You won’t believe how fluffy, crispy and easy these vegan falafels are to make! We break down all the tips to make the perfect every single time!
If you are a picky person, you may hear vegan falafels and wonder what the heck you are about to eat.
Essentially, if a hushpuppy and a meatball had a baby, this is what you would get.
Falafels are a Middle Eastern main dish that is usually free from most common allergens and often vegan. It is made from chickpeas and has a crispy exterior and soft and fluffy interior.
Traditionally, falafels are deep fried; however, they can also be baked if trying to reduce oil consumption.
Never miss another post! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get them all delivered easily! Plus, 15 easy recipes delivered immediately!
Sign Up For My Newsletter Today!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Flavorful – By using the ingredients in their natural form like fresh herbs and spices, we’re able to give a huge boost of flavor.
- Easy– The hardest part of this recipe is letting the chickpeas soak overnight! Otherwise, it’s a straightforward and easy process
- Versatile – You can easily switch up the herbs or spices being used to create versatility in your own falafel recipe
Gather your ingredients!
- Dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – you want to use dried, uncooked chickpeas. This provides the best texture possibile.
- Chickpea flour – helps bind the mixture together. The flour continue to absorb the moisture as well.
- Fresh Herbs – we are using a variety of herbs in this particular recipe including dill, parsley and cilantro
- Baking Powder – while not traditionally used, this helps to create an even fluffier texture
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Substitutions and Variations:
- Chickpea flour – other single use flour like almond or all-purpose can also be used. We would not recommend coconut flour
- Fresh Herbs – feel free to only use one herb or switch up to other ones as well to change the taste. You could also add in greens like kale or spiach instead as well.
The short answer is yes; however, we don’t recommend it.
Canned chickpeas have been soaking for months at a time, sometimes maybe even longer, and because of that they retain a lot more moisture which gives a bit of an issue when making falafels.
If you are adamant about making vegan falafels with canned chickpeas, then we highly recommend that you not only thoroughly drain them from any juice in the can, but that you also dry them completely on a kitchen towel.
Even letting them sit for an hour or more to make sure you’ve gotten all the juice.
Vegan falafels, once cooked and cooled, can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week making them perfect for any weekly meal prep that you do.
Yes. Either uncooked or cooked vegan falafels can be frozen.
If cooked, make sure that they are completely cooled.
We prefer to place on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes, then place them into a freezer safe container or bag. Doing so helps make sure that they don’t stick.
If cooked before freezing, you can let them thaw out for a few hours and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes or pop into a microwave for a few minutes.
If uncooked, you can cook from frozen according to the directions above, just adding a few minutes of cooking time.
This recipe already is written to be Top 9 Allergen free.
Yes. You will want to ensure that you have enough space in your food processor to properly blend or make in separate batches.
Yes. Instead of deep frying, cook in the air fryer or bake in the oven.
Other Vegan Dinner Recipes to Consider:
Did you make and love this recipe?
Click the 5 stars in the recipe card above or below in the comment section! This is a great way to support us so we can continue to bring great recipes!
- 2 cups dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (350g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, optional
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic (use less if desired)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped into 4 pieces
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (12g)
- ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped (8g)
- ⅓ cup fresh dill roughly chopped (6g)
- 1 zest of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric optional
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 ½ tablespoon chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder optional
If Deep Frying
- 1 qt vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Add dried chickpeas to a bowl. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add 4 cups of water. Stir together. Soak dried chickpeas overnight. Drain chickpeas from water and lay them out on a towel. Thoroughly pat them dry. Get as much moisture out as possible.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add all the garlic. Cook, stirring often until fragrant and golden brown. Remove the garlic and reserve the oil.
- Add chickpeas to a food processor with the garlic and remaining ingredients. Pulse, scrapping down the sides often, until all the ingredients are chopped up and a thick batter is left. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to hydrate and intensive the flavor.
- Roll into 1" balls (you can use a cookie scoop to ensure even size).
For Deep Fried Falafels (Traditional)
- Once all the balls are made, heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pot and bring the temperature up to 350 degrees F. Add the baking soda to the oil.
- Drop falafels into the oil and cook for 2 ½-5 minutes, moving around to ensure golden brown on all sides. Remove from the oil and lay on a towel lined plate to remove excess oil. Repeat with remaining balls.
- Once falafels are shaped – Add a little oil to a skillet and move them around for 5-7 minutes ensuring that all sides are cooked golden brown.Alternatively, if you want to deep fry but only have a skillet, you can add enough oil to a heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven and fry for a few minutes like above. It's best to have a thermometer to make sure you are frying at 350 degrees F.
Air Fryer Method (Oil Free)
- Once falafels are shaped -Place the falafels inside your air fryer at 350 degrees F and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway. Should be a golden brown color on the outside.
Baked Method (Oil Free)
- Place the falafels on a baking sheet and into a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway. Should be a golden brown color on the outside.
- Serve inside pitas, or with vegan turmeric garlic rice.
This post was originally published on 1/22/20 and updated on 2/24/20 and 9/13/2023.