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

Reader Rave ~

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 !!!!!”  ~Robin

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

Reader Rave ~

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 !!”  ~Robin

The Best Falafel I’ve Ever Made!
Rate this recipe
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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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Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    August 29, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Hi,,, this is a great recipe. Thank you so much. I made the mistake of using canned chick peas in the past, what a waste of time, complete failure! Soaking the beans over night is completely worth it. Beautiful color and texture. Made enough to freeze a batch!!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Smart girl Ana ~ wish I had a batch in my freezer!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Great recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Do you think I would be able to roll a bunch of these in advance and then freeze them?

    • Reply
      May 31, 2017 at 11:32 am

      They freeze beautifully Sarah.

  • Reply
    CarolAnn Hardenstein
    April 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I followed recipe to a T and they came out perfect!!! I never attempted making these before and it’s now a favorite. Was a bit concerned about just soaking chickpeas overnight and then grinding in food processor but it works perfectly! Too bad others tried to substitute canned or deviated with egg, more flour etc and had failure when frying. I fried at 375 in a skillet with avocado oil and these came out crispy on outside and light and fluffy inside. I made up a raita dipping sauce for mine with yogurt, lots of minced fresh mint and lemon zest. Perfect cooling touch to the hot Serrano pepper, thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      I’m thrilled CarolAnn ~ I am seriously a falafel fanatic, and I’m so glad this recipe worked out so well for you. The thing I love best about these is that they’re fluffy and have such a great flavor and color from the herbs. I bought ready-made falafel the other week from my grocery store and they were so bad I could have kicked myself for not just making a batch of these :)

  • Reply
    Kris Mowafy
    March 22, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Just made these for dinner!!!! My Egyptian husband raved about them, and I was dancing with delight! I did make a few minor changes. I used leek instead of onion. I increased the flour because my mixture felt too wet, and I did add a beaten egg. I formed small patties and fried in 350 degree oil. The outer crust was crispy and the inside was soft and delicate. I served them in warmed naan with tzatziki and tomatoes. This is a meal that I will add to my rotation. Thank you for the BEST falafel recipe. I have tried many.

    • Reply
      March 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      LOVE to hear this, Kris, especially that your Egyptian hubby liked them! You need to try my falafel salad next :)

      • Reply
        R cook
        July 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        falafel with egg?
        thats like chick peas fritter?
        you shouldn’t put leek
        the recipe with red onion but the foto with white onion.
        i think white onion its better so no color to it.
        i middle east we dont use cilantro but parsley and fresh mint. no four too. the best you make it few hours earlier so the ingredient mix well together specially the baking soda soak into the ingredients when you fry them didn’t pull apart.stay together without flour. i even put it in fridge over night or for two days before i fry it still turn good.good luck hope you dont mind I adding a good info for you

    • Reply
      Kris Mowafy
      May 1, 2017 at 8:14 am

      update: I experimented with freezing the patties raw, and the result was wonderful. I put the patties on a sheet pan and froze them, then bagged them. Fried them in 350 degree oil for just a minute more, and they tasted perfect!!

      • Reply
        May 1, 2017 at 8:26 am

        How nice it must be to have a supply in the freezer, I need to do this ~ thanks for the update Kris.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I made this recipe today and it is very good! I’ve tried to make falafel twice in the past and when I went to fry it, it just dissolved and disappeared in the oil.

    There is a restaurant called The Roxy in Encinitas, CA that serve a falafel burger that is to die for! They also have a booth at the Del Mar Fair each year where they sell the falafel burger (among other things). I’ve been hoping to recreate their recipe for falafel and I think your’s is about spot on! They put cheese, tomato, onion, sprouts and avocado on their falafel burger. If you want to see a picture, go to Yelp and look them up but look up the older version with more pictures. Next time I make this (and I will), I’m making that burger! Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

    • Reply
      December 17, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      You are making my mouth water, Bobi. I think I’ll have to do a falafel burger this spring on the blog ~ keep an eye out for it :)

  • Reply
    November 13, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Best EVER!
    Just follow the directions exactly and they will look exactly like the ones on this recipe.
    Wishing I could post my pics

    • Reply
      November 13, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Thanks Sarah! Tag your photos #tvfgi on social media and I’ll share!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    This is now the best falafel I have ever made! I did not add the flour and deep fried and it turned out excellent. I think the key is to make sure the chickpeas and other ingredients are as dry as possible when you grind them. Also do not grind too much. I have made falafel so many times and made just okay falafel–this recipe is excellent and the falafel divine. So happy–thanks!!!

