A flavorful and authentic Falafel Recipe with Tahini Sauce that will blow your mind! Use fresh 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. The crispy outside of a properly-cooked falafel is so delicious and satisfying we could eat it every day!
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made of mostly chickpeas or fava beans (or even both!). They’re soaked and then ground up with delicious spices before being cooked. 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, you can make a 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.
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.
- 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. Let the falafel 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! Coat them with a generous amount of oil spray before putting the formed patties in. Bake or fry for a crispier texture.
- Freeze. If you want to freeze falafel, do it after cooking.
What to Serve with Falafel
This is the best part: eating your homemade falafel! Serve falafel with tahini sauce, Israeli salad, pickles, and hot sauce. Yum! Here are a few favorite recipes for serving alongside falafel:
More Falafel Recipes!
- Falafel-flavored Gluten-free Crackers
- Falafel Veggie Burger with Avocado Tahini Cream
- Falafel Bowl with Avocado and Tahini Sriracha
- Shawarma Spiced Chickpeas
- Cauliflower Bowl with Harissa Roasted Chickpeas
- Homemade Falafel with Lemony Tahini Sauce
- 20-Minute Shakshuka
- Creamiest Homemade Hummus
- Mashed Butternut Squash with Spiced Chickpeas
- Easy Hummus Recipe with Shawarma Mushrooms
- Shawarma Chickpea Rice Bowl
- Braised Curried Kale with Spiced Chickpeas
- Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Tempeh Bacon Bits
- Easy Pasta Salad with Chickpeas
- Fennel and Chickpea Stew
- Moroccan Harira Soup
- The Ultimate Grillable Veggie Burger
- Easy Tomato and Chickpea Salad
- Roasted Beet Hummus
- Chana Masala Over Celeriac Puree
- Cauliflower Chickpea Sheet Pan Dinner
- Wheat Berry and Chickpeas Soup
- Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
- Buddah Bowl
- Watermelon Steak Salad
- Cashew Ricotta Pizza
- Cauliflower Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
- Smashed Chickpea Salad
- Quinoa, Chickpea and Beet Burger
- Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas with Cheese Croutons
- Food Memories Salad
- Sweet and Savory Moroccan Couscous
This post was originally published in June 2012 and updated on August 30, 2020
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A flavorful and authentic Homemade Falafel Recipe with Lemony Tahini Sauce that will blow your mind! Use fresh chickpeas and a muffin tin to create one of the most popular dishes in the Middle East.
- 1 cup raw 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 grpund 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
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 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼-½ tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven at 400F
- Generously spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
- Combine parsley and cilantro in the food processor, pulse until very finely chopped.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and baking powder to the food processor
- If baking the falafel, pulse a few times until all the ingredients are well combined, but not completely smooth. Check the image on the post for texture. If frying the falafel, process the falafel mixture until smooth otherwise it will fall apart in the frying oil.
- Place mixture in a bowl, add olive oil and baking powder and mix well
- Place the mixture in the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Using your hands, or a small ice cream scoop form small balls and place them in the mini muffin tin. The mixture will be a little loose, just squeeze it in your hands and transfer from hand to hand until you form a loose falafel ball. You should use approximately 2 teaspoons per falafel ball. To make it easier for form the falafel balls, use a small ice cream scoop, pressing the mixture tightly and then releasing it into the mini muffin tin cavities. See Note 3.
- Generously spray falafel with oil spray
- Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or fry in abundant oil about 2 minutes per side.
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 use a small ice cream scoop. If you are having a hard time forming the balls, return mixture to the food processor and pulse a few more times until it the balls hold together better.
- 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,