Pumpkin falafel pockets

Pumpkin falafel pockets

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus chilling


Serves 4

Make some magic in your microwave with these easy-to-prepare pumpkin or butternut squash pockets

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal346
  • fat8g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs54g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre9g
  • protein17g
  • salt1.91g
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  • 1kg pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded and cut into wedges



    Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween…

  • 400g can chickpea, drained, rinsed and dried
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • small bunch parsley, roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 2 slices white bread, whizzed to crumbs

For the salad

  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • ½ small red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 wholemeal pitta breads to serve


  1. Put the pumpkin in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with cling film. Cook on High for 10 mins or until soft. Tip the chickpeas, garlic, chilli flakes, cumin and half of the parsley into a food processor, then whizz until the chickpeas are finely chopped but not smooth.

  2. Allow the pumpkin to cool slightly, then scoop the flesh from the skin and add to the chickpea mix with some seasoning and the breadcrumbs. Give everything a good stir, then shape into 12 little patties with your hands. Put the falafels on a plate and chill for 10 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, mix the remaining parsley with the grated carrot, onion and feta cheese, then set aside. Heat the grill to Medium, then cook the falafels on a baking tray for 3-5 mins on each side until golden. Split the pitta breads lengthways and fill with the warm falafels and some of the feta salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th Oct, 2014
I was kind of scared tot try this recipe because of the comments, but I had no problems at all! It was really delicious! I used a golden nugget pumpkin and the mixture was perfect, not wet or bland at all. However adding a bit of greek yoghurt as sauce in the pitas would have made it even better!
12th Oct, 2013
I used canned pumpkin and I didn't have the sloppy mixture problem, though I did find them a bit on the bland side, despite doubling the cumin. A bit of salt would have been good. I sliced the red onions very thinly in my food processor, then let them soak in the juice of one lime - that really helped perk up the flavour. I'd definitely make these again - with canned pumpkin it's much less work.
15th Aug, 2013
I used butternut squash and I ended up with the same problem, very sloppy. I should of used more garlic, as they were quite bland. Little one loved them though.
12th Jan, 2013
I roasted the pumpkin with several cloves of garlic and cumin before using a food processor to combine it with the chickpeas, etc. I used a couple of slices of multi-seeded bread to make the bread crumbs as this was all I had. It was a messy mission to get the mixture in to balls....but I baked them at 200oC until they had a crunchy texture on the outside and they were yummy.
7th Nov, 2012
In theory, this recipe should be ace, only I also had the problem with the sloppy mixture. I added three times more breadcrumbs, but that didn't help. I added flour, but that made the patties taste weird. I then used a basting brush in the middle of grilling to brush some Worcestershire Sauce (it's all we had in't fridge, like) over the patties to get rid of the taste of flour. Hmm, not great overall. Needs tweaking or something!
13th Aug, 2012
Having read the reviews on the blandness of the finished falaffel, I doubled the amount of garlic and spices and cooked the squash with half of the garlic and chilli. I also swapped parsley for coriander. The only other addition was a squeeze of orange on the salad. A very satisfying meal
Frantic Flapjack
14th Nov, 2011
These were okay but as with most falafel recipes, there is not too much taste to these and you need to serve with a spicy relish to bring out some flavour.
3rd Nov, 2011
I have made this on two occasions, the first time thinking I had done something wrong as the finished patties were so wet, but the second time they were exactly the same! I ended frying them after grilling them to try and firm them up. Tasty but very disappointing as the end result was very sloppy.
3rd Nov, 2011
Mixture was very wet I ended up doubling the bread and adding flour even then it was still very wet so I ended up frying the falafel on both sides then oven baking them.
28th Sep, 2011
I made the falafels the day before meaning prep on the day was kept to a minimum. I have tried making falafel before but they've been either tasteless or the texture wasn't right. These were scrummy and the feta and carrot salad is lovely! Definitely a do-again recipe in our house!
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