Vegan Falafel Burgers for Easy Plant-Based Weeknight Meals


A couple cans, a few fresh ingredients, and some dairy-free tzatziki, and you’ve got healthy vegan falafel burgers for a quick weeknight meal. The recipe can even be doubled, making extra patties for a second dinner or for a unique lunch box sandwich.

According to Cans Get You Cooking, most Americans throw away spoiled fresh fruits and vegetables two times a week on average, wasting 15 to 20 percent of fresh produce each year. As they note, by keeping your pantry stocked with essential canned ingredients, you can create meals like these vegan falafel burgers using both canned and fresh ingredients to help avoid buying excess produce.

Weeknight Vegan Falafel Burgers Recipe (a healthy, vegan, meatless and dairy-free meal)

Special Diet Notes: Vegan Falafel Burgers

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose your bread wisely (I make speedy wheat buns or these gluten-free skinny buns) and use a dairy-free tzatziki recipe.

Weeknight Vegan Falafel Burgers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Note that the patties for these vegan falafel burgers will be soft, so they are best pan-fried or baked. They won't work well on the grill.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup dry dairy-free bread crumbs (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 (7.75-ounce) can spinach, well drained
  • 4 dairy-free hamburger buns (homemade or store-bought; gluten-free, if needed)
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced red onion
  • Dairy-free tzatziki sauce (this recipe with mint or this recipe with dill)
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp. Remove the vegetables to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add ¼ of the garbanzo beans to the food processor, along with the lemon juice and salt. Pulse to create a smooth paste. Add the remaining garbanzo beans, bread crumbs and spinach. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Shape the mixture into 4 (4-inch) patties. If desired, refrigerate until ready to cook.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the falafel patties and cook until golden and crisp, turning once.
  5. Serve the falafels on buns and top with tomato, onion and dairy-free tzatziki sauce, as desired.

More Dairy-Free Veggie Burger Recipes

Chicago Diner Vegan Mushroom Burgers

Chicago Diner Mushroom Burgers Recipe - a riff on the meaty veggie burgers from a popular vegan restaurant. Dairy-free, egg-free and vegan (no beans!)

BBQ Portobello Burgers

BBQ Portobello Mushroom Burgers Recipe - a marinated and grilled vegan main for barbecues

Take Me to Texas Southwestern Burgers

Take Me to Texas Southwestern Burgers Recipe from Great Vegan BBQ Without a Grill

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, 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.


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