Recipe: Chickpea Falafel Salad with Tahini Dressing

by JJ Virgin on June 16, 2017

I will be the first to admit that the components of this salad take some time to create – but boy, is the end result worth it! This is a perfect example of vegan food where no one will ever miss the meat.

For those who aren’t familiar with falafels, they’re tender, savory little cakes made from chickpeas and an assortment of Middle Eastern spices. With the help of a food processor, the dough comes together in just a few minutes. While they bake, you can whisk together the dressing and chop the salad veggies.

In fact, I highly recommend making a double batch of falafels and freezing them after baking. Then the next time you get a craving for this salad (and believe me, you will…), prep will be even speedier.

Chickpea Falafel Salad with Tahini Dressing joins Roasted Red Pepper Hummus; Grilled Dijon-Lemon Lamb Kabobs; and Smoky Baba Ganoush in our Mediterranean Mezze menu.  


Chickpea Falafel Salad with Tahini Dressing

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June 16, 2017

This protein-rich vegetarian salad is a healthy Mediterranean meal, and it’s full of flavor and nutrition. Tip: make an extra batch of falafels to freeze for later!

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yields: 3 Servings



2 cups cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1/2 tbsp teaspoon baking soda

1 onion, cut into quarters

4  garlic cloves

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup cilantro

1/4 cup fresh dill

1 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)

2 scoops Designs for Health PurePea Protein, Unflavored)

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


3 tbsp organic tahini paste

3 tbsp plain cultured coconut milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt


10 cups mixed spring greens (about 5 ounces)

1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into half-moons

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved


1Soak the chickpeas one day in advance (24 hours) in baking soda and enough water to cover them. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Pat them dry.

2Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.

3Combine the chickpeas, onions, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and coriander in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it forms a slightly coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oil, parsley, dill, cilantro, baking powder, PurePea protein, sea salt, and cayenne; mix well. Form the mixture into nine 2-inch-diameter balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and slightly puffed, about 20 minutes. Set it aside. The falafel balls will be very tender, but slightly crispy on the outside.

4Combine the tahini, coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.

5Combine the mixed spring greens, cucumber, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well to coat. Divide salad among three plates and add three falafel patties to each one.

Originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook, Grand Central Life & Style, 2014


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Nutrition Facts

Sodium891 grams
Potassium540 mg
Protein26 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Sugar8 g
Total Fat21 g
Saturated Fat4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat1 g
Monounsaturated Fat5 g
Trans Fat0 g
Total Carbohydrates50 g
Dietary Fiber16 g

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