Falafel

Learn how to make falafel with this easy homemade falafel recipe.  It’s bursting with zesty fresh fresh flavors, lightly pan-fried (instead of deep-fried), and perfect for falafel wraps, salads and other favorite dishes.

Falafel

Anyone else out there obsessed with falafel?

Me too. ♡

Well good news — if you’ve ever wondered how to make falafel, it’s surprisingly easy to whip up a batch of the crispy, herb-y, super-flavorful falafel in the comfort of your own kitchen.  All you need is a can of chickpeas, two big bunches of fresh herbs, and a handful of simple seasonings.  Then instead of breaking out the deep fryer (sorry, that much oil makes me nervous in my kitchen!), we’ll keep things nice and simple and just pan-fry them safely in some high-heat oil instead.  The falafel will still turn out nice and crispy and flavorful on the outside.  And the tender insides will be bright green and downright bursting with the best fresh flavors!

Perfect for adding to wraps, sandwiches, salads, hummus platters, or any other ways that you love to serve falafel.  Or — my personal favorite — just serve them up plain with a good tahini sauce, tzatziki or hummus for dipping!  This falafel recipe also freezes well, if you’d like to make a big batch and save some for later.  And bonus, it’s also naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

Basically, if you love falafel, it’s a must-try.  It has been my personal favorite falafel recipe for years, and over time, thousands of our readers have made and loved these too!

The BEST Falafel Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Homemade Falafel Ingredients

What Is Falafel?

So exactly what is falafel?  There are a million ways to make falafel, but traditionally, it is fried patties made from pureed chickpeas (or other legumes), herbs and seasonings.  It can be served plain or in wraps, sandwiches, salads, or any number of other dishes.  It originates from the Middle East, although it has risen to fame as one of the most popular street foods that you can find now all over the world.  And it is delicious.

How To Make Falafel

Falafel Ingredients:

As I said, there are endless variations out there for various ingredients that you can use to make falafel.  But for this recipe, you will need:

  • Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas to save a step, rinsed and drained.
  • Fresh herbs: I love brightening up my falafel with lots and lots of fresh cilantro and parsley!  The fresh taste is unbeatable, and all of those herbs also the falafel a lovely green hue.
  • Garlic: Feel free to add a little extra garlic to the recipe below if you’re a mega garlic lover.
  • Onion: White, red or yellow will work.
  • Flour: I typically use white whole wheat flour, but feel free to use your preferred kind of flour.  (This gluten-free flour blend also works great.)
  • Oil: Any mild high-heat oil will work here, such as avocado, grapeseed or vegetable oil.
  • Baking powder: To make the falafel a bit more light and airy.
  • Seasonings: Fine sea salt, black pepper and ground cumin.
  • Lemon juice: The final ingredient to round out all of those yummy fresh flavors.

Easy Falafel Recipe

How To Make Falafel:

I’ve included alternate instructions below for if you would like to deep-fry or bake your falafel.  But for this easy pan-fried version (my favorite), simply…

  1. Roughly purée your ingredients. You can either do this in a food processor (my recommendation), a stand mixer, or a blender.  Pulse until the mixture reaches a fine-grain texture (kind of like coarse sand, ideally not overly mushy).
  2. Chill. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.  (Or you can speed this process up by spreading the mixture out in a shallow layer and popping it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until chilled.)
  3. Form into patties.  Use a medium (2-tablespoon) cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out 2 tablespoons of the mixture, and then use your hands to shape it into a ball.  Lay the ball on a parchment-covered sheet, then gently flatten it slightly with your hand so that it is about 1/2-inch thick.  Repeat with the remaining dough mixture.
  4. Pan-fry the falafel.  Heat the oil over medium-heat.  Then carefully add about 4-5 falafel to the oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until browned and crispy.  Transfer the falafels to a plate lined with paper-towels to soak up any extra oil.  Repeat with the remaining falafels.
  5. Serve! Then serve them up while they’re nice and warm and crispy, and enjoy!

