Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread

Inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern sandwich of chickpea patties in pita bread, this Southwestern-accented version features cumin-flavored pinto bean patties and a spread that is much like guacamole.



    • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained $
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1/4 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips (about 3/4 ounce)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions $
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 large egg white $
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil


  • 1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado $
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato $
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion $
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream $
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt $


  • 2 (6-inch) pitas, each cut in half crosswise
  • Prepared tzatziki sauce
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Tomato, sliced


  1. To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add Monterey Jack cheese and next 5 ingredients (through egg white); stir until well combined. Form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) oval patties.
  2. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.
  3. To prepare spread, while patties cook, combine the avocado, plum tomato, red onion, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Place 1 patty in each pita half. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado spread over patty in each pita half. Serve with tzatziki sauce, sliced tomatoes, and sliced onion.

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 281
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 9.5g
  • Saturated fat: 3.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 12.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 37.4g
  • Fiber: 5.9g
  • Cholesterol: 13mg
  • Iron: 2.4mg
  • Sodium: 625mg
  • Calcium: 188mg

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