One of my favorite hobbies is going to Trader Joe’s without a defined shopping list. It’s an unpredictable adventure with just the right amount of risk. (How many unnecessary things will I buy? Stay tuned to find out!)
This is the way in which I discovered many of my favorite TJ foods: champagne grapes, frozen assorted macarons, and fresh figs.
And, recently, falafel mix.
I’ve always loved falafel, with its addictively crunchy outside and savory warm inside, often paired with a zesty tangy sauce. However, falafel is quite complex to make from scratch, requiring chickpeas and a variety of spices. And plus, falafel is commonly deep-fried — and in my book, “heavy & greasy” is the worst type of regret.
You can imagine my delight, then, when I found Trader Joe’s falafel mix — finally, I had an incredibly easy way to make baked falafel.
Crunchy Baked Falafel Pita Pockets
This isn’t a “recipe” as much as a quick and easy lunch “idea.” Store ingredients separately, unless you enjoy soggy falafel wraps (I’m not here to judge). Everything stores well in the fridge, especially if you’re able to quickly toast the falafel in the oven before eating. Makes 10 pita pockets.
- 1/2 package Trader Joe’s Falafel Mix
- 5 cups shredded lettuce
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes
- 2 large cucumbers
- 5 pita pockets, cut in half
- Tzatziki sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- Prep the falafel mix according to package directions. Generously oil a baking sheet (do not forget this step!). Scoop falafel mix onto baking sheet and flatten into thick 1.5-inch discs. Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 7-10 minutes.
- Prep the veggies: slice tomatoes and cucumber.
- Assemble! Each pita wrap will usually hold 3-4 falafel patties, plus one layer of tomato, one layer of cucumber, and a small handful of shredded lettuce.