Classic Falafel Recipe (No Canned Beans)

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Classic Falafel recipe made with dried chickpeas and tahini, this traditional falafel is exactly what you’d have at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. No canned chickpeas, so no mushy texture!

Falafel recipe with no canned beans served with hummus and salad

Easy Falafel Recipe

A classic Falafel recipe is not a quick recipe to make, but it couldn’t be much simpler. The length of time is 99% the soaking of the beans. Working with dried garbanzo beans is the magic ingredient to a great falafel recipe. It will make falafel that tastes like the ones from your favorite restaurant.

falafel ingredients

Falafel is made of chickpeas, tahini, parsley, onion, flour, and spices. Once formed into balls (I used a meatballer for volume of falafel balls in a hurry) they are fried until they are crisp on the outside while being fluffy on the inside.

Is Falafel vegan?

YES, we don’t have too many vegan recipes on the site, but this falafel recipe is naturally vegan. Some falafel recipes will include eggs, but this falafel recipe binds well together thanks in part to the resting period.

how to make falafel with no canned beans

Canned Beans and this Falafel Recipe

But then there’s the skipping the canned beans (this makes mushy falafel). Yes, I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time for this!” but like my favorite Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies with the 36 hour resting period, you get what you put into these delicious Classic Falafel balls.

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I’m going to be honest with you here, I make this recipe maybe 50% of the time I make falafel. I know, I know I just told you how amazing they are right? But sometimes I can’t help getting a craving for falafel for dinner…tonight. I’ve found the best quick falafel recipe to be from AllRecipes. I do make adjustments (I’ll post this version soon), but even as written it is still better than your local takeout spot.

How to make Falafel your way

There are also a number of variations you can make to your falafel recipe to have it more suited to your tastes:

  • Add extra parsley to the mix to give it a fresher, herbier taste (I use about one bunch of parsley total for the whole recipe to do this)
  • Add a mixture of peas or fava beans with the chickpeas. Whatever you add in of those beans, subtract from the recipe.
  • Make it say “HELLOOOOO GARLIC!!” and double the garlic in this falafel recipe – this one is a family favorite.

What to serve Falafel with

Don’t forget to serve this Classic Falafel recipe with Pickled Turnips and Classic Hummus for a perfect Falafel pita sandwich!

And if you want to make this Classic Falafel into the best sandwich or wrap…ever. And I do mean ever people…. make Zankou Chicken Garlic Paste recipe to go with it. It’s magical. And it pretty much has a cult following in Los Angeles.

Pickled Turnips to serve with falafel recipe
Classic Hummus goes perfectly with a classic falafel recipeZankou Chicken's Armenian Garlic Paste Copycat to serve with Falafel recipe

Serve Falafel with a Sauce

This Classic Falafel recipe is a great vegetarian option that meat eaters won’t balk at! Give it a try and make sure to make the additional sides for it, the falafel does need some moisture to be added to it in serving, that’s why you’ll frequently serve it with tahini, hummus or other sauces.

How to make falafel with a falafel recipe with  no canned beans

Tools used in this Falafel recipe:
Meatballer: Yes, you can totally use your one tablespoon measure twice, but I love this scoop for so many things, including cookies! It just makes everything go so much faster.
Hamilton Beach Food Processor: I know they make a newer one, and there are many fancier ones, but this this workhorse has been going for almost 10 years!
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet: My favorite pan (even though I own almost 20 pieces from All-Clad that I love!) it has a permanent spot on my stovetop because I use it almost daily (and it is heavy!).

Recipe

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Classic Falafel (No Canned Beans)

5
  • Yield: 20 falafel balls
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Classic Falafel made with dried chickpeas and tahini, this traditional falafel is exactly what you'd have at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. Not a single canned chickpea in sight, so no mushy texture!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 3/4 cup yellow onion chopped (just under one onion)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the garbanzo beans into a large bowl and soak in water overnight (the water should be a couple inches higher than the beans, so the beans plump up).
  2. Rinse the beans and add them to a food processor with chopped onion, minced garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
  3. Process the ingredients together until it looks like a coarse paste, like a super chunky peanut butter.
  4. Be sparing with how long your process it, the chickpeas should still be visible in small chunks.
  5. Put the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  6. Make the paste into small balls, rolling them in your hand.
  7. If your falafel batter is too loose to stay in a ball you can add a few more tablespoons of flour.
  8. Make the falafel balls with 2 tablespoons of the mixture.
  9. In a large cast iron (or other good frying skillet) add a couple of inches of oil.
  10. Heat the oil on medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

  11. Serve with pita, pickled turnips, hummus and tomatoes for a great falafel sandwich.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Tori Avey.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 20 falafel balls, Amount per serving: calories

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Comments

    1. Sorry for the confusion. Chickpeas are just a different name for garbanzo beans but I edited it to show both as to clear it up. I hope you enjoy it!

  1. Can you believe I’ve never actually had falafel?! Totally needs to change, asap, because this looks so amazing!!

  2. Sabrina,
    I see mention of Tahini but I don’t see it listed in the recipe as an ingredient.  Am I just missing something?  

  3. Hi Sabrina, Can I freeze the falafels – roll into balls & freeze or fry first then freeze or do not freeze at all? if they cannot be frozen what is the “shelf” life in the fridge? thanks

    1. Yes, you can freeze them. After making them into balls, place on a cookie sheet and freeze (about an hour) and then place into freezer bags.

  4. Sabrina,
    Just made falafel (no canned beans) best falafel I have ever made or eaten in the states.
    Many Thanks Linda