How many calories in a falafel and hummus pita?

A falafel and hummus pita can be a tasty and satisfying meal, but it’s important to know how many calories you’re consuming if you’re watching your waistline. In this article, we’ll break down the calorie count of each component of a typical falafel and hummus pita sandwich so you know exactly what you’re eating.

Calories in Falafel

Falafel balls or patties are typically made from chickpeas, fava beans, or a combination of both. They are mixed with herbs and spices and then deep-fried. The number of calories in falafel can vary greatly depending on the size of each ball/patty and how much oil is used for frying. A small falafel ball (around 1 oz or 30g) contains approximately:

  • 100 calories
  • 3g protein
  • 2g fiber
  • 16g carbohydrates
  • 6g fat

So a regular-sized falafel sandwich will have around 2-3 falafel balls, totalling 200-300 calories just for the falafel portion.

Calories in Pita Bread

Pita bread, also known as Arabic bread, is a soft, slightly leavened flatbread. The number of calories in pita can vary based on the brand, ingredients, and size of the bread. On average, one 6-inch pita contains:

  • 165 calories
  • 1-3g protein
  • 1-2g fiber
  • 33g carbohydrates
  • 1g fat

So the pita bread itself adds approximately 165 calories to the sandwich.

Calories in Hummus

Hummus is a thick dip or spread made from pureed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Store-bought hummus usually contains around 60-80 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. So if your pita has around 4 tablespoons of hummus, that’s 120-160 calories.

Homemade hummus tends to be lower in calories than store-bought brands. If you make your own with minimal oil, 2 tablespoons would have around:

  • 50 calories
  • 2g protein
  • 1.5g fiber
  • 5g fat

That would be 100 calories for 4 tablespoons of homemade hummus.

Total Calories

Adding up the average calorie counts of each component, a falafel and hummus pita made with:

  • 2-3 falafel balls (200-300 calories)
  • 1 pita (165 calories)
  • 4 tablespoons hummus (120-160 calories)

Would contain around 485-625 calories total.

Here’s a summary in a table:

Pita Ingredient Calories (average)
2-3 falafel balls 200-300
1 pita bread 165
4 tbsp hummus 120-160
Total Calories 485-625

Ways to Reduce Calories

If you’re looking to lighten up your falafel and hummus pita meal, there are a few easy ways to reduce the calorie count:

  • Use smaller 2-inch pitas instead of 6-inch
  • Load up on salad vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, tomato
  • Use just 1-2 falafel balls instead of 3
  • Choose a low-calorie hummus variety
  • Use extra hummus as a salad dressing instead of putting all of it in the pita
  • Opt for a whole wheat or multigrain pita over white
  • Bake the falafel balls instead of frying
  • Make your own hummus with minimal oil

With some simple modifications, you can enjoy a tasty falafel and hummus pita while still watching your calorie intake. The key is paying attention to portion sizes and ingredients used in order to keep the calories reasonable for a single meal.

Nutritional Benefits

Despite the relatively high calorie count, a falafel and hummus pita can actually be quite nutritious:

  • Protein – Between the chickpeas in the falafel and hummus, you’ll get around 12-15g of plant-based protein.
  • Fiber – The chickpeas, tahini, and pita provide around 7-10g of fiber.
  • Healthy fats – The olive oil and tahini provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
  • Vitamins & minerals – The chickpeas supply manganese, copper, phosphorus, B-vitamins, iron and zinc.
  • Phytochemicals – Ingredients like olive oil and chickpeas contain antioxidant phytochemicals that promote health.

So while it is a higher calorie meal, the nutritional value of the ingredients is excellent. The combination of plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fats and vitamins/minerals make it a nourishing, well-rounded food when eaten in moderation.

Tips for Weight Loss

You can enjoy falafel and hummus pitas as part of a healthy weight loss diet by following these tips:

  • Watch portion sizes and aim for just 1 falafel sandwich rather than 2-3 in one sitting
  • Balance it out by also eating plenty of low calorie foods like salads, vegetables and broth-based soups
  • Avoid extras like fries, soda, creamy sauces, etc. that drive up the calories
  • Use healthy cooking methods like baking instead of frying
  • Read nutrition labels and compare brands to find the healthiest options
  • Make your own hummus and falafel to control ingredients and cut oil
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of caloric beverages
  • Incorporate regular exercise into your routine to allow for some higher calorie meals

The key is moderation. By watching portions, choosing healthier preparations, and balancing it with low calorie foods you can still enjoy the delicious combination of falafel and hummus as part of a weight loss plan.

