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Navy Bean Falafel

Easy and delicious, these gluten free Navy Bean Falafel are spiced with smoked paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, onion and garlic and make a tasty and nutritious snack.

Easy navy bean falafel

*This post was first published in May of 2014 – it has since been updated and is being republished today.

Sometimes my daughter and I plan on having an 8 hour movie marathon and rent about 4 movies from our neighborhood Redbox…

Only to return all of them the next day – without watching a single one!
Mind boggling eh?

Well, this past weekend we actually rented and sat down and watched one: “God’s Not Dead” – without pausing it or getting up or playing with the dogs or deciding to hand wrestle or…well, you get the picture.

gluten free navy bean falafel

My daughter and I had wanted to watch this movie since last year, when we first saw the trailer for it. “God’s Not Dead” happens to have been panned by critics, earning a score of 16 out of 100!

Now, I might not have the experienced perception of a movie critic; but, I would have to disagree with that score! This movie ignited discussions and realizations in our house, that were eye opening.

While the main focus of this movie is on the college student who decides to take on the challenge of proving God is not dead to his atheist professor; there are numerous other characters that show the strength and perseverance and beauty of the human spirit when fueled by faith.

One such character that moved me was “Reverend Jude” played by Benjamin Ochieng.

Reverend Jude’s quite calm, his wise words, his hope and his always joyful demeanor not only reminded me of my dad; but they also reminded me that there is always a reason, there is always a plan.

We might not be privy to these reasons and plans – but they all work together to bring us closer to The Big Guy.

Sometimes it is very hard to accept; sometimes we question the reason behind a loved one’s death; sometimes we cannot seem to see the reason behind a friends health woes; sometimes we are baffled at the never ending onslaught of bills that threaten to drive us to bankruptcy; and, sometimes we are boggled by friendships and relationships that just end.

But, if we stay still, oh so still and look clearer, we might see that the reason has nothing to do with the result.. and we just have to hang in there and trust.

Tasty spiced navy bean falafel

Other than this movie having us hooked, another reason we actually sat through this without getting up is because we had a whole 12 inch pan of these Navy Bean Falafel bites!

These Navy Bean Falafel are so easy to make:

For these falafel, I decided to go a different route from the traditional chick peas and use smooth canned navy beans instead. Make sure you completely drain the navy beans and dry them a bit between paper towels.

And with a little carrot and onion these little bites were big on taste! These are also jam packed with garlic, turmeric, cumin and coriander – ingredients, my mom swears, ward off nasty colds.

My daughter and I wolfed these down without any other sides or sauces or dressings – and when a picky teen does it – well…I’ll let you come to your own conclusions…

If you need a sauce to accompany these, these navy bean falafel can be enjoyed with this sweet spicy chili (recipe can be found here) sauce or this pumpkin chili sauce (recipe found here).

If you want to make this a meal, then serve it with this Za’atar Ras El Hanout Chicken and this Broccoli Kale Cilantro Sambol (Salad) and these air fryer zucchini fries.

Stack of navy bean and carrot falafel
Tasty spiced navy bean falafel

Navy Bean Falafel

4.27 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Shashi
Easy and delicious, these gluten free Navy Bean Falafel are spiced with smoked paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, onion and garlic and make a tasty and nutritious snack.


  • 1 cup drained rinsed and dried canned navy beans (I dried these between paper towels to remove excess moisture)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tbsp almond flour or more if falafel are too wet
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp oil


  • Place all ingredients in a blender or better yet, a food processor, and pulse till well incorporated. Make sure to pulse and not simply blend until too smooth and mushy.
  • Shape mixture into balls, and flatten slightly.
  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • When oil is warm, add shaped falafel (they will be slightly wet but will dry out as they cook) and cook 4-5 minutes on each side or till golden brown.
  • Serve with spicy sweet chili sauce or enjoy as is.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 49mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @SavorySpin or tag #savoryspin so we can share your ceation.

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Recipe Rating

  1. Deborah says:

    My husband said it is the best falafel he has ever he has ever had. It was so easy to make. I didn’t have any coriander but I threw in a bit of cilantro. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe

  2. […] navy bean falafels are so easy to prepare: I went with smooth canned navy beans instead of traditional chick peas for […]

  3. Ruth says:

    The the flavor of these are so yummy but found that they were very crumbly when cooking so not sure if I did some thing wrong when I mixed everything.

