Healthy Falafel Recipe: If you’ve never had falafel, now is the time to try it! It has a unique flavor and texture that I find absolutely delicious on a salad, with hummus, or in a pita pocket. While the flavor is unique, it’s also mild, and is a perfect plant-based protein option!
what is falafel?
Falafel is a classic Middle Eastern street food made from chickpeas, beans, herbs, and spices. Falafel is typically shaped into either patties or balls and is a meatless option. While they are typically served deep-fried, this recipe is made healthier by using an air-fryer or a baking option.
Falafel is typically served with salad, in a pita pocket, with hummus or tzatziki, or even on it’s own!
what’s in this healthy falafel recipe?
Dried Chickpeas: The main ingredient and the base for this falafel recipe. It’s important to use dried chickpeas soaked in water opposed to canned chickpeas. Dried chickpeas will yield a better flavor and texture.
Herbs: Cilantro and Parsley, for flavor and added nutrients!
Garlic: For cloves to be exact!
Onion: This recipe calls for a white onion but yellow onion, red, onion, or shallots will work as well.
Lemon Juice: For contrast and flavor.
Olive Oil: For healthy fats.
Spices: Cumin, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
Baking Powder: The leavening agent to make these falafel’s rise slightly.
what kitchen tools do I need to make this recipe?
Food Processor: A food processor is definitely needed to make this recipe. In this case, a blender will not work because the falafel ingredients do not have enough liquid. Rule of thumb: when deciding whether to use a food processor vs. a blender for a recipe, it’s typically based on the amount of liquid. When using a food processor, you typically make things like pesto, hummus, falafel, or nut butter. When using a blender, you make things like soups, smoothies, pasta sauces, etc.
Air-Fryer: I personally use an air-fryer in this recipe, because I find it makes it the closest texture to traditional falafel. Falafel is typically served deep-fried in lots of oil, but the air-fryer doesn’t need any oil at all. If you don’t have an air-fryer, you can always bake them until golden brown and crispy, but it will take much longer to do so in the oven.
healthy falafel recipe
- Food Processor
- 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours minimum 6 hours
- 1 white onion roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 cup parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin ground
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Start by soaking dried chickpeas (not canned) in a large bowl covered by about 3 inches of water. The chickpeas will absorb most of the water while soaking. Soak for 24 hours, or a minimum of 6 hours.
- After your chickpeas are throughly soaked, drain the remaining water and add them to the food processor.
- Also in the food processor, add onion, garlic, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, baking powder, and spices (the rest of the ingredients). Pulse until throughly blended.
- Once processed, use your hands to gently form into 1 inch balls or patties. Spray with non-stick olive oil spray. Place in the air-fryer or on an air-fryer sheet and cook for 5-8 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Once finished, they should be crispy and golden brown on the outside and green on the inside. Serve with hummus, in a pita, on a salad, and more!
- If you don't have an air-fryer, you can bake these as well. I find they are crispier in the air-fryer but great in both!
- Follow instructions until everything is processed and formed in to balls. Add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake fo 25 minutes at 375 degrees.