The Best Falafel Recipe • tender and bright green! (2024)

The best falafel near you? It’s right in your own kitchen! This falafel recipe is crispy on the outside, a moist emerald green on the inside, garlicky, with lots of warm spices like cumin and coriander, and has the perfect fluffy texture.

The Best Falafel Recipe • tender and bright green! (1)

the perfect falafel recipe

Falafel is the original veggie burger and this falafel recipe is the best I’ve ever had! Falafel, or Middle Eastern chickpea fritters, are deep dried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas or fava beans. They’re eaten wrapped in pita bread, on top of salads, or just as a snack. Drenched in the requisite thick, lemony tahini sauce, it’s simply divine.

Falafel is sold on streets all over the middle east, and in restaurants worldwide. McDonald’s Egypt even sells a McFalafel sandwich (I’m so jealous.) And over many years of enjoying falafel in different parts of the globe, I’m confident that this homemade version is the very best, outside of maybe that secret little shop in Beirut or Tel Aviv. You’re going to love the flavor and the fluffy texture, so let’s get going.

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I adore falafel, but like many delicious foods, it can be tricky. It can be tough, or dry, under or over cooked, lacing in flavor…the list goes on. But once you know the ropes, you’ll never be without the best falafel in the world.

1. start with dried chickpeas that are soaked tender but not cooked

This is the number one secret to authentic falafel. Don’t be tempted by the convenience of canned chickpeas, they will make a mushy fritter. Cooked chickpeas make a falafel that can fall apart in the oil, and they will not have the correct texture. And luckily, actually, soaking chickpeas overnight is much easier than cooking them, so it’s a win win.

2. I personally feel that great falafel needs lots of fresh herbs

The best falafel recipes call for lots of fresh parsley and cilantro. You’ll get the beautiful surprise of a bright emerald green when you cut through the mahogany brown crust, and the herbs add tons of moisture and flavor. Falafel must be green.

3. a bit of flour helps bind the mixture so the falafel don’t fall apart as they fry

This is controversial, some say there should be no flour in falafel, but I’ve found it necessary. You can use all purpose flour, or chickpea flour to keep this falafel recipe gluten free.

4. a little baking powder

You’ll blend it into the falafel mixture and when the falafel cooks, the baking powder will release carbon dioxide gas to create a lighter, fluffier, result.

The Best Falafel Recipe • tender and bright green! (3)ingredients for the best falafel recipe

  • dried chickpeas that have been soaked but not cooked.
  • baking soda, for adding to the soaking liquid.
  • parsley and cilantro ~ these must be fresh. Lop the tops of 2 bunches and add them right to the processor.
  • garlic ~ fresh garlic adds a wonderful kick.
  • red onion ~ you can also use green onions but I love red onion best.
  • cumin and coriander ~ these dried spices are traditional.
  • lemon zest and juice
  • hot pepper, optional, but I love it. I use 1/2 a jalapeño pepper but you could also add some red pepper flakes.
  • flour ~ helps bind the mixture. You can use garbanzo flour for a gluten free choice.
  • baking powder~ this will create a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • salt


The method for this falafel recipe is simple: whiz the whole lot in your food processor. If you don’t have a full sized machine you’ll need to do it in batches. Process until everything is finely ground but not so far that it becomes a paste. You want to see a little texture in the falafel mixture. It should hold together when you squeeze it in your hand, but will fall apart easily as well, like wet sand.

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which is best, falafel balls or patties?

The shape of your falafel is up to you, and depends on how you like to eat them and how you want to fry them. This falafel recipe can be made into balls or patties. To shape the balls I use a small cookie scoop and for the patties I use a larger cookie scoop and then flatten into shape with my hands.

  • round balls,portioned with a small scoop and rolled gently in your palms are best for snacking, or as part of a salad or appetizer plate. They also are best when you are able to deep fry them, so they stay nice and round. They aren’t a good choice for shallow pan frying because of their round shape.

  • pattiesare great when you want to stuff pita pockets for sandwiches. They can be deep fried, but can also be shallow fried in a pan because of their flatter shape.

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how to serve falafel

This epic falafel recipe can be served warm or at room temperature.

Serve them as is as a snack, an appetizer, or as part of a bigger mezze selection. Serve tahini sauce or yogurt based tzatziki sauce on the side for dipping; never serve without some sort of dip.

A classic way to enjoy falafel is stuffed inside a pita bread pocket. I like to fill the bottom of the pita with hummus, them some greens, topped with the falafel and some tahini sauce. You can also stuff the pita with chopped tomatoes and cucumber, or even some Israeli salad, chopped finely.

You can top a plate of freshly made hummus with falafel balls.

