Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini.
Bringing back Street Food Monday with these Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini…and spicy Harissa oil too. Homemade, veggie-filled falafel, topped with melty gouda cheese, then stuffed inside fresh naan with the most delicious garlicky green tahini sauce. Top each melt with a spoonful of spicy harissa oil and any amount of desired toppings you love. This loaded street food style melt is SO GOOD, and makes for a fun, delicious, and different weeknight dinner! Serve each melt with homemade sweet potato fries for a colorful, fun, and delicious dinner.
I figured our Monday could use a recipe that was fun and colorful. Although, maybe you’re currently enjoying the day off due to a long weekend? That’s my hope! When you’re your own boss, long weekends aren’t usually a thing, but that’s ok! I’m very excited because I LOVE this recipe.
This recipe allows me to travel to a new country through food. And with zero travel the last year, it certainly is fun to be “whisked” away to another land. Yes, that’s may be fairytale-ish of me, but I feel like you all know what I mean!
Anyway, some of you may remember, a couple of years ago when I was sharing a lot of street food inspired recipes. We had a lot of fun with those recipes. For some reason, they faded a bit this past year. But I’m happily bringing them back. I’m welcoming the color, the fun, and of course, the deliciousness they bring to the table.
The funny thing about these melts? They were somewhat inspired by my oldest brother, Creighton. He loves Middle Eastern street food. Gyros? Chicken Shawarma? Lamb Kebabs? All some of his favorites, but falafel? Probably the only Middle Eastern thing he would not eat. No meat, so not for him, but I think he’s crazy. Falafel is one of my favorites. And these melts? They were my challenge to win Creighton over.
Challenge met! I think it was the sauces that won him over.
Here are all the details you need
First off, this isn’t a traditional Falafel recipe, or even a traditional way of serving falafel. But as they’re so delicious, and made with plenty of Middle Eastern flavors mixed in with a few of my own twists.
You’ll want to start with the sauces, which as I mentioned are key to this recipe. You guys know I love a good sauce, but these melts actually require not one, but two sauces.
Let’s start with the garlicky green tahini. This sauce is truly beyond good. It’s very creamy from the tahini, heavy on the herbs, and just a touch garlicky. Literally, all you need to do is toss everything into a blender and blend until smooth.
It’s a mix of nutty creamy tahini, herbs, and lemon juice. Then honey for a subtle sweetness, and a pinch of salt to tie it all together. Simple, fresh and so good. This is the creamy, cooling sauce that balances out the spicy harissa oil.
For the harissa oil, I just took store-bought harissa and mixed it with toasted sesame oil plus a pinch of smoked paprika. It’s obviously very simple to mix up but adds a lot of flavor to the final melt.
We LOVE this sauce.
Alright, now the falafel. I used my base recipe that I always use, but instead of frying the falafel, as you would traditionally do, I just cooked them up in a skillet, added cheese, then threw them under the broiler real quick to melt the cheese.
I used a melty gouda cheese, which I think lends itself nicely to the herbs and spices. It. Is. Delicious!
For the vegetables in the falafel, you can honestly use whatever veggies you have on hand. Just use veggies that aren’t made up of all water. I recommend carrots, cauliflower, peas, or broccoli. The falafel is really easy to make, but you do need a food processor for best results.
Finish it up
Once the falafel is made, just put everything together on a warmed piece of naan or pita and enjoy with your favorite topping, plus lots of the spicy harissa oil and green tahini.
No good street food recipe is ever complete without a side of fries, so I recommend you bake up a batch of homemade french fries or sweet potato fries. I did sweet potato fries!
I wouldn’t call this one of my super simple recipes, but trust me, all the effort that went into making these melts is 100% worth it.
Every bite is so good, so full of flavor, and layered with texture. Not to mention it’s just a fun way to switch up the average weeknight dinner.
Also, the leftovers? They’re really delicious the next day crumbled onto a salad or served up with the leftovers fries. Great if you want to double the recipe and have some prepped for the week ahead!
And that’s all I have for you today! Hoping everyone is enjoying Martin Luther King Jr. Day at home with good food…of course!
Looking for more Middle Eastern inspired dinners? Here are a few favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini
full of flavor & layered with texture...a fun, delicious, & different weeknight meal!
Garlicky Green Tahini
- 1 cup chopped veggies, such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, or a mix
- 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour use gluten-free if needed
- 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, parsley, or a mix
- kosher salt and black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil, for cooking
- 3/4 cup shredded gouda or Havarti cheese
- 6 fresh naan or pitas, warmed
- pickled red onion, lettuce, and herbs, for serving
Spicy Harissa Oil
1. To make the tahini. Combine all ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a blender and blend until smooth. If needed, add water to thin the sauce as desired. Season to taste with salt.
2. To make the falafel. Add the veggies to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas, flour, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin, cilantro, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is combined and mostly smooth. If the mix is dry, add 1 tablespoon water at a time until it holds a ball. Roll the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls, then gently flatten them down into 1/2 inch patties.
3. Preheat the the broiler. Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet set over medium heat. Add the falafel and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until deeply golden and crispy. Remove from the heat. Add cheese to each, then place the pan in the oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese. Watch closely.
4. To make the harissa oil. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Season to taste with salt.
5. To assemble, spread the tahini on warmed naan, add lettuce, the falafel, and a spoonful of harissa oil. Top as desired with herbs, onions, and any amounts of additional sauce. Enjoy!
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