  4. […] 4. Gluten-free navy bean falafels […]

  5. Sabrena Bondari says:

    Hello! Thank you for the recipe. We found that the falafels were a bit too liquid. Perhaps I should have taken a paper towel to squeeze the fresh navy beans, but I ended up adding Bob Red Mills 1:1 flour (gluten free) to thicken it up. I love Persian food / spice, so I added 7 spice and more of the other spices (cumin, paprika and added Cardamon powder. That did the trick for us. Trying to go on vegetarian lifestyle, and this recipe is a nice addition!

  6. jtendler says:

    This sounds amazing! I love that you used navy beans instead of chickpeas, because navy beans are one of the very few vegan foods that are higher in lysine than arginine. I eat them every day to counter the effect of all the high arginine plant proteins, so it’s great to see a new recipe for them!

  7. I love falafel but I have never tried to make them out of navy beans. Thanks to you now I do have a great recipe to try these chubby, tasty guys.

  8. It never occured to me to make falafel with beans, I always made them with chickpeas. What a great idea, thanks !!

  9. M Eury says:

    I LOVE Falafels and have been searching for a good recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Lori R. says:

    What a great movie snack! I love falafel, and this is such a great idea to sub a different kind of bean. Great for an emergency situation when I run out of chickpeas!

  11. ashley says:

    I’ve been wondering about that movie! My brother and mom went to see it when it was in the theatre and loved it. Now I know i need to rent it! Love the falafel – perfect for movie night 🙂

  12. Great recipe, Shashi … falafel is one of my very favourite snacks!
    Thanks for the wise words today, too. I haven’t had the greatest of weeks so this really hit the mark for me. 🙂

  13. Amy @ Long Drive Journey says:

    Although I know this is falafel, it looks like buttery biscuits, and now I really want a buttery biscuit!!

  14. The movie sounds so interesting, thanks for the scoop! Also, I love that you used a different type of beans for falafel. So creative!

  15. These look amazing delicious! I love the spices you have flavored the falafel with here

  16. foodrecipeshq says:

    I’m not sure I am able to believe in God. I’ve been into science for too long… it seems to me that the universe is so incredibly crazy to have a creator. The nature, the way things work and go on, maybe all this is “god”. Anyhow… let’s talk about these bites. I have a clear opinion about them: they are fantastic!

  17. My daughter and I have gotten in the habit of renting Redbox movies and having a movie night. I will have to look for that one. And I might have to make some of these falafel to munch on. They look wonderful!

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks Christin – with the weather cooling down – we are trying to squeeze in more movie nights! So nice to hear you and your daughter have yalls own movie nights!

  18. These look delicious- I actually prefer navy beans to chickpeas!

  19. Your movie night sounds awesome! And it sounds stupid but I never really thought to make felafel with anything apart from chickpeas. Great idea!

  20. I can see these little flakes and delicious little bits of veggies in your falafel and I am certain this would be the perfect finger food to accompany a good movie… and way more fun that eating popcorn.

  21. hotlyspiced says:

    It’s always a lovely surprise when a movie has been panned by critics, that you take it out and watch it and are pleasantly surprised. If a movie doesn’t do well in the US, it doesn’t get a cinematic release here which is probably why I haven’t heard of it. I’ll look out for it xx

  22. Shashi, I love those little savory cakes – I could eat so many of them at once! Love that they are gluten free, of course!

  23. cheri says:

    Love that you made falafel with white beans, looks delicious. So nice you and your daughter enjoyed the movie together, sounds like a good one.

  24. i love falafels ad this one seems very delicious. now i need some hummus!!

  25. Can you believe that I’ve -never- tried falafel before? Not even the traditional kind? I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that’s not really acceptable. Oops 😳 And you know what I miss? The good old days where you had to go out to a rental store, browse the shelve, and pick out a movie… getting super peeved when what you wanted was already rented out 😆 I know things are easier these days, but I still miss the old ones!

    • Shashi says:

      Amanda – I do miss those days too, my friend – so much fun perusing those aisles – even with the peeve factor 😉
      Now wait – you haven’t had falafel???

  26. Yum! I haven’t had falafel in literally decades… I think these might be a good snack for my Netflix marathons. 🙂

  27. I love navy beans, those falafel look so good, there is no breading? I am going to make these, I’ve been craving falafel.

  28. These look so good! Would love to try it!

  29. It’s been a really long time since we rented movies, but if I had a basket full of this falafel, it might make it more tempting. Just sayin’.. 🙂

  30. Ashley says:

    Ha! We always plan on watching a movie on Friday nights but just never end up doing it! I don’t know what it is!

