Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe (2024)

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This easy falafel recipe can be made in the air fryer or baked in the oven. Using canned chickpeas saves a lot of time and effort yet the falafel patties come out soft and fluffy inside, crispy on the outside and super flavorful. They are great in wraps, pitas, salads and bowls.

Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe (1)
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  • Why you'll love this recipe
  • Ingredients and Substitutions
  • How to make falafel in the air fryer
  • The oven method
  • Serving suggestions
  • Storage and freezing
  • Recipe FAQs
  • More easy air fryer recipes
  • Recipe
  • Easy Falafel Recipe (Air Fryer or Oven)
  • You may also like
  • Meet the Author

Traditionally, falafel is made with mixture of dried chickpeas (or fava beans) that have been soaked overnight, vibrant fresh herbs, onions, garlic andspices, which is formed into balls and deep fried in oil until they turn golden brown.

While I love the authentic Middle Eastern falafel recipe, it definitely requires a fair amount of time and effort. Deep frying is not something I do everyday, either so I wanted to create a super easy version of falafel without compromising the flavor and texture.

It turns out that you can make killer falafel that's crispy on the outside while being supremely soft and fluffy inside in the air fryer! Using canned chickpeas works well as long as you make sure they are dry and add a bit of flour of choice. For best results, I recommend flattening the falafel balls into discs - they stay put in the air fryer and there is more surface to crisp up.

I also tested this recipe in the oven and it works well, too. The falafel turns out a little less crispy than in the air fryer but the flavor and texture are equally great.

Why you'll love this recipe

  • This falafel recipe is quick, easy and uses simple staple ingredients
  • Using canned chickpeas cuts prep time significantly
  • Falafel is naturally vegetarian and vegan
  • Use whatever flour fits your dietary needs - all-purpose, gluten-free, almond or chickpea flour will all work

Ingredients and Substitutions

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  • Canned Chickpeas: I like Goya but any canned chickpeas will work. Make sure to rinse them well to get rid of extra salt and tin flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs: this is what gives the falafel its gorgeous color and freshness. I used parsley and cilantro but if you don't like cilantro, you can also use fresh mint and chives.
  • Onion: yellow, white, sweet or red onion will work.
  • Garlic: fresh garlic cloves is what you want. I used 2 cloves but you can add more (or none) if you like.
  • Spices: to season the patties use salt and pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and red pepper flakes.
  • Flour: this is what helps the mixture come together. All-purpose flour or chickpea flour are best choices but you can also swap for gluten-free or almond flour.
  • Baking Powder: this ingredient helps the falafel's texture become fluffy. Some recipes use baking soda instead. Mix in the baking powder into the "dough" right before forming balls.
  • Olive Oil Spray: to help the falafel patties get crispy on the outside without deep frying.

How to make falafel in the air fryer

STEP 1: Rinse and dry the chickpeas. Using a sieve, run cold water over the chickpeas, then transfer them onto a sheet of paper towel and cover with another piece of paper towel to dry.

STEP 2: Chop up onions and garlic by pulsing a few times in the food processor.

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STEP 3: Add herbs and chickpeas. Start with herbs and spices and pulse a few times to combine. Then add the chickpeas and pulse 2-3 times to roughly chop.

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STEP 4: Add flour and form the "dough". Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.

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STEP 5: Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 25 minutes. Then fold in the baking powder.

STEP 6: Form balls. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop 12 equal parts of the mixture onto a baking sheet. Then, roll into balls and flatten into discs.

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STEP 7: Air fry for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping the patties once after 8 minutes.

