Food Bank Recipe: Sweet Potato Falafel

A tin of chickpeas is a really versatile thing to find in your food parcel or weekly shop. The chickpeas themselves are a great addition to lots of recipes but you can also use the liquid from the tin (aqua-faba) can even be used to make meringues. This falafel recipe is vegan, simple, easily adaptable to whatever you have in the cupboards, & the falafels can be eaten in a number of meals or just as a snack on their own.


  • 400g tin of chick peas, drained (can be substituted for similar pulses eg cannelini beans)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, around 300g (this could be substituted for 1/2 butternut squash or similar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2-3tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil


Preheat the oven to 220°c

Peel & cube the sweet potato & roast with the garlic cloves & a drizzle of olive oil. This usually takes around 40mins, or until the potato is soft. Remove from the oven & leave to cool.

Into a food processor put the potatoes, garlic, chickpeas & seasoning & pulse until they form a smooth paste. I did mine in a smoothie bullet – it was hard work but it can be done!

Scoop out the mixture & form into balls either by hand or with an ice-cream scoop. Place them onto a lined or oiled baking tray & bake in the oven for 30 minutes. You can pre-fry them in a little oil to achieve a lovely caramelisation on the outside if you prefer.

Check they are cooked all the way through by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre of one of the falafel. If it comes out clean they’re ready to eat!

Serving tip:

These falafels are delicious served straight out of the oven & eaten hot, or can be just as good as a cold snack if you have any left over.

I served mine with salad leaves, grated carrot & humus but they’re equally great in a wrap with halloumi or dipped into a spicy tomato salsa.

Orignally published for IP17 GNS whilst volunteering during lockdown