Air Fryer Falafel

air fryer falafel in a pita

 The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 12 balls

The key to good falafel is the crunch—and the air fryer has what it takes to get the chickpea fritters golden and crispy. The appliance cooks falafel balls quickly and without the mess of deep frying. The texture and taste is so much better than baking, but has all of the same lower-in-oil benefits. Falafel is packed with protein and these are lower in fat since they’re cooked in the air fryer. They’re a great meat-free option for a weeknight dinner or a make-ahead lunch. Simply pop them back in the air fryer to reheat before serving. You can also easily freeze them in plastic bags for easy meal prep.

They taste delicious when served in a pita with tzatziki, feta, olives, lettuce, and tomatoes. You can also serve them with some homemade hummus or on top of a bed of rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for air fryer falafel on a marble board
  2. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and flour to your food processor. Blend until very finely minced.

    minced parsley and herbs in a food processor
  3. Dry the chickpeas as best as you can with paper towels. Add the chickpeas to the food processor and pulse gently until the chickpeas are just minced and blended with the spices. Do not over blend or it will become hummus!

    falafel mix in a food processor
  4. Put the falafel mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

  5. Form the falafel into 12 balls, dusting with more whole wheat flour as needed. Use a cookie scoop to form the balls. Set them on a plate as you form them. Only form as many as will fit in the air fryer. Don’t form them all ahead of time to preserve their shape.

    falafel balls formed on a plate
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 350 F. Spritz the falafel balls with olive oil spray. Air fry the falafel for 15 minutes, turning half way through until lightly browned.

    falafel balls in an air fryer
  7. Allow to cool slightly in the air fryer basket.

    air fryer falafel balls
  8. Serve with pita, tzatziki, hummus, and fresh veggies. Stuff it in a pita or serve on top of a rice bowl.

Recipe Tips

  • Most falafel is make with dried chickpeas. We used canned to make it easier. The key to keep the inside of the falafel fluffy and not like mashed potatoes is to blend the herbs and onions first before pulsing in the chickpeas. Be careful not to over pulse or else you will end up with hummus.
  • These are super easy because of the use of canned chickpeas, but you can also make them with dried chickpeas. Simply soak them for 12 hours and then use them as directed in the recipe above. You will get a fluffier product when using dried beans.