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The oven method

Another great way to make falafel without deep frying is to bake it in the oven. Here's how to do it:

  • Follow steps 1-6 in previous section
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Place the falafel discs (or balls) onto the prepared baking sheet spaced apart and spray with olive oil
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way baking time
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Serving suggestions

Falafel tastes best when it's served hot and crispy, immediately after air frying or baking. Here are my favorite ways to serve falafel:

  • As an appetizer with a side of dipping sauce - check this epic list of 10 Best Falafel Sauce Recipes
  • In a pita sandwich or a wrap with fresh veggies and pickles - try it with this Spiced Hummus as a spread.
  • On top of a salad or rice bowl
  • As part of a mezze platter accompanied by fresh veggies, dips and pita - check out my Falafel Platter post for some inspiration
  • Try it with a side of my Mediterranean Yellow Rice or this flavorful Greek Chickpea Salad.
  • If you are looking for more vegetarian air fryer ideas, try this Air Fryer Eggplant or these Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries
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Storage and freezing

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days
  • To freeze, allow cooled falafel on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer to an airtight container or a ziploc bag and use up within 3 months
  • To reheat from fresh, place the falafel on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes in the oven preheated to 375 degrees or air fry for 2-3 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • You can also reheat frozen cooked falafel on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes turning once.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use dried chickpeas?

Yes, definitely! Soak them overnight, drain and dry, then use as you would canned chickpeas (no need to cook the chickpeas before adding to food processor).

How should I shape the falafel for air frying?

You can either shape them into balls or discs. Personally, I prefer discs because they don't roll around the basket of the air fryer and crisp up nicely all over.

How do I make the falafel crispy without deep frying?

Don't crowd the patties in the air fryer and use a good amount of olive oil spray both for the air fryer basket and to spray directly on the falafel.

What's the best air fryer to use?

I love my 7 quart basket style Go Wise air fryer which large is perfect for our family of 5.

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More easy air fryer recipes

  • Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
  • Air Fryer Sliced Potatoes
  • Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs
  • Pork Kebabs {Air Fryer or Oven}

If you tried recipes from this roundup or any other recipe on my site, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it turned out in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you! Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to see more recipes.

Recipe

Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe (15)

Easy Falafel Recipe (Air Fryer or Oven)

This easy falafel recipe can be made in an air fryer or oven. It uses canned chickpeas, onion, garlic, spices and herbs.

5 from 53 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course

Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern

Servings: 12 falafel patties

Calories: 62kcal

Author: Agnieszka

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas 15.5 oz, rinsed, drained and dried on paper towels
  • 1 onion, quartered large
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup all-purpopse flour or chickpea flour or almond flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • olive oil spray
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Place onion and garlic in a bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until roughly chopped.

  • Add chopped parsley, chopped cilantro and spices. Pulse until combined.

  • Add canned chickpeas (rinsed, drained and dried on paper towels) and pulse 2-3 times. Don't overprocess! The chickpeas should be roughly chopped, not pureed.

  • Finally, add the flour and pulse 2-3 times more until just combined. If you prefer, you can empty the mixture into a bowl and fold in the flour with a rubber spatula.

  • Transfer the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or a lid) and refrigerate for 2 hours (or longer) or freeze for 25 minutes.

  • Add baking powder and fold it in with a rubber spatula or a spoon - this addition will make the falafel fluffy inside.

  • Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or a spoon, divide the "dough" into 12 balls, then roll into uniform balls using your fingers. I like my falafel balls slightly flattened into discs for more crispiness but you can keep them as balls - the choice is yours!

  • Spray the basket of an air fryer with olive oil spray, then place the falafel inside spaced apart. Spray with more olive oil spray.

  • Air fry for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping once after 8 minutes.

Notes

Make sure to rinse the canned chickpeas thoroughly under cold water and dry them on paper towels. I usually place them on a doubled up sheet of paper towel, cover with another sheet and leave to dry while I'm chopping herbs. If your chickpeas are too wet, you will need to add more flour, which is not ideal.

Don't overprocess the mixture. Only pulse a few times at each step. Chunky dough with visible pieces of chickpeas and herbs is what you want.

If you don't like cilantro, swap it for more parsley or replace with other fresh herbs such as mint or chives.

To make falafel in the oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, place the falafel on a paper lined baking sheet, spray with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ball | Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg

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Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe (20)

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Agnieszka. I'm a mom of three and recipe developer, writer and photographer behind Wholly Tasteful. I love creating comforting, delicious, family-friendly recipes that you can feel good about.

Learn more about me →

Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe (2024)
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