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  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Calories: 393
homemade falafel on a white platter drizzled with tahini sauce

With a perfectly crispy-fried outside and a flavorful, herby inside, our no-fail falafel recipe makes for a hearty, delicious vegan dinner.

A Vegan Feast, Fit for a Weeknight

Ever noticed that the best vegan recipes are the ones that are sort of accidentally vegan—as in, no ingredients posing as a faux version of something meaty or cheesy? Falafel is just exactly that kind of meal—these crispy fried balls of herby, mashed chickpeas are really, really good and just happen to naturally be vegan. Filling, delicious and virtuous—who doesn’t love that?

falafel broke in half with other homemade falafel on a white plate drizzled with tahini sauce

What Is Falafel?

Inexpensive to make and super high in protein (thanks, garbanzo beans!) falafel is a Middle Eastern street food that’s been popular for hundreds of years. Traditionally loaded with fresh herbs falafel balls are made from smashed chickpeas, and can be spiced with various Middle Eastern spices (cumin is usually in the mix). The herbs—usually parsley and cilantro, but sometimes mint is included—make the falafel balls speckled with a brilliant bright green on the inside, and a nice deep-fry makes them crispy and golden on the outside.

chickpeas, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cayenne, cumin, salt, baking powder and flour in small bowls

TMP Falafel Ingredients

We don’t mess with perfection—classic falafel balls are what we’re after, so classic falafel ingredients are what we’re using for this recipe. The baking powder may look a bit out of place, but it’ll help to keep the falafel airy and light on the inside. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chickpeas
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Cayenne
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Flour
chickpeas, grated onion, cilantro, parsley and garlic in a food processor
chickpeas, onion, garlic and parsley blended in a food processor
falafel ingredients in a glas bowl
falafel mixture in a glass bowl

How to Make Falafel

Homemade falafel is surprisingly easy. The most tedious part is simply rolling the falafel balls and that’s not even too hard—just put on your favorite podcast and call it ‘me time’. Or gather the whole family and make an assembly line! Either way, at the end of it all there will be falafel, so everybody wins! Here’s how to make falafel:

  1. Pulse the chickpeas, onion, garlic and herbs until the mixture looks kind of like super chopped nuts (you don’t want a paste).
  2. Dump the chickpea mixture into a bowl, and stir in the baking powder, flour and spices.
  3. Make the falafel patties. You want them to be about two tablespoons each.
  4. Fry the falafel! Put that deep-frying thermometer to work! Carefully fry the patties in batches in 3” of oil, heated to 350°F.
  5. Eat the falafel! The best part, obviously.
crispy falafel on a white platter with parsley drizzled with tahini sauce

What To Serve With Falafel:

It just so happens that we’ve got three delicious sauce and dip recipes that pair beautifull with falafel! Any one of these would pair perfectly with the homemade falafel, or you could make all three for a true Middle Eastern feast.

falafel on a white oval platter with parsley and tahini sauce

Tools You’ll Need:

More Easy Vegan Recipes:

Love It?

Let us know! Snap a photo of your golden, crispy fried falafel, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!


  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Calories: 393


  • 2 Cans chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup Grated white onion, liquid drained
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a food processor pulse chickpeas along with white onion, garlic cloves, parsley and cilantro until finely chopped and can hold itself together, but not mushy.
  2. Transfer chickpea mixture from food processor to a large bowl and stir in cayenne, cumin, salt baking powder and flour until smooth.
  3. Using your hands, form patties out of the mixture, 2 tbsp each. Falafel patties should be about 1 inch in thickness.
  4. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 3” of oil to 350°F. Fry falafels in small batches for about 4 minutes, being sure the temperature does not dip below 350°F. ** Remove from oil and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Serve immediately with tahini sauce, tzatziki sauce, hummus or all three!

**If temperature dips below 350 the prepared falafel balls will fall apart so be sure you keep an eye on the temp!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 393
  • Protein 20 g
  • Carbohydrates 66 g
  • Total Fat 6 g
  • Dietary Fiber 17 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • sodium 415 mg
  • Added Sugars 11 g


Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Heather S. Cohen

    can you do these in the air fryer?

    We haven't experimented with falafel in the air fryer, so we can't say for sure if the recipe would work in one. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

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