Beetroot falafel

Beetroot falafel

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 6

Jazz up an all-time vegetarian favourite by adding vibrant beetroot - serve with tahini yoghurt dip and pickled beets

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal260
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre7g
  • protein10g
  • salt1.1g


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
  • 500g raw beetroot, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated



    A favourite in 1970s British salads (cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root…

  • 100g fresh breadcrumb
  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • vegetable oil, for brushing or frying

To serve

  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 x 150ml pots natural yogurt
  • pinch of sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • flatbreads
  • few pickled golden beetroot, diced (see 'Goes Well With')



    A favourite in 1970s British salads (cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root…

  • 3 handfuls beet leaves or a bag of beet salad


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until softened but not coloured. Add the cumin and cook for 1 min, then scrape the mixture into a food processor with the chickpeas, two-thirds of the grated beetroot, the breadcrumbs, egg and tahini. Whizz to a rough paste, then scrape into a bowl and stir in the remaining grated beetroot with plenty of seasoning.

  2. With damp hands, shape into about 20 balls and space on baking parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until ready to serve.

  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush the falafels with a little vegetable oil and bake for 20-25 mins until crisp and hot through. Alternatively, heat 2.5cm oil in a deep wok and fry in batches, turning, until crisp and hot.

  4. To serve, mix the tahini with the yogurt, sugar and some seasoning, then dollop onto the flatbreads with the warm or room-temperature falafels, diced beetroot and beet leaves or salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th Oct, 2014
Delicious! I make this all the time for lunches and often mix some harissa with hummus to put on top.
28th Mar, 2014
Delicious - far better than the falafel burger recipe because they tasted so much more wholesome/substantial! However, like below, I added more flavour by adding ground coriander and cayenne pepper. I think next time I'll add garlic like others have suggested. Also I didn't use oil to bake - not because I'm anti-oil - but because I was lazy and didn't want oily beetrooty hands! They still crisped up really well. I didn't have breadcrumbs so I used flour until I could form nice balls.
16th Oct, 2013
These were really delicious, but I also followed others' advice. I fried garlic with the onions and as well as cumin I also added Ras El Hanout to give them loads of flavour. They were really delicious with this spice mix in. Instead of the plain yogurt on top I mixed tahini, cumin, lemon juice and seasoning into my yogurt to make it really flavoursome. Delicious!
13th Feb, 2013
They were ok and a lovely colour but needed alot of other seasoning. Oven baking and adding a bit of flour to the mix gave the best result
10th Feb, 2013
just wondering if canned beetroot can be used and if freezing them uncooked and cooking once being thawed would be okay?
vintageabbie's picture
30th Jan, 2013
This was absolutely delicious, a really clever way of using up leftover beetroot. Falafels are delicious anyway, but the beetroot made for a really interesting change. I halved the recipe but wasn't able to add half an egg obviously, but I found that the ingredients held together nicely and were crisp when brought out of the oven. Huge success!
4th Dec, 2012
I was careful not to add too much egg so it didnt go too sloppy, I also added a bit of flour to bind the ingredients and get a crispy outer. Add lots of herbs and a bit of spice and garlic. These were delicious in pitta bread with humous and pomegranate or sweet chilli sauce.
14th Oct, 2012
We really didn't enjoy this, ended up binning it and having toast. Wouldn't recommend at all. It was just a big sloppy mess and tasteless. Really not worth the effort!
10th Oct, 2012
Easy and brilliant. I've added some coarsely grated carrots with the last third of the beetroot, it doesn't hurt, either. Oven baking is easier, healthier and time-saving. To our toddler I made "bread snails": put some falafel into the flatbread, flattened the falafel so it covered the whole bread, rolled up and cut like I'd be making cinnamon rolls and positioned them on his plate. The yogurt I served in a separate bowl, so it looked like "snails creeping towards the yogurt"...
9th Oct, 2012
You need to be careful not to over process the ingredients before adding the last third of beetroot. Oven baking them was better tasting in my opinion as the wonderful colour was preserved better.
Chris J-S's picture
Chris J-S
7th Aug, 2019
Does the Nutrition: per serving include the "To serve" items? If so, would you know what the Nutrition for just the beetroot falafel per serving, or per beetroot falafel? Thank you in advance.
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Aug, 2019
Thanks for your question. Our recipes do not include either 'to serve' ingredients or 'optional' ingredients in the nutritional information.
23rd Aug, 2014
Can these be frozen and reheated? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Sep, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question, yes this recipe is suitable for freezing. Thanks.
PatB60's picture
19th Oct, 2018
Cooked or uncooked to freeze please
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Oct, 2018
Thanks for your question - you can freeze them before or after.
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