Bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to your kitchen with falafel gyros! They’re healthy, tasty, and served with two types of hummus plus tzatziki.
Lightly crisp falafel, hummus, and tzatziki make up these falafel gyros. Canned chickpeas are used in the homemade falafel (for convenience) and come together with minimal prep work. Fresh herbs and seasonings join the legumes to deliver a series of lively flavors, the falafels are formed, sprinkled with sesame seeds, then baked, and the result is phenomenal! You can eat the falafel and pita with cucumber, tomato, and a drizzle of your favorite sauce, but I took this recipe up a few notches with not one but two types of hummus. The first is a classic hummus made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, and warm spices. The second is beet hummus. In addition to the lovely color, this fun take on hummus adds a subtly sweet earthiness to falafel gyros. Also, what a fun way to incorporate beets!
Why You’ll Love Falafel Gyros
Falafel gyros are a great way to experience Mediterranean cuisine in the comfort of your own home. Aside from that, you will love falafel gyros because:
- Falafel is highly nutritious – Chickpeas are a great plant-based protein source and a good source of fiber; the beans combined with the herbs are high in many micronutrients like folic acid.
- The gyros include not one but three spreads – The classic hummus combined with beet hummus and tzatziki sets these apart from others. Take a bite, and you will be hooked! Something about the various spreads with the baked falafel just works.
- Hands-on prep work is minimal – Leave the bulk of the work to your food processor. The handy kitchen appliance is used to make the falafel and both the classic and beet hummus.
- Healthy Vegetarian Meal: Whether you’re a vegetarian or want to mix up your usual routine, these falafel gyros are healthy and satisfying.
Falafel Gyro Ingredient Notes
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are the all-stars of this recipe. They’re a crucial falafel ingredient and are needed to make hummus.
- Herbs: Falafel gyros are nothing without an array of fresh herbs. Cilantro, parsley, and mint make this recipe pop!
- Tahini: The thick spread made from lightly roasted sesame seeds has a very earthy flavor with some bitter notes.
- Beets: To prep for this recipe, boil beets for 20-40 minutes or until tender, then peel. Small beets require less time to cook than larger beets.
- Greek Yogurt: You can’t make tzatziki without it.
- Pita Bread:You can find the yeast-leavened flatbreads at most grocery stores.
Find the full ingredients list with amounts in the recipe card below!
How to Make Falafel Gyros
Making falafel gyros is simple, and as mentioned, hands-on prep work is minimal. To make the vegetarian gyros:
- Make the falafel dough: This falafel dough is made entirely in a food processor. To start, add chickpeas, onion, herbs, salt, spices, and baking powder to the bowl of your food processor. Then, pulse until just combined before slowly adding the flour. Baking powder makes the center of falafel light and airy while the flour holds them together. Without it, the dough will crumble when you try to shape it into balls.
- Shape the falafel: Portion the falafel mixture with a cookie scoop, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake the falafel until they are lightly golden.
- Make the hummus: Heat the chickpeas with the aquafaba, then transfer to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Heating the chickpeas prior yields a smoother result. Once done, remove half of the classic hummus from the food processor.
- Make the beet hummus: The beet hummus for falafel gyros begins with half of the classic hummus. Add beets, coconut cream, and curry powder to that, then pulse until smooth. When ready, top it with goat cheese.
- Time for tzatziki: All you need is a bowl and a spoon for this step. Stir the tzatziki ingredients together until well combined.
- Warm the pita and assemble: Place the pita bread between two damp towels and heat in the microwave, so they’re nice and pliable. When done, assemble the falafel gyros and serve.
Variations, Substitutions & Cooking Tips
- To avoid tough falafel – Don’t overwork the mixture.
- Never overcrowd the baking sheet – Otherwise, the falafel will steam instead of turning golden brown.
- For vegans – Replace the Greek yogurt for the tzatziki with a vegan option (soy Greek yogurt works well), replace the honey with maple syrup, and skip the goat cheese.
- Make it gluten-free – Substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour. In most cases, the replacement ratio is 1:1. Also, opt for gluten-free pita bread, and check that your baking powder is gluten-free. Most brands are, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.
Storage & Freezer Tips
The falafel will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 days if stored in an airtight container or frozen for up to 3 months. Bring them to room temperature after baking if you plan to freeze them. The same goes for both types of hummus and tzatziki.
How to Reheat
To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then arrange the falafel on a baking sheet, loosely cover with foil, and heat for 5-10 minutes. If using frozen falafel, thaw before reheating. Also, thaw the hummus and tzatziki (if frozen), assemble the falafel gyros, and enjoy.
Recipe Edit Suggestions
- Inconsistent/unnecessary capitalization of ingredients (i.e., Sesame Seeds)
- List ingredients in order of use.
- Under the ingredients listed for tzatziki, “lebnah” is mentioned. The proper spelling is labneh (or labne). Both are correct.
- 2 cups diced onion
- 2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas (I used one 15.5 oz. can)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 cup packed cilantro
- 1 cup packed parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ C. all purpose flour
- Pita bread (for serving)
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- 2 cans chickpeas
- ¼ cup tahini
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Beet Hummus:
- 1 medium-sized beet (cooked and peeled)
- ¼ cup heavy coconut cream (skimmed from the top of the can)
- ½ TBS. yellow curry
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (or Labnah, if you can find it)
- 2 tbs. fresh mint (roll the bunch together and cut into thin strips)
- ½ cucumber de-seeded and diced (the seeds make it runny)
- 1 tsp. honey
- To serve:
- 1 tomato thinly sliced
- Goat Cheese
- ½ cucumber sliced into spears
- In a food processor, add all of the ingredients for the falafel except the flour and sesame seeds and pulse together until combined (a chunkier texture is preferred). Slowly add the flour, and continue to pulse together until it becomes "dough-like" (if your mixture is too loose, continue to add flour 1 TBS. at a time until it thickens). Once ready, prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment and preheat the oven to 350. Use a cookie scoop (I used one that has a release mechanism) to place the falafel on the baking sheet (3 across and 4 down depending on the size of your sheet, they shouldn't be crowded). Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- In a small pot, heat the chickpeas (don't drain the liquid) for about 5-10 minutes over a medium-high heat. Place in a food processor and add the tahini, salt, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and garlic and pulse until smooth. Remove about half of the mixture and set aside.
- To the remaining mixture, add the beet, curry, and coconut cream. Pulse to combine. The hummus will need additional salt (because of the high water content of the beet) so adjust as you see fit. Top with goat cheese and serve.
- For the tzatziki, simply combine the yogurt, mint, cucumber and honey.
- To serve, warm pitas in the microwave (I like to place them in between two damp paper towels) and layer with as many toppings as you like!
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