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You don’t have to travel across the world to have good falafel—in fact, you can make it easily at home. While it’s not that hard to make from scratch, it does require a few specialty ingredients and a bit of time. Enter these quick-and-easy falafel mixes, which require no additional ingredients beyond water (and whatever condiments or salads you want to top it with) and come together quickly in a frying pan or oven.
Not all falafel mixes are created equal; some are spicier, saltier, drier, crunchier, or just downright better than others. We had our experienced home cook and product tester taste a bunch to weed out the not-so-great varieties and confirm that the rest are worthy.
Here are the best falafel ball mixes, according to our at-home taste tests.
Best Overall: Ziyad Premium Vegetable Burger Falafel Mix
Extremely flavorful with a little spice
Hard to form into larger balls
What do buyers say? 83% of 1,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
This Lebanese brand was easily our tester’s favorite, thanks to its nuanced flavor that didn’t rely too much on salt and a perfectly crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture that wasn’t too dry. The ingredients are simple and recognizable, with an all-chickpea base and long list of spices—cumin, sesame seeds, coriander, parsley, garlic, black pepper, turmeric, crushed red chili pepper, and red chili powder—that explains why it’s so full of delicious flavor. Plus, it’s easy on your wallet and super easy to make. All you need to do is add water and let it rest for 30 minutes before forming the balls and frying.
Net Weight: 12 ounces | Yield: 9 balls per 1-cup mix | Servings Per Box: 2
Best Budget: Galil Vegetarian Falafel Mix
Short rest time
Easy to form
A bit bland
Doesn't get very crunchy
These are super easy and fast to make; after adding water, the rest time for the mix is a mere 15 minutes before you can form the balls and start frying them. These were some of the easiest balls to form, because the mixture was very moist—the directions stipulate adding 1 and 2/3-cup of water, which was the largest amount of water added in any mix that our tester tried. However, that may have contributed to the balls being on the mushier side, even when deep fried. If you prefer smoother, softer falafel balls, though, this mix is perfect. Flavor-wise, it was on the blander side, but you could always add your own spices to kick up the flavor. This mix comes from Israel and is kosher and vegan but not gluten-free.
Net Weight: 12.5 ounces | Yield: 12 balls | Servings Per Box: 1
Best Flavor: Cortas Falafel Instant Mix
Needs to rest for two hours
Only one serving per box
Another Lebanese brand, these falafel balls are packed with flavor and super crunchy. Part chickpea and part fava bean, the spices aren’t listed (the package just says “spices”), but they’ve got something good going on, whatever it is. These are as easy to make as the others (just add water), but for some reason, the directions say to let the mixture rest for a full two hours before forming balls and frying. Our tester cheated a little and started forming balls at one hour and 45 minutes. The long rest period does require some advance planning, as making a last-minute meal with these is a bit harder to accomplish.
Net Weight: 7 ounces | Yield: 12 balls | Servings Per Box: 1
Best Baked: Tazah Falafel Mix
8 grams of protein per serving
Only needs to rest for 10 to 20 minutes
Clear frying and baking directions
A little hard and grainy
Another Lebanese brand, Tazah’s falafel mix contains chickpeas and fava beans spiced with garlic, onion, coriander, salt, and other spices, and also has corn starch plus baking soda and disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate as rising agents, giving it one of the longer ingredient lists of the mixes that were tested. That said, these produced the best baked option, turning out the crunchiest balls without frying, which is hard to achieve, although they were also a bit dry and would benefit from condiments. A bonus: The box has some creative serving ideas beyond the usual pita, like a falafel burger topped with feta cheese and cucumber yogurt sauce or a salad with lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Net Weight: 7 ounces | Yield: 15 balls | Servings Per Box: 1
Best High-Protein: Trader Joe's Falafel Mix, Multi-Pack
Flavorful with lots of visible parsley
More expensive online than at Trader Joe’s
A little dry
This fragrant mix has a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving (three falafel balls). They clearly crammed a lot of fava beans and chickpeas into the mix, and there are also plenty of herbs and spices—you can see the parsley flakes clearly, which is a nice touch. More importantly, these balls taste pretty good, even when baked, although they could be more moist. These balls are also vegan, gluten-free, and kosher.
