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    Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce

    Published February 15, 2018. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce – Take your weeknight meals to the next level with this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce that is loaded with everything that goes into a falafel sandwich. From pickles, to feta, to spinach this falafel bowl is absolutely to die for!

    Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce

    Every single time I make falafel at home I always say to myself WHY do I not make it more often?  I mean it is just so delicious and so incredibly easy to make that it is a no brainer to make!

    This recipe features tons of delicious flavors that are sure to satisfy your Indian/Mediterranean craving!  I have to admit that I like my falafel recipe over most restaurants simply because I season it.  Something as small as salt and pepper goes a long way, but when I eat it in a restaurant I am always dumping tahini sauce all over it so that it tastes like something.

    Most of the time I get an overcooked really dry falafel that has no flavor and was probably cooked early in the morning and put under a heat lamp all day until I order it.  Well maybe that’s not exactly the case, however, mine is better!  I believe the folks in the Mediterranean area would be happy with my recipe.

    How to Make Falafel

    I do have to admit then the first time I ever made falafel, way back in my restaurant days, I made it from canned chickpeas and once I fried it, it completely fell apart in the oil.  I was so flipping mad!

    I should have put some flour in there and I knew it but didn’t.  Fast forward 20 years and the real secret is not to use canned chickpeas.  No, it’s to use dried chickpeas that are reconstituted.

    homemade falafel with garlic tahini sauce

    You see canned chickpeas are cooked and soaked making them dang near impossible to hold together because there isn’t much left to cook.  I used Bob’s Red Mill dried chickpeas which honestly are perfect for falafel, as are all their products for whatever your need may be.

    Once you soak them overnight in water, drain them and toss them in a food processor with all the other goodness and pulse it until it becomes like a meal.  At this stage try and think of what a pie crust might look like and you’ll be just about there.

    How to Cook Them

    You want to form the falafel into golf ball-sized, or smaller, balls that you fry up in some grapeseed oil around 375°.  I like grapeseed oil because it’s on the healthier side and has a high smoking point, but you can absolutely use oils like safflower, canola or coconut, totally up to you.

    Once they are golden brown and cooked throughout, that’s the key to make sure they are done in the middle, you want to drain them on a paper towel to get rid of any access oil that they are fried in.  You want to keep the falafel warm while you make the garlic tahini sauce and the quinoa so you may want to keep them in the oven at like 140° just so they stay warm.

    Just a little FYI there for ya.

    quinoa bowl recipe with homemade falafel recipe and garlic tahini sauce

    Tahini Sauce

    There really isn’t too much to say about the garlic tahini sauce for falafel other than you putting everything into a bowl and whisking it together until it is combined.  I guess the only thing you could watch out for is that tahini, or ground up sesame seeds, has a very strong earthy flavor to it and the only way to cut that is with the lemon juice.

    If you feel you need more lemon juice because the garlic tahini sauce is just too earthy, or bitter, then, by all means, add some more in there until it meets your needs.  I always say you should recipes as guidelines and feel free to tweak where necessary.

    How to Serve It

    Simply serve the quinoa in a bowl alongside some sliced pickles, tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, baby spinach, olives, and the homemade falafel and garlic tahini sauce and that’s it.  I think it would be cool to simply lay out all of the ingredients like a buffet and let your guests pick and choose what they want to add to the quinoa bowl.

    If you want to wow some friends then for sure make this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce, because honestly it only takes about 45 minutes to make.

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce

    5 from 1 vote
    Take your weeknight meals to the next level with this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Falafel and Garlic Tahini Sauce.
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 25 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Falafel:

    • 1 cup of dried Bob's Red Mill Chickpeas submerged in water overnight and drained
    • ½ peeled and roughly chopped yellow onion
    • ¼ cup of Italian parsley leaves
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
    • oil for frying
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    For the Garlic Tahini Sauce:

    • ½ cup of tahini
    • 1/3 cup of water
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 3 finely minced garlic cloves
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    For the Bowl:

    • 6 cups of cooked Bob's Red Mill Quinoa
    • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, roasted or raw
    • 2 cups of sliced dill pickles
    • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
    • 3 cups of packed baby spinach
    • 1 cup of assorted pitted Mediterranean olives
    • micro-greens for garnish
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • Add the drained chickpeas to a food processor along with the onion, parsley, garlic, baking powder, cumin and salt and pepper and process until it becomes like a meal.
    • Using your hands mold golf ball sized balls or smaller from the chickpea batter and set them aside.
    • Heat the grapeseed oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until it reaches 375°.
    • Add in the falafel and cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side or until golden browned and cooked in the center. Drain on a paper towel once they are done cooking.
    • Tahini - Whisk together all the ingredients in a medium size bowl and keep cool until ready to serve.
    • To Plate: Place 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl and garnish with tomatoes, pickles, feta, spinach, olives, cooked falafel, tahini and micro greens. Serve hot.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 998kcalCarbohydrates: 143gProtein: 40gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1094mgPotassium: 1778mgFiber: 21gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 2343IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 365mgIron: 13mg
    Course: Main
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Author: Chef Billy Parisi