Falafel Hot Sauce

Falafel hot sauce in glass near falafels

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
11 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 11
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 130mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A popular fast-food dish in the Middle East and a favorite among vegetariansfalafels are deep-fried balls or patties that are made from chickpeas or fava beans and spices. As a main dish, they are served as a sandwich stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, they are served on a salad or with hummus and tahini. It's common for hot sauce to be served alongside falafel, either for drizzling on a falafel pita sandwich or for dipping. Our easy sauce recipe is perfect for adding beautiful, bright flavor.

The spices in the sauce are important and should be personalized to taste. One of the main ingredients in this hot sauce recipe is harissa, which is a hot chili paste that is commonly found in North African cooking, mainly Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. You can find harissa in specialty stores, online, and in some upscale grocery stores, but your best bet would be Middle Eastern markets.

In the Middle East, falafel is sold everywhere by street vendors in Israel, Egypt, and Syria. It is actually the national dish of Israel, but its fame has spread globally because, besides being delicious, it makes a wonderful vegetarian option for a growing population of non-meat eaters. Now that there are plenty of falafel mixes to be found, making this dish at home has become very easy. With this tasty sauce on the side, it'd be, without a doubt, a wonderful dinner. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


  • 3/4 cup tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa, or hot sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, stems removed and finely chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for falafel hot sauce recipe gathered

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  2. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.

    Combine ingredients in a sauce pan

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  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Bring ingredients to a boil in pot

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  4. Serve the falafel hot sauce immediately as a dip for falafel or drizzle onto a falafel pita sandwich

    Serve hot sauce with falafel

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  5. Enjoy!

How to Use Falafel Hot Sauce

Our tomato-based hot sauce is great on falafel, but it can be used in multiple other ways to add some spiciness to your favorite recipes.

What can I substitute for harissa?

If you can't find harissa and want to try a new spicy flavor, use these combinations to achieve hot perfection:

  • For a very spicy kick, blend all of the ingredients before cooking with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne and 1 to 2 rehydrated chiles de árbol. Alternatively, blend all of the ingredients with 1 teaspoon of cayenne with 1 to 2 rehydrated ancho chilies. Cook as directed.
  • For medium spiciness, blend all of the ingredients before cooking with 1 to 2 guajillo chiles or 3 to 4 poblano peppers. Cook as directed.