Probably my favorite way to use falafel is in salads, check out my Falafel Salad Bowl, it makes a main course out of these delicious fritters.

Once you’ve fried up your very own falafel, you’re going to need some of my Homemade Pita Bread to go with it!

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falafel faqs

can you make falafel ahead

Your falafel mix will keep beautifully in the fridge for a day or two so you can do the work one day, and then scoop it out and fry fresh falafel when you want it. This is my best meal prep secret!

is falafel healthy

Falafel is deep fried in oil, so to that extent it is not considered a particularly healthy food. But the ingredients that make it up are very nutritious and it is an excellent replacement for less healthy meat in the diet. Eaten in moderation, falafel is part of a prudent diet. And it’s delicious 🙂

is falafel vegan

Definitely. So is the pita bread, salad, and tahini sauce that it’s normally eaten with.

can you bake falafel

Baked falafel is frankly not nearly as good. If you really can’t stand deep frying, you can shape your falafel into patties and shallow fry them on the stove. If you want to bake, do it at 375F, and brush your patties generously on both sides with oil. Bake until crispy, flipping once. It should take about 25 minutes, but watch carefully for over browning.

can you make falafel in the air fryer

Yes, you can, although I haven’t tried it personally. Again, it won’t be nearly as good as frying the traditional way, but it can be done. Set the machine to 350F and spray both the basket and the falafel patties with oil. Cook in a single layer for 8 minutes. Then flip the patties and let them fry for another 5 or 6 minutes.

can you freeze falafel

Yes. You can freeze it raw or cooked. To freeze raw falafel, form it into balls or patties, arrange them on a lined baking sheet and put into the freezer until solid. Then transfer to a freezer safe container or a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag. Use within 6 months.Thaw the frozen falafel in the refrigerator overnight, then cook as usual.

To freeze cooked falafel freeze in a freezer safe container or heavy duty zip lock bags. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and reheat wrapped loosely in foil in a low oven until hot.

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“I am SO glad I found this recipe. These were by far the best falafel I have ever made, and quite possibly the best I have ever had. Thank you, Sue! I’m new to your site… this recipe has made a devoted follower out of me !!” ~Robin

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The Best Falafel Recipe

3.57 from 341 votes

The best falafel recipe is a tender Middle Eastern chickpea fritter that's crispy on the outside, and brilliant emerald green on the inside!

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Prep Time:15 minutes minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes minutes

Total Time:20 minutes minutes

Servings: 6 servings


  • 3 cups (500 grams) soaked chickpeas Note: use dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight, but do not cook them. See instructions for soaking chickpeas below.
  • 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 small hot chile pepper, sliced , I used a Serrano
  • a large handful of parsley, tender stems are ok, this will be about a packed cup.
  • a large handful of cilantro, tender stems are ok. This will be about a packed cup.
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour, or chickpea flour
  • vegetable oil for frying

tahini sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch salt
  • water for thinning


  • Measure out 3 cups (500 grams) of soaked and drained chickpeas. Note: you are starting with dried chickpeas that have been soaked, but not cooked.

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  • Put the soaked beans, fresh herbs, onion, garlic cloves, hot pepper, lemon zest and juice, spices, salt, baking powder, and flour in the bowl of a full sized food processor. Your machine will be full. Note: if your machine is smaller, do this in batches.

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  • Pulse the machine repeatedly to break everything down.

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  • Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Run again until the mixture is evenly blended but still has some texture, like coarse sand. It should hold together when you squeeze it between your fingers, but also fall apart easily. It should have a texture similar to wet sand. Note: you can refrigerate the mixture at this point for up to 2 days ahead of time.

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  • Using your hands or a small cookie scoop portion out the mixture and roll into balls or form patties. The mixture will be delicate, so use a gentle touch.

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  • If you are using a deep fryier or a deep pot for frying, heat your oil to about 340F. Use a thermometor to check the temperature. Your oil should be at least 3 inches deep. Note: You can also shallow fry patties in a pan on the stove.

  • When the oil is hot, gently lower the balls or patties into the oil with a slotted spoon. Work in batches so you don't crowd your pan. Fry the falafel for about 2 to 3 minutes, until they are a nice deep brown on the outside and fluffy inside. If they are getting too dark, lower the temperature of your oil. If they are not turning golden within a minute, turn up the temperature a bit.

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  • Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with tahini sauce.

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  • Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and enough cold water to make a sauce. Taste to adjust the lemon and salt. Note: be sure to stir your jar of tahini thoroughly before measuring, as it separates.



*This recipe has been updated 4/21

To soak dried chickpeas:

Rinse 3 cups dried chickpeas and put in a large bowl. Add cold water to cover by several inches. Stir in 1 tsp of baking soda.

Let sit on the counter overnight, then drain.

