Homemade Falafel Recipe (2024)

This Homemade Falafel recipe is loaded with herbs and lots of flavors!

It is so easy to make with a can of chickpeas, some seasonings, and a food processor. It makes for a great wrap between pita bread or as a salad topper!

Homemade Falafel Recipe (1)

What is Falafel?

Falafel is made from ground chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) or fava beans, lots of fresh herbs, spices, onions all ground up to make a dough.

The dough is then formed into patties and pan-fried (or you can make them into balls and deep fry it).

It is commonly found at food trucks, food carts, and even some Shawarma and Middle Eastern restaurants in your neighborhood.

Homemade Falafel Recipe (2)

How to Make Falafel

To make homemade falafels:

  1. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Add them to a food processor with remaining ingredients.
  2. Process the mixture until smooth but still coarse enough to shape into small patties, about 1 1/2″.
  3. Pan fry with a little vegetable oil until browned on both sides and fully cooked on the inside.

Let them drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Homemade Falafel Recipe (3)

How to Serve Falafel

This is the easy part! Falafel is so good in a sandwich, a wrap, or on its own. Make a sandwich or wrap with shredded lettuce, mayo (or a spicy mayo!), tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, tucked into pita bread or Naan bread! Top with hummus, tahini sauce, or tzatziki.

A lemon tahini sauce is traditional, but falafel tastes so good, it can be paired with any kind of sauce! Try placing a couple of balls of falafel or a patty of falafel over a bed of lettuce with dressing for a healthy, meat-free lunch!

Falafel is great with a side of marinated olives, some hummus for dipping, or a bright, crunchy salad!

Homemade Falafel Recipe (4)

More Delicious Mediterranean Recipes

  • Mediterranean Pasta Salad – make ahead
  • Chickpea Salad – perfect for potlucks
  • Greek Salad – a classic
  • Mediterranean Orzo Salad – so fresh

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Homemade Falafel Recipe (5)

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Homemade Falafel Recipe

This recipe uses fresh ingredients to create delicious homemade falafels!



Homemade Falafel Recipe (6)

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes minutes

Total Time 30 minutes minutes

Homemade Falafel Recipe (8)

Author Holly Nilsson


  • 1 can chickpeas (15 ounces) drained & rinsed
  • ½ small red onion peeled & quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • cup fresh flat leaf parsley packed
  • cup fresh cilantro packed
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


  • Zest and juice the lemon. In a large food processor add chickpeas, red onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, flour, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, baking powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

  • Pulse until the mixture is coarse but not mushy. Scoop out 2 tablespoon round balls and slightly flatten to form patties. If the mixture will not hold together stir in a little more flour.

  • Add vegetable oil to a large 12" skillet and set over medium-high heat.

  • When the oil is hot add the falafel patties to the oil and cook until golden brown, flip the falafel and cook until the other side is golden brown.

  • Remove from the oil and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Continue cooking until all your patties have been made.

  • If you run out of oil add a little more vegetable oil to the pan and finish making your falafel patties.



This can be made with just parsley if you do not have cilantro. If I have fresh mint, I add a few leaves of mint into the mixture at the same time as the parsley.

Falafels can also be formed into balls and deep fried.

Serve with Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed (about 2 tablespoons)
  • salt to taste

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency.

5 from 27 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 37 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Homemade Falafel Recipe (10) Cuisine Middle Eastern

© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.


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Homemade Falafel Recipe (2024)


Why can't I use canned chickpeas for falafel? ›

Turns out that dried chickpeas are essential to good falafel. See, canned chickpeas have already been cooked. Starch molecules within them have already burst and released their sticky contents, much of which get washed away in the cooking liquid, leaving the remaining chickpeas with very little clinging power.

What is falafel mix made of? ›

Traditional falafel is made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, herbs and spices. The mixture is then formed into balls or patties and deep fried for a texture that's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, sort of like a fritter.

What is the binding agent in falafel? ›

A binding ingredient can help keep it together, especially if you are using canned beans instead of dried. And the perfect binding ingredient for falafel is flour. Nothing fancy, just plain all-purpose flour. Add a few tablespoons at a time to your mixture, until you can press it easily into balls or patties.

What are the 2 types of falafel? ›

There are three types of falafel--Traditional falafel, baked falafel and lemon falafel. “Where the traditional falafel is the basic fried falafel comprising a mix of chickpeas, onions, garlic, herbs and spices, baked falafels are made using fresh herbs in the chickpea mixture,” says Chef Sati from Ophelia.

Can I soak chickpeas for 6 hours for falafel? ›

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.

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas? ›

The only difference is that canned chickpeas tend to be moist and hold extra liquid. This can make your hummus runnier than if you used dried chickpeas soaked overnight. Go ahead and try making hummus with canned chickpeas - it should still be delicious!

Why does my homemade falafel fall apart? ›

If the mixture is too wet, the falafel has a tendency to fall apart when being fried so please pat dry the ingredients before using them. If you find the mixture is too wet, simply add little more breadcrumbs. The falafel mixture after prepared can be shaped by hand or with a tool called an alb falafel (falafel mold).

Why do you put baking soda in falafel? ›

Baking soda — It may seem odd to add baking soda to a savory recipe, but it helps keeps the interior texture of the falafels fluffy.

Is falafel anti inflammatory? ›

Legumes, beans, and pulses that have anti-inflammatory effects include chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and lentils. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are the basis of falafel and hummus. Use beans to supplement or replace meat in tacos, chili con carne, or salads.

Can you substitute canned chickpeas for dried in falafel? ›

Yes, you can make falafel from canned chickpeas instead of dry ones that you have to soak ahead of time. It's a huge time saver! Baked, not fried. This recipe uses significantly less oil, and they bake all at once for maximum efficiency.

Do you have to use dried chickpeas for falafel? ›

Really, canned chickpeas will NOT work! They'll throw off the ratios in this recipe, and they'll make the patties too wet and mushy. In order to achieve the light texture of traditional falafel, you MUST use dried chickpeas here. Soak them overnight (but don't cook them!) before making the recipe.

What are the disadvantages of canned chickpeas? ›

Canned chickpeas contain high amounts of potassium. Since people who are on certain medications, such as beta-blockers for heart disease, have increased levels of potassium in the blood, they should be careful about their potassium intake.

Can you use chickpeas from the can? ›

Canned chickpeas are pre-cooked chickpeas. You can eat canned chickpeas straight out of the can! (Just be sure to rinse them off before chowing down to wash out excess sodium) Otherwise, you can roast them or turn them into any number of delicious dishes, like these here.


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