Falafel Sandwiches in Pita Wraps

Possible Recipe Variations:

Feel free to get creative and have fun swapping in different falafel ingredients that sound good to you.  Some possible falafel recipe variations could include:

  • Add different spices: I didn’t want this recipe below to get too long, but I also really love adding in a pinch of ground cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and/or turmeric to my falafel mix too.
  • Add different herbs: I’m partial to also subbing in some fresh mint as part of the parsley/cilantro mixture.  But feel free to get creative and add in whatever other fresh herbs might sound good too.
  • Add veggies: Really just about any fresh veggies could be added to falafel as well in place of (or in addition to) the chickpeas.  Just be sure that they are not too juicy, or you will need to add in more dry ingredients to balance the veggie moisture out.
  • Use different legumes: If chickpeas aren’t your thing, falafel can also be made with different legumes such as fava beans, lentils, white beans, black beans, etc.  (Or if you do not eat legumes, I’ve successfully subbed in raw cauliflower for the chickpeas before.)
  • Make them gluten-free: I have made these with Bob’s Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour, and they turned out great.

Homemade Falafel Wrap

Ways To Serve Falafel:

There are countless delicious ways to serve falafel!  Some classics include:

  • Falafel sandwiches/wraps: Typically made with pita or a large wrap tortilla, then filled with lettuce, tomatoes, veggies, maybe feta cheese and some sort of sauce (tzatziki, tahini sauce, baba ganoush or hummus)
  • Falafel salads: Crispy falafel make a great addition to salads!  I’m especially partial to adding mine to my Everyday Mediterranean Salad (or even to a good Caesar!).
  • Falafel bowls: Any bowls made with a base of salad, rice or orzo, veggies…you name it.
  • Dippers: My favorite way to serve falafel…on its own with your favorite sauce!  I’m especially partial to serving falafel with hummus or tzatziki sauce for dipping.  Or to make a quick tahini sauce, just stir together equal parts tahini and water, plus a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of ground cumin.

Falafel

Falafel FAQ:

How to bake falafel: Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F on a greased baking sheet, flipping once halfway through.

How to deep-fry falafel: Either using a deep fryer — or just filling a stockpot with a few inches of oil — heat oil to 375°F.  Carefully lower the falafels into the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until deep golden and crunchy on the outside.  Transfer falafel to a tray lined with paper towels to drain.

How to freeze falafel: You can freeze cooked falafel in a sealed container for up to 3 months.  But I recommend dough before baking, if you can.  Form the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then freeze for up to 3 months.   Then once you’re ready to make the falafel, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Then shape into patties and pan-fry as directed.

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Falafel Recipe
5 from 13 reviews

Falafel

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 15-18 falafels 1x

Description

Learn how to make falafel with this easy homemade falafel recipe.  It’s bursting with zesty fresh fresh flavors, lightly pan-fried (instead of deep-fried), and perfect for falafel wraps, salads and other favorite dishes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, tightly-packed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tightly-packed
  • 1/2 cup diced red or yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup flour (such as all-purpose, white whole wheat, chickpea, or a 1:1 gluten-free flour)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 46 tablespoons high-heat oil (such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil or vegetable oil)
  • for serving: pita bread, chopped lettuce, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, tzatziki sauce, tahini sauce and/or hummus

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, onion, flour, lemon juice, baking powder, cumin, salt, black pepper and garlic to a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture reaches a coarse crumb texture, stopping partway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.  Transfer mixture to a sealed container and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until chilled.
  2. Lay a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface.  Using a spoon or a medium cookie scoop, measure out 2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.  Place the ball on the parchment paper, and gently flatten it slightly with your hand so that it is about 1/2-inch thick.  Repeat with the remaining dough until all of the falafel disks are prepared.
  3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering.  Carefully transfer 4 or 5 falafel disks to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides of the disk are browned.  Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.  Repeat with the remaining falafel disks, adding extra oil to the pan if need be.
  4. Serve the falafels immediately while they are warm and crispy.  Or freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

Notes

This recipe requires 10 minutes prep time, plus 1-2 hours time to chill the falafel before cooking.

