Dreamy Sweet Potato Falafel

dreamy sweet potato falafel

Hey guys! I decided to give this recipe a little face lift that includes NEW pictures. The recipe and content are still 100% the same. It was just high time for better pictures. Enjoy!

The New Nutrient-Dense Comfort Food

Recently, one of my patients asked me about the last time I had fried chicken. They were genuinely interested since it was one of their weaknesses to keeping their blood sugars under control, along with sodas. It’s a usual struggle for my patients here in the South, but it caught me off guard when they asked about my own intake. I paused, trying to remember the last time I had a piece. I finally concluded it had been at least 2 years. It struck me then that I’ve lived in the South my entire adult life and fried chicken is not a regular part of my diet. I chuckled inwardly at how unorthodox I am. Then, it occurred to me how grateful I should be that I don’t struggle with cravings for “fried foods” anymore.

Every part of me wishes my patients could adopt a similar perspective about food – that it’s more about nourishment than cravings. The benefits of this mindset are enormous. It has given me a more functional body – emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally – as well as a new level of enjoyment and pleasure in consuming food, without the guilt or health consequences. I would give up sodas and fried chicken any day for that.

Probably the closest meal I’ve had to fried chicken in the past few years is falafel. One of my favorite restaurants in Memphis, TN, affectionately refers to falafel as the “Big Mac of the Middle East.” I agree, except there is no guilt with these dreamy balls of goodness. Why? Because they are full of herbs, chickpeas, and spices instead of fatty meat. In my opinion, falafel is one of the most nutrient-dense comfort foods out there.

Sweet Potato Falafel

Unlike traditional falafel made with chickpea flour, which is not always available in grocery stores, all the ingredients in this sweet potato falafel recipe can be found in a regular grocery store. Sweet potatoes, oats, canned chickpeas, cilantro, and tahini make up the bulk of these dreamy, wholesome bites. If tahini is something your grocery store doesn’t carry, you can simply substitute with almond butter.

Also, if you are a parent with littles, give these a try for your kiddos. My daughter loves them! They would make an excellent lunch for the whole family, especially nestled in pita bread or topped on a salad.

As someone who eats mostly plant-based meals, I’ve had my fair share of falafel at various restaurants. One thing I can’t stand is when the falafel is overpowered by cumin. I can only handle cumin in small amounts – thanks to pregnancy aversions that never went away. This recipe has a subtle but wonderful mix of spices and herbs so that nothing is overpowered by one flavor, just how it should be.

dreamy sweet potato falafel

The Recipe

Dreamy Sweet Potato Falafel
Author: Kim Suddeath
Serves: 10-12 falafels
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini (optional sub: almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups cilantro, washed and most of stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed and peeled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Prep ingredients: peel and chop sweet potato, drain and rinse chickpeas, wash and de-stem cilantro, mash and peel garlic cloves, and squeeze out lime juice.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until everything is well combined. If the mixture gets stuck, stop blending and get a spatula to force the mixture down, then try blending again. You may have to do this several times to get a smooth consistency, blending for about 5 minutes total.
  3. Transfer falafel mixture to a bowl (or you can leave in food processor and remove the blade).
  4. Using a small spoon, scoop out falafel mixture into palm of hand and roll into a ball. The falafel should be about the size in diameter of a small lime. Continue until all falafel patties are formed.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, cover the bottom of the pan with extra virgin olive oil. Once the pan is heated through, add sweet potato falafel and cook on each side for 3-5 minutes or until each side is a golden brown color. Place falafel patties on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  6. Continue until all falafel patties are cooked and serve warm.
  7. Keeps in the refrigerator up to 7 days.

I hope you give these a try and if so, send me a picture! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook and it will absolutely make my day. In the meantime, I’m sending you all the sweet potato and chickpea love!

dreamy sweet potato falafel

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About Kim Suddeath

16 comments to " Dreamy Sweet Potato Falafel "
  • Oh my gosh!!!!! I love falafel and haven’t ever tried to make it at home. This recipe is completely approachable and it’s going on the menu for next week. What kind of things do you serve it with? (Or do you just eat them as is?) Once at the Cheesecake Factory I had a kale salad with falafel that was really good- falafel, crunchy kale, cucumbers, a creamy tahini dressing, parmesean cheese….may try to replicate it.

    • Yay! I can’t wait to hear what you think 🙂 This recipe is definitely approachable. I love to put falafel on salads, macro/abundance bowls, or in pita bread with cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce. That falafel kale salad sounds like a winner, too!

  • This looks delicious!! I can’t wait to try it out

  • These look and sound absolutely delicious! I love food like this – incredibly wholesome but so good to eat! The best of both worlds 🙂

  • Marcy

    Do you think these could be baked instead of fried? I try not to fry anything if possible. I bake other burgers or salmon patties instead of frying them and thought I might do the same with this recipe.

    • Great question, Marcy. I haven’t tried baking them, but it should work out the same. They held up really well for skillet frying, so I can imagine they would also hold up well in the oven. As far as oven temperature and timing, I would start at 400 F for 15 minutes and then adjust from there. Thanks for your question 🙂 I would love to hear how it turns out!

  • These look really good! I am going to try these this week. I am wondering, do you cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time or just process raw then they will fully cook when fried? Thanks!

  • Judy

    Kim, what is the sauce? Looks divine — can’t wait to try these!

  • Bernadette

    Cannot wait to try these but 2cups of cilantro? Seems like rather a lot…..

    • Hi Bernadette, yes 2 cups of cilantro is a lot. I love falafel that is full of herbs 🙂 If you can’t find that much cilantro at your grocery store, you can use a leafy green like kale or spinach instead and it will still taste amazing!

  • Deanna

    I baked these at 400F for 20 min and “oh my!” SO GOOD! They held together so well!

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