Classic Vegan Falafel – My Darling Vegan

This vegan falafel recipe is delicious, full of flavor and high in protein. Enjoy this easy, authentic falafel with pita, salads, sauces or sandwiches for lunch or dinner! Meal preparation made easy!

front view of authentic falafel on white plate with saucefront view of authentic falafel on white plate with sauce

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Falafel is one of those foods I always crave. Bold, healthy and nutrient-rich, this falafel recipe is perfect as an appetizer or to complement your lunch or dinner.

You’ll never go back to boxed falafel mix or restaurant falafel after trying this easy recipe. Deliciously tender on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside, this The gluten-free falafel recipe pairs with pita bread, hummus and mixed greens. Or try it as a complement to my Mediterranean Lentils and Rice.

With this recipe, I show you two different ways to prepare falafel: baked or fried! Both options are really simple and provide ready results in less than 30 minutes.

You will love it!


Recommended Ingredients and Equipment

This recipe is great because it only requires a handful of simple kitchen staple ingredients. With a trio of seasonings and fresh herbs, falafel can be made in no time!

Here’s what you need.

chickpeas, parsley, coriander, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin, onion, baking soda, salt, pepper, water, chickpea flour, paprikachickpeas, parsley, coriander, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin, onion, baking soda, salt, pepper, water, chickpea flour, paprika

Notes on ingredients

  • Chickpeas – The key to a good falafel is to use dried, uncooked chickpeas. However, be sure to soak your chickpeas in water for at least 12 hours ahead of time to ensure they are tender enough to mix with the other ingredients.
  • Herbs – Fresh herbs are best for this recipe because they impart bright, tangy flavors to vegan falafels. I do not recommend substituting with dry herbs.
  • Chick pea flour – A great gluten-free option, gram flour, also known as besan, is nutrient-rich, high in protein and contains a good amount of fiber. Learn to make your own chickpea flour at home.

Recommended equipment

For this simple recipe, you will need a food processor, mixing bowls, basic kitchen utensils, a baking sheet if you are cooking the falafels, or a frying pan or pot if you fry them.


Step by step instructions

Step One – Process the Chickpeas

ingredients in a food processoringredients in a food processor

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas in a food processor with the parsley and coriander leaves, onion and garlic and process until a grainy texture forms. It should stay between your fingers when pressed.

Pro Tip: To properly prepare falafel, use raw, dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. To dip them, place them in a bowl and cover them with cool water. Make sure they are completely submerged in water. Place a lid on the bowl and store them at room temperature overnight or for at least 12 hours.

Step Two – Add Remaining Ingredients

food processor with seasoningsfood processor with seasonings

Add the sesame seeds, chickpea flour, baking soda and spices. Mix everything again. Gradually add water until you obtain a moist, pasty and easily moldable texture.

Pro Tip: You can taste and adjust the seasonings at this point, but it’s important to note that raw chickpea flour has an unpleasant tangy taste. Once cooked, the taste is undetectable.

Step Three – Cook the Falafel

falafel balls on plate and in oilfalafel balls on plate and in oil

Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form balls of about two tablespoons of the falafel mixture.

Add 2 inches of oil to a small saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add three to four falafel balls and fry them for about three minutes, until golden and crispy on all sides. Remove the vegan falafels to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the falafels are cooked.

falafel sandwich with pita, cucumbers and tomatoesfalafel sandwich with pita, cucumbers and tomatoes

Serve and store

Serve – Serve this falafel in a sandwich with tomatoes, cucumbers and vegan tzatziki, or add it to a fresh Mediterranean salad or on a bed of greens.

Storage – Store leftover falafel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven until completely heated through.

Tips and tricks

  1. This recipe calls for raw dried chickpeas which were soaked overnight. To dip them, place them in a bowl and cover them with cool water. Make sure they are completely submerged in water. Place a lid on the bowl and store them at room temperature overnight or for at least 12 hours.
  2. Raw chickpea flour has an unpleasant tangy taste which you will notice when tasting the raw dough for the seasonings. Don’t worry! Once cooked, the taste is undetectable.
  3. To make this recipe, bake the falafels in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. You can also use an air fryer for a crispier, healthier option. Follow these instructions for air fryer falafel.
  4. Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop up the falafel mixture.

Frequently asked questions

Are falafels vegan?

Yes! Falafel is almost always vegan, making it a great meat-free, high-protein option for sandwiches, salads, and bowls.

Are vegan falafels healthy?

Yes! Naturally gluten-free and high in protein, falafels are excellent sources of nutrients, fiber and plant-based protein.

Can you use cooked chickpeas for falafel?

Although you can use cooked chickpeas, this is not the traditional way to prepare falafel. This may result in a slightly pasty texture. I recommend sticking to the raw chickpea method.


More Vegan Appetizers

Be sure to check out all my vegan appetizers for more weekday and weekend inspiration.

falafel in pita bread with tomato and cucumberfalafel in pita bread with tomato and cucumber

The best falafels ever

This vegan falafel recipe is delicious, full of flavor and high in protein. Enjoy this easy, authentic falafel with pita, salads, sauces or sandwiches for lunch or dinner! Meal preparation made easy!

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Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 15 Falafel

Calories: 87kilocalories

Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup dried chickpeas*, soaked in water for at least 12 hours
  • 1 cup Coriander leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, stems removed
  • ¼ onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon. Sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon. Chick pea flour
  • 3-5 tablespoon. water, as required
  • 1 vs. tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ vs. tsp. cumin
  • 1 vs. tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 vs. tsp. salt
  • ¼ vs. tsp. black pepper
  • frying oil

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them, along with the coriander leaves, parsley leaves, onion and garlic cloves in a food processor and blend until a uniform grainy texture forms.

  • Add the sesame seeds, chickpea flour, baking soda and spices. Mix everything again and gradually add the water until you obtain a wet and pasty texture. It will be very thick and malleable.

  • Fill a small saucepan with 1 to 2″ of cooking oil and heat over medium heat.

  • Using your hands, an ice cream scoop, or a falafel scoop, form the falafel mixture into small balls, approximately 2 tablespoons in size. When the oil is hot, add 3-4 balls to the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them to a bowl or plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the falafels are cooked.

  • Serve the falafel immediately with tahini, salad and/or pita bread.

Remarks

Serve and storeg – Serve this falafel in a sandwich or on a bed of greens. Store leftover falafel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven until completely heated through.
Variants

  • Cook: For a healthier option, cook falafel instead! Bake them at 425 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking.
  • Air Fry: You can also use an air fryer for a crispier, healthier option than frying. Follow these instructions for air fryer falafel.


Nutrition

Calories: 87kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fat: 1g | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 255UI | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

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If you try this recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram. Make sure to tag @mydarlingvegan so I can see your creations!

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