These golden, crispy little vegan falafel made of sweet potatoes, chickpeas and spices are addictive. Stuff them into fresh bread with hummus, dressing and snow pea shoots, or just layer them on top of a fresh salad.
Falafel is one of those foods that I could eat every day. And no I’m not a vegetarian or vegan.
It’s something about the crispy outside and the nutty, satisfying centre. Falafel tastes like something naughty, but of course it’s packed full of healthy chickpeas and other goodies.
But do you know you can make falafel with sweet potato? Well, you sure can, and it’s absolutely delicious!
Ingredients in sweet potato falafel
This is all you need to make these delightful little sweet potato fritters:
- a sweet potato, roasted or microwaved (!) until soft (I sometimes use regular, and other times purple sweet potato (your choice!)
- a can of cooked chickpeas
- a finely chopped onion
- garlic and various yummy spices such (cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika)
- flour, baking powder and salt
- lemon juice
- sesame seeds (optional!)
Just a few ingredients. And vegan!
How to make vegan sweet potato falafel
In 4 super easy steps!
- Cook your sweet potato in the microwave! (so easy!) If you’d rather though, roast in the oven.
- Roughly mash with all the other yummy ingredients.
- Let the mixture chill out in the fridge for a while before molding it into little nugget-shaped falafel.
- Shallow pan fry for about 5 minutes on each side.
Prefer to air fry?
Lately I air fry everything! Well, almost!
But seriously, these sweet potato falafel are perfect candidates for cooking in your air fryer. Air fry for 15 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket and falafel lightly with olive oil and cook for 15 minutes, turning half way.
Mmmm…. delicious, and even healthier!
That’s it – really! Now how do you eat them?
How to serve sweet potato falafel
Apart from the fact that it’s addictively delicious, the amazing thing about this recipe is that it makes around 30 falafel.
Which means there doesn’t have to be JUST falafel wraps on the menu.
When I make this recipe, this is what I make.
Yes, these easy sweet potato falafel are incredibly delicious stuffed into fresh crusty Mediterranean style bread with some kind of greens or other salad and hummus and/or sauce.
My favourite way to do this is to stuff Turkish bread or Italian ciabatta with:
- a big handful of snow peas (Have you tried them? Delicious!)
- chopped tomatoes and spring onions
- hummus (my go-to recipe is this one – you have to try the 2-ingredient flatbread too!)
- tahini dressing (oh my goodness, this 5-minute dressing is so awesome!). If you don’t have any tahini, Greek yogurt works great as a makeshift dressing, too!
Another option is to serve the falafel on top of the pea shoots and with all the little accompaniments and condiments on the side, like so:
Pro tip: Try drizzling over this 5-minute tahini sauce. Incredible!
More amazing Mediterranean recipes that you must try!
- Our favourite Greek baked eggplant with tomato and feta
- These delicious halloumi kebabs with chorizo, tomatoes and honey lime dressing are also perfect for BBQs.
- These life-changing fried halloumi bites (perfect appetizers for guests!)
- Crispy fried chickpeas (great on salads or soups!)
- Ever made a proper Spanish omelette, otherwise known as a tortilla de patatas? Prepare to have your mind blown!
- Another Spanish one… try this traditional ‘pan con tomate’ or Spanish bruschetta. It’s incredible, and unbelievably easy to make!
- Did you know you can fry olives, and that they’re delicious? You do now!
Or browse all my Mediterranean recipes here
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Sweet potato falafel (vegan, with air fryer version)
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
For the falafel
- 1 medium to large ish sweet potato (or 2 small ones!)
- 1 can of cooked chickpeas 9 ounces/250 grams net weight
- 1/2 a medium onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/2 of a lemon worth of juice
- sesame seeds for scattering over
- chopped tomatoes & spring onions/scallions pitta bread or another type of fresh bread, hummus, Greek yoghurt or tahini dressing, snow pea sprouts
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cook in a microwave for about 10 minutes or until soft. (you can roast them if you prefer for about 45 minutes or so or until soft)
- In the meantime, pulse the chickpeas a few times in a food processor until still a little bit chunky.
- Mash the pulsed chickpeas and sweet potato together with all of the other ingredients apart from the sesame seeds. Cover the mixture and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Take spoonfuls of mixture about the size of a walnut and form into balls. Flatten the balls into a patty and press a few sesame seeds into them on both sides.
- Heat up a layer of oil in a skillet/frying pan until quite hot, then fill the pan with patties. Let them cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy.
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately with fresh bread and accompaniments of your choice.
Hi, I made them last evening and they were really tasty. I only came up with 11 though, just enough for me and my kids for one dinner. I also thought they would be crispy and harder but they are really soft and mushy. Easy and tasty, thanks
Glad you enjoyed them, Cara! They’re crispy on the outside soft in the middle when I make them!
I was wondering what is the baking powder for? They don’t really get bigger on the pan. Have you ever made them without the baking powder?
Hi Cara, and great question! Some falafel recipes don’t use baking powder. I haven’t made any without, but the baking powder is supposed to lighten them up a little and keep them moist. They can end up a bit more ‘dough like’ without it.
HI, How many sweet potatoes for one can one chickpeas? Thanks
Hi Cara! You need one medium to large or two small sweet potato and one can of cooked chickpeas (a standard 14 oz can, or 9oz net). I hope that helps!
Thanks, I wrote this comment before seeing the list of ingredients on the bottom of your post. Sorry
Lilli @ Sugar and Cinnamon says
I had exactly that kind of week this week! These falafels definitely would have saved the day they look perfect 🙂 I love sweet potato combined with hummus! It’s such a great flavour combination!
Hi, Lilli! So glad you like these and hope your week got better!
