Charred Broccoli Falafel with Charred Lemon Tahini and Tzatziki Sauce

There is nothing better than homemade falafels and these Charred Broccoli Falafels are everything!   The charred broccoli brings a comfort level to the falafel.  I added charred lemon to the classic tahini and tzatziki sauces, which compliment the charred broccoli very well.  I relish coming up with different varieties of falafel because one, I absolutely love them and two, they are healthy and three, they are a meal where I don’t miss cheese.  You can leave out the tzatziki sauce if you are vegan.

3U9A7793 We have had June gloom for months now, so my typical salad eating days have been stopped dead in their tracks.  You can probably tell by all of the warm comfort food that I have been posting lately.  We happen to live in a part of Santa Cruz that gets a lot of overcast days so we have been going on a lot of bike rides over on West Cliff where it is generally sunny.  After a long bike ride and coming back to cold weather, these falafels are a welcomed treat full of warmth and nutrition.

3U9A7824 These falafels are really easy to make, so don’t let the soaking of the beans scare you off.  Just put them in a pot, add water two inches above them, leave overnight and then drain and rinse.  I have left them in the refrigerator after draining the water for literally two weeks and they are still good.  They even start to sprout!  If you soak extra, you can make hummus or my garbonzorizo tacos.

I usually make the sauces the day before.  If you are going to make just one sauce, I recommend going with the tahini.  The next day, I char the broccoli for the falafel along with three additional cups that I put into the pita with the other veggies.   I sautéed the onions and garlic, then I process everything in a food processor.  I put the mixture in a covered bowl and into the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. When the mixture is cold I form them into patties and bake them.  While they are baking, I prep any veggies I plan to serve with them.  I normally serve these falafels with charred broccoli, fresh tomato, cucumber, radishes, both sauces and the pita on the side, so everyone can build their own.

3U9A7870 These falafels are great with a light red wine like a Pinot Noir or Tempranillo.  They are also nice with a Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc or a sparkling wine.

3U9A7941 Charred Broccoli Falafel Recipe:
Single batch

Charred Broccoli

  • 2 1/4 Cups Raw Broccoli – 1 Cup Charred
  • 1/2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper


  • 3/4 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans – 1 1/2 Cups soaked
  • Filtered Water
  • 1/4 white Onion – diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  Chili Flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Cilantro
  • 6 Tablespoons Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli – recipe above
Double batch

Charred Broccoli

  • 4 1/2 cups Raw Broccoli – 2 Cup Charred
  • 1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper


  • 1 1/2 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans (3 Cups Soaked)
  • Filtered Water
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cilantro
  • 3/4 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 2 Cup Charred Broccoli – recipe above
Charred Lemon
  • 1 – 2 Organic Lemons – sliced to 1/4 inch
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
Charred Lemon Tahini Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/4 Cup (about 4 slices) Charred Lemon
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Charred Lemon Tzatziki
  • 12 oz. Greek plain Yogurt (has to be Greek due to less water)
  • 1/4 Cup (about 4 slices)  Charred Lemon
  • 1/2 Cucumber – peeled – deseeded
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chives – optional
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash of Black Pepper
Garnish options:
  • Radish
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Charred Broccoli (I did 3 cups raw broccoli)
Garbanzo Beans

Put the beans in a bowl and add water two inches above the beans, leave overnight for at least 12 hours then drain and rinse.  Set aside.

Charred Broccoli
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 15 minutes, then stir broccoli around for even cooking. Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes and make sure and check on them every 5 minutes, until broccoli is as charred as you like it.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet, on a medium-low heat.  Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and salt then saute until the garlic just starts to become golden.
Add the onion/garlic, lemon juice and spices into a food processor, scrape the edges one time and pulse a few more times.
Add the cilantro and the garbanzo beans and pulse about 15 times,  you want it a bit chunky.
Add the flour and half the broccoli then pulse a few more times making sure to incorporate all the flour.  Add the remaining broccoli and pulse a few more times.
Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form into golf ball size balls and press flat to form a disc and place them on the baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes then flip them over for 10 more minutes or until golden.  Serve everything separately to let your guest build their own sandwich.
Charred Lemon
Slice the lemons no less than a 1/4 inch or the flesh will dissolve. Lightly coat in olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt.  Turn on the burner to medium-high heat.
Heat up a cast iron skillet or in the frying pan and when hot add the lemons in a single layer.  Cook until the lemons just beginning to char then flip to char the other side.  (about 2 -3 minutes on each side)

Measure and add everything to a food processor or blender and puree.  It will thicken a bit if refrigerated.  You can add more water if desired.


Peel the cucumber, cut in half and scrape out the seed with a spoon, then shred by hand or in the food processor using the shred attachment.

Spread the cucumber on a cloth napkin or towel and sprinkle with a little salt, then squeeze out as much water as possible.  You will be amazed at how much comes out, keep squeezing cause more will keep coming out.

Put into a food processor with everything else and puree.  It will thicken a bit if refrigerated.  You can add more water if desired.

3U9A7884 Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack, as well as help, prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.


    • wavatar says

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much, Kimberly!!! I have been getting better at painting my backdrops. A whole lot of trial and error! Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies and the char is heaven! xO

  1. says

    Charred Broccoli Falafels!!!! Ok, I’m so sold 🙂
    I don’t usually get excited over vegetarian meal, but this one is the exception. Love it, Steph.

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