Yield
Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 burger, 2 tablespoons tahini mixture)

There’s not much tastier than a falafel pita in all its savory goodness. But the traditional Middle Eastern dish isn’t all that healthy since falafel is usually deep-fried–which is why you might feel bloated or weighed down after enjoying one. Luckily, we’ve got a healthier–and still crazy delicious–take on the falafel pita. It’s packed with nutrients and pan-fried, which makes this dish lighter but majorly satisfying. Here’s how it’s done.

First, you’ll be creating the falafel mixture with good-for-you ingredients like chickpeas (which are high in fiber and protein to fill you up, as well as rich in energizing iron and zinc), bulgur (for even more fiber), and nutrient-and-flavor packed parsley, mint, garlic, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Then, the falafel patty is pan-fried, skipping the typical deep-frying, which adds oil and fat to the dish. Pan-frying also keeps the cholesterol under control in this falafel.

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The tahini sauce for this dish is also healthy and simple, with only three ingredients. Just mix together tahini, lemon juice, and water for an easy sauce to top your falafel with a burst of flavor. You can also pack your pita full of veggies to up the fiber and vitamins in the dish.

This delicious pan-fried falafel pita is only 396 calories, with 15 grams of protein per serving. Served in patty form, it’s a veggie burger even meat-lovers are sure to enjoy, and it just happens to be vegan too. Make this meal for an on-the-go lunch or easy weeknight dinner. Top with the usual veggies served on a falafel pita, like tomatoes, lettuce, and red onion, to add even more crunch, flavor, and nutrients. Or, get creative with other plant-based toppings! You’ll feel full and satisfied for hours after enjoying this tasty falafel pita with tahini.

How to Make It

Cook bulgur according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool. In a food processor, combine cooked bulgur, garbanzo beans, egg white, parsley, 1/4 mint, garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form mixture into 6 (approximately 3-inch) patties and place on a large plate. Refrigerate until firm (20 minutes). Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook falafel burgers until browned and heated through (3 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate. Before serving, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, and water in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Divide falafel burgers, tahini mixture, lettuce, and roasted red peppers among pitas and serve.

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