Quick and Easy Falafel Recipe

Falafel on a white platter
The Spruce
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 18 falafel
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
934 Calories
85g Fat
37g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 934
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 85g 109%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 608mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 7mg 33%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 388mg 8%
*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.)

This easy falafel recipe brings together chickpeas and a handful of seasonings to create an enviable crispy-on-the-outside and fluffy and moist texture on the inside. Falafel is popular food around in the Middle East, where vendors sell it on street corners in places such as Egypt, Greece, Syria, and Israel. It's also popular among vegetarians; falafel is flavorful, thanks to the parsley, garlic, cumin, and coriander, and contains a good deal of protein, because of the chickpeas.

Traditional falafel recipes use dried chickpeas and can be time-consuming because of the soaking needed to make the chickpeas soft before you cook them. Proponents of this method believe that cooking the chickpeas from their dried state results in falafel that taste better and doesn't fall apart when you fry it in a hot pan. (It helps to make sure your chickpeas are completely dry before you incorporate them with the rest of the ingredients.) This recipe, however, is for falafel from canned chickpeas, which ​cuts down on preparation time and the flour helps to bind it. It's perfect for those who want an easy falafel recipe that can be made on a weeknight.

Falafel is great on its own, with chunks of cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese and tahini sauce or a yogurt-based tzatziki sauce for dipping. Or tuck the falafel into a warm pita with any of those ingredients, along with some red onion, too. You can also serve it as part of a bigger mezze spread with hummus, tabbouleh, and other dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, more as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy falafel recipe

    The Spruce

  2. Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and combine well.

    Falafel ingredients combined together in a bowl

    The Spruce 

  3. Mash chickpeas, making sure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together and the mixture binds easily when shaped into a ball. (Alternatively, you can combine ingredients in a food processor. Pulse, then process, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is mostly smooth, about 1 minute.) Add an extra tablespoon of flour if the mixture is too sticky. You want the result to be a thick paste.

    Mashed falafel ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce

  4. Form the mixture into the size of a ping-pong ball. Slightly flatten.

    Falafel mixture formed into small balls on a white serving dish

    The Spruce 

  5. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high until the oil shimmers. Shallow-fry the falafel in batches to avoid crowding the pan, 2 to 5 minutes per batch, flipping when browned on one side and adding more oil if needed. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.

    Fry falafel chickpea balls
     The Spruce
  6. Serve falafel by itself, or with warm pita bread with veggies, or tahini sauce.

    Finished falafel can be served by itself
     The Spruce

Can You Replace All-Purpose Flour with Chickpea Flour

Yes, you can replace the all-purpose flour with chickpea flour if you have it in your pantry. It would give the falafel an extra nutty taste and boost the protein content slightly from the chickpeas. You can even make your own chickpea flour if you like.


Recipe Variation

If you don't want to deep-fry or pan-fry the falafel, you can bake it instead. Here's how.


Heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick oil spray or line it with parchment paper. Place the falafel balls 3 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for an extra 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.