A flavorful and authentic Homemade Falafel Recipe with Tahini Sauce that will blow your mind! Use dry chickpeas and a muffin tin to create one of the most popular dishes in the Middle East.
One of the most popular vegetarian dishes is falafel. It’s loved by all, filled with protein from the chickpeas, and bursting with delicious flavor thanks to some really tasty herbs and spices. This homemade version can be either baked or fried, and we love it in a pita with hummus, on a salad, or by itself dipped in lemony tahini sauce. The crispy outside of a properly-cooked falafel is so delicious and satisfying we could eat it every day! Today we are showing you two cooking options, one fried one baked
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made of mostly chickpeas ( garbanzo beans), sometimes fava beans (or even both!). They’re soaked and then ground up with delicious spices before being cooked fried or baked. It’s a Middle Eastern food traditionally served in a pita pocket and drizzled with tahini sauce. Falafel is a naturally vegan food that’s also filled with protein, so it’s super popular!
Can I Bake Falafel?
Yes! While it’s usually fried, and that is how you will find it as street food, you can make homemade falafel that is baked. We’ve included instructions to make it both ways!
Can I Make Falafel With Canned Chickpeas?
It's better if you don't. Falafel is more authentic and tastes better when made with dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. The soaked chickpeas give falafel its chunky, crunchy satisfying texture. If you use canned chickpeas the falafel will be too mushy.
- Dried chickpeas, soaked overnight. If you are short on time you
- A whole bunch of falafel spices ( see recipe)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon Zest
- Baking Powder
Tips on How to Make Falafel at Home
It is surprisingly easy to make your own falafel right in your own kitchen. Here are our best tips for making restaurant-quality falafel at home!
- Use soaked dry chickpeas. Canned beans will not yield the same results. You just need a little planning to remember to soak the chickpeas the night before.
- Don’t skimp on the spices! they add a ton of flavor to the falafel.
- Add a lot of herbs. This is for flavor and to achieve that beautiful green color. If you don’t like cilantro add more parsley and some fresh mint. Make sure any fresh herb you are using is dry. Dry your herbs really well after washing.
- Do not cook the soaked chickpeas. This will yield a true falafel texture.
- Use a food processor. Pulse the ingredients to combine into a coarse mixture.
- Rest. Refrigerate the falafel. Let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge before cooking.
- The falafel mixture may be a little sticky. Just slightly wet your hands and roll the falafel balls by transferring them from hand to hand or use a small ice cream scoop.
- Use mini muffin tins, if baking the falafel balls. Coat them with a generous amount of oil spray before putting the formed patties in. Bake for a crispier texture.
- Deep fry in oil. If you don't own a deep fryer, use a small saucepan and add only a few falafel at a time, make sure the balls are completely covered in oil. It only takes 5-6 minutes.
- Freeze. If you want to freeze falafel, do it after cooking it.
How to Make Falafel
Hey there! Ready to make some delicious falafel? Let's get started!
First things first, if you are baking your falafel preheat your oven to 400F. Then, grab a mini muffin tin and give it a good spray with some cooking spray.
Now, it's time to get chopping! In a food processor, combine some parsley and cilantro and pulse until it's finely chopped. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients until it forms a slightly coarse dough.
Pop the mixture in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to let it rest. After that, it's time to form your falafel balls or patties. You can use your hands or a small ice cream scoop to make them. If you're using the muffin tin, just squeeze the mixture in your hands and transfer it to the tin. Use about 2 teaspoons of falafel mixture per ball.
Give your falafel a quick spray with some oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
If you prefer to fry your falafel, fill a small saucepan or deep fryer with oil and fry for 5-6 minutes until crispy.
While your falafel is cooking, whip up some lemony tahini sauce. In a medium bowl, mix together tahini, lemon, and salt until it becomes a thick paste. Then, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
For a tasty tomato and cucumber salad, mix together some chopped tomatoes and cucumbers with olive oil, lemon, and salt.
Finally, stuff your delicious falafel in pita bread and top with pickles, tahini sauce, and tomato and cucumber salad. For an extra kick, add some Schug and for extra creaminess spread Hummus into the pita bread when assembling your falafel sandwich.
