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Black Bean Falafel
with quinoa / harissa aioli / coriander zucchini

Active: 45 Total: 45

There's no special equipment needed to make these Middle Eastern-seasoned falafel that use black beans instead of the traditional chickpeas and / or fava beans. The result is tender, bite-sized patties served over quinoa with a creamy harissa sauce. This meal was last featured in 2020.
Smarts: Falafel are easy to freeze, so make a double batch and freeze extra for an easy meal down the road. 



  • Quinoa, uncooked - 1/2 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
Black Bean Falafel:
  • Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Beans, black (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans , drained and rinsed
  • Tamari - 1 Tbsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Paprika - 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Eggs - 1
  • Panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free - 3/4 cup
  • Almond flour - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Harissa Aioli:
  • Mayonnaise - 6 Tbsp
  • Harissa, mild - 2 tsp , adjust to taste, especially if using a spicy harissa
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Coriander Zucchini:
  • Zucchini - 1 lb , spears or chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp


  1. Quinoa - Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Zucchini - Slice into spears or chop. (Note: Spears are great for dipping in sauce, but the zucchini will cook faster if chopped.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Make aioli - Whisk together mayonnaise, harissa, and lemon juice (portion for aioli). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Green onions - Chop green onions. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

  5. Make black bean falafel - Drain and rinse beans. Combine beans and green onions in a bowl and mash with a potato masher, pastry blender, or fork (it’s okay if some larger pieces of beans remain). Add Tamari, chili powder, paprika, ground coriander (portion for falafel), salt, black pepper, eggs, panko, and almond flour. Stir everything together until evenly combined. Use your hands to make small patties 2" / 5 cm across or about 5 / serving. (Note: The mixture should be fairly sticky, but if it’s too sticky to work with, add some more almond flour a spoonful at a time.) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

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  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil (portion for zucchini) and then zucchini. Season zucchini with ground coriander (portion for zucchini) and some salt and pepper as it cooks. Cook zucchini on all sides until tender and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice (portion for zucchini) over top. Set zucchini aside and return skillet to heat.

  2. Add oil (portion for falafel) to heated pan and then add falafel in a single layer (do this in batches if needed). Sear falafel on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

  3. If quinoa was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.

  4. Serve zucchini and falafel over quinoa. Top with harissa aioli. Enjoy!



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