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Falafel

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Calories: 227
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!

Falafel

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Calories: 227

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, grated
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp All purpose flour
  • canola or vegetable oil for frying

Method

  1. Using a thin kitchen towel, nut bag or cheese cloth, squeeze was much liquid from the grated onion as possible.
  2. In the base of a food processor pulse the grated onion, chickpeas, garlic, parsley and cilantro until finely chopped and can hold itself together, but not mushy.
  3. Transfer the chickpea mixture from the food processor to a large bowl and stir in the cayenne, cumin, salt, baking powder and flour until combined.
  4. Using your hands, form patties out of the mixture, about 2 tablespoons each. Falafel patties should be about 1-inch in thickness.
  5. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat 3” of oil to 350°F. Start with the heat on high, just before the oil reaches 350°F turn the heat to medium-high. When you add the falafel it will lower the temperature of the oil. You may need to adjust the heat higher or lower to keep the temperature at 350°. Fry the falafel patties in small batches Until golden brown and firmed up in the center, but still soft, about 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve immediately with tahini sauce, tzatziki sauce, hummus or all three!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 227
  • Protein 7 g
  • Carbohydrates 24 g
  • Total Fat 12 g
  • Dietary Fiber 5 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • sodium 533 mg
  • Total Sugars 2 g

Falafel

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Sonia

    Hi! Can the "dough" be made ahead, refrigerated, and then fried the next day?

    Yes, that will be just fine. Be sure to put it in an air tight container. Hope you enjoy, Sonia!

  • Jackie Harriman

    Can I use dried chickpeas instead? If so, do I cook them first?

    Hi Jackie, yes and yes!

  • Dan

    This just says “2 cans of chickpeas”. What size cans are intended to be used?

    Thanks for catching! I'll edit now. the cans are 15 oz each.

  • UB Coles

    Curious if anyone tried them in the air fryer by now.. We love this recipe but would like to try it healthier way.

    We haven't tried it that way! If you do, we'd love to know how it turns out!

  • 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!

  • Sonia

    These turned out great! I served these as part of a Mediterranean dinner party I hosted, and they were a vegetarian favorite. I preferred frying after air frying one (I couldn't get that nice brownness on them on the air fryer). I had a couple falafels fall apart while I was frying, but I think I might have kept the mixture too course...next time I'll probably blend a little more. Regardless, such a hit and add this to my regular dinner rotation!

    Thanks Sonia, we are so happy they were a hit! Glad you tried them out!

  • Jenn

    YUM! I made these to go with the shawarma sheet pan on your site and it was all so good together!

    That's great, so glad you liked them!