High Protein Variations

Here are some easy ways to pack extra protein into your falafel and hummus pita:

  • Add grilled chicken or lamb: 2-3 oz will provide 15-25g extra protein
  • Top with feta or goat cheese: 1 oz crumbled cheese = 5g protein
  • Include Greek yogurt sauce: Mix 2 tbsp Greek yogurt with minced garlic and lemon juice, 2g protein per tablespoon
  • Add tahini sauce: Whisk tahini paste with lemon juice and water, 2g protein per tablespoon
  • Top with hard boiled egg: 1 egg = 6g protein
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds: 1 tbsp = 2g protein
  • Use babaganoush instead of hummus: Eggplant-based dip is higher in protein

With any of these easy add-ons, you can boost the staying power of your falafel and hummus pita by increasing the protein content of your meal.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For vegetarians and vegans, here are some excellent high protein sandwich fillings you can use instead of falafel:

  • Chickpea salad or tuna salad made with mashed chickpeas
  • Lentil patties or lentil meatballs
  • Roasted cauliflower steaks
  • Grilled eggplant and zucchini
  • Refried bean patties or bean burgers
  • Tofu fried or baked with spices
  • Tempeh bacon
  • Seitan gyro slices
  • Crispy baked tofu

Any of these nutritious plant-based protein sources would be delicious paired with hummus in a pita. You’ll get all the satisfaction of falafel without any of the fried calories.

Gluten-Free Options

For a gluten-free take on the classic falafel and hummus pita, try these substitutions:

  • Use a gluten-free flatbread or wrap instead of pita
  • Make falafel patties instead of balls for easier eating
  • Serve falafel on top of hummus-dressed salad greens instead of in a pita
  • Stuff falafel and hummus into a lettuce wrap
  • Opt for brown rice tortillas or tapioca-based wraps
  • Make hummus into a salad dressing by thinning it with lemon juice and olive oil
  • Use raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots and bell peppers for dipping in hummus

With a few simple swaps, you can enjoy the core flavors of this Middle Eastern meal while avoiding gluten. Get creative with substitutions for the pita to keep it just as satisfying.

Kid-Friendly Versions

Here are some ways to create kid-approved falafel and hummus pitas for your little ones:

  • Use mini whole wheat pitas for easier eating
  • Cut the falafel into smaller pieces or strips so they’re less messy
  • Sub in baked chicken tenders or nuggets instead of falafel
  • Let them assemble and decorate their own sandwich
  • Add sliced avocado, chopped cucumber, shredded carrots or lettuce for more color and crunch
  • Spread hummus on the pita before adding other fillings to prevent dryness
  • Drizzle the hummus with olive oil and sprinkle paprika or sumac for extra flavor
  • Serve with fresh fruit slices or crunchy veggie sticks on the side

With a few simple tweaks, falafel and hummus pitas can be just as appealing for kids as they are for adults. The key is making them fun, easy to eat and loaded with fresh add-ins to entice young palates.

Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly Tips

To make meal prepping falafel and hummus pitas for the week ahead quick and easy, try these tips:

  • Cook a big batch of falafel balls on the weekend so you have them ready to go
  • Make an extra-large amount of hummus that will last all week
  • Pre-portion hummus into containers for grab and go ease
  • Wrap assembled pitas tightly in plastic wrap and freezer bags
  • Label bags with ingredients and reheating instructions
  • Thaw frozen pitas overnight in the fridge before eating
  • Reheat pitas in a microwave until warm or in a toaster oven at 300°F
  • Let hummus come to room temp before using or enjoy cold

With some advance preparation, you can have satisfying falafel and hummus pitas ready in minutes. They freeze well for up to 3 months, so make a big batch and reheat as needed.

Common Questions

Are falafel and hummus healthy?

Yes, falafel and hummus can be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. They provide fiber, plant-based protein and nutrients. However, fried falafel and full-fat hummus are higher in calories and fat, so portion size is key.

Is it OK to eat falafel and hummus every day?

Eating falafel daily is fine as part of a varied diet. To keep it healthy, focus on baked or air-fried falafel, load up on salad veggies, and use just 1-2 tbsp of hummus per serving. Pair it with lean proteins, whole grains and other fiber-rich foods.

Does hummus have a lot of calories?

Hummus can range from around 50-100 calories per 2 tablespoon serving depending on ingredients. Low-fat versions will be lower in calories than full-fat traditional hummus. Loading up on vegetables rather than pita will reduce the calorie impact of hummus.

Which is healthier, store-bought or homemade hummus?

Homemade hummus is usually healthier since you can control how much oil goes into it. Store-bought versions often have added oils and preservatives. However, some brands have lower-fat hummus options using Greek yogurt that can be relatively healthy.

Can I freeze falafel and hummus?

Yes, both homemade falafel and hummus freeze well for up to 3 months. Freeze hummus in an airtight container with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze uncooked falafel patties with parchment between layers, or freeze cooked falafel balls/patties in a single layer on a sheet pan then transfer to bags.


Falafel and hummus pitas can make for a tasty, nutritious meal. A typical sandwich with 2-3 falafel balls, 1 pita and 4 tbsp hummus will contain around 485-625 calories. There are many ways to tweak the ingredients and preparation methods to both cut calories and boost nutrition. Portion sizes are key, as eating multiple pitas in one sitting can pack in excess calories. Overall, when enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, falafel and hummus pitas are a delicious way to get in a serving of plant-based protein and fiber.

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