This post contains affiliate links.

How To Make Falafel

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153 comments on “Falafel”

  1. Where does the flour come in? I could be easily reading over the ingredient but do I mix it in or roll the dough in it before placing in oil? Thanks! :) can’t wait to try these!! 

    • Hi Logan! You add it to the food processor, with your garlic, chickpeas, etc. We hope you enjoy!

  2. the green colour looks so amazing an refreshing of falafel….

  3. I made these tonight and they were wonderful! I followed the recipe exactly (including 3 hours in the fridge) but my mixture came out a little too wet so I couldn’t form the little discs before cooking. I ended up just plopping the mixture into the pan by spoonfuls and flattening each one out with a spatula – the mix was too sticky to use my fingers. Maybe I mixed too long in the food processor? I might add a bit more flour next time but either way, the flavor was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Thanks for sharing Juliette! We’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Yes, it sounds like you might have over-processed it a bit (but you can always add a little more flour if this happens). We’re glad they still turned out okay! :)

  4. Are the chickpeas cooked? I would like to make it with fresh chickpeas from the market

    • Hi Karla! We use canned chickpeas, but you can definitely use fresh (just cook them first). We hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. Would it be possible to use almond flour or GF all purpose instead of wheat flour?

  6. These are easy, beautiful and delicious!  I did overmix and had to add in some extra flour to make up for that, but they came together quite nicely.  I love how simple they came together.  Paired them with hummus.  This was the first time trying my hand at falafel and won’t be my last. 

    (also, your recipes are starting to become a go to.  In addition to this one, I’ve made your tacos al pastor, Mediterranean farro salad used some leftover pulled pork in place of chicken in your BBQ chicken quinoa casserole.  Each one is a hit and all have been painless for me to make.  THANK YOU!!!)

    • Thanks Chris — we’re happy you enjoyed them! And we’re so glad you’ve enjoyed the other recipes you’ve tried too! Thanks for giving them a try, and for taking the time to comment. :D

  7. Nice recipe. How come you don’t provide the nutritional information? It would be so helpful to know calorie count and weight watchers point count. 

    • Hi Shelly! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  8. Would it be possible to bake these instead of fry?

    • Hi Robin! We actually didn’t fry these, we sautéed them (an entire batch with only 4 TBS of oil)! However, you can definitely bake them at 375 for 30-40 min. We hope you enjoy! :)

  9. Hi! I’m keen to try these but don’t always have fresh herbs on hand (MUST start my own herb garden… and keep it alive!). Can I omit them, or substitute dry herbs? Will taking the fresh herbs out change the consistency too much?

    • Hi Amy — you definitely want to use fresh herbs for this, they make a huge difference (plus, they’re what gives falafel that wonderful green shade)! :) We hope you enjoy!

  10. Hey there! I have loved all of the recipes I’ve tried of yours! Quick question..how do you think these would hold up if I froze them? Should I freeze before or after cooking?

    Thanks!!

    • Hi Emily — we’re so glad to hear that! And for freezing these, honestly you could do it either way. You could portion the raw falafel mixture into balls, then freeze. Or, you could bake them (cool completely), and then freeze. We hope you enjoy!

  11. I made these for my parents and fiancé tonight and they all said they were so good. I can’t believe my super picky fiancé liked them! They were so good! I’m super glad I found your recipe. Thank you so much!

  12. Never comment but had to here. I’ve tried so many falafel recipes and this is *the one* — I don’t need to try any more! Better than any restaurant. Thank you!

  13. Made these today anD they were delicious. Really fulfilled my falafel craving
    I put the beans in the oven for 10 min at 350 degrees flipping occasionally to get rid of the extra water before blender
    I didn’t have to chill mix because it wasn’t too wet so I rolled them and cooked them right away.
    I paired them with my homemade sun dried tomato hummus and it was amazing
    Thanks for the recipe

    • Thanks for sharing with us Pamela! We’re happy you enjoyed the recipe, and we think that homemade sun dried tomato hummus sounds incredible (must be a fantastic combo)! :)

  14. Made yesterday, exactly as I expected.
    One question by the way, didn’t you confound baking powder and baking soda ?
    It’s seem’s like baking soda is used in every other receipe in found instead of baking power…

    Un français.

