Perfect Homemade Falafel

I’ve fallen in love with this homemade falafel. Our easy recipe is naturally vegan, tastes incredible, and makes the best falafel that is super crispy on the outside while staying fluffy and tender inside.

Falafel Recipe Video

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern street food thought to have originated in Egypt. It is incredibly delicious, deep-fried balls or patties made from beans, often chickpeas or fava beans. I first fell in love with falafel when walking through the Marais district of Paris, where I ordered a falafel sandwich from L’As du Fallafel.

We loved their falafel so much that we ate there almost every day and came home determined to recreate it at home. And honestly, I think we nailed it! I love tucking these into our homemade pita with creamy hummus, veggies, pickles, and this delicious tahini sauce.

Homemade Falafel

Key Ingredients

  • Chickpeas: I use dried chickpeas to make falafel. Canned chickpeas don’t work here. I know other falafel recipes say they do, but dried chickpeas are your friend for the best authentic falafel. You will need to soak your chickpeas overnight for this recipe. This falafel recipe is one of many chickpea recipes on Inspired Taste, including this guide for soaking and cooking chickpeas.
  • Garlic and fresh herbs: I love the herby flavor of this falafel. I use green onions, garlic, and lots of fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and mint.
  • Dried spices: For even more incredible flavor, I add ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
  • Baking powder: Adding baking powder to your falafel mixture makes the center of the falafel slightly more tender, airy, and light.

How to Make Falafel

My falafel recipe is so easy to make! I promise. You’ll start with soaking your chickpeas. I do this the night before I plan to make my falafel. Simply add dried chickpeas to a bowl, cover with several inches of water, and leave it overnight. They will triple in size and be ready in the morning.

Falafel Ingredients

The next day, you’ll toss the soaked chickpeas and other falafel ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is chopped small, stopping before it purees into a paste.

The photo below shows what your mixture should look like. It’s chopped finely, and you can press it together to make balls (not like dough, but they should hold together for you). I highly recommend watching our video, where I show you the texture you’re looking for.

Homemade Falafel Mix

Chill the mixture for 15 minutes, then form into balls. I usually get around 18 falafel balls from this recipe. You can chill again or move on to cooking them.

Perfectly Crispy Falafel

For the crispiest, most authentic falafel, fry them in oil. I know frying isn’t for everyone, but trust me, it’s worth it for the best falafel! It’s not as messy or complicated as you might think. If you prefer, I’ve included baking and pan-frying options in the recipe, but frying is the way to go for that perfect falafel texture.

What to Serve with Falafel

My favorite way to serve falafel is stuffed into homemade pita with veggies, hummus, pickles, and tahini sauce. You can add them to salad. I especially love them with this tomato and onion salad. You can also make a falafel platter with some of your favorite Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes like labneh, baba ganoush, olives, tzatziki, vegetables, and a side of tahini.

Homemade Crispy Falafel

Perfect Homemade Falafel

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How to make delicious and crispy falafel at home that rivals your favorite restaurants. After lots of kitchen tests, this falafel recipe has become our favorite. It is straightforward, 100% plant-based (vegan), and the falafel tastes incredible.

To make the best falafel, fry them in oil. Baked and pan-fried falafel taste great, but I highly recommend frying your falafel for the fluffiest, most tender results. However, I have included instructions for baking and pan-frying if that’s the direction you still would like to take.

For this recipe, you need soaked dried chickpeas (I soak them overnight). Canned chickpeas do not work. You can soak them a couple of days in advance. Soak them overnight, drain them, and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you are ready to make your falafel mix.

Makes 18 falafel, 4 to 6 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

8 ounces (225g) dried chickpeas (1 heaping cup), see tips

5 to 6 green onions, trimmed

4 medium garlic cloves, use less if sensitive to garlic

2 cups (55g) packed fresh herbs, we love a combination of cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves

1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon baking powder, optional

Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

  • Make Falafel
  • 1Rinse the dried chickpeas and place them in a large bowl, covering them with cold water by about 4 inches. Cover and soak overnight or until the beans triple in size. Drain the soaked chickpeas, rinse, and pat dry, or add them to a salad spinner to spin dry.

    2The next day, roughly chop the scallions and fresh herbs. Then, add the soaked chickpeas, scallions, garlic, fresh herbs, salt, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne, black pepper, and baking powder to the bowl of a food processor.

    3Pulse the mixture until very finely minced but not pureed, scraping the bowl down as necessary. You should be able to press a handful together and have it hold its shape (it will be loose and a little crumbly). See our video and photos above for reference.

    4Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to help the balls hold together when cooking. If you are making this ahead, you can refrigerate the covered mixture for a few days.

    5Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to scoop out 1 ½ tablespoons of the falafel mixture, then gently squeeze and shape it into a ball and place it onto a clean plate. Repeat with as many falafel as you plan to cook. The mix will not act like dough but will hold its shape. Watch the video to see how we do this.

    6Optional step: As an extra fail-safe for preventing the balls from falling apart when they hit the oil, rest the falafel balls in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking them.

  • Cook Falafel
  • 1Add at least 1 inch of oil to a deep saucepan, cast iron skillet, or Dutch oven. The smaller the pan, the less oil you will need. The wider the pan, the more falafel you can cook at one time.

    2Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the oil so that it is between 350°F and 375°F (176°C to 190°C).

    3Fry the falafel in batches, placing them gently into the oil without crowding in the pan. Cook, without moving them, until they brown on the bottom sides. Using two forks, carefully flip the falafel to brown the other side, 3 ½ minutes to 4 minutes total.

