Plant-based falafel burgers with carrot and parsnip fries

plantbased falafel recipe health retreat spain

Burger and chips is quite a classic combination, so we through we would mix it up a little and put our own spin on this. We make these lovely plant-based falafel burgers here at the retreat and serve with carrot and parsnip “fries”.

The exact origins of falafel is disputed, but it is associated with many countries in the Middle East. Some chef historians say that the first main ingredient of falafels was fava beans, and then this evolved to incorporate ingredients more common in the area where they were made, including chickpeas and other types of beans. In our recipe we use a combination of white beans and chickpeas as the base, then add in the popular flavours of cumin, coriander and tahini.

As an alternative to potato or sweet potato for the fries, we use carrots and parsnips. Autumn is the time when carrots and parsnips are in season, meaning they are particularly sweet and delicious at the moment.

Cooking suggestion fries: If you are using older parsnips, we suggest that you pre-cook them in boiling water first (before roasting). This will soften them up, so they will be soft on the inside and go lovely and brown on the outside. Yum.

Serving suggestion: Serve it with a big leafy salad, with some beetroot pieces to maximise your use of seasonal veggies.

Plant-based falafel burger recipe

Serves: 8


1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushes
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 cup cooked white beans, drained
1 cup cooked chick peas, drained
3 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp pimiento picante (spicy paprika)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest from ½ small lemon
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped
Water as needed


Cook the onion and garlic in a large frying pan (or deep-sided pan) together with the lemon juice, ground cumin and cumin seeds for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add water if needed to prevent sticking.

Rinse and drain the beans and chick peas. Put them in a food processor. Add the cooked onion and garlic. Then add the ground coriander, spicy paprika, tahini, olive oil and lemon zest.  Blend together slowly. Add in the fresh coriander. You want the mixture to start to become smooth, but not too smooth. Add water as needed – but slowly. The mixture needs to stay firm.

Heat the oven to medium (or you can also cook beneath a grill remembering to turn the burgers to cook both sides).

Take a small portion of the mixture, make into a round ball, then flatten it into a burger shape. Place on a lined baking tray.

Bake in a medium oven, covered beneath silver foil. Remove the foil and then grill turning once, for a further 5 minutes, or until brown.

Serve hot

Carrot and parsnip fries with sage recipe

 Serves: 8


4 large parsnips, cut into “fries” about 2 cm thick

4 large carrots, cut into “fries” about 2 cm think

Roasting marinade

3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lime zest
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp oil (olive, sunflower, flax)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp dried sage
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tsp black pepper
Handful fresh sage, finely chopped


Heat your oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas 6.

Make the roasting marinade, by combining all the ingredients using a hand-blender – add the oil last, slowly. 

Place the parsnips and carrots onto a baking tray. Cover with the marinade. Cover with silver paper (foil) and then put into the oven.

Bake for 60 minutes, shaking a few times. Add more water if needed to prevent the fries burning to the pan. For the last 10 minutes remove the foil. The parsnips and carrots should start to turn soft and brown.

Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh sage.

Plant-based food at La Crisalida health retreats 

Plant-based food means enjoying an abundance of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. At the retreat we serve our food as buffet style, so you can enjoy exploring new recipes, and menus changes regularly throughout the year, in line with the new season. To find out more about the plant-based food served at La Crisalida Retreats follow this link: plant-based food at La Crisalida Retreats.

There are lots more plant-based recipes on our health and wellbeing blog

Enjoy your burger and fries!


About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).