The Best Falafel Recipe

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The Best Falafel EVER! 7

The Best Falafel is crispy on the outside, a brilliant emerald green on the inside, with tons of flavor and a great fluffy texture!  This classic vegan snack is one of my all time favorites!

A small plate with a stack of The Best Falafel

It’s been a great lineup of recipes so far this week at TVFGI.  I’m not much of a meal planner, and so what we eat on any given day is always a bit of an adventure, and I’m never quite sure how it will play out, blogging wise.   Sometimes I’ll let the larder go almost completely bare and I have to get creative with what I’ve got, (ripe bananas) and other times I’ll pass something amazing at the farmer’s market or the grocery store (gorgeous artichokes) that determines  the menu for the day.  I found the inspiration for the best falafel ever as I flipped through a new cookbook late last night in bed,  I’m so glad I didn’t nod off before I came across this new method for making one of my favorite treats.

A plate of The Best Falafel ready to be fried

I’ve always loved falafel.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it, falafel are delicately spiced Middle Eastern fritters made with chick peas.  The round or patty shaped mixture is deep fried and there are lots of ways to eat it… on the street it’s sold wrapped up in pita or Middle Eastern flatbread.  I like it on top of a salad.  You can also serve it as part of an appetizer platter, but however you choose to enjoy it it’s always accompanied by a thick, lemony tahini sauce.  The best is crunchy on the outside, fluffy and well seasoned inside.   It should be garlicky, with lots of warm spices like cumin and coriander.

The Best Falafel on a yellow plate, with one cut open to reveal a bright emerald green

I add TONS of fresh herbs like parsley and coriander to mine because it gives it a wonderful fresh flavor and you get the beautiful surprise of a bright emerald green when you cut through the mahogany brown crust.  There is even some hot chile pepper in there which gives a little bit of heat.  I’ve experimented with various recipes over the years, and I’ve eaten falafel in countless restaurants, so trust me when I tell you, I’ve hit on one amazing recipe this time.  We ate these over the course of two nights with salad, hummus, and flatbread.  I fried the falafel fresh each night, and they were even better the second time around.

The Best Falafel just out of the frying oil, draining on a rack

If you love falafel, check out my FALAFEL SALAD BOWL, it makes a main course out of these delicious fritters.

a small plate with The Best Falafel, fresh mint, and tahini sauce

Once you’ve fried up your falafel, you’re going to need some of my HOMEMADE PITA BREAD to go with it!

an overhead photo of a piece of pita bread ~ How to make pita bread

The Best Falafel I’ve Ever Made!
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21 ratings

Yield: approximately 2 dozen small falafel (serves 4-6)

The Best Falafel I’ve Ever Made!


  • 3 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small hot chile pepper (I used a Serrano)
  • a large handful of parsley, large stems removed (1 packed cup)
  • a large handful of cilantro, large stems removed (1 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 soda
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour, or you can use any alternative flour you like
  • vegetable oil for frying
    tahini sauce
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch salt
  • water for thinning


  1. To soak dried chickpeas, rinse them and then put them in a large bowl. Cover with lots of cold water and soak for 12 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse them, and then measure out 3 cups, which should be about 1 lb. Note, you will have some leftover chickpeas.
  2. Cut the half onion into quarters and drop into the food processor as the machine is running. Follow with the garlic cloves. Cut the pepper in half and drop that in too.
  3. Stop the machine and add in the fresh parsley and cilantro. Use lots of herbs, if you need a way to measure, use a firmly packed cup of each. The herbs filled my processor to the top before I processed them. Process the herbs until finely minced. Stop and scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas to the machine and pulse until they start to break down. Scrape down the sides of the machine, and process until the mixture is even and finely ground, but not pasty. It is ready when a bit of the mixture holds together when you press it between your fingers.
  5. Remove the mixture to a bowl and lightly mix in the salt, baking soda, flour, cumin, ground coriander, lemon zest and juice. Make sure it is well combined, but don't compact the mixture.
  6. Heat your oil to 340- 350F, using a clip on thermometer to check the temperature. Your oil should be at least 3 inches deep.
  7. Using a 1 1/2 inch scoop, scoop out the mixture and roll between your palms to form into round balls. They will be about the size of large walnuts. Set on a plate.
  8. When the oil is hot, gently lower the balls into the oil with a slotted spoon. Work in batches so you don't crowd your pan. Fry the falafel for about 4 to 5 minutes, until they are a nice deep brown.
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Serve hot with tahini sauce. Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and enough water to make a pourable sauce. Taste to adjust the seasonings.


This recipe is slightly adapted from Olives, Lemons & Za'atar



Don’t forget to pin The Best Falafel!

The Best Falafel is crispy on the outside, a brilliant emerald green on the inside, with tons of flavor and a great fluffy texture! This classic vegan snack is one of my all time favorites! #meatlessmonday #vegan #vegetarian #recipe #Mediterraneandiet #middleeastern #healthyappetizer #healthydinner #chickpeas #veggieburgers

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  • Reply
    November 14, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    This is quickly becoming a dinner staple in our home. We’ve had to use canned chickpeas just out of convenience, and can’t wait to try things out with the real deal! I have these with homemade tzatziki because I absolutely love the stuff. Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Have you tried these in an air fryer? I hate deep frying things because of the excess oil as well as the mess. But they look delicious and I want to give them a try.

