Vegan

Falafel

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Side shot of a plate of falafel with the words how to make falafel

Falafel, a classic Middle Eastern recipe, made with chickpeas. They are crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside, and they contain lots of protein!

Falafel is one of those foods that everybody loves. It’s a life-saver for vegan people, as it’s available in pretty much every single country, and it contains lots of good-quality protein!

My favorite way of eating falafel is with pita bread, homemade vegan yogurt sauce, and cooked or raw veggies (I use what’s in season or what I have on hand).

I suggest you use raw chickpeas to make this recipe. If you use canned chickpeas your falafel will be mushy and will fall apart easily. You just need to soak the chickpeas overnight, although some people prefer to soak them for 24 hours.

A way of making your falafel even more flavorful is toasting the spices (you should use them whole, not ground) and then grind them with a mortar or a grinder. However, you don’t need to do that because the falafel will still be incredibly good!

How to make falafel – Step by step

Step-by-step photos of how to make falafel
  • Wash and drain the chickpeas and add them to a food processor or a powerful blender with all the remaining ingredients (photo 1). Blend until it looks like a coarse paste.
  • You can cook the falafel immediately, but it tastes better if you transfer the mixture to a large bowl (photo 2) and keep it covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • Make about 18 small disks or balls with your hands (photo 3).
  • If you’re going to bake your falafel disks or balls, preheat the oven to 400ºF or 200ºC and place them onto a lined baking sheet (photo 4) and bake them for about 30 minutes (photo 5), flipping once at the halfway point for even cooking.
  • If you’re going to fry your falafel disks or balls, heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering. Carefully transfer 4-5 falafel disks or balls to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side (photo 6). Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with all the remaining falafel disks or balls and add more oil if needed.
  • Serve immediately.

Pro tips

  • I suggest you make this recipe with raw chickpeas and that you soak them in water overnight. You’ll just have to cook the chickpeas later.
  • You can add all the spices and herbs you want to.
  • Use any type of flour. Chickpea flour and oat flour work really well for this recipe.
  • Flour isn’t essential, but it’ll give the falafel a better consistency and it won’t get stuck on your hands while making the balls or disks.
  • If you don’t want to use flour, you can simply cover your hands with it so shaping the falafels is easier.
  • You don’t need to add both parsley and cilantro; feel free to use only one of them.
  • If you’re not into spicy food, omit the red pepper flakes.
Side shot of a plate of falafel and vegan yogurt sauce

What is falafel?

Falafel is a Middle Eastern recipe made with raw chickpeas, herbs, and spices. Falafels are shaped like balls or disks and contain lots of good-quality protein.

What’s good about this recipe is that it is so popular you can actually find it mostly everywhere, and it’s a life-saver for vegans who love to travel but are concerned about what food they’ll find on their trips.

How long will falafel keep?

It’s important to keep the leftovers (if you have any!) in an airtight container in the fridge and the falafel will last for 5-7 days.

Can I freeze falafel?

Yes, you can. Keep it in an airtight container and it’ll last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

I always prefer to freeze it once it’s cooked, so to thaw you just need to transfer it into the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before cooking and you can reheat it in the oven or the pan.

How to serve falafel

This delicious recipe goes well with plenty of different ingredients. You can eat it with vegan yogurt sauce (or also oil-free vegan yogurt sauce) inside some pita bread or on a plate with roasted or raw veggies.

Looking for more chickpea recipes?

Close-up shot of a plate of falafel with some vegan yogurt sauce on top

Did you make this falafel recipe?

Please leave a comment below, share it, or rate it. You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST. I’d love to see what you cook!

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Square photo of a plate of falafel over some greens and vegan yogurt sauce on top

Falafel

  • Author: Iosune
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Total: 45 mins
  • 18 falafels 1x
  • Appetizer
  • Middle Eastern
  • Vegan

Servings 18 falafels 1x

Scale Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Falafel, a classic Middle Eastern recipe, made with chickpeas. They are crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside, and they contain lots of protein!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans (180 g), soaked overnight
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (15 g)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (15 g)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional)
  • Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp flour, any kind will do 

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain the chickpeas and add them to a food processor or a powerful blender with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until it looks like a coarse paste.
  2. You can cook the falafel immediately, but it tastes better if you transfer the mixture to a large bowl and keep it covered in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Make about 18 small disks or balls with your hands.
  4. If you’re going to bake your falafel disks or balls, preheat the oven to 400ºF or 200ºC and place them onto a lined baking sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once at the halfway point for even cooking.
  5. If you’re going to fry your falafel disks or balls, heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering. Carefully transfer 4-5 falafel disks or balls to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with all the remaining falafel disks or balls and add more oil if needed.
  6. Serve immediately with vegan yogurt sauce (or also oil-free vegan yogurt sauce) inside some pita bread or on a plate with roasted or raw veggies.
  7. Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Notes

  • I suggest you make this recipe with raw chickpeas and that you soak them in water overnight. You’ll just have to cook the chickpeas later.
  • You can add all the spices and herbs you want to.
  • Use any type of flour. Chickpea flour and oat flour work really well for this recipe.
  • Flour isn’t essential, but it’ll give the falafel a better consistency and it won’t get stuck on your hands while making the balls or disks.
  • If you don’t want to use flour, you can simply cover your hands with it so shaping the falafels is easier.
  • You don’t need to add both parsley and cilantro; feel free to use only one of them.
  • If you’re not into spicy food, omit the red pepper flakes.
  • Nutritional info has been calculated for baked falafel.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 falafel of 18
  • Calories: 18
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 187 mg
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g

Curved “made this” text MADE THISRecipe?

Update Notes: This post was originally published in March of 2019, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions and tips in July of 2020.

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