Love falafels! Also, love the fact you’ve used sweet potato- so delicious! I will be trying these out soon! 🙂
Hi, Jessica! And thanks so much! Do let me know what you think if you do give them a try!
Julie @ This Gal Cooks says
Ah, falafel. It’s been far too long since I’ve enjoyed the amazing taste of falafel. I really should try to make it one day. The only time I’ve had it is when ordering at a restaurant.
Funny you mention the rain. It’s been raining all day where I live. I don’t really mind, though. I like when it’s rainy and stormy. But I also like to enjoy the outdoors, much like you do. So when it rains for days and days and days, I too get a little bummed. Glad the weather has cleared up for you!
I think this may have been my first attempts at falafel, but I don’t think it’s going to be the last. It isn’t so easy to find it where I live, so I guess that’s a good enough incentive!
Thankfully the weather here has cleared up to the point where you’d be forgiven for thinking it was summer. Honestly, I don’t know how these Australians have the gall to say that they have a winter!
Yum! These look great. Cooking is always the highlight of my weekend 🙂
Thanks, Alexandra, and thanks so much for passing by and saying hi!
Fish Fingers for tea says
I have butternut squash falafel on my blog and we eat them on a fairly regular basis but why have I never thought of using sweet potato? I adore them. Definitely on the list to make!
Oh, I think butternut squash would produce almost the same end product! I should try mine with the squash next time!
Annie @Maebells says
I am such a sucker for anything with sweet potato! And I have never ever made a falafel at home! Obviously I am so behind! I will be making these soon!
Oh, yes, please do try making some falafel, Annie! I thought they were really easy to make, and so worth the effort anyway. I’d like to try making some classic ones, too. You probably can’t beat those. 🙂
Shashi @ runninsrilankan says
Helen – I adore falafel but have never thought to use sweet potatoes – or any potatoes in them for that matter – ooh this combo with cumin, coriander and paprika sounds incredible! I am so glad the clouds parted and the sun got y’all to the farmers market so you could bring us this wonderful recipe -thanks btw for sharing it!
And now I have this line …when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year …stuck in my head! I have a friends DVD -guess I know what I will be doing this evening! 🙂
Hahahaha! Sorry about the song, but at least I know you will now have an entertaining evening!
The falafel worked really well – they were different to ordinary falafel, and I’m not sure anything can really beat those, but they were certainly good. Give them a try some time!
First of all, I’m obsessed with Friends and have watched each episode like 100 times and own all the seasons! Second of all I’m also obsessed with falafel and I love all things sweet potato! These are like my match made in heaven! I hope you are having a better week! I’ve been having a bad few weeks so I know how you feel. I think these sweet potato falefels will bright everything up though!
Thanks for the good wishes, Isadora … to be honest I was just being a whinge-bag that weekend. I really have nothing to complain about … haha!
So glad I presented you with a match made in heaven today … and hope this week is looking up for you 🙂
Consuelo - Honey & Figs says
Aaaauch terrible feeling Helen 🙁 But I guess it happens to most of us hehe 😉 Also, I was like 4 in the 90’s and I had to sing to that lol yes.
AAAAAAAAAND how I love falafels! And sweet potatoes! These look yummy!
Yup, I do feel old now. 😉
So glad you like the falafel, Consuelo! 🙂
Mary Frances says
Ugh, my weekend felt pretty similar 🙂 I can totally relate to wanting a nap, but knowing my list of things to do is long and this is my last chance before the week starts … it is a little discouraging! I had some “tiny squabbles” too. It does make feeling forgiven so much better!
Can you bring me some of these? They are everything I enjoy food wise! Chickpeas, sweet potatoes … oh my goodness, yes please! Pinning these!
I think I have the answer, Mary Frances … I think we should campaign for 3-day weekends. Then we can ‘mooch’ all we like for one of those days, hey?!
Yup, I can bring you some of these. You just need to wait a handy 24 hours or so while I get there! 🙂
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
i do love a good falafel, i usually crumble mine through a salad! never tried a sweet potato version before, definitely something i need to recreate in my kitchen!
Ooh, great idea to crumble falafel through a salad! I’ll have to try that one! 🙂
Aimee @ ShugarySweets says
I’m pretty sure I need this in my life. ASAP!
I think you do, Aimee!! Hello and thanks so much for passing by! 🙂
Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong says
Yum!! I love falafel. The sweet potato version looks and sounds delicious.. so so amazing. .. love it!!
I know, me too … it’s one of my favourite snacks. So glad you like it, too! 🙂
Louisa [Living Lou] says
LOVE Friends – I always watch it when it’s on TV even though I’ve seen all the episodes hundreds of times. Sorry to hear you had such a glum weekend, but it sounds like the farmer’s market really made it pick up! These falafel sound delicious 🙂
Thanks for the good weekend wishes, Louisa! At least this weekend is turning out much better so far, so all’s good! 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
hehe okay firstly I did have the Friends theme stuck in my head but I’ve just put on another song to cancel it out 🙂 Secondly what a great idea using sweet potato for felafel! 😀
Oops … sorry about that one! I’m just a big tease …
So glad you like the falafel! 🙂
Sarah @ Running On Brie says
I’ve totally got the theme song stuck in my head now! Ahh- memories! And I’m so with you on hummus…everybody should be making their own. I forget how easy and absolutely worth the extra couple of minutes it is. I want to try this sweet potato falafel- looks delightful!
Hi, Sarah! You know, I just made some more hummus as an afternoon snack and it literally took me five minutes. I didn’t even use the recipe and it turned out perfectly. So happy you like the falafel!
I’ve had a week like that… nothing terrible but nothing great either. The falafel look amazing and so flavorful. A nice way to end a ho hum weekend.
Great description, Pam – no hum! So glad you like the falafel!