Vegetarian falafel burgers topped with a spicy refreshing pepperoncini salsa make for a great summer meal.
falafel burgers with pepperoncini salsa

So I’m legit considering building a shrine to The Almighty Falafel.

If scientologists can believe in an alien life form god, then surely a fried chickpea ball god is equally as reasonable.

I know you secretly agree.


Okay, maybe we don’t have to go that far, but we CAN spend the rest of our summers eating a falafel burger a day. That just seems like a good life choice.

I actually think falafel is the one food I could never ever tire of. I used to say that about peanut butter but then…I got tired of it. SO PREDICTABLE.

But I’m serious about falafel.

The only problem is, we probably shouldn’t go around eating fried balls of ANYTHING on a daily basis. Bummer, I know. But that’s where these burgers come in!!

They’re baked instead of fried with that great falafel flavor and topped with cheese (YES. NON-NEGOTIABLE.) and a refreshing pepperoncini salsa that has just a hiiinnnnttt of spice. I assure you, it’s pretty subtle.

These keep very well in the fridge, so I advise you to make a monster batch and eat through them until your craving wears off.

Or, forever. As the case may be.


Some of you are inevitably going to wonder if you can fry these, and I’m going to have to BEG that you don’t. I tried and it was a major disaster. It MIGHT work if you refrigerate them for an extended period of time (like, overnight) before frying, but when the baked version tastes this good…WHY.

Falafel Burgers with Pepperoncini Salsa
Vegetarian falafel burgers topped with a spicy refreshing pepperoncini salsa make for a great summer meal.
Yield: 4 falafel burgers
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of parsley, minced
  • 3-4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices mozzarella or provolone
  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 medium cucumber, quartered and chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quarters
  • ½ cup hot pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a food processor along with the red onion, garlic, parsley, flour, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and turmeric. Process until fairly smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Form into 4 patties and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  4. In the last few minutes of baking, top with the cheese slices and cook until they melt.
  5. Meanwhile, toss together the cucumber, tomatoes, and pepperoncini. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  6. Serve burgers on the buns topped with the pepperoncini salsa.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 burger

More falafel fun!

baked falafel hoagies with harissa tomato sauce and tzatziki

Baked Falafel Hoagies with Harissa Tomato Sauce and Tzatziki

herb and pistachio falafel

Herb and Pistachio Falafel

falafel-stuffed eggplant with tahini sauce and tomato relish

Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish

From Around the Web:

Sweet Potato and Millet Falafel from Oh My Veggies

Chickpea Flour Falafel Pitas from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Spring Onion Falafel from The First Mess

Falafel Patties with Harissa Yogurt from A Couple Cooks

Baked Falafel with Spicy Feta Yogurt Dip from How Sweet Eats


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52 Responses to Falafel Burgers with Pepperoncini Salsa

  1. Felafels forever! I’ll have 20 of these burgers please! 🙂

  2. Kathryn says:

    These sound totally epic. Like you, I don’t think I can ever have too much falafel in my life and I love the sound of that spicy salsa to go with them. So good.

  3. Erica says:

    I am IN LOVE with this salsa. Sounds like the perfect topping for a barbecue. Hope all is well!! 🙂

  4. Beth says:

    Falafel burgers – what an amazing idea! I’m a recent convert to homemade veggie burgers, and I think this would be a terrific new recipe to try.

  5. These look incredible!! Pepperoncini peppers are one of my favorites!

  6. Sues says:

    This is hilarious because when I was in high school, I ate so much falafel that I couldn’t eat it for years! It was my go-to after track practice and before piano lessons or my SAT class. But after a few years, I got back into it and now I’m obsessed, but practice moderation 🙂 Something tells me I’d want to eat these burgers every night!!

  7. Trisha says:

    All hail Falafel!!! The idea of frying something in this heat sort of terrifies me, so I LOVE that these are baked!

  8. I clearly haven’t had NEARLY enough falafel in my life. These adorable burgers are the key to helping me catch up!

  9. You make a mean looking burger friend. And the salsa….on my goodness! Hand it over over!

  10. The colors and flavors in this recipe look and sound awesome!

  11. I’ve tried SO many times to make a baked falafel burger (which were all failures). This looks so good, basically drooling on my keyboard.

  12. You got sick of peanut butter?? I don’t buy it!

    Love these. Maybe they should be L’s first falafel experience:-)

  13. can I tell you how much I miss chickpeas?!!!! wejytgjwevdjexjhe656%%$$!!!! inserting all kinds of expletives right now. . your falafel burger looks AMAZING and that salsa!!!! LOVE!

  14. Yeah, falafel is pretty much amazing. And with a spicy little salsa? Yas.

  15. cheri says:

    Love that these are baked and the salsa looks amazing.

  16. Gaaahhhh I love falafel – this baked burger version looks incredible!

  17. Pam says:

    Oh my. It looks drool worthy! Love that oozing cheese and the sound of the pepperoncini salsa. YUM!

  18. yayyy falafel burgers! these look excellent! love all the toppings, esp. that salsa. yum!

  19. Kathleen says:

    Joanne, I am absolutely putting these burgers on the menu this week. They look delicious, as do the falafel hoagies, which I somehow missed last year.

    Also, I finally got around to trying the berry brie salad this weekend, and will be using that recipe to indulge my berry addiction all summer long. Fabulous!

    Also also, my daughter has just gotten a job with the thoracic cancers research team at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and is apartment hunting. If you stumble upon anyone searching for a roommate or trying to sublet their apartment, could you please let me know? I know it’s an odd request to a food blogger, but there’s some overlap in your scientist life, and I believe in casting a wide net! Thanks, Joanne!

