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falafel pitas with cucumber yogurt spread.


Have you tried them?

The first time I had a falafel was a few years ago at Gigi’s Mediterranean, a restaurant across the street from college where owner/head chef and chief dishwasher Gigi made her authentic falafels the way most do – through the fine art of deep frying.

Yum.  They were heavenly…all hot and fried up crisp.

This type of preparation is quite typical for the popular Middle Eastern street food. These falafels, however, are lightly sauteed using only nonstick cooking spray.  They’re still flavorful so you won’t miss the 3 inches of canola oil.

Grab your food processor and toss in chickpeas, garlic, breadcrumbs and herbs.

Blend ’em all up…

Cook the falafels for a few minutes on the stove, and then…

Stuff with your favorite toppings, including this heavenly greek yogurt/cucumber dressing.

Bon Appetite!

Falafel Pitas

(Serves 4)

What You’ll Need:

1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

1/4 cup italian parsley

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained

1 egg

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup shredded cucumber

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 whole wheat pitas, halved

garnish – lettuce leaves and sliced tomato


Place first 9 ingredients in a food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  Divide mixture into 4 portions and shape into patties, each about 1/2 inch thick.  Heat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray set over medium-high heat.  Cook patties about 4 minutes per side, until slightly brown.

Combine cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl.

Place patty, lettuce and tomato and cucumber dressing in each pita half.

TOTAL:  $3.95 or $.99 per serving.

Wondering how on earth I arrived at these costs?  Take a look at my shopping guide to show see what I pay for items, per serving, etc.


220 calories per serving

4 grams of fat

37 carbs

10 grams protein

7 grams fiber

Mosey on over to Facebook and let me know what you think!

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am all over this! We just got back from Sprouts, where I bought all vegan, organic, fiber free and guten free food to help jump start better eating habits for our family. I spent double what I normally spend on groceries! Enough of this – I’m going to make this recipe, and a few others so I can recover a little bit from todays financial setback 😉

    January 10, 2012
    • Wow! You really went for it! I would argue you do need fiber in your diet, or maybe that was a typo. Let me know what you think, and don’t be partial just because you’re my Mama.

      January 10, 2012
    • Julie #

      Did you make this gluten free? How did it turn out?

      January 30, 2012
      • Hi Julie – these aren’t gluten free but if you use gluten-free bread or crackers for breadcrumbs and gluten-free pitas, you’d be good to go! Let me know if you give it a whirl…

        January 30, 2012
    • Julie #

      Sorry, I thought Mama’s comment was indicating she was going to make them gluten free. That’s exactly what I was thinking with GF breadcrumbs and pitas. When I give it try I’ll let you know!

      January 30, 2012
  2. The last time I made falafels, they turned out a little dry (I did bake them!). I like the addition of a egg here. I will try this out at the weekend. It looks delicious. Great photos too. Have you tried sweet potato falafels? I’ll be sticking a recipe on my blog soon. They go all caramelised and gooey, and baked, so a healthier. Looking forward to reading more of these frugal wonders.

    January 26, 2012
    • I know! They can be so dry unless you drench them in oil. I would LOVE to try sweet potato falafels! Let me know if you put them on your blog! And let me know what you think of these…I think the key is to not cook them too long.

      January 27, 2012

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