White Bean & Basil Falafel

Can you tell I’ve been really digging my Mediterranean roots with the recipes I’ve been posting?! Spanakopita salmon, whipped feta and now falafel. Give me all the Med foods all day, every day.


This recipe is a special one for me because as I was creating it, it took me back in time. Falafel was the first meal my husband and I cooked together in our first apartment in Chicago. We were so excited to cook together in our own place and it was the beginning of thousands of meals together. It’s definitely one of my favorite memories.


We’ve had a good amount of falafel since then from various restaurants and fast-casual places, but this recipe is different from any dish we’ve had. Traditional falafel is made with chick peas and usually parsley and cilantro, but this falafel is made with cannellini beans and basil. Different flavor, but the same concept and I just love the combination of cannellini beans and basil.


Putting these falafel together was easier than I remember homemade falafel being. Just stick everything in a food processor and scoop it onto an oiled frying pan. The frying takes some time because you have to do it in batches, but it goes rather quickly.


Oh, and before I forget… I have a delicious tzatziki sauce to go with it. It’s the best!


I hope you’ll decide to make falafel at home and if you end up this recipe, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!

White Bean & Basil Falafel

Makes 18-20 falafel


  • 2 15 oz cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of fresh basil (loosely packed)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
  • Naan bread or pita bread
  • Kalamata olives

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 mini cucumber peeled and grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh dill


First, make the tzatziki sauce by combining the yogurt, lemon juice, grated cucumber, cumin, salt and dill. Set aside in the fridge until ready for use.

To make the falafel, add the beans, basil,  salt, cumin, paprika,  pepper, lemon juice, baking powder, flour and garlic to a food process. Blend until combined and thick.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the frying pan and let the oil cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, add tablespoon portions of the falafel mixture to the pan, pressing down on each spoonful gently.

Let each round cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the falafel mixture and let the falafel cool slightly before eating.

Serve with pita bread, tzatziki sauce and olives.



4 thoughts on “White Bean & Basil Falafel

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