Measure out 3 cups or 500 grams of beans for this recipe. You will have extra beans which you can use in salads or to make hummus.

NEW FEATURE! Click here to add your own private notes.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Author: Sue Moran

Keyword: beans, garbanzo, healthy, meatless, Middle Eastern, vegan, vegetarian


Calories: 572 kcal · Carbohydrates: 71 g · Protein: 24 g · Fat: 24 g · Saturated Fat: 8 g · Sodium: 625 mg · Potassium: 1149 mg · Fiber: 20 g · Sugar: 11 g · Vitamin A: 1135 IU · Vitamin C: 21 mg · Calcium: 198 mg · Iron: 10 mg

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although The View from Great Island attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Did You Make This?We love seeing what you’ve made! Tag us on social media at @theviewfromgreatisland for a chance to be featured.

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The Best Falafel Recipe • tender and bright green! (2024)


Why is my falafel green? ›

Why are chickpea falafels green? Falafel lovers will tell you that authentic falafels should be crispy (deep-fried) and green on the inside. That green color comes from fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley. These green falafels are green through and through and also include those fragrant fresh herbs.

What is the difference between green and brown falafel? ›

The difference between brown and green falafel comes from the first is being made of chickpeas (garbanzo, uniquely without any green leave like fresh cilantro, and the second is made from grinded sprouted fava beans which is deep green.

Why is Israeli falafel green? ›

The inside of falafel may be green (from green herbs such as parsley or green onion), or tan.

What does baking soda do in falafel? ›

Baking soda and powder: Baking soda breaks down and softens the chickpeas as they soak. Baking powder, mixed in just before baking, makes the falafel light and airy. Fresh herbs: The tender leaves of parsley, dill, and cilantro bring fresh, herbal flavor and color.

Why are some of my chickpeas green? ›

Green chickpeas are essentially unripe or young chickpeas that are harvested before they fully mature and dry up.

Why do I feel sick after eating falafel? ›

As you know Falafel is made from soaked raw chickpeas, which is indigestible to the human body causing stomach pain, gas, and other adverse symptoms. Raw chickpeas have antinutrients and toxins that can harm your digestive system, from discomfort to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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.

What is the difference between Egyptian and Lebanese falafel? ›

Egyptian Falafel is made with Fava beans, and Syrian Falafel, just like Israeli and Lebanese falafel is made with chick-peas. Jordanian/Palestinian Falafel is made the same way.

Is it OK to eat falafel everyday? ›

It can be eaten daily but in moderation, if not in some people it may cause bloating an abdominal discomfort. Is falafel a healthy protein source? Falafel is a plant-based protein champ, filled with proteins from chickpeas or fava beans. It's a fitting choice for vegetarians or vegans.

Which country has the best falafel? ›

Best countries to taste and experience falafel

Traditionally, the best countries to enjoy falafel can be found in the Levant, from the Middle East to Northern Africa. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine are great foodie destinations with world-class falafel in every other corner.

What is Lebanese falafel made of? ›

Falafel is a Middle Eastern recipe that is basically mashed chickpeas with herbs and seasonings formed into patties and fried. It's a traditional food in Lebanon that's made with only a few ingredients and served plain with tahini sauce, hummus, or garlic sauce for dipping, or as a falafel sandwich or falafel wrap.

Do Muslims eat falafel? ›

Many Muslim and Jewish diners love falafels. Islamic and Jewish dietary laws enjoy a host of parallels. They share the ban on the consumption of pork and blood. They also put a great focus on maintaining cleanliness to ensure the purity of their food.

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.

Why is my falafel so soft? ›

Too much moisture can result in a softer texture, so be sure to drain and rinse your chickpeas well before mashing them. Chill the mixture: Before forming your falafels, chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will help to firm up the mixture and prevent it from falling apart during cooking.

Why is my falafel not fluffy? ›

They have to have enough fresh herbs and onion. Too much onion and your falafel will have a bad after taste. Too little and they won't be as moist and fluffy as they should be. It's all about balance.

What is the difference between red and green falafel? ›

Red one has a pungent accent of red bell pepper and extra juiciness acquired from a raw blended pepper. Green falafel comes with a fresh overwhelming aroma of herbs. Orange and red falafel somewhat spicy as both include hot pepper for extra fun. As usually with this kind of food, it's great right off the pan.

Can falafel spoil? ›

Homemade falafel, both cooked and uncooked, is perishable and should always be stored in the refrigerator within two hours of both preparing and cooking. Store both unused falafel mix and cooked falafel in the refrigerator, covered, for up to four days.

Does falafel go bad? ›

be used within four days. requirements must still be followed. a less appealing texture when cooked. falafel within that time frame, try freezing it instead.

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