The great Alton Brown always warns: Never buy a uni-tasker, a gadget that has only one purpose. I try my best to live by that mantra, not only with gadgets, but also with food. Fridge and pantry space are prized real estate in a tiny kitchen, after all. For years, my favorite pantry multi-tasker has been boxed falafel mix.

Surprised? Sure, you can use this mix to make quick and easy falafel, but it's also a great replacement for breadcrumbs with extra flavor and protein to boot! No need to worry about scary ingredients either. You can find mixes with identifiable ingredients like chickpea flour, garlic, and baking soda. Beware, though, most mixes I've seen have wheat flour included, so they aren't gluten-free.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use this flavorful mix.

1. Breading

Falafel mix makes for a tasty breading. Just toss your favorite veggies in oil and dry falafel mix and roast to get an extra boost of protein and flavor! Chicken nuggets are perfect for this treatment, too.

Falafel-Crusted Cauliflower
Falafel-Crusted Cauliflower | Photo by Cally

2. Filler for Cakes and Patties

Next time you're making any sort of patty or cake, think about adding a punch of extra falafel flavor to replace the breadcrumb filler. It works especially well with tuna! You can go ahead and coat the formed patties with the dry falafel mix, too, for an extra crunchy coating.

OMG! Quinoa Patties
OMG! Quinoa Patties | Photo by Buckwheat Queen

3. Replacement for Chickpea Flour

Once upon a time, I had a mushroom loaf recipe that called for chickpea flour. I didn't have any on hand, but I did have my trusty box of falafel mix in the cabinet. A quick cup-for-cup replacement, and my Falafel Mushroom Loaf was born. Why not experiment with your own recipes that call for chickpea flour?

Falafel Mushroom Loaf | Photo by AR Cally

Use It to Replace Chickpea Flour: Falafel Mushroom Loaf

4. Crust

You can also follow the directions on the back of the box, but stop right before you form your falafel. Use that dough as a crust! It's perfect for a Mediterranean pizza or a flavorful veggie tart.

veggie rose tart
Veggie Rose Tart | Photo by Magda