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Falafel is one of my favorite Middle Eastern inspired street food recipes. Dried chickpeas are softened by soaking in water over night, combined with other savory ingredients, processed to a gritty-smooth consistency, and deep fried to perfection!

Serve with homemade Tzatziki sauce for the best snack or appetizer!

homemade Falafel with tzatziki sauce
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Why you will love this recipe:

  • Chickpeas are delicious and nutritious: I’ve made many recipes where chickpeas are the main ingredient including Chickpea SaladRoasted ChickpeasThree Bean Salad, and Homemade Hummus. If you love them as much as I do, you’ll love making falafel, and it will surely satisfy any vegan comfort food craving.
  • They’re filling: Because chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are high in protein and fiber, they keep you feeling full, making them a great snack. Serve them with a protein packed Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce and your snack just turned into a meal!
  • Time consuming, but worth it: Falafel is actually quick to cook, however the process requires planning because of the time it takes to soak the chickpeas and also to refrigerate the mixture prior to frying. With a little planning, however, they are very easy to make!
homemade Falafel with tzatziki

Ingredients needed to make this recipe:

Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Dried chickpeas, red onion, parsley, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper, and a little bit of flour to hold everything together. Then, they are fried in oil.

ingredients for Falafel

How to make this falafel recipe:

Detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Step 1: Soak chickpeas

Cover dried chickpeas with water and soak overnight.

Step 2: Mix and process

Once you’ve soaked and softened your chickpeas, you’ll process them with the other ingredients in the food processor.

The goal is to not get the mixture so smooth that it turns into a paste, but you will need it processed fine enough so that they hold their shape when being fried.

Step 3: Shape and fry

Form balls that are a couple of tablespoons in size and gently flatten.

To cook the falafel, you’ll heat a generous amount of oil in a pan and cook a few at a time, flipping once. The result will be a delicious, flavorful, golden brown, crispy snack!

Recipe tips for best results:

  • Consistency of mixture: It is important that you use the food processor to grind the mixture to a consistent consistency of sand. If the chickpea pieces are too big, it will be difficult to eat, however you still want some grainy texture.
  • Deep frying: The trick to deep frying is to maintain a constant temperature of the oil. If you’re not experienced, I recommend using a thermometer. Also, be aware that adding the cold falafel balls to the hot oil will drop the temperature.
  • Storage: Falafel is best if eaten fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
  • Reheating and leftovers: I’ve actually crumbled cold leftover falafel onto a salad and it was delicious! If you’d like to enjoy them warm, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel and reheat the center of the falafel in the microwave at 50% power for a minute or two and then fry them up in hot oil to make them crispy again.
homemade Falafel split in half

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Falafel

Prep20 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Falafel is one of my favorite Middle Eastern street food recipes. Chickpeas are combined with other savory ingredients and deep fried to perfection!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley fresh, stems removed
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • oil for frying Enough to have about an inch in your pan (I used avocado oil)
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Instructions 

  • Soak chickpeas: The night before making falafel, add dried chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with water. Cover bowl and let them soak overnight. They should double in size. When you're ready to make your falafel, drain chickpeas.
  • Mix ingredients: Add all ingredients except for oil to a large bowl and toss to combine.
  • Run through food processor: Working in small batches, process in food processor. The texture should be about as course as fine sand. Transfer processed mixture to a new bowl and pick out any large chunks to add to the next batch that gets processed. Continue until all ingredients are ground to the same sand-like consistency.
  • Let it rest: Add mixture back to original bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Shape: To form the falafel balls, add a couple tablespoons of the mixture to the palm of your hand, form a ball, and slightly flatten the ball. The mixture doesn't hold together all that well, so just be gentle and steady with the pressure.
  • Fry: To cook falafel, add at least an inch of oil to skillet and heat to 375° F. Carefully drop formed falafel ball into the oil. I prefer to cook just a few at a time so that the oil temperature can remain steady. Cook until they turn golden brown, flipping once (about 5 minutes total). Be sure the oil is at the correct temperature before adding the next batch. Transfer cooked falafel to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Notes

Makes about 32 falafel. Serving size based on 4 falafel.
Serve fresh with a nice garlicy tzatziki sauce!  https://selfproclaimedfoodie.com/tzatziki/

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 6g, Sodium: 597mg, Potassium: 541mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Vitamin C: 6.3mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 4.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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5 from 31 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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47 Comments

    1. I haven’t tried it myself, but I think they could be prepared, frozen, and then fully thawed to room temp before cooking.

    1. I’ve never frozen them. If I were to freeze them, I would cook them first. Then to reheat, I would put in a pan with a bit of oil or in the air fryer.

  1. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I did have to use a little more flour than the recipe called for, but that’s an easy fix. I have 4 kids and they all loved them!

    1. This is a very delicious treat but I couldn’t get them to form into a ball without falling apart. I ended up adding eggs & flour to a batch of them and used a cookie scoop to form them then put them on a cookie sheet so they would be ready to place in the hot oil. And for me they didn’t take 5 minutes to cook either. Very yummy but not a dish I want to make again. But I did get to use my new food processor so that was a plus. I had some mixture left over since I was trying to make a double batch but decided not to fry it all. Just wondering if this could be baked up in a casserole dish instead of frying?

      1. I personally don’t think I’d like the way they taste baked because I like the crispiness from the oil. I’m sorry they didn’t hold together for you!

    1. I didn’t freeze mine, but yes – I think you could easily freeze them and then to reheat, just allow to fully thaw and then toast in a pan.

      1. 5 stars
        I was given canned chickpeas do you think that they would hold up to make the falafels with?? I know it would change the texture maybe but would love to know if you or anyone had tried the canned peas?? Thanks so much.

      1. I made these for the first time and my husband whose from the middle East loved them. Thanks for the great recipe .

  2. Will it work OK if I cook the beans first? I’ve never made falafel without cooking the beans first. Also, I have a hard time digesting beans so I was thinking cooking them first would help with digestion. But I don’t want to ruin the recipe. Advice, please! Thanks! Angie

    1. Try sprouting the chickpeas because that makes them easier to digest. Lay them out on a sheet after you soak them and cover with a damp towel. It doesn’t take long. When the pointy end gets more pronounced, you can cook them. it’s best not to cook them until tender. Changing the cooking water after it boils for a while also reduces a legume’s tendency to produce intestinal discomfort.
      IMO canned chickpeas entirely change the texture, not in a good way.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for dinner and I don’t have the words…it was absolutely one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever tried. I ended up eating 5 of these delicious nuggets and I’m so full I feel like I’m going to explode LOL I also made your tzatziki recipe as well and it was such an amazing compliment to the falafel. Thank you for this recipe SOOOOOO MUCH!!

  4. As a Middle Eastern, we don’t use flour in any fresh falafel mixes. Also, important to add ground fennel to ensure easy digestion and no gas. No pepper.