    • Hello Zief! We’re happy you enjoyed the falafel! As far as your question goes, we’ve only tried this with baking powder. However, you could probably use a mixture (maybe half and half) if you like.

  15. Wondering if you’ve ever tried making these several days in advance and then frying on the day of? I think that would be great if they could be prepped ahead of time

    • Hi Amanda! Yes, you can definitely prepare these ahead of time. We would suggest portioning the falafel mixture into balls, then freezing them. Then let them sit out for a couple of hours or so to defrost before you cook them. We hope you enjoy!

  16. Hi Jen! These should probably last in the fridge for a few days or so, but you can also freeze them and they freeze really well. You can either portion the raw falafel mixture into balls, then freeze. Or, you could bake them (cool completely), and then freeze. We hope you enjoy!

  17. Have made these 3 times with success. Last night’s batch was with the tsaziki, tomatoes, red onion for garnish and pita pockets. They are DELICIOUS. Even my kids (teenagers) love ’em. Just one hiccup…batter is a tad wetter than expecting, making forming the patties a little challenging. I made sure I wasn’t putting the greens into the food processor wet this time, but had the same experience. Doesn’t interfere with the taste! But just makes the patties a little flatter than yours in the photo. Any suggestions?

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Sheila! We’re so glad you and your kids enjoy them! As for the wet batter, you could try popping it in the fridge to firm it up a bit — we think that should help!

  18. Wonderful falafels …and so easy!! I have tried several different recipes and must say that this recipe is simple, quick and does not require deep frying. I used less garlic and ground cumin but other than that a very forgiving recipe. Thank you for a great recipe Ali!

  19. I have never made falafel before. This was so easy and delicious! I made the pitas with tomatoes, cucumbers, and the tzatziki sauce.
    Next time I will double it and freeze the rest. My boyfriend also loved it :) 

    • We’re so happy you gave the recipe a try and that you and your boyfriend enjoyed these, Samantha! :)

  20. These were awesome! I decided on a whim to make them because I had all the ingredients oddly enough. I have had fafafels a few times but never this good! I used a cookie scoop to portion them before shaped and flattened them. I also just dumped the whole thing into cling wrap and made a ball when I put it in the fridge so I didn’t have to wash another bowl. Thanks for another awesome recipe!! 

  21. I tried this recipe last night and it was delicious! I didn’t have any parsley so I used arugula instead, and it worked ok. I’m wanting to figure out how to bake them instead of fry? Thanks ladies!! 

    • We’re so happy you enjoyed it, Claire, and we bet it was yummy with the arugula! :) If baking these, you could try 375 for 25-30 minutes or so (flip them halfway through). We hope this helps!

  22. I made these (or I should say my husband made these and I ate all of them… hehe) and they were WONDERFUL!! Beautifully crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and VERY tasty. Thanks for the recipe! I will definitely be making these yumyums often! They’re like small soft green healthy potato chips!

  23. hello if I do not have a food processor can use my Ninja

  24. I’m a big fan of the falafel at a restaurant near my home and have always wanted to make them myself. Found your recipe and made a batch for dinner tonight. Received rave reviews from the family and they’ve made it clear that these need to be a regular at our table. I will definitely double the recipe next time, though – too good not to have extra! Thank you!!

  25. My husband doesn’t like cilantro. Should I use all parsley, or is there another herb that you think would work well with the parsley?


