Baked Black Kale Falafels

Who doesn’t love a crispy and soft falafel. There’s something so wonderful about these little balls of joy. I love falafel but I always feel slightly guilty eating them. falafel, whilst delicious, are rather calorie heavy owing to them being deep fried.⁣

However, my falafel addiction got the better of me, and I made it my mission to create a seasonal green falafel recipe that’s baked not fried. I think I’ve succeeded.

These black kale falafels are packed full of healthy greens and the cavolo nero adds a sumptuous dark colour that is sure to wow dinner guests. You can enjoy these beauties with whatever your heart desires, my favourite way of eating them is on a warm pita with a dollop of hummus and a drizzle of tahini.

When to eat

Kale grows in gluts from late summer to mid spring, so I recommend eating this from September to April to maximise on getting the best greens for your buck.


Serves 12 Falafel
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour

This meal is around 92% less polluting than the average UK meal.

  • Eating this recipe will save around 2.70 KG CO2e per person.
  • That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 22 KM in a modern car.
How do I calculate this?


  • 40 g Plain Flour
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 15 g Dill
  • 25 g Parsley
  • 250 g Cavolo Nero Kale
  • 2 (400g) Cans Chickpeas
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil


  • Preheat an oven to 200˚c.
  • Roughly chop the onion and garlic. Then de-stem the cavolo nero and roughly shred.
  • Add the onion and garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the herb bunches and process until fine and evenly incorporated with the onion and garlic. Next tip in the cavolo nero and blitz, stop when the kale is very fine. Remove half of the mixture and reserve.
  • Add the chickpeas, spices, flour and bicarbonate of soda to the food processor and pulse until the chickpeas resemble crumbs and the cavolo nero is well incorporated. But, don’t be tempted over work as the chickpeas will turn into a paste.
  • Remove the chickpea mixture and pour into a large mixing bowl. Tip in the reserved cavolo nero mixture and combine with the chickpeas using a wooden spatula.
  • Cover a large baking tray with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then start to form your falafels. Take about a 2 1/2 tablespoon amount of the chickpeas mixture and roll into balls using your hand. Place on the oiled tray and repeat until you have 12 evenly sized balls.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. I recommend flipping the falafels at about the 30 minute mark using a fork or a spatula. This isn’t strictly necessary but will ensure a crispier falafel.
  • Once cooked remove you can serve these falafels both cold or hot, and they lend themselves well to being frozen.
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