Meal prep is about to get a whole lot easier with these vegan curry-spiced chickpea fritters. These baked fritters are ready in just 30 minutes and are loaded with aromatic flavor.
I'm always looking for ways to take my favorite recipes and mix them up a bit, as I did with these chickpea curry wraps. Classic falafel and fritters are staples in the world of meal prep, so I took those and combined them with curry spices for the perfect meal starter.
- Dietary-features: vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free optional
- Requires just 5 minutes of prep time and is ready in just 30 minutes
- The fritters freeze well and are great for meal prep
Think of these curry chickpea fritters as a spin on classic falafel. Instead of parsley, we're using spinach. And we're adding curry powder because you can't beat the flavor.
- Chickpeas: The base of traditional falafel is chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and iron. Use 2 cups cooked chickpeas or a little more than 1 can of chickpeas.
- Curry powder comes in all shapes and sizes. I use mild curry powder but really any kind will do.
- Spinach adds a pop of color. Arugula is another good option.
- Lime adds a touch of acidity that cuts the fresh garlic and emphasizes the curry powder. An equal amount of lemon works in a pinch.
- Fresh garlic and yellow onion add a ton of flavor. You can use ½ teaspoon garlic powder if you don't have it fresh. I don't recommend using onion powder because it contributes a significant amount of flavor and some of the fritter structure. White or red onions also work.
- Tahini adds a touch of nutiness. An equal amount of neutral oil can be used if you don't have tahini on hand.
- Flax egg and all-purpose flour are used to bind the ingredients together. One whisked egg will work in place of a flax egg.
How to make
You will have the easiest time and best results making chickpea fritters with a food processor but you can make it work without one. If you don't have a food processor, simply chop up all of the ingredients very finely and mash the chickpeas with a potato masher as you would for a chickpea salad. I do not recommend using a blender.
Add all ingredients, except for the flax egg and all-purpose flour, to the food processor. Pulse until the chickpeas are mostly broken down. There should be a mix of fully broken down, almost pasty chickpeas, and coarsely chopped chickpeas.
Add the all-purpose flour and flax egg. Pulse just a couple of more times to combine. If you don't mind extra dishes you can transfer the fritter mixture to a bowl and fold in the flour and flax egg.
Use clean hands to form 12 small fritters. They should be relatively flat and compact.
Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes, flipping halfway through. The fritters are ready when golden on the outside.
Recipe tips and FAQ
- I use chickpeas cooked from dry because that's what I usually have on hand. This recipe works just as well with canned chickpeas.
- If you're using canned chickpeas, make sure to pat them dry to remove excess moisture. This makes the chickpea fritters hold together better.
- Texture: Don't overprocess the chickpeas into a paste. There should still be some chickpea pieces. I recommend using the pulse function on your food processor to avoid overdoing it.
- Serving ideas: Use spinach curry falafel in a grain bowl, on a sandwich with a spared of hummus (just make the patties a little bigger before baking), or in a salad. They're super versatile and go well with most meals.
- Author's note: This recipe was originally shared May 2018 and was updated January 2022. I added flour and a flax egg to help the fritters hold together better. Otherwise, the recipe is the same.
Yes, you can make them gluten-free by using an equal amount of 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour.
You can fry the fritters but do note that they are pretty delicate and should be handled very carefully while frying. For best results, only flip the fritters when they are completely cooked on one side.
For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. They reheat in just 2-3 minutes on the stovetop over medium heat, or you can pop them in the microwave for just a minute.
Yes, these fritters freeze really well. Let them cool to room temp before transferring to an airtight freezer container. I recommend putting wax or parchment paper between layers if you are stacking the fritters on top of each other. Just add an extra 1-2 minutes if reheating frozen fritters on the stove or reheat in the microwave.
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Vegan Curry Chickpea Fritters
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups chickpeas see note #1
- 1 heaping cup fresh spinach packed (about 1 large handful)
- ½ cup diced yellow onion ~½ small onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons lime juice 2 small limes
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour see note #2
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Let rest 5 minutes before using.
- Add the chickpeas, spinach, yellow onion, garlic, lime juice, chopped cilantro, tahini, curry powder, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until the chickpeas are mostly broken down. The ingredients should be mostly broken up, but not turned into a paste.
- Add the flax egg and all-purpose flour. Pulse until just combined.
- Divide the mixture into 12 balls. Flatten the balls into discs with the palm of your hand. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, flipping halfway through. They are ready when golden outside and cooked through inside.
- Chickpeas: 1 can provides ~1.5 cups of chickpeas. If using canned, make sure to thoroughly rinse and pat the chickpeas dry.
- Flour: An equal amount of 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour can be used to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Leftovers: For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. They reheat in just 2-3 minutes on the stovetop over medium heat, or you can pop them in the microwave for just a minute.
- Freezing instructions: Let the fritters cool to room temp before transferring to an airtight freezer container. I recommend putting wax or parchment paper between layers if you are stacking the fritters on top of each other. Just add an extra 1-2 minutes if reheating frozen fritters on the stove or reheat in the microwave.
- To make without a food processor: Chop the onion and spinach very finely. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the chickpeas, then stir all ingredients together.