These keto falafel are so tasty - you won't believe they are made with cauliflower! Seriously, cauliflower falafel taste just like the real deal: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and packed with plenty of flavour from spices and fresh parsley. This vegetarian recipe works well as a lunch or dinner with a salad or serve as a keto appetizer with the tahini dipping sauce.
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Falafel is one of the snack foods I have been missing since I've started eating a keto diet. When I lived in Berlin, there was a Middle Eastern food truck close to my house, which had the most amazing chickpea falafel. They were super crispy and served in a pita bread with salad and lots of tahini dressing.
I am so happy that I finally got around to making a cauliflower falafel recipe. Cauliflower really is a superb low carb alternative to chickpeas.
Which made me think - Is there anything cauliflower CAN'T do? From rice to potatoes (try my Creamy Keto Mashed Cauliflower) to bulgur wheat, cauliflower always works as a substitution. It should win an award for most versatile vegetable!
My kids are pretty critical when it comes to keto versions of their favourite foods. This keto falafel got the thumbs up from everyone. It really is that good! Plus, it's low in net carbs. Win-win!
Ingredients for cauliflower falafel
- Cauliflower - The fresher, the better!
- Onion - finely chopped.
- Egg - I used large eggs.
- Almond flour and sesame seeds - I'm using what we here in the UK call ground almonds, which is equivalent to regular almond flour in the US. Super-fine almond flour will also work.
- Parsley and coriander - both flat leaf or curly parsley are fine. Don't substitute this with dried.
- Garlic and spices - Fresh garlic will lend better flavour than garlic powder. But if powder is all you've got, don't sweat it!
How to make keto falafel
Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse to a rice consistency. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a muslin cloth, fine tea towel or strong kitchen roll. Squeeze out as much water as possible.
This means - squeeze, squeeze, and when you think you're finished, squeeze once more! This is important to make the falafel more robust.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Fry the onion for 2 - 3 minutes on a medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute until fragrant.
Add the cauliflower and onion mix to mixing bowl along with all the spices, seasoning, lemon juice, eggs and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Mix to combine.
Note - if you find that the dough is too wet to work with, add 1-2 tbsp more almond flour. This could happen if you squeezed less water out of the cauliflower than I did.
Roll / press into balls and place on a greaseproof lined baking tray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with a good covering of olive oil.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on the outside and soft in the middle and to your liking. (Start checking from about 15 minutes. The size of your falafel will determine how long they take.) They will also firm up as they cool.
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a hand balloon whisk. This will stop the tahini splitting.
I chose to bake my keto falafel, but there are 2 more options:
Pan-fry: Makes the falafel nice and brown all over, but they are a little more fragile than the ones made in the oven. Also, you'll need a generous amount of oil for the pan.
To make the batter sturdier for pan-frying, increase the amount of almond flour to ⅔ cup / 70g.
Air fryer: One of my most used kitchen appliances because I love anything crispy! Cauliflower falafel would be perfect for air frying. Put them on parchment paper just like in the oven so they don't stick. This should take a little less time than in the oven.
Make sure you add lots of olive oil when you bake them. This will keep them nice and moist and makes them super tasty.
I served my keto falafel on a bed of low carb tabbouleh for lunch. Yes, both dishes contained cauliflower, but I promise it won't be boring. The salad is crunchy and fragrant and takes only 15 minutes to prepare. I'll post it next week. The combo was delicious!
You could also go for a simple green salad or even a Greek salad with olives and feta cheese. Not quite authentic, but the flavours mingle well.
The third option would be to serve the falafel as an appetiser with the tahini dipping sauce on the side.
Or go for the Berlin Food truck option and put them in a low carb flatbread with salad and sauce! I have a wonderful recipe for keto flatbread in my Keto Bread Made Easy Cookbook. You can order it here. I've had people tell me this is the most useful ebook they've ever bought.
How to store low carb falafel
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
More keto cauliflower recipes
I always marvel at the variety of dishes you can make with cauliflower. It's quite a chameleon veggie! Here are some of the most popular cauliflower recipes on Sugar Free Londoner:
One of the most fun ways to eat cauliflower - as extra crispy "popcorn".
Cauliflower rice makes a brilliant sub for rice in this Keto sushi.
Cauliflower hash browns, spiced with turmeric!
This keto potato salad is a summer staple, especially during bbq season.
We all loved this keto stuffing with herbs and sausage meat!
Cauliflower works even in desserts - Check out my keto rice pudding!
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating below!
Low Carb Keto Falafel (Cauliflower Recipe)
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 1 small cauliflower 350g florets / 3 cups cauliflower rice
- ¼ cup of each / 15g each fresh parsley and fresh coriander chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small onion ¼ cup / 40g, finely chopped
- ½ cup / 50g almond flour
- ½ tbsp each ground coriander and sesame seeds (cilantro)
- ½ tsp each cumin, dried oregano, pepper
- ⅓ tsp cayenne or turmeric
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 eggs large
- 1 tbsp olive oil + 2- 3 tbsp for drizzling before baking
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 garlic clove small
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp ice cold water
- Pinch of flaked sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 400 F.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until a rice consistency.
- Transfer to a heatproof bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a muslin cloth, fine tea towel or strong kitchen roll and squeeze out as much water as possible. This is important to help the falafel stay tougher.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Fry the onion for 2 - 3 mins on a medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute until fragrant.
- Add the cauliflower and onion mix to the mixing bowl along with all the spices, seasoning, lemon, eggs and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Mix to combine. Roll / press into balls and place on a greaseproof lined baking tray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with a good covering of olive oil.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on the outside and soft in the middle and to your liking. (Start checking from about 15 minutes as depends how big you make your falafel as to how long they take.) They will also firm up as they cool.
- Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a hand balloon whisk. This will stop the tahini splitting. Drizzle tahini over the falafel before serving or serve on the side.
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