Fava Bean Falafel Pitas With Cucumber-Tomato Salad


Falafel is normally made with chickpeas, so this fresh fava bean falafel recipe is a delicious same-but-different take on what you might be used to. The rest of the falafel ingredients are pretty traditional: the favas are combined with garlic, cilantro, lemon zest, parsley, and shallot, plus cumin and coriander. Those are then shaped into balls, toasted in a skillet and finished in the oven for a healthier, baked take on falafel. Tuck into warmed pita pockets with a cucumber-tomato salad and serve with iced mint tea or light beer.

Fava Bean Falafel Pitas With Cucumber-Tomato Salad
These falafel, made with fava beans or lima beans instead of the traditional chickpeas, are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They're great on their own as an appetizer, but even better paired with a refreshing yogurt sauce, simple Israeli salad, and warm pitas. Get the Recipe:Fava Bean Falafel Pitas With Cucumber-Tomato Salad. Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 servings


  • 1 ½ cups peeled, shelled fresh fava beans (about 1 1/2 lb. beans in pods), divided or frozen lima beans, thawed

  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed

  • ½ cup loosely-packed cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. loosely-packed flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, divided

  • 2 small shallots, chopped, divided

  • 1 ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced

  • ½ cup whole-milk yogurt

  • 4 warmed pocket pitas


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Remove beans from the pod. Prepare a large bowl of ice water fitted with a colander. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high. Add beans and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; transfer to a colander. Peel beans (pierce skins with a paring knife; squeeze to pop out beans). Discard skins.

  3. Add ¾ cup fava beans to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, 3 to 4 times. Transfer to a large bowl. Add garlic, cilantro, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, flour, baking powder, ½ cup of parsley, half of the shallot, 1¼ teaspoons of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and remaining 2 cups of fava beans. Process until coarse paste forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with chopped favas and mix to combine. Form into 20 balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each).

  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add falafel and cook, turning with tongs, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until dry to the touch, 14 to 16 minutes.

  5. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, ¼ cup of the parsley, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper, and remaining shallot in a large bowl.

  6. Chop remaining 1 tablespoon parsley; transfer to a small bowl. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper; stir to combine.

  7. Split pitas and stuff with tomato-cucumber salad and falafel. Drizzle with yogurt sauce. Serve with remaining salad and yogurt.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

354 Calories
13g Fat
51g Carbs
11g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 354
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 1257mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 11g

*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.

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