro tip: if you simply change the herbs and spices, you can make different versions of these lentil balls. Something Italian inspired with basil, parsley, garlic, and oregano! Something Mexican with cilantro, oregano, chili powder, and cumin! Make these yours.
Lentil “Falafel” Balls
- 1/2 cup brown lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cup rolled oats
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley
- salt and pepper
- Place the lentils, 1.5 cups of water, and bay leaf in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and let cook until water evaporates and lentils are tender.
- While the lentils cook, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Once oil is shimmering, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once lentils, onions, and garlic are all cooked, transfer to a food processor with the rolled oats, eggs, coriander, cumin, parsley and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until able to be formed into balls. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lentil mixture from the fridge and roll into balls, placing the finished balls on the baking sheet.
- Cook the balls for 10 minutes, turn, and cook another 8 to 10 minutes or until balls are browned and firm.
- Serve the lentil balls over hummus, over a salad, in a pita, or simply with roasted vegetables and some tahini.