    • Reply
      August 30, 2016 at 7:36 am

      I’m so happy to hear this DP. Falalfel is one of my favorite foods, I order it in restaurants a lot, and it can be hit or miss. I’m glad I have this recipe to fall back on at home. So happy it worked for you!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Just made these and they were sooo good! I added like 3 more tablespoons of flour to make sure the balls didn’t fall apart. Then I rolled them in bread crumbs. They were a big hit!

    • Reply
      July 28, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      I’m so glad they worked out for you Anabel :)

  • Reply
    February 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    These looked so amazing – but I wish I had read all of the comments before I tried my hand at them. Mine fell apart too. I kept wondering, won’t this need an egg to hold it together? Wondering now if should have tried but then again, the egg cold make them cook too fast –

    The first ‘deep fry’ attempt fell apart completely – so then I went to a flat pan, lightly greased – made small patties – they at least didn’t completely disintegrate but overall they look like hell.

    They have a nice taste but I’m not sure I got out of them what I should have – with the nice crust on the outside and softer texture inside. Anyone that figures it out, please holler. I’ve got a boat load of Tahini left ?

    • Reply
      January 19, 2018 at 1:35 am

      I had the same problem! I made the mistake of using tinned chickpeas and they exploded in the fryer. It’s because of the excess moisture, the water reacts badly to the hot oil and turns immediately to steam breaking apart the falafel. You just need to add something to absorb the excess moisture. Flour works but it can reduce how fluffy they are. I used a little semolina and the texture didn’t suffer for it. Good luck, hope this helps!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Awesome! My 7 year old went nuts over them. We used the canned chickpeas because I needed them now. We tried the deep fryer and failed. Shallow fry worked great. Out of cilantro and used the doterra oil. Added a little garlic to the sauce. Saved to make over and over again. Thanks!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2016 at 10:07 am

      I’m so happy you loved them, how great that you got your 7 year old hooked!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Hi, thank you for your recipe. I tried frying the mixture but it didn’t work well (I used canned chick peas). So I did it again, added at least a 1/2 cup extra extra flour and baked them as small patties. It worked perfectly. Oven at 380 and about 8 minutes each side.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks for the info Katie — I do think the dried chick peas work better, they are probably drier and need less flour. Good to know the canned will work with extra flour.

  • Reply
    Holly N @ Spend With Pennies
    January 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Gorgeous! I absolutely LOVE falafel, I’ll definitely be trying this one!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef
    January 3, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Sue, I’ve been looking for a good falafel recipe and I think I just found it. Thank you?, it’s pinned!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 3:17 am

    The falafels look great but normally its recommended that pulses are boiled for 10 minutes. Is it ok for them to be cooked so briefly just by frying? Thanks.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Just made these so yummy! Batter was quite wet even after 2 hrs in fridge but they didn’t fall apart at all. I made patties and got 21, skillet frying. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Reply
      December 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      You’re so welcome RG, it’s so hard to find a great falafel, even in restaurants, so I return to this again and again. Glad it worked for you.

  • Reply
    Kimi Wei
    September 17, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Looks like a great recipe. Got two questions tho:

    First, I don’t have a food processor so how should I work this recipe without one?
    Second, what do you do with deep fry oil you’ve used? Seems a pity to just discard it.


    • Reply
      September 18, 2015 at 5:23 am

      I think to grind the chick peas you do need some sort of processor or blender, Kimi. If you’re interested you can buy a small one quite cheaply. You can also make the falafel into patties and fry them shallowly in a skillet, to avoid the excess oil.

    • Reply
      December 8, 2016 at 5:56 am

      Mash it with a masher!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I LOVED the recipe! The herbs and spices were perfect and the texture was delicious. I read the comments before I got started and decided to try the recipe without the flour. I let them rest in the fridge for about an hour before forming the balls, then I pan-fried them in about 2-3 tbsp of oil… the first one was a mess but once I got the hang of it they worked perfectly and were really delicious. Even my very carnivore vegetarian-food-hater father loved them!

    I served them on homemade pita bread with some greek yogurt sauce because I didn’t have any tahine. Definitely making them again!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Oh Wow! What a great looking recipe. These look lovely! I love the vibrant green colour! Yum!

    • Reply
      August 20, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks Laura, I do love that color too!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I have just made your Falafel and they turned out amazing accept when I went to fry them they fell apart. I only lost two, so I’m going to bake the rest. :(

    • Reply
      August 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      They are delicate, but if you form them with a firm hand, they should stay together if you handle them gently. Let me know how the baking goes!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I’d love to try these, but I have a strong aversion to cilantro. Could you suggest a secondary fresh herb that could work in it’s place? I have marjoram, thyme, rosemary, dill and basil thriving in my herb garden at the moment. Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 22, 2015 at 9:17 am

      I think I would go with more parsley and some mint, Amy.

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