Mediterranean Falafel Bowl – High-Protein Lunch Recipe

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Table of Contents
  1. Mediterranean Falafel Bowl Ingredients
  2. How to Make a Falafel Bowl
  3. Easy Falafel Bowl Additions
  4. Common Questions about Falafel Bowls
  5. More Mediterranean Recipes
  6. Mediterranean Falafel Bowl Recipe

In my continued quest to find protein-rich, plant-based meals to fuel my runs, I picked up a bag of frozen falafel and turned it into a ridiculously good Mediterranean Falafel Bowl. It’s extremely filling, flavorful, has texture perfection (crispy + cozy) and loaded with fresh vegetables for the perfect lunch.

As you may have noticed by the amount of vegetarian Mediterranean recipes I’ve shared over the years, I love Mediterranean-inspired recipes. Whenever I think of “eating the rainbow” or eating for longevity, I gravitate towards this style of eating.

This Mediterranean Falafel Bowl hits all those goals while giving you a super filling and tasty meal in minutes.

This dish is vibrantly colored and flavored as it features a variety of veggies, sauces and even some vegan feta. It’s also packed with protein and will keep you energized throughout the afternoon. It’s loaded yet won’t leave you feeling bloated or tired.

A friend recently recommended the restaurant Cava to me, and it might just be my new fav lunch spot when I’m in Oklahoma City. It’s like a Chipotle-style restaurant dedicated to Mediterranean-inspired salads, protein bowls and more. I can easily eat plant-based here and the ingredients are clean and flavorful—it’s addictively delicious.

This is my homemade version of my fav protein bowl from Cava—loaded with a gorgeous array of ingredients to fuel your day.

labeled ingredients for a Mediterranean Falafel bowl including sea salt and black pepper, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, lemon juice, lemon, hummus, falafel, whole wheat pita, couscous, radishes, cucumber, spinach, onion and herbs.

Mediterranean Falafel Bowl Ingredients

To get a rainbow veggie bowl, you need a few ingredients. This list may seem long yet trust me… you’re not gonna want to miss out on the flavor explosion of all these rich, nutrient-packed ingredients when they’re mixed together.

  • Couscous: This is a grain that contains the antioxidant selenium that can help decrease inflammation. Since this does contain gluten, swap with brown rice to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Falafels: I fell in love with these tasty, fried balls and like to keep a bag on hand to toss into pitas and in bowls like this one.
  • Spinach: My base of choice for a salad-style dish is spinach since it’s mild and not as watery as lettuce. Feel free to use the leafy greens of your choice!
  • Herbs: fresh basil and mint are chopped up into this dish and provide great flavor. 
  • Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed lemon juice helps brighten up the whole recipe.
  • Olive oil: Feel free to use your fav extra-virgin olive oil or even a fun infused one.
  • Sea salt and black pepper: Add these to taste. If you struggle to eat salad then try this tip—toss your leafy greens in olive oil, salt and pepper before adding anything else. This help flavor those greens in a much more palatable way.
  • Hummus: Falafel is made from chickpeas and is a great plant-based protein. Add even more protein through a delicious homemade hummus and let it double as a sauce as well!
  • English cucumber: I love the crunch that cucumber provides without being overpowering. It also pairs well with fresh mint.
  • Kalamata olives: You should know my love for olives by now. I won’t judge how many you toss in if you don’t judge me, either!
  • Red onion: This helps bring a sharpness to all the chickpeas and herbs. It’s also colorful… bonus.
  • Radishes: Bring even more crunchy veggies with some fresh, quartered radishes. Most grocery stores actually sell already sliced radishes so that can save you a bit of time if you need it.
  • Vegan feta: Feta was one of the easiest plant-based switches I’ve made. Vegan feta has a taste and texture so similar to the dairy-filled version that if you served it, people might not know the difference. It adds some creaminess to this dish. If you’re not vegan, feel free to use traditional feta to get some additional protein.
  • Whole wheat pita: If you want, add in some slices of pita bread to act as dippers or just to enjoy alongside your falafel bowl. 
  • Lemon wedges: There is always room for more lemon! Once you are ready to dive in, squeeze a lemon wedge over the whole bowl for a final little pizazz.