    • Reply
      November 14, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      I’m intrigued by air fryers Erin, but I haven’t tried one yet.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    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 !!!!!

    • Reply
      September 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Welcome in Robin <3

  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Can I make these ahead of time and refrigerate them before I fry them?

    • Reply
      September 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Yes absolutely.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Hi Sue,
    Great recipe, first time we made it in the Vitamix it came out to Blended second time in the food processor it worked great, I guess you could use the Dry Goods short blender that came with the Vitamix on low setting or pulse.
    for a low or no oil version we have baked them with great success, thank you for the recipe it is one of our favorites,

    • Reply
      August 11, 2018 at 7:08 am

      I so happy to hear this Dan. I adore my Vitamix but I have to say it isn’t for everything. I think you might be able to use the dry container, but frankly, I think the food processor does the best job, since you want the mix to have a little texture and not get ‘glooey’.

  • Reply
    July 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Hi! I’m just trying my first batch, and I’m wondering what you do with all the leftover chickpeas? Have any other recipes?

  • Reply
    July 9, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Hello! I made this recipe yesterday for the first time (actually my first time ever making falafel). After reading some of the comments I was very happy it didn’t fall apart on me during the frying process! I either didn’t use enough herbs, or I used too many chickpeas, as my color didn’t turn out that same beautiful green as in your pictures, but it was still delicious! I also was wondering if I was supposed to leave the seeds in the pepper? I took them out and felt like mine didn’t have as much heat as I would’ve liked, so next time I’ll try leaving them in!

    I used canned chick peas, 2 cans was just about 3 cups (there was some left but they fell on the floor anyway so they went into the trash hahaha). I ended up getting 28 balls and I put them on a sheet pan and froze them. Once they were frozen solid I moved 7 of them to the refrigerator to fry later and kept the rest in the freezer.

    I really enjoyed these and will definitely be making them again!! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply
      July 9, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Hey Lindsay, welcome to the wonderful world of falafel! The green color definitely comes from the herbs, so use a bit more next time for a greener color. Also, getting them nice and finely processed into the mixture helps bring out the green. As for the heat, yes, most of the heat is in the seeds and veins of hot peppers, so leave them in for a spicier result. Glad you enjoyed this!

  • Reply
    Make Delicious Falafel at Home | The Homestead Survival
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  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    This falafel sound wonderful!! I love the interesting story behind them as well! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Janice M Fenk
    May 11, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Would a Vitamix work instead of a food processor? I have a food processor but cannot find it.

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      The Vitamix is amazing, but it’s almost too powerful for this, I’m afraid, Janice. I have to admit I’ve never tried it, so I could be wrong. If you do, use the low setting.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 9:28 am

    So you don’t cook the chickpeas first, just soak them?

    • Reply
      April 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      No, it’s traditional to do it this way, Bernadette, and it works out great.

      • Reply
        April 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

        Thanks Sue. Making them today!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Hi Sue…My husband and I run a food booth at local music festivals and other events and we always try to offer a good vegetarian option. I found your recipe and we made falafel and tabouli pitas with tzatziki and tahini sauce for our vegetarian option this past Saturday. Your falafel and tahini sauce recipes were the star of that dish…and everyone RAVED about the dish. Thanks for posting this recipe. I had never made falafel before and your recipe is foolproof and amazingly delicious.

    • Reply
      September 25, 2017 at 8:39 am

      What a great story, this thrills me Lisa! I love to know that my recipe was such a hit, we adore falafel and I’m always trying to up my falafel game. Thanks SO much for taking the time to come back and leave a comment, and good luck with your food booth, what a fun lifestyle!

      • Reply
        February 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm

        This is the best falafel recipe I have made yet. I made it yesterday and fried it today so the timing was spread out a little. Thanks for sharing Sue.

        • Reply
          February 16, 2018 at 2:40 pm

          I’m thrilled to hear this Kerri, falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I know how great it can be to have a recipe that works for you :)

    • Reply
      Allie Jones
      February 13, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      The falafel balls taste great but ours totally disintegrated in the frying stage – turned out like ground beef/taco meat

      • Reply
        February 13, 2018 at 8:14 pm

        Hi Allie ~ there are a couple of things to keep in mind…make sure your oil is at the right temperature, about 350F…this way the falafel get a quick ‘crust’ on them that helps them stay together. Don’t crowd your pan, either, make sure the falafel has lots of space in the oil. You can try refrigerating your balls before frying, which can help them cohere, too.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Cab this be baked instead of frying?

    • Reply
      October 19, 2017 at 6:13 am

      I never bake my falafel, but I’m sure you can. I would brown it first in a little olive oil to give it a nice crust, and then put it in the oven to get cooked through.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Hey there, how about freezing the mixture? Do you have any tips for preservation or making ahead?

    • Reply
      September 7, 2017 at 11:10 am

      You can definitely freeze the falafel mixture, I could form it into balls, freeze on a tray until solid, and then pack in heavy duty zip lock freezer bags.

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