    And this dish sounds awesome! My kind of meal!

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks Ashley!!!
      I am thinking it’s the weather – I adore being outside – but when it gets cold I am always indoors…that’s my story at least! 🙂

  31. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing that movie, it sounds like something I would like. I especially like when you said “we might see that the reason has nothing to do with the result” 🙂

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks so much Bianca – it happens often – we watch a movie that has so much good stuff in the middle – a character that isn’t a star one that says or acts a certain way or something that is said…just makes it for me!

  32. My hubs would love this dish! :)-Ashley

  33. Charlotte says:

    Aww now I want to see that movie! You and your daughter are so cute, i love your relationship! And these navy bean falafels looks amaaaazing 🙂

  34. Kim says:

    Those look really tasty!!
    I’ve been wanting to watch that movie – I will have to check it out soon.

  35. we have been SO wanting to watch that movie, and now I know that we need to get our butts to red box. AND we need to get our butts into the kitchen to eat these. I seriously haven’t tried falafel, but have been DYING to! Pinning!

    • Shashi says:

      Wait – what??? You haven’t tried falafel???? That’s more shocking than when I found out you moved cross country!!!
      Thanks Taylor!!!
      Yes – that movie is really good – specially the middle parts!

  36. cottercrunch says:

    i love navy bean, and so does my gut. which means i get to make these! YAY! genius

  37. I just put that movie on my Netflix queue. I’m definitely intrigued after reading this post. I’ll let you know my thoughts.

    Holy moly those falafel look good and I bet they taste even better than they look. I need me some of that! 😉

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks Mike – they did taste pretty darn good!
      So, am curious – since I am late replying – did you get a chance to watch the movie? Any thoughts if you did? I am so curious to know…

  38. Joanne says:

    I feel like movie reviews are like restaurant reviews…people only speak up if they have something bad to say, so all the good reviews get filtered out. Glad you enjoyed the movie! Also, love this new take on falafel. A must try!

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks so much Joanne! Yes – I didn’t think of it that way – but you are so right! And now that you mention it…I don’t remember the last time I read a totally positive review!

  39. I’ll have to check out God’s Not Dead – a topic I’m very interested in recently – and I’ll have to have a plate of these falafel when I watch ;).

  40. Joyti says:

    I haven’t heard of the movie – I’ll be sure to look it up.

    And also, your take on falafel sounds delicious 🙂

  41. O yes, these are a great snack for movie night.

  42. Khushboo Thadani (@KhushbooThadani) says:

    Oh I’m jus the same about movies. I always stock up over the weekend with great plans to watch them all…9 out of 10 times, I end up watching reruns on TV instead! When will we ever learn eh ;)! As much as I love chickpeas, I love the twist on these…and hey no chickpeas in the falafel only means compensating with extra hummus right :)!

    • Shashi says:

      Khushboo – I am thinking when the weather gets cooler and I detest being outside – then I will watch more movies and tv – I watch so little Iended up cancelling my cable this past weekend!
      Yes to more hummus! Btw, thanks lady!

  43. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    I haven’t rented a movie in ages but it might be time. Those falafel made from beans sound pretty good right now!

  44. Joan says:

    Your pictures are amazing. I want to eat these little bites right NOW! Great idea. It you like these types of movies you might also enjoy Heaven Is For Real. Based on a true story (I read the book twice) and really good acting and story. Very thought provoking. Thanks for all your interesting posts. Cheers to both you and your daughter.

    • Shashi says:

      Aww-thanks so much Joan! I am speechless at your kind words…thank you – you made my day…

      I read Heaven is for Real – and loved the book – but haven’t seen the movie yet – wonder if is similar to the book…

  45. Aaw, so sweet that you and your daughter finally got to have your movie night. A pan of these falafels sounds like the perfect snack food while watching a movie 🙂 Navy beans instead of chickpeas sounds awesome and I love love love the spices in here! Gorgeous photos too girl, just want to reach right in and grab one of these babies! Pinning 🙂

  46. I totally hear you on renting movies, I used to do that all the time! But it’s been ages since I’ve rented anything, now everything is rented online it seems, lost a bit of it’s romanticism of browsing the shelves! This recipe looks amazing and your pictures are beautiful. Totally loving all those spices happening, especially that coriander!

    • Shashi says:

      Thanks so much Pamela!
      Yes, you are right – everything is done online – but I don’t have access to Red Box online as NetFlix seems to not have the more recent movies yet…