Net Weight: 16 ounces | Yield: 9 balls | Servings Per Box: 2
Best Gluten-Free: Tarazi Falafel Mix
Baked and fried instructions
Easy to form balls
No common allergens
Very salty and a bit dry
Promises 12 balls, but only got 9
This vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free mix has a simple list of ingredients: chickpeas, fava beans, salt, spices, garlic powder, onion powder, baking powder, dehydrated parsley, and sunflower oil. There are clear instructions for baking and frying, and after you add water and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes, the mixture has a good consistency that allows for easy patty forming. However, the box says it makes 12 balls, but our tester only got nine—and they weren’t very large.
Net Weight: 16 ounces | Yield: 9-12 balls | Servings Per Box: 2
Best Spicy: Jerusalem Foods Falafil Vegetable Burger Mix
Instructions for frying, baking, grilling, and broiling
Gluten-free and vegan
A little dry
If you like spice, these crunchy chickpea-based falafel balls are for you. Made with multiple kinds of peppers, along with onions, parsley, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, and other spices, these have a kick that lingers. Interestingly, the box has directions for frying, baking, grilling, and broiling—something our tester didn’t see with any other brand, but it had her experimenting with all the ways to achieve a golden crust and chewy interior. The spicy falafel balls especially benefit from a cooling sauce, like hummus, tahini, or tzatziki, and taste great in a pita.
Net Weight: 14 ounces | Yield: 12 balls | Servings Per Box: 2
For a vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, and egg-free flavorful meal that has the crunchy-on-the-outside and chewy-on-the-inside texture you expect in falafel, we recommend the Ziyad Premium Vegetable Burger Falafel Mix. If you’re on a tight budget, Galil Vegetarian Falafel Mix can get dinner on the table for just a few dollars.
What to Look for in Falafel Mix
Falafel isn’t that hard to make from scratch, so if you’re going to buy a mix, it should ideally save you more time. If you have to soak it for several hours or overnight, you may just want to go the homemade route, although with a mix, you won’t have to gather all the ingredients. Also, keep in mind frying and baking times, which aren’t typically included on the box.
Most mixes call for you to add water to the dehydrated powder mix and have simple ingredients, such as salt, spices, and baking soda or some other rising agent. The mixes have chickpeas, fava bean, or a combination of the two as a base. Some mixes do have wheat flour added, so if you’re sensitive to gluten, make sure to read the ingredient label carefully.
Some of these mixes are only meant for one meal, while others are meant to be used multiple times by just using a portion of the powder instead of the whole sachet at once. If you’re going to be storing the remaining powder, make sure the package reseals well, or rehome it in a good storage container. You don’t need to put it in the refrigerator or freezer, but you can.
How do you make falafel mix?
Most falafel mixes are very easy to make. Typically, all you need to do is add water (the amount is noted on the box) to the mix and let it rest for a certain amount of time (also noted on the box). After the rest period, you form the mixture into small balls or patties using your hands, a falafel mold, or a spoon. Then, you can either fry or bake them according to the package directions. They can be eaten plain or served with condiments, salads, or pickles, and in a pita or bun if you wish.
What can you add to falafel mix?
Most falafel mix just calls for some water, but feel free to customize the blend to your liking by adding more spices or finely chopped aromatics, like onions and garlic, or fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro, and chives.
Can you freeze falafel mix?
You can freeze falafel mix if you’d like. However, because falafel mix isn’t all that perishable to begin with, it’s not really necessary. If you’re worried about pests getting into your open falafel mix, though, and you’d like to keep it in a very cold, dark place, absolutely feel free to store your mix in the freezer. Otherwise, you could invest in glass or plastic storage containers.
Can you make falafel in an air fryer?
Yes, you can make falafel in an air fryer. All you need to do is spray the air fryer basket with a vegetable oil spray and place the balls in a single layer, about an inch apart. Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Why Trust the Spruce Eats?
Devorah Lev-Tov is a falafel lover married to an Israeli man who makes sure she only eats authentic Middle Eastern food. Her product and restaurant reviews, chef interviews, and other food and travel stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Simply Recipes, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, Vogue, Eater, Thrillist, and more. Devorah personally tested all of the falafel mixes featured on this roundup.