My kids call falafel “balls of yum” and I think that sums it up quite nicely! If you’re looking to try something new or want a fun meatless meal, look no further than this homemade falafel recipe!
Best Falafel Recipe
I used to stop in this one Middle Eastern place in the mall to get my falafel fix. But once I figured out how to make them myself, it was a game-changer. These are so delicious and wonderful on their own and in pitas too. You’ll see!
Easy Falafel Recipe
I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too. Falafel only looks hard because it’s not in your typical cuisine. It’s funny how we seem apprehensive about trying to cook something from another culture. Rest assured, falafel only has 4 easy steps and you will love it all the more because you made it yourself.
- Chickpeas – falafel with canned chickpeas helps save you time over dried chickpeas as you do not need to soak them (and yes, they work!). If you need to substitute out chickpeas, you can use fava beans in their place.
- Fresh cilantro and parsley – nothing beats fresh herbs to brighten up any recipe.
- Red onion – gives it some color and that signature onion flavor.
- Garlic cloves – makes every recipe better.
- Whole wheat flour – this one works best for me, but you can use any type you wish (even gluten-free!).
- Baking powder – it gives falafel a lighter texture that you’ll love.
- Seasonings – ground cumin plus a dash of salt and pepper, are the falafel ingredients that provide the perfect well-rounded flavor.
- Lemon juice – use fresh-squeezed to give it that Middle Eastern flair.
How do you Make Falafel from Scratch
It all starts with adding everything into your food processor. Once it has a coarse texture, you’ll roll it into balls. Place them on a baking sheet and let them chill for a couple hours, then get ready to fry them up in your deep fryer. That’s all there is to it!
You’re the hummus to my falafel.
How to Cook Falafel
An authentic falafel recipe is best when you cook it in oil. If you’re not a fan of all that oil, baking or air frying is always an option. The tips mentioned above can help you use those methods instead of frying.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Falafel Every Time
- Not a fan of deep frying? Bake that falafel! Preheat your oven to 375F, then bake falafel balls of deliciousness up for 30 minutes.
- Stock pot is ok – If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can simply use a stockpot.
- Or use an air fryer! Heat it to 350F and cook for 8 minutes. Flip then cook for 6 more minutes.
- Don’t skip the chill time. I know you want to eat them right now, but they need time to form together or they won’t stay intact during the frying process.
What is falafel?
Falafel is a Middle Eastern deep-fried ball that is made with a mixture of ground chickpeas and seasonings that are commonly served in Israel and Egypt. There are no eggs or animal products in it so it is a vegan-friendly dish.
Are all falafels vegan?
Yes they are, so feel free to make this vegan falafel recipe for a meatless night or your favorite vegan friends!
Why can’t you use canned chickpeas for falafel?
You can use canned chickpeas. It saves you time and if you rinse and drain them correctly, it will work just as well. Especially when deep frying them.
How soft do chickpeas need to be for falafel?
Your chickpeas should be tender to the point you can break them with your fingers yet not be mushy. Using canned chickpeas ensures you’ll have the right texture.
How do you make falafels more moist?
Serving falafel with sauce is a must to keep them moist. We use hummus but feel free to have tahini or even tzatziki with it.
How do you get a falafel to stick together?
Falafel will stick together when you follow the recipe and make sure they chill long enough. You should also scoop the balls of dough tightly and that will keep them in one piece.
Why does my falafel fall apart when I fry it?
If the dough mixture is too wet, it will fall apart. Take the time to really drain those chickpeas and follow the other steps and they will stay together.
What sauces go well with falafel?
You can pair your falafel with hummus. It also goes well with tzatziki sauce, a cucumber-dill yogurt that tastes amazing. Another option is tahini, which has a sesame and lemon flavor.
What is a good side dish for Falafel?
You can make a Lebanese falafel plate with hummus and tahini sauce, stuff falafel into pita (they make gluten-free pitas too) with onion, tomato, lettuce coriander, cucumbers and yogurt sacue if you prefer something similar to a sandwich, add them to a salad, top them on rice, make a falafel wrap recipe, or simply serve as a dipper to dunk in tahini or tzatziki sauce.
How to Store Falafel
Falafel need to be refrigerated so don’t leave them out. Keep them covered and eat them quickly. They’re best when they’re fresh.
How Long Does Falafel Last?
You’ll have about 4 days to eat that falafel up when it’s in the fridge. Anything after that, I’d toss out.
Can You Freeze Falafel?
Yes, which is perfect for a quick bite. Cooked falafel will keep in a sealed container for as long as 3 months. However, it’s best to make extra falafel dough and freeze that. It too will keep for 3 months in the freezer.
How to Reheat Falafel?
You will want to thaw out that dough first and then follow the remaining steps. But if you have cooked falafel, simply warm it in the oven until it’s heated and enjoy!
The BEST Falafel Recipe
- 1 16oz can of chickpeas ((garbanzo beans))
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro ((coriander))
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 red onion (quartered)
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 1/2 tbsp garlic (minced)
For serving as a Pita
- pita bread
- chopped lettuce
- red onion (sliced)
- tomatoes (sliced)
- Add chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, onion, flour, lemon juice, baking powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse texture.
- From your mixing bowl, measure out 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into patties or balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill for 2 hours. While the falafels chill, heat up the oil in deep fryer.
- Once the falafels are chilled, transfer 2-4 falafels to the oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Once cooked, remove the falafels from the deep fryer with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels and allow them to drain. Serve the falafels with hummus or inside a warm pita pocket.
More falafel recipes:
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