Making falafel has never been easier thanks to this Air Fryer Falafel recipe! Made with canned chickpeas and plenty of herbs and spices, it's flavorful, crispy on the outside and healthier than traditional falafel.
Everyone needs a go-to falafel recipe, and this Air Fryer Falafel is mine.
Falafel is, in my opinion, incredibly versatile, and a delicious plant-based protein that can be added to salad, a sandwich or even a hummus bowl.
- Made in the air fryer, so it doesn't require a ton of oil or actual frying, which makes it healthier than traditional falafel.
- Made with canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas, so you don't need to remember to soak anything ahead of time.
- Incredibly flavorful and simple to prepare!
Chickpeas - This recipe calls for canned chickpeas, but make sure to drain and rinse them really well, then pat them dry with a few paper towels to the best of your ability. Don't worry if they're not completely dry!
Alliums - Fresh garlic and onion are a must for this recipe.
Herbs - Both cilantro and parsley are necessary in order to achieve the correct flavor; Make sure to use fresh herbs, not dried.
Spices - I opted to keep things simple and just used ground coriander and cumin, along with salt and pepper.
Baking powder - This makes the falafel extra fluffy, and a little bit goes a long way.
Flour - Optional; only use if the mixture seems too wet.
Step 1: Dry the chickpeas. Pour the canned chickpeas into a fine mesh strainer, then rinse them really well. Pour them onto a plate and use a paper towel to blot them dry as best you can. Then, transfer the chickpeas to your air fryer and air fry them at 350° for 3 minutes, which will help dry them out even more.
Step 2: Make the falafel mixture. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper to your food processor and blend for 45 seconds. Add the chickpeas and pulse a few times until combined, then stir in the baking powder by hand.
Step 3: Refrigerate. Remove the blade of your food processor, then place foil over the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for about 1 hour, which will make it easier to work with.
Step 4: Form the falafel. The first step is to evaluate if the falafel still seems too wet; if so, add some all purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it's easier to work with. Use your hands to form the dough into balls a little larger than golf ball size.
Step 5: Air fry. Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick spray, then add as many falafel as you can without them touching. Air fry at 400° for 8 minutes, then flip them over and air fry for 4-8 more minutes until golden brown.
Tips & FAQs
- The drier the chickpeas, the crispier the falafel will be.
- Don't over-pulse the chickpeas with the other falafel ingredients; you want everything to be combined but also slightly chunky. If you over-mix, the texture will become soggy.
What pairs well with falafel?
Falafel is in the Mediterranean food family, so think: a rice bowl or hummus platter with fresh veggies like beets, carrots, cucumber, etc. You can also made a basic salad with mixed greens and top it with the falafel. It's also delicious with:
- Cannellini Bean Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Chimichurri Hummus
- Tomato Bulgur Salad
- Spicy Cucumber Salad
Can I make a falafel pita sandwich?
Can I bake the falafel in the oven instead?
Yep! If you don't want to use your air fryer (or don't own one), you can make baked falafel instead. To do so, line a baking sheet with parchment paper then place the falafel on top. Bake it at 400° for 15 minutes, then flip it over and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Refrigerator: Store cooked falafel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, place in the air fryer at 350° for 3 minutes or until warmed through.
Freezer: Wait for the falafel to cool, then place it into a freezer-safe container, using wax paper in between the rows so it doesn't stick.
More vegan recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Air Fryer Falafel
- 15 oz. chickpeas canned; drained and rinsed
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour optional; more or less as needed
- Pour the chickpeas into a fine mesh strainer, then rinse them; pour them out onto a paper towel-lined plate, then use another paper towel to pat them dry. Transfer the chickpeas to your air fryer and "cook" them at 350° for 3 minutes, which will help dry them even more.
- Next, add the garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to your food processor and blend for 45 seconds. Then, add the chickpeas and pulse 3-5 times until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Remove the blade of your food processor, then stir in the baking powder by hand.
- Place foil over the food processor bowl, then place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour, which will allow the mixture to become easier to work with.
- Once the hour is up, stir in 1 tablespoon of flour, then determine if you need to add more flour (it should be fairly easy to form into balls). If it's not, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour.
- Use your hands to form the mixture into 11 falafel, a little larger than golf ball size.
- Spray your air fryer basket with nonstick spray, then place as many falafel into the basket as you can without them touching. Air fry at 400° for 8 minutes, then flip over and air fry for an additional 4-8 minutes. Enjoy!