Zalafels with Garlic Cream Sauce


We used to live half a block away from the best falafel joint in DC. Crunchy, vegetarian, delicious, healthy, and cheap– they were the perfect option for nights we felt more like staying out late than staying in and cooking.


This was my first weekend home since getting back from Sri Lanka, and I was eager to get back into the kitchen. Falafels were an easy choice- I already had everything I needed in my pantry and fridge. But I also had a few zucchinis I needed to use up before our next CSA box arrived.


Enter: Zalafels! [Zucchini + Falafel, in case you need me to spell it out for you.] These babies come together in under 25 minutes, or an hour and a half if you want to really impress somebody and make homemade flatbread, too.

Zalafels with Garlic Cream Sauce
falafel ingredients

Zalafel ingredients:

  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans, drained (chick peas)
  • 1/3 cup oats, ground into flour in a blender
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, basil (any fresh herbs you have on hand)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt + pepper
  • 1 small bunch (5-6 leaves) kale, finely chopped

To prepare zalafels: on a low blender setting (3 or 4 on a vitamix), mix chick peas with oat flour, cumin, salt + pepper, garlic, and herbs. Move to bowl and mix in zucchini and kale. Make 3 inch wide patties with the mixture, about 10-12 total. Set aside and make sauce.

sauce ingredients


Garlic Cream Sauce ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups kefir (cream or whole milk should work if you don’t have kefir on hand.)
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 7-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB flour

To prepare sauce: mix chopped chives, garlic, and salt with kefir.


Whisk in flour. Use a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and heat sauce over medium until bubbles form and sauce thickens, stirring constantly (3-5 minutes.) To make sauce extra creamy, blend in blender afterwards for 30 seconds.


Set sauce aside, wipe out sauce pan, and re-heat with 1 tsp olive oil or grapeseed oil over medium heat. Wait until oil is spitting, and heat 4 patties at a time. Cover with lid, cook 3 minutes/side until brown and crispy.

Serve zalafel patties with lettuce leafs and garlic cream sauce, and/or flatbread. Pair with ripe tomatoes and fresh, crunchy cucumbers for a dinner that screams summer.




*CSA box photographed by Hayley Griffin

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