Easy Healthy Baked Chickpea, Spinach & Harissa Falafels

Tinned chickpeas, spinach and harissa paste are all you need to make these yummy falafels. They are super-healthy, low-fat and quick and easy to make. They are baked instead of fried which saves washing up, effort and calories. They are great to batch cook and snack on through the week. They are cheap as chips as well.

I got this falafel recipe from a lady in my Slimming World group (because of the harissa pasta, these work out at half a syn for the whole batch). They are great to chuck in a salad, fill up a wrap or a substitute for crisps with a drink. My 8 year old enjoys them as well, and the recipe is ideal for making with kids. You can tone the spice and seasoning down to taste.

Lots of falafels use eggs and breadcrumbs to bind the mixture - this recipe uses neither. The trick is not to over-mash the chickpeas and to squeeze all the water out of the spinach. This will ensure the mixture is not too sloppy. Also smaller sized falafels keep their shape and cook more evenly. Aim to make at least 20 falafels, no bigger than a walnut, from one batch of mixture.

Easy Healthy Baked Chickpea, Spinach & Harissa Falafels

  • Makes: Around 22

  • Prep time: 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 10-15 minutes


  • 100g fresh baby spinach

  • 400g can chickpeas

  • 1 tsp harissa pasta (or to taste)

  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C / 180 fan / gas mark 6. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

  2. Place the spinach in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover it. Leave for two minutes until wilted.

  3. Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas into a sieve, rinse and shake throughly to get rid of any excess water.

  4. Tip the chickpeas into a sieve and mash them roughly with a fork. Don't over mash them, you need the texture.

  5. Pour the wilted spinach into the same sieve (no need to wash the sieve) and use the back of a spoon to push it into the sieve and squeeze out the water.

  6. Finely chop the spinach and add to the chickpeas. I find the easiest way to do this is to roll it up into a sausage shape and snip it with scissors directly into the bowl.

  7. Add the harissa paste to the mixture and season to taste. Mix everything together really well so all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

  8. Roll the mixture into around 22 walnut sized balls and place them on the baking tray. Smaller balls hold their shape and cook more quickly.

  9. Bake for around 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or cold. They keep fine in the fridge for a few days and can be re-heated in the microwave.