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Baked Saffron Falafel with Orange Tahini Sauce

These Baked Saffron Falafel with Orange Tahini Sauce are moist and tender on the inside with an al dente crunchy exterior. Sunflower seeds, saffron and lemon zest add a flavor twist to these and the tahini sauce is wonderful. Adapted from Bon Appetit's Baked Falafel.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: baked falafel recipe, falafel recipe, saffron recipe, tahini recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 358kcal
Author: Kevin Is Cooking


  • 3/4 cup roasted/salted sunflower seeds
  • 4 cups cooked or canned chickpeas rinsed, drained
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • pinch kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Pulse sunflower seeds in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add onion and pulse 1 minute longer. Add chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, buckwheat flour, baking powder, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and pulse, occasionally scraping down sides of work bowl, until mixture is slightly coarse and well combined. Add the saffron threads and pulse once or twice to just mix through, but not pulverize.
  • With a small scoop make 24 small round falafels and place on a baking sheet with a parchment paper, a Silpat or silicone baking mat.
  • Bake until falafels are evenly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes, depending on oven.
  • Whisk together the tahini, orange juice, and kosher salt in a bowl until creamy dressing forms. Set aside.
  • Allow falafel to come to room temperature and serve with dipping sauce or drizzle over top.


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 12.9mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 3.2mg