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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.

overhead photo of Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini

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.

Falafel prep photo

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.

prep photo of Garlicky Green Tahini

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.

side angled photo of Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini

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!

overhead close up photo of Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini

Looking for more Middle Eastern inspired dinners? Here are a few favorites:

Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes

Cauliflower Shawarma Wraps with Green Tahini and Feta

Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Golden Butter Fries and Garlic Sauce

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!

Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 557 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Garlicky Green Tahini

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, parsley, dill, or a mix
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Sesame Falafel

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!

overhead horizontal photo of Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts with Garlicky Green Tahini

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  1. 5 stars
    I usually don’t try new recipes for falafel, I have one I use all the time and love, but this one looked delicious and it didn’t disappoint. I used carrots and peas for the veggies. I will definitively be making this again

    1. Hey Julieta,
      I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it. Happy Sunday! ☀️Tieghan

    1. Hey Susan,
      I would recommend ordering from Amazon, the harissa is really a key flavor here:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    These came out so good. Not dry at all and full of flavor. Everyone loved them. Super easy and quick to throw together. I didn’t make the tahini sauce with them but I did make your green harissa recipe with these and that was spot on too. I’ll be making these weekly from here on out. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  3. 3 stars
    This recipe took a little more playing around with than I expected. The tahini sauce needed more salt and lemon juice to get it where it needed to be, it just tasted like bland peanut butter. My Vitamix did not work with the vegetables even after adding olive oil and water, so I ended up transferring to a bowl and using a handheld immersion blender and that worked great. I used seasoned breadcrumbs instead of flour. I only had harissa paste, not harissa sauce, so I tried to create my own by “watering” down the paste with ketchup and some other sauces I had. I couldn’t seem to find any recipes online on how to do that so I’d love any suggestions on that. Thanks for the inspiration with this one.

    1. Hey Corey,
      So sorry you had issues with the recipe. I would highly recommend using a food processor for this recipe, a Vitamix is good when you want to make a liquid. Let me know if I can help in any other way! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    100% perfection from the sauce, to the falafels, to the naan. Thank you.. this is one amazing meal packed with healthy stuff! These falafels are better than any restaurant bought ones!

  5. 5 stars
    These were a hit with my 14 month old and my husband and I!! He 3 falafel in one sitting, Safe to say this one is going in my recipe tin! Served over greens for me since I have celiac, warmed Pita for hubby. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    This was great! We don’t have Indian food in our small town so this was out of my comfort zone. However, I’ve made so many of your other recipes I went for it. It was all so delicious. I even made the naan. Thanks!!

    1. Hey Jessica,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have the best week. xTieghan

  7. Sooooooo…do you think using almond flour for the falafel would be gross? 😬 I’m trying to find some lower carb options. Thanks!

    1. Hey Stacey,
      I haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour, but you could certainly give it a try. Let me know how they turn out! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Wow, this was quick & easy and packed a ton of flavor! I added whipped feta from one of her other recipes and think it added a ton of flavor. The Green Tahini was amazing, I’ll absolutely be making this dish again soon!

    1. Hey Rachel,
      I have not tested this, but I think GF flour would work well here. I hope you enjoy the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Christine,
      I use fresh veggies. I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night and it was a hit! We served it with pickled red onions, arugula and Kalamata olives as well. So delicious!

    1. Hey Felicia,
      Sorry I have not done that, I just use store bought:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. I am excited to make this! Quick question: should the veggies for the falafel be cooked or raw? I would think it could make a big difference.. Thanks!

    1. Hey Lacy,
      I used all raw veggies. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    LOVED each of the individual components and, put together, this was really outstanding! It all came together quickly – and the sauces could definitely be made ahead of time to make this a very quick and easy dinner. I used carrots and cauliflower because that’s what I had in my frig. I used cilantro and mint as my fresh herbs. The only ingredient swap I made was to use chickpea flour instead of all-purpose because – well, why not? I had it in my pantry and it just made sense. I didn’t have a red onion and almost skipped the pickled onions, but decided to just do a quick pickle of a yellow onion and jalapeno I had – and I’m glad I didn’t skip that condiment. I will definitely not only make this again, but recommend this to friends and family. My dinner photo has already been shared via text to several whom I know would enjoy this recipe!

    1. Hey Donna,
      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, I am thrilled that you liked it! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan

  12. 4 stars
    Hey! Was wondering, What other food items could you eat the sauces with? Not sure my boys will go for falafel. They may tho, they’ve loved all your recipes so far that I’ve made.

    1. Hey Liam,
      I would form the falafel and then freeze those:) I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Bea,
      The recipe makes about 12-15 falafel depending on their size. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  13. 4 stars
    I had trouble with the falafel because it came out of the food processor in a powder, but I added water until it was moist enough to shape. The flavor of the sauce and oil was excellent. We found the falafel to be almost creamy inside and I’m not sure if it should be, but we liked it. We had smoked Gouda on hand and that was great with it. Worth the adjustments.