How to Make a Falafel Bowl

Use this recipe for a filling lunch or as a fun, family dinner that each member can customize as they want. This is a way for you to eat the rainbow with ease, and enjoy doing it! I wanted something easy yet satisfying so I opted for already cooked + frozen falafel. If you have the time to prep your own then go for it! I recommend making Yumna’s homemade Lebanese falafel from her blog, Feel Good Foodie. 

Whether you make your own or grab some from the store, they will fit right into this recipe:

bowl of baked falafel.

Step 1: Start by preparing the couscous and bake the falafel according to the directions on their packages. 

glass bowl of herbs, spinach and couscous.

Step 2: Toss the prepped couscous with fresh spinach, herbs, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. 

spooning herbed couscous onto a place next to some hummus.

Step 3: Since this recipe makes 4 servings if you follow it as-is, divide the herbed couscous mixture evenly between 4 bowls then equally divide up the toppings. I’m using hummus, cucumber, olives, onion, radishes and falafel.

Mediterranean falafel bowl with a rainbow of vegetables, vegan feta and herbed couscous.

Step 4: Sprinkle with feta cheese (vegan or not) and serve with a lemon wedge + pita bread, if desired. This honestly works great without the pita, yet can be more filling with it if you want to go that route. 

I love serving this as falafel salad bowls yet if you want a hand-held version then open up some pitas or grab some flat bread and turn these into falafel wraps. 

This is an easy recipe to prep ahead of time as the lemon juice and olive oil tossed around everything will help it stay fresh in that lunchbox until you’re ready to enjoy it.

Easy Falafel Bowl Additions

  • Use pickled veggies: Take your red onions up a notch and make some quick pickled red onions from Kate over at Cookie + Kate. I also buy a big bucket of them at Costco because they’re pickled with jalapenos (and you know I looove the heat!). Swap plain cucumbers for pickled cucumbers. This will create a brighter flavor— and the more flavor the merrier! You can also try pickled radishes or carrots. The options are truly endless!
  • Pile on the sauces: If Cava can do, so can we! Try adding a scoop of whipped labneh (not vegan), tahini sauce, tzatziki sauce and hummus to create a flavor explosion.
  • Load up on veggies: Add other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or roasted sweet potatoes can be a great way to clean out the fridge.
  • Use an infused olive oil: I just got some as a Christmas gift from a friend and I plan to drizzle it on everything.
  • Add a protein boost: The falafel already has some protein, yet you can always increase by adding Roasted Chickpeas, sesame seeds, pepitas or even some tofu, if you want. You… do you.
Mediterranean falafel salad bowl with vegetables and pita, sitting on a dining table.

Common Questions about Falafel Bowls

What is in Falafel?

These fried balls are typically made with chickpeas or fava beans mixed with spices and herbs then fried in oil.

Why is falafel not vegan?

Falafel itself is vegan, yet it may be fried in a non-vegan oil or served with a dairy-based yogurt sauce.

What pairs well with falafel?

Falafel is a protein-packed addition that works great in a Mediterranean-inspired bowl with hummus, fresh herbs and fresh veggies. Or toss them into a salad, stuff them into a pita, or eat as a snack with a yogurt-based sauce.

More Mediterranean Recipes

If you love vegetarian Mediterranean recipes like I do then try a few more of my favs from warming entrees like this vegan pumpkin soup and oven-roasted spaghetti squash to marinated celery salad or Greek salad paired with a layered Greek dip.

Take your next gathering up a notch by perfecting a vegan charcuterie board complete with homemade hummus and a gorgeous green olive tapenade served with bright fruits and veggies.

  • Prepare couscous and falafel according to their packages.

  • Toss cooked couscous with spinach, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

  • Divide herbed couscous mixture, hummus, prepped vegetables and falafel evenly between all bowls.

  • Sprinkle vegan feta on top and serve with a lemon wedge and some pita bread.

  • Feel free to prep the couscous ahead of time, up to 2 days in advance. 
  • If you want to try homemade falafel, check out the Lebanese falafel recipe by Feel Good Foodie.
  • Swap out any veggies listed for ones you have on hand. Tomatoes, other leafy greens, bell peppers or cooked sweet potato all works great in this bowl as well.
  • Instead of eating it bowl-style, cut a pita in half and stuff with the couscous mixture + all the vegetables and falafel for a great hand-held option.

Calories: 488kcal, Carbohydrates: 82g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 884mg, Potassium: 625mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1402IU, Vitamin C: 41mg, Calcium: 132mg, Iron: 4mg


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