  26. Hi, Ali –
    I follow your blog and have made a number of recipes.
    Favorites: black bean burger, fried rice/quiona (yummy!) and today, falafel.
    I followed the recipe exactly, which is my habit first go round.
    The only thing I didn’t have was grapeseed oil. No canola either so I used olive oil.
    And while they browned and heated through, they didn’t look firm up, if you know what I mean.
    Does the oil make that big of a difference? I’m thinking yes…..
    TGIF!
    Sheri


  27. I LOVE this falafel recipe! Thank you for posting. It’s the best one I’ve tried so far and I’ve made it several times. I think the copious amount of herbs really makes a difference. I’ve made it pan fried, but also in the oven baking at 375 for 30 minutes and flipping them halfway between. I also recently tried it with chickpea flour instead of whole wheat flour because I happened to have it around from another recipe. Yum!


  28. LOVE this recipe, I’ve made it ~10 times already. I never usually leave reviews, but this is a regular on my rotation so I think it deserves one. The recipe is great as written, or sub chickpea flour for the regular flour if you’ve got some lying around. Thanks for sharing my favorite falafel recipe!


  29. I didn’t have time to soak dried chickpeas for hours like my usual recipe requires, so I gave yours a try with the canned chickpeas and they turned out great!


  30. Absolutely Delicious!!!!!!


  31. I can’t believe how flavorful these are! Our whole family loved them.

  32. Do you think I can cook these in the air fryer ?

  33. I found your recipe through the google doodle and they look so good! Can’t wait to make them.

  34. I have been making this all my life and tried numerous variations. Falafel should never have flour in it. Never use chickpeas from a can. Just get dry ones and saok overnight and then use them. I made it once with flour and it was awful. It should not be that green in color. It needs ground coriander and a pinch of allspice ( or cheap substitute called seven spices). No lemon juice. If you want to make it a little sour add a little sumac. when pulsed in the processor, half of it it should be coarse and the other half fine. that makes it crunchy. This is forty years experience of making it and eating falafel in the lebanon. Next to the american university in beirut there was a guy who made the best falafel. His shop called: Falafel King.

  35. I am allergic to cilantro. What other herbs would you recommend to combine with the parsley? I know I can just omit the cilantro, but I think just parsley would be a little too plain for my taste. Dill came to mind but I have never had falafel so I don’t know if it would work.


  36. Ufff que delicia….

  37. Love every recipe you post. Good job


  38. I never leave comments, however, this was so easy and such a huge hit! Cannot wait to make again!
    My son & his girlfriend are huge fans of falafel, while my husband and I are not, or should I say were not!
    We are hooked! These are delicious! Made them for the kids to go with chicken souvlaki, that I was already making for dinner, however we all devoured them! They are now on my need to make often list! Easy, inexpensive, but most of all, DELICIOUS!!!! Thanks for the recipe! Highly recommend


  39. This is such a great recipe! I chickened our at the last second and decided to bake instead of pan frying (don’t care for the mess), and they still turned out incredible. These will be a go-to for sure. Thank you!

  40. I want to make this for a dinner party and I like to make things in advance. Can I cook them and keep them in a low oven without dryiing them out?


  41. These are SO GOOD. And SO EASY. I’m already excited to make them again and I just finished eating them. I didn’t have any parsley, so I just used a big bunch of fresh cilantro. Still tasted amazing and were beautifully green.


  42. I made this today with fresh herbs from the garden. I made tahini for dipping. My husband thought they were outstanding. Great recipe
    I also made some grits to accompany them. The meal was a nice vegan meal. (Used almond milk in the grits.)


  43. Is there nutritional info available for this?


  44. I made this last night. The whole family, including my son’s girlfriend who is Iraqi, loved it! I added the extra spices you suggested, made some tzatziki and hommus and it was delicious! Thanks Ali!

  45. After a disastrous first attempt at this recipe a year or so ago (my fault – not the recipe’s), I tried these again today and they were a hit! I replaced the cilantro with basil because it’s overflowing in my garden right now, so while they might not have had the traditional falafel flavors, they were delicious. My mixture was a bit wet, as others have mentioned. I think it might be because I over-pulsed everything in the food processor? I added a little extra flour, and that helped it firm up. I’ll definitely be making these again!