Crispy Falafel

If you enjoy falafel, put your hand up! To showcase my all-time favorite handmade falafel dish, I dug through the past. Falafel making at home might be challenging, but this recipe is simple.

This nutritious falafel dish is great for six reasons:

  • The outsides of these falafels are crispy and golden brown. The interior is succulent, tasty, and loaded with fresh herbs.
  • They have a lot less fat than fried falafel since they are baked rather than fried. Additionally, your home won’t have a fried food odor for days. Winning!
  • Once your chickpeas have had enough time to soak, the falafel filling comes together quickly. The patties will come together even more quickly if you can get some help shaping them.
  • These vegan and gluten-free falafels make a delicious party appetizer.
  • These falafels freeze nicely, making them a great protein-rich choice to stock up on for future pita sandwiches and salads.
  • In light of that, you can easily quadruple this recipe! View the recipe notes.


How to Make the Best Homemade Falafel

Bake it, don’t fry it. I say this because frying requires a lot of sizzling hot oil, and that scares me. I also don’t have a good vent over my oven to take the fried food smell far, far away. Plus, you can use a reasonably amount of heart-healthy olive oil in the baked version.

Coat your rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. That way, you get a fried effect in the oven, and you don’t have to brush the little falafels individually with olive oil. Winning!

Use dried chickpeas, not canned. Canned chickpeas do not work for falafel. They’re far too wet. If you try to use canned chickpeas instead of dried and soaked chickpeas, you’ll end up with sad falafel pancakes. Some recipes try to counteract the wetness by adding flour, which significantly dulls the flavor and makes the texture more doughy.

Soak the dried chickpeas for at least four hours. If your chickpeas aren’t sufficiently softened, you’ll have unpalatably tough pieces of chickpea in your falafel. There’s just no workaround here.

Choose your dried chickpeas wisely. Try to buy your dried chickpeas from a store with high turnover, because old chickpeas need longer to soften. If you have options, pick the chickpeas that are the smallest, since they’ll soften faster.


Falafel Serving Suggestions

Serve falafel as an appetizer, wrap it into a pita sandwich, or add it to salad for a protein-rich topping. Falafel goes great with any of the following ingredients:

  • Pita bread, warmed or toasted (tear it up for pita “croutons”)
  • Fresh greens (such as spring greens or chopped romaine)
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • Raw red onion, thinly sliced, or quick-pickled onions
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sauce: Something creamy like tzatziki, hummus, or tahini sauce, and maybe a spicy sauce like zhoug or shatta, too

Here’s a tahini dressing recipe that goes great with this falafel, too:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/3 cup water

In a small food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend well. You can also whisk the ingredients together by hand in a small bowl, just note that you’ll need to chop the fresh herbs and zest more finely than you would if you were using a food processor.

Also read: Caprese Pasta Salad


  • One-fourth cup plus one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry (uncooked/raw) chickpeas, washed, picked over, and refrigerated for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 24 hours.
  • 12 cup red onions, roughly chopped (approximately 12 tiny red onions),
  • 12 cup of fresh parsley in a bag (mostly leaves but small stems are ok)
  • 12 cup fresh cilantro in a bag (mostly leaves but small stems are ok)
  • 4 quartered garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt, fine
  • 1.5 teaspoons (about 25 twists) freshly ground pepper
  • 12 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground


  1. Set the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the middle oven rack in place. A sizable baking sheet with a rim should be coated evenly after adding 1/4 cup of the olive oil to the pan.
  2. The soaked and drained chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil should all be combined in a food processor. About one minute, or until smooth.
  3. Scoop out roughly 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time with your hands. Create tiny patties out of the falafel that are 2 inches broad and 1/2 inch thick. Each falafel should be placed on your greased pan.
  4. Falafels should be baked for 25 to 30 minutes, gently turning them over halfway through, until they are deeply brown on both sides. For up to 4 days in the fridge or several months in the freezer, these falafels store nicely.