Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread


This recipe comes from the Cooking Light, September 2007 issue. It was delicious! I couldn’t find pita bread in our local store, so we used tortillas and they worked really well. The recipe as is yields 4 patties, but I made smaller patties which yielded more patties. The patty recipe was just enough for 2 adults and 2 kids, so if you’re really hungry or serving more people, double the recipe. The recipe below reflects the changes (like doubling) I will make next time I make this dish.



  • 2 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips (about 3/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Olive oil


  • 1 mashed peeled avocado
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Remaining Ingredients:

  • Pitas or Tortillas
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Lettuce of mixed greens


  1. To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 6 ingredients (through egg whites); stir until well combined. Shape bean mixture into oval patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.
  3. To prepare spread, combine avocado and next 6 ingredients (through salt), stirring well. Place patty/patties in each pita/tortilla half. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado spread over patty in each pita half; top with onions and greens.

Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread:


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