Paleo Falafel (no beans!)

PaleoFalafelGround nuts, seeds and fresh herbs make the perfect texture and flavor in these bean-free, low-carb, and keto falafel balls.

First, I have to say:: I have nothing against beans! I love them… sometimes.

It’s just nice to have options, you know?

A recipe for those days where you’re all like, “I want falafel, but I don’t feel like beans.”

Or, “I feel like eating nuts… but I want falafel too. If only there was a way I could enjoy both at the same time?!”

Or, maybe you’re allergic to beans, avoiding beans, they make you toot and you have a hot date tonight… whatever.

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Not to fret, my friends. I come to you with bean-free falafel to save the day.

Because this recipe is paleo, it’s also dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free.

And; because vegans rock just as much as paleo tribes do, I made this recipe vegan, too.

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Soaking + pureeing + rolling + dehydrating and voila, you’re snacking on falafel and nuts at the very same time.

Mind blowing.

Don’t have a food dehydrator?

I’ve had this 4-tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator for nearly a decade and it’s still going strong. If I were to do it all over again, though, I would spend the extra $60 and get a 9-tray. So many more possibilities.

Anyways, if you don’t have a food dehydrator, no worries. You can make this paleo recipe in the oven, too.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Paleo Falafel (no beans!)
Recipe type: Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Ground nuts, seeds and fresh herbs make the perfect texture and flavor in these bean-free falafel balls.
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Add walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds to a large glass bowl. Fill with water, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Once complete, strain and rinse.
  2. Add cilantro, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, mint leaves, cumin, nutritional yeast, oregano, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and ground pepper to the bowl of your food processor.
  3. Pulse mixture until smooth.
  4. Then add soaked nut and seed mixture. Pulse mixture until nuts are the size of sesame seeds.
  5. Roll the dough; 2 tablespoons at a time, into balls. Press and rotate as you go to allow the mixture to stick. Repeat with remaining dough, creating 16 balls in total.
  6. Place completed balls on food dehydrator racks. Dehydrate at 110F for 10 hours, rotating halfway through. If you do not have a dehydrator, recipe can be cooked at the lowest temperature your oven will go (180F) for 3 hours, rotating halfway through.
Nut allergy - if you are allergic to nuts, you could make this recipe with 1 cup of sunflower seeds and 1 cup of pumpkin seeds.
Sesame allergy - if you are allergic to sesame, you could replace the sesame seeds with an equal amount of hemp seeds. Do not soak the hemp seeds.
Food Dehydrator - if you do not have a food dehydrator, I have included oven instructions in the recipe.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)

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First, you want to make the herb mixture really smooth. This is the component of the recipe that holds everything together!

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Once it’s smooth, add the nut & seed mixture to the bowl of your food processor. I have had this 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor for a little over 3 years and enjoy it. Although my $40 Black & Decker did a comparable job – it died when I tried to make nut butter for the first time but could ace a paleo recipe like this one!

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You see the consistency below?

This is what you’re aiming for. The almonds and walnuts are about the size of sesame seeds. You do not want to blend the mixture until it’s smooth… or it won’t taste like falafel.

Consistency is key!

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Roll em up, dehydrate (or bake as per instructions in the recipe) and serve on their own, or with a quick and easy sauce.

The sauce I made for the pictures of this recipe was a combination of:: tahini, homemade yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, water and minced garlic.

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These paleo falafel are great on top of roasted veggies, as a snack, or crumbled over a salad.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Have you tried it without the yeast? I can’t have that and wonder if it would be worth making the recipe anyway. Thanks!

    • I have not, I’m sorry Kari! If you try it, please let us know how it goes!

  2. I am with Sarah on the nutritional yeast. Any substitutes or suggestions? I have been reading about candida and am wondering if it is a cause of my adult acne. Tried the betaine acne solution that worked for you Leanne but haven’t seen any results for me. :( Still on a mission though to an acne free life. :)

  3. Ah, saw the nut allergy note at the bottom — whoops!

    Still would appreciate any subs/etc. on the yeast, though!

  4. I am currently on a diet to treat candida and am thrilled to find these! But a couple of questions: Is there another nut/seed I can use in place of the almonds (I’m allergic)? Also, can I leave out the nutritional yeast?

    Thank you!

  5. I made these for dinner last night and served them atop a green salad with a raw coriander dressing…they were delicious and loved by my whole family! Thank you for another wonderful healthy recipe :)

  6. I tried making these this afternoon and I couldn’t get balls to form no matter how hard I pressed. Everything was a crumbly mess. Any suggestions? I ended up spreading it out in a layer on a couple dehydrated trays, kind of like granola. Love the flavor!

    • Hey Becky! I am thinking that the nuts are what happened here. Did you soak them? Were they small enough once pulsed?

  7. I am so impressed with these, Leanne. I mean, you regularly delight me with your inventive alternatives, but you’ve really gone above and beyond your OWN high bar standards! The variations are what really highlight the versatility of this recipe. Beans, nuts, seeds – you’ve got us covered – and I can’t thank you enough!!

  8. These turned out really well and really yummy! The only change I made was cutting the cayenne to a 1/4 tsp, and that was enough of a kick. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  9. Thanks Leanne!
    I really appreciate all your recipes but don’t always get around to trying them. I need some sort of planning methodology. Any suggestions?
    Will share this with credit to you. Are you a vegan paleo? I know folk trying to have a go in that direction. Where can I find your bio?
    Love marey xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  10. LIFESAVER!!!! And I’ve been wanting falafel lately and was even considering cheating with the chickpeas just so I can have it! THANK YOU I love the “no beans!” disclaimer even in the title! LOL

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