These Caribbean-inspired falafel are the perfect weekend dinner. Basically, they’re like jerk-spiced fried hummus fritters, what’s not to love about that? They're made from sweet potato, which is possibly the best combination ever. Serve these crispy falafel in a pita with all your favorite vegetables.

Caribbean Jerk Sweet Potato Falafel [Vegan, Gluten-Free]





For the Falafel:

  • 1 1/2 cups (peeled) cooked sweet potato
  • 1 2/3 cup cooked chickpeas

For the Caribbean Jerk Spices:

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Oil, for frying

For the Toppings:

  • Your favorite barbecue sauce (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup washed iceberg lettuce or Napa cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
  • 4-6 large pitas (gluten-free if needed)


To Make the Falafel:

  1. First, make the spice blend.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the falafel, except the frying oil, in a food processor (a blender will work also if that's all you have) and pulse until combined into a nearly smooth mixture. It should be a thick dough.
  3. In a large skillet, heat about 1-inch of oil over medium-low heat. You can use a deep-fryer for cooking them instead if you have one. Using a large scoop, form balls and drop them carefully into the pan.
  4. Flatten them slightly with a spatula and cook them on each side for about 3 minutes until crispy.

To Serve:

  1. If desired, warm the pitas in a foil packet in the oven or one by one on a lightly greased skillet.
  2. Fill each pita with the falafel, your desired vegetables, and your favorite barbecue sauce, if desired.