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+ servings

Jeanine Donofrio's Baked Red Lentil Falafel

Author -
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large food processor, place the soaked lentils (they'll be plump but still raw at this point), shallot, hemp seeds, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, lemon zest, salt, baking powder, cilantro, parsley, and olive oil. Pulse until well combined but not pureed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the panko.
  • Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to form the falafel mixture into 18 balls (be careful not to pack the balls too tight or your falafel will be dense). Place the balls on the baking sheet and gently press to form thick patties. Drizzle the patties with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 7 minutes more or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. 
  • Meanwhile, make the lemon-tahini sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water and salt. Thin with more water as needed for a drizzleable consistency. 
  • Serve the falafel in pita, over a salad, or however you like, along with a big drizzle of the sauce!