This vegan sweet potato falafel recipe is a new twist on an old favorite, making it easier, more flavorful with corn, and even better! They’re healthy, gluten-free, so delicious, and perfect for meal prep! Make a big batch ahead and refrigerate or freeze, then you can always have homemade falafel in minutes!
Easy Vegan Homemade Falafel
Falafel is one of my favorite vegan foods which even helped me to eat less meat! They are not only absolutely delicious but also rich in protein and fiber so they keep you full and satisfied for a long while. Usually, I prepare a big batch on Sundays to enjoy throughout the week for quick lunches or dinners! Sometimes I make traditional falafel just with chickpeas but I also love this softer sweet potato version!
What I really love about oriental falafel is that you can serve them in so many ways! They’re great as a side dish to any salads, lunch, or dinner bowls. But they can be also added in tortillas to make wraps or in naan to make pitas, or just enjoyed on their own as a snack with your favorite dips. You can even play around with the add-ins and flavors of your falafel mixture as I did in this vegan sweet potato and corn falafel recipe!
How to make Sweet Potato Falafel
Step 1: cook the sweet potato
Start by piercing a medium-large sweet potato a few times with a fork. Then microwave for 10 minutes or until soft. Alternatively, bake in the oven as instructed in my recipe for Mexican stuffed sweet potato skins. However, keep in mind that the baking time may vary. It’s best to test with a fork before removing the sweet potato.
Step 2: Prep the sweet potato falafel dough
Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Next, place the oats in a food processor and process into fine flour. Add the chickpeas, sautéed onions and garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of chili. Process into a coarse mixture but do not purée (see photo), then transfer to a bowl.
Once the sweet potato is soft, scoop out the flesh. Add to the bowl along with the Ajvar (or paprika or tomato paste), corn, and parsley or coriander (if using) and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight if making this ahead.
Step 3: form into patties and fry or bake!
Once the mixture has become firmer, form it into flat balls with damp hands and arrange them on a baking sheet. Heat enough oil in a large non-stick pan or skillet. Place about 11 falafel in the hot oil, depending on the size of your falafel and pan, and flatten them with a spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip and cook the other side, too. Alternatively, bake the falafel as instructed in this recipe.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy hot with your favorite dip as a snack, appetizer, or side dish with desired other foods for a full main course. Here are some of my favorite recipes for vegan dips that go well with this sweet potato falafel:
- Creamy Guacamole
- Cashew Mayonnaise (Vegan Aioli)
- Vegan Tzatziki
- Vegan Cashew Dip
- Ajvar (Red Pepper Dip)
How to store and freeze falafel
Store leftover falafel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Then reheat on the stove or in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°C) for 8-10 minutes, or until warm and crisp!
To freeze the uncooked falafel, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about an hour. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer container or ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 6 months, then cook or bake as instructed straight from the freezer. Please do not thaw them or they’ll get mushy. Just consider that you may increase the cooking time until they’re cooked throughout.
These Vegan Sweet Potato and Corn Falafel are:
- Easy to make
- Crispy on the outside
- Soft on the inside
- Rich in protein
- So delicious!
More sweet potato recipes to try:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas
- Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins
- Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce
- Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry
- Sweet Potato and Lentil Fritters
- Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce
If you try this vegan sweet potato falafel recipe, please leave a comment and rating on how you liked it! And if you take a photo of your chickpea falafel and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love to see your remakes! Enjoy!
Vegan Sweet Potato and Corn FalafelAuthor:
- 1 medium-large sweet potato about 1 cup mashed
- 2 tsp vegetable oil + more for frying
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 tbsp oats or sub all-purpose or chickpea flour
- 2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas rinsed & drained
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1 pinch of chili powder optional to taste
- 1-2 tbsp Ajvar or paprika paste or tomato paste
- ½ x 10 oz can corn rinsed and drained, or ¾ cup frozen (thawed), optional
- ½ cup fresh parsley or coriander finely chopped (optional)
- *Note: see step-by-step photos above!
- Pierce the sweet potato a few times with a fork. Then microwave for 10 minutes on high, or until soft. (Alternatively, wrap in aluminum foil or brush with oil and bake in the preheated oven at 392°F/200°C for about 60 minutes, or until soft).
- Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick pan or skillet. Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for a further minute. Set aside.
- Place the oats in a food processor and process into fine flour. Add the chickpeas, sautéed onions and garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and a pinch of chili. Process into a coarse mixture but do not purée (see photo above), then transfer to a bowl.
- Once the sweet potato is soft, scoop out the flesh. Add to the bowl along with the Ajvar, corn, and parsley or coriander (if using) and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight. (If the falafel dough looks still too sticky after chilling, add a bit more flour).
- Once the mixture has become firmer, form it into flat balls with damp hands and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a large non-stick pan or skillet. Place about 11 falafel in the hot oil, depending on the size of your falafel and pan (be sure to leave enough space between each other), and flatten with a spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip and cook the other side, too. (Alternatively, bake the falafel as instructed in this recipe).
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy hot with hummus or your favorite dip as a snack, side dish or appetizer!
- Storage: Keep leftover falafel in an airtight container stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°C) for 8-10 minutes, or until warm and crisp!
- See blog post for further information on freezing instruction, serving suggestions, and more!
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