Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing for a Plant-Powered Meal


There’s a lot of talk around eating more vegetables these days. In fact, a high percentage of Americans would like to incorporate more plants into their diets, according to a study conducted by Yale and Earth Day Network. But wanting and doing are two completely different things. Without easy, affordable, tasty, and relatively “normal” ideas, most of us will stick to our meal habits. Which is why I’m doing my best to share more plant-rich dairy-free recipes, like this one for sweet potato falafel bowls.

Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls Recipe with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Dressing - plant-based and dairy-free with vegan option.

Plant Power Your Lunch with these Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls

I love how this recipe uses ingredients you can find in almost any grocery store, and incorporates ingredients like sweet potatoes and walnuts in a unique way. Walnuts add a little dose of protein, fiber, and “good fats,” including some omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). And you can sprinkle even more on, if you wish!

The tahini and quinoa also help to “beef up” this meal, but you can add chickpeas to the recipe if you want even more protein and fiber. Simply drain and rinse one 15-ounce can of chickpeas and divide them among your four bowls. For even more flavor and texture, roast the chickpeas with a little salt, pepper, and oil at 425°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden. They will be crispy once cool.

Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls Recipe with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Dressing - plant-based and dairy-free with vegan option. This sweet potato falafel bowls recipe with photo was shared with us by California Walnuts.

Special Diet Notes: Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.

  • For gluten-free sweet potato falafel bowls, I would try gluten-free oat flour or your favorite gluten-free flour blend. But I would use the egg rather than the vegan option.
Sweet Potato Falafel Bowls with Tahini Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Please note that you will need a total of 3 cups cooked quinoa for this recipe - 1 cup for the sweet potato falafel, and 2 cups for serving. You can use leftover quinoa, but freshly cooked quinoa will provide more structure to the falafel.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4 servings
Sweet Potato Falafel Balls
  • 1 (12-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose or wheat flour
  • 1 egg (can sub 3 tablespoons aquafaba for vegan)
  • Oil, for pan frying
Tahini Dressing
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
To Make Bowls
  • 4 cups loosely-packed curly kale or baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and quartered or sliced
Sweet Potato Falafel Balls
  1. In a food processor, pulse the sweet potato until finely minced. Add quinoa, walnuts, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder, and pulse until all pieces are uniform in size. Add the flour and egg, and pulse until well mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 16 equal balls.
  3. Heat oil in a deep skillet or pot. Cooking in batches, fry the falafel balls for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let drain on paper towel-lined tray.
Tahini Dressing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, maple syrup, cumin, and garlic powder.
  2. Taste, and add salt, as needed.
To Make Bowls
  1. In sections or layered, place 1 cup kale or spinach, ½ cup quinoa, ¼ cup carrots, ¼ avocado, and 4 sweet potato falafel balls in each of four bowls.
  2. Drizzle each serving with tahini dressing. See below for additional, suggested garnish options.
Garnish Options: Sprinkle on toasted chopped walnuts and minced red onion for added flavor and crunch.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Is this supposed to be made with raw or cooked sweet potato? As written, it seems to suggest raw but that seems odd to me. Thanks!

    • It isn’t pre-cooked, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to mince it (it would simply puree!). If you prefer to use cooked, it will produce a different texture (softer and more moist), and you would probably add it with the flour and egg. Or you can pulse/mince it, saute briefly and then stir in at the end, if you are concerned about it not being tender enough.

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