    4Transfer the cooked falafel to a plate lined with a paper towel, sprinkle with a little extra salt, and then repeat with the remaining falafel balls. Serve immediately.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Canned chickpeas: Do not use canned chickpeas in this recipe. The falafel balls will fall apart in the oil.
  • Baking powder: Helps to make the most tender and fluffy falafel. You can leave it out and still make incredibly delicious falafel.
  • Baked falafel: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a baking sheet. Form the falafel mix into 1/2-inch patties (instead of balls) so that they sit flat on the baking sheet. Bake the falafel patties in the oil on the baking sheet, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Pan-fried falafel: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Form the falafel mix into 1/2-inch patties (instead of balls) so that they sit flat. Pan-fry the falafel patties, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Make-ahead falafel mix: You can store the falafel mix in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to cook, form the mix into balls and cook as directed above. You can also freeze the formed falafel balls for up to 6 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.
  • Leftover falafel: Falafel is best enjoyed fresh, but it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just be aware that reheated falafel won’t be as light, tender, or crispy as when it’s freshly cooked.
  • This falafel recipe was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimiwith, Sharon Salloum, and J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats.
  • The nutrition data for this recipe is for the falafel mix (before cooking). It is too difficult to calculate accurate data for the fried falafel balls.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 3 falafel / Calories 151 / Total Fat 2.4g / Saturated Fat 0.3g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 408.3mg / Total Carbohydrate 25.8g / Dietary Fiber 7.4g / Total Sugars 4.5g / Protein 8.3g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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122 comments… Leave a Review
  • david brosseau May 10, 2024, 8:05 pm

    these are the best falafel I’ve ever tasted and quite easy to make.

    Reply
  • Gail February 22, 2024, 8:57 am

    I made this recipe last night – I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand, including an abundance of cilantro and green onions. These are the best falafel I’ve ever made! (Against your suggestions, however, I used chickpeas that were already cooked (from dried beans) and I baked them because I prefer not to use added oil.) I added my own flair by rolling the little patties in sriracha panko breadcrumbs before I baked them. Wow! Yum! The baking soda really does make a difference – the patties were nice and fluffy! Thanks for a great recipe! This is a keeper!

    Reply
    • Adam February 22, 2024, 7:11 pm

      Yum! Love the twist on the recipe! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a review 🙂

      Reply
  • Anna February 20, 2024, 6:32 pm

    My mother loves Mediterranean food as do I. We just celebrated her 85th bd. I put the entire menu together from your recipes. We had falafel with scratch made tahini, hummus, pita bread,and tabouli. ALL were wonderful. Thank you for supporting a wonderful day with this great site. I’ll be back!!

    Reply
    • Adam February 20, 2024, 6:34 pm

      Wow! Sounds like a wonderful meal. We are thrilled that your family had a good time 🙂

      Reply
  • Anna Winters January 30, 2024, 6:35 am

    I love falafal. This is the best recipe I have seen.

    Reply
  • Manjola January 6, 2024, 11:21 pm

    Love the recipe!

    Reply
  • Ritu Chugh June 15, 2023, 4:53 am

    Hello. I tried making the falafel in what we call an appe pan in our part of the world. It uses minimal oil and feels less guilty. They turned out reasonably crisp and yummy. Not as much as the deep fried version but nice nevertheless. Thanks very much.

    Reply
  • Tyler March 21, 2023, 9:14 am

    Hi Adam and Joanne! Should the chickpeas still be firm after soaking? I soaked them for ~24 hours but they still feel kind of hard, though they did triple in size. Thank you!

    Reply
    • H April 15, 2023, 11:48 pm

      Yes,they dont need to be soft, in fact if they were like as soft as canned chickpeas the recipe will not work. For best results, soak for 24h (they will still not be soft and thats ok).

      Reply
  • sara February 16, 2023, 3:16 pm

    I haven’t made this yet as I have questions about the frying oil. Since vegetable and seed oils are so unhealthy, what kind of oil do you use to fry? Would coconut or avocado oil work? Do you reuse your fry oil, and, if so, will you provide details on how to do so? I absolutely never fry anything for health reasons and because I don’t want to throw out the large amount of oil required to fry. Can you offer tips on avoiding waste and using a healthy oil?

    Reply
    • Joanne February 27, 2023, 5:49 pm

      Hi Sara, We rarely deep fry at home, but make the exception for this recipe since it makes the falafel so light in the middle and crisp on the outside. Avocado oil is definitely an option, I prefer it to coconut oil for this recipe. I don’t reuse my oil, but you can. To do so, let it cool, strain it through a fine mesh strainer or a few layers of cheesecloth, and then store it in a dark place for another day. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Robin October 3, 2022, 8:21 pm

    I love your tahina and hummus recipes, I shall try these one day when I’m in the mood

    Reply
  • Sara Fairchild August 16, 2022, 1:50 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, looks super easy, which I love. I’ve been purchasing the frozen falafel at TJ’s, tasty, but super dry. What are you dipping the falafel in? Trying to move away from all the vegetarian processed products and make more at home with lots of herbs. Wish me luck… Thanks!

    Reply
    • Adam August 17, 2022, 5:53 pm

      Hi Sara, We know you will love these. They are really fun to make. We are dipping them into our tahini sauce.

      Reply
  • Susan Warner June 27, 2022, 12:52 pm

    Does an air-fryer work for cooking the falafel?

    Reply
    • Joanne June 27, 2022, 1:54 pm

      Hi Susan, I bet it would, but we have not tried this ourselves. You might need to do a little experimenting to get the timing right.

      Reply

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