  20. I must make these burgers for my husband too. The pepperoncini salsa rocks!

  21. Mary Frances says:

    Falafel burgers are now on my summer eating bucket list. Gah just stop right now, they look SO GOOD.

  22. I’ll hop on board with your love of falafels- because they rock the damn house- any say a falafel burger a day WILL keep the Doctor away. Or, at the very least, it will make you a kinder person because your belly will, legitimately, be THE happiest belly on the planet. These look fan-dang-tastically delicious. And that salsa? Umm hellz yes! Love this, Joanne!

  23. I so totally agree! And now I want falafel so badly. Also? Fried balls *giggle*

  24. chloe says:

    YUM! I am loving the sound of pepperoncini salsa!

  25. Emily says:

    Yum! I love falafel and never thought to make and add a pepporincini salsa to it!

  26. Eileen says:

    All hail the mighty falafel! This sounds perfect for summertime. You know a giant burger is the best thing to eat on a hot afternoon!

  27. Kate says:

    I tried to make falafel 2 weeks ago – it was a gloppy disaster! My falafel just wouldn’t hold together.

  28. Julia says:

    Falafel are one of those foods I hold so high and mighty that I’ve assumed only the almighty falafel gurus could possibly make them. They’ve just been one of those untouchables I’m afraid of botching. But dis burg is looking so good that I’ll just need to overcome my fear of falafel-making. I want it baaad!

  29. Kelster says:

    I’m building my shrine to the Great Chickpea. So delicious and so versatile.

  30. I love falafels! I had them a while back at a seminar, and since then these are on the “must order” list at any restaurant that makes them and the “must get” category in any lunch seminar that has them. What a great idea to make falafel into a burger patty! I’m drooling thinking about it. Yum!

  31. This looks AWESOME!!! I love the extra flavors you added and your spin you put on it!

  32. Oh, yes to falafel – I think this would be good in a packed lunch too.

  33. Kelly says:

    Falafels for life! Love that they’re baked! And with the pepperoncini salsa? Oh man, that looks and sounds SOOO good for dinner right now!

  34. Ummm…big YES to a falafel shrine. Yum!!

  35. Christine says:

    Love falafels and am so happy to have the pepperoncini salsa idea vs. just plopping pepperoncini on things. FYI: Spell check keeps “correcting” pepperoncini with pepperoni 🙁 so I “taught” it to “learn” the new word. Silly spell check.

  36. tigerfish says:

    I like how you make the falafel patties using canned chickpeas. And I sure prefer one giant falafel patty to one fried chickpea ball! ;p

  37. easypeasy says:

    Love, love, love veggies burgers! Can’t wait to give this a try! 🙂

  38. Reeni says:

    I wholeheartedly agree! Give me all the falafel and I live happily ever after. I love the sound of that salsa and the sight of all that gooey cheese. Hand one over. Please?!

  39. I love baked felafels. Great idea for lunch today 🙂

  40. I only really got into falafel when we moved to London – I don’t know if it’s more common here, or it’s just a food I never embraced when I was younger, but I am with you on wanting it daily now. I love the look of these, and your impressive burger photography too!

  41. Kelsey says:

    Love, love, love falafel. And when it’s baked, I don’t even have to feel a little bit guilty about my love. Thanks for this!

  42. Zainab says:

    Just sexy!!! Burgers can be right??

  43. I don’t know if I could get tired of this falafel burger. Sounds fabulous!!

  44. Sarah says:

    Gahh this just looks like summer on a bun. I love love love falafel. I could definitely get behind your shrine.. can I be the first cult member, please?

  45. Elizabeth says:

    J’adore felafels! But we add a little baking powder AND we usually use dried chickpeas that have soaked over-night in plenty of cold water (with a pinch of baking soda – it helps to soften the hull). The next day, we do the following: remove any floating chickpeas. Drain and rinse with cold water. Taste one. It’s amazing! … sort of like a peanut.

    Pour the drained, Uncooked chickpeas into a food processor. Add 1 Tbsp water. Whirl briefly til the chickpeas are about the size of regular small peas.
    Add onion, parsley, spices and process until blended but not puréed. Add baking powder and some of the flour, and pulse. Add just enough flour so that dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Put the sludge into a bowl (Taste it! It’s fabulous already!) and refrigerate, covered for at least two hours before frying.

    Thank you for the reminder to make felafel!

  46. Caroline says:

    We honestly create a new falafel recipe several times a month! Really! I grew up eating falafel, but they are so fun to change up. These are RIDICULOUSLY yummy! We may have to stop changing them up and stick with this recipe! 🙂

  47. Johanna GGG says:

    these look so cute though for one crazy minute when you mentioned fried chickpea balls I thought I had to try one and then I realised you were talking falafels – of course! and of course I love them though I am more fussy since discovering the best falafels in melbourne

  48. […] me if I “miss eating meat,” to which I will now forevermore reply with this photo of Falafel Burgers with Pepperoncini Salsa via Joanne Eat Wells. Yeah, you’re […]

  49. Shannon says:

    I love falafel! I am sure it tastes amazing in burger form!

  50. Andrea says:

    I’ve made these twice and they are delicious! When I cooked them this week, I added a medium-size zucchini that I had put through the grater attachment on the food processor. It helped the burgers keep their shape a little better and didn’t detract from the falafel taste at all. My husband isn’t a big zucchini fan, so this was a great way to use up what we got from the CSA. I’m looking forward to trying the Thai Green Curry recipe next since this week we got more zucchini and Swiss chard. 🙂 Thanks!

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