What to Serve with Falafel
This is the best part: eating your homemade falafel! Serve falafel with tahini sauce, Israeli salad or tomato cucumber salad, pickles, hummus, and hot sauce (optional). Use a pita that can be opened as a pocket, to assemble the falafel sandwich, spread hummus on the pita, stuff the pita pocket with a few falafel balls, then add your toppings of choice, tomato cumber salad and tahini sauce are a must! Here are some other toppings for your falafel sandwich:
More Falafel Recipes!
- Falafel-flavored Gluten-free Crackers
- Falafel Veggie Burger with Avocado Tahini Cream
- Falafel Bowl with Avocado and Tahini Sriracha
Did you like this falafel recipe?
If you enjoyed this recipe, it would help us tremendously if you left us a star rating in the comments below or on the recipe card. Do you have any questions about the recipe or do you need a swap for any of the ingredients? We are here to help, just leave us a question in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this recipe, it would help us tremendously if you left us a star rating in the comments below or on the recipe card. Do you have any questions about the recipe? Do you need a swap for any of the ingredients? We are here to help, just leave us a question in the comments below.Print
A flavorful and authentic Homemade Falafel Recipe with Tahini Sauce that will blow your mind! Use dried chickpeas, not canned, and a muffin tin to create one of the most popular street food dishes in the Middle East.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight. See Note 1
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp sweet paprika or hot paprika if you want your falafel spicy
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1/16 tsp ground cardamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Cooking spray or vegetable oil, if frying
For the Lemony Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup tahini (sesame paste)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup of cold water
For the Tomato Cucumber Salad
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes, multicolor, if available
- 1 cup chopped cucumbers, preferably Persian or Seedles
- 1 tbsp plus 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼-½ teaspoon salt
- If you are planning on banking your falafel, re-heat oven at 400F, if not go to step #3
- Generously spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
- Combine parsley and cilantro in the food processor, and pulse until very finely chopped.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor until it forms a slightly coarse dough.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and place it in the fridge and let it rest for 20-30 minutes for firm up
- Using your hands, or a small ice cream scoop form small balls or patties.
- If baking, place each one in the cavities of the mini muffin tin. The mixture will be a little loose, just squeeze it in your hands and transfer it from hand to hand until you form a falafel ball. You should use approximately 2 teaspoons of falafel mixture per falafel ball. To make it easier to form the falafel balls, use a small ice cream scoop, press the mixture tightly, and then release it into the mini muffin tin cavities. See Note 3.
- Generously spray falafel with oil spray
- Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.
- If frying, use a small saucepan or deep fryer, fill with oil, and deep fry for 5-6 minutes, until crispy.
- Another option is to pan-fry falafel
- We have not tried cooking the falafel on an air fryer yet, we will updated you when we do.
To make the lemony tahini sauce:
- In a medium bowl add tahini, lemon and salt and mix well with a fork. The tahini will thicken and will become like a thick paste. At this point, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Mixing well after adding each tablespoon. Add water until you reach the desired consistency. If making the tahini sauce ahead, note that it will thicken in the fridge and you may have to add a little more water to loosen it.
For the tomato and cucumber salad
- Place tomatoes and cucumber in a bowl and add olive oil, lemon and salt. Mix well.
- IN ORDER TO MAKE THIS RECIPE YOU WILL NEED TO SOAK THE CHICKPEAS OVERNIGHT IN TWICE THEIR VOLUME OF WATER.
- IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FREEZE THE FALAFEL FREEZE ALREADY BAKED.
- The falafel mixture may be a little sticky or loose just slightly wet your hands and roll the falafel balls by transferring them from hand to hand or using a small ice cream scoop. If you are having a hard time forming the balls, return the mixture to the food processor and pulse a few more times until it the balls hold their shape better.
- When frying, do not crowd the pan or fryer, be patient and only fry a few falafel at a time.
This post was originally published in June 2012
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: entree
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Serving Size: 4 falafel balls
- Calories: 182
- Sugar: 4
- Sodium: 420
- Fat: 7
- Unsaturated Fat: 4
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 24
- Fiber: 5.5
- Protein: 8.2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: falafel, recipe, tahini, what is falafel, how to make falafel,