Learn how to make delicious falafel at home. Chickpeas combined with fresh herbs and basic seasonings come together to make crispy and moist vegetarian falafel. So delicious! Serve them with tzatziki or shawarma sauce. They’re great over a salad bowl or stuffed in pitas.
- Dried Chickpeas: these have to be soaked in water overnight. Canned chickpeas cannot be substituted since they will cause the falafel to literally fall apart while frying.
- Onion: Use white, yellow, or red.
- Fresh Parsley: it’s important to use fresh parsley. Dried cannot be substituted in this recipe. The fresh parsley gives that beautiful green color and fresh taste. Feel free to add more herbs such as fresh mint, dill, or fresh coriander (cilantro).
- Baking soda: this keeps the falafel nice and soft.
- The Seasonings: Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, ground cumin, and ground coriander.
- All-purpose flour: just a little bit is needed to help bind the ingredients together. Feel free to substitute chickpea flour or a boiled mashed potato instead of the flour to make the falafel gluten-free.
- Oil for frying: any flavorless vegetable oil will do. I like to use a very light olive oil.
What to serve with Falafel:
These delicious balls of falafel are delicious served as a main course over a salad or zucchini noodles or in a pita. But, they can be served as an appetizer alongside any or all of these sauces:
Tips on How to Make the Best Falafel:
- soak the chickpeas overnight: feel free to add a half teaspoon of baking soda to the water to help the chickpeas soften. Drain the water out before processing the chickpeas.
- use a food processor: process the garlic and parsley first and then the onion. Afterwards, add all of the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is very finely chopped. When I make a larger batch (I usually double this recipe) I process the herbs, onions, and garlic first and the add half of the chickpeas and grind everything together until the mixture resembles course sand. Then, I transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and puree the remaining chickpeas. Afterwards, I mix everything together with my hands and form the falafel.
- Chill the falafel for an hour: this helps the flavors marry and also helps them roll out easier. I have made them many times without this step and they are still very tasty. But, if you have the time, take this extra step.
- Form the falafel: I like to use a mini ice cream scoop (affiliate link) to form the falafel balls. Take a scoop of the mixture and then roll it in your hands. Place on a baking tray until they are all formed. Alternately form the falafel into patties.
- fry the falafel: fried falafel are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Bring the temperature of the oil up to 370 °F, 190 °C. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will drop. Frying falafel at a low temperature will cause them to absorb the oil and become overly greasy.
- freezer instructions: form the falafel into balls or patties and arrange them on a baking tray. Place the tray in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then, transfer the falafel to freezer safe bags for up to a month.
Baking and Air fryer Instructions:
Baking Instructions: Preheat the oven to 425 °F, 220 °C. When baking falafel it is best to form them into patties instead of balls. Place the falafel patties on a baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with olive oil. Bake them for about 25 minutes or until golden.
Air Fryer Instructions: Set the air fryer to 350 °F. Form the falafel into patties and place them on a baking tray. Place as many falafel that fit into the basket without them touching each other. Brush the tops with olive oil and bake 6-8 minutes per side.
Watch the Video Tutorial
- 1 cup (1/2 pound) dry chick peas (not canned)
- 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 rounded tablespoon flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- vegetable oil for frying
- tzaztiki, tahini, or shawarma sauce for dipping
- Soak the chickpeas covered with cold water overnight in a large bowl. They will double in size so make sure there's plenty of water.
- Drain the soaked chickpeas well.
- Place the garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add parsley leaves and thin stems and chop with garlic.
- Now add the chickpeas, onions, salt peppers, flour, baking soda and coriander. Pulse until everything comes together and is finely chopped. It should hold together. You may add a bit more flour if you need to so that it holds.
- Transfer the mixture in a bowl and cover tightly with wrap. Refrigerate at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Heat the oil to about 370 °F.
- Form the falafel balls using a small ice cream scoop. You can also make patties if you prefer (like mini burgers).
- Fry about 5-6 at a time so that they cook evenly and the oil's temperature does not drop too much.
- Fry for about 4-5 minutes or until beautifully golden brown all around.
- Place cooked falafel on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Serve these with tzatziki, pita bread and chopped salad (cucumber, bell pepper, onion).
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