Easy And Authentic Falafel Recipe

20 falafel balls
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes

Traditional Falafel made with dried chickpeas and tahini, this recipe is exactly what you’d have at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant!

Falafel, a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, is a delightful vegetarian dish that has gained worldwide popularity. This recipe brings the authentic taste of falafel right into your kitchen, offering a wholesome and delicious option suitable for various meals, from quick lunches to dinner parties. Originating from the Middle East, falafel is commonly served in pita bread, forming part of a hearty and flavorful meal. The dish, known for its deep-fried chickpea balls, is often accompanied by fresh vegetables and drizzled with sauces like tahini or hummus. Explore similar recipes, like Pickled Turnips and Classic Hummus, in the Vegetarian category for more meat-free dining options.

The beauty of this falafel recipe lies in its blend of aromatic spices and fresh ingredients. The combination of ground cumin, coriander, and cardamom with garlic, onions, and chickpeas creates a rich flavor profile. This recipe is not only family-friendly but also perfect for gatherings where you want to serve something unique and tasty. It’s relatively easy to prepare, with the most time-consuming part being the overnight soaking of chickpeas. Historically, falafel has been a popular street food in its regions of origin, often enjoyed during festive occasions or as a quick meal. Today, its appeal crosses cultural boundaries, making it a beloved dish for casual family dinners and a trendy choice for social gatherings.

Why You Should Make Falafel at Home

Falafel, often a go-to choice for Middle Eastern takeout or restaurant dining, is surprisingly straightforward and rewarding to make at home. Preparing falafel in your own kitchen allows you to dive into the art of Middle Eastern cooking, offering a personalized touch to the flavors and ingredients. You gain the freedom to adjust spices to your taste, ensuring a fresh and healthier version compared to its deep-fried restaurant counterpart. Moreover, homemade falafel guarantees a fun and engaging culinary experience, perfect for involving family members in the cooking process or impressing guests with a homemade gourmet meal. 

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Falafel recipe with no canned beans served with hummus and salad

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About Our 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. No canned chickpeas, so no mushy texture!

Falafel itself is a beloved staple in Middle Eastern cuisine and has a rich history that dates back to centuries ago, possibly originating in Egypt. Known for its deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, this dish is a testament to the region’s culinary ingenuity. Typically, falafel includes ingredients like onions, parsley, garlic, and a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, and sometimes cardamom, which contribute to its distinct and hearty flavor.

While there are regional variations – some use more herbs, others add different spices – the essence of falafel remains consistent: a crispy exterior giving way to a soft, flavorful center. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a meal with family, this falafel recipe brings a piece of Middle Eastern culinary tradition right to your table.

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Can Falafel Be Made Ahead of Time?

Absolutely, falafel is one of those convenient dishes that can be partially prepared ahead of time, making it a perfect choice for meal prepping or for those occasions when you need a quick meal. The falafel mixture itself can be made a day or two in advance. Simply prepare the chickpea mixture as per the recipe, shape the falafel balls or patties, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This not only saves time but also allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste. When you’re ready to cook, just fry them up for a quick and delicious meal. However, it’s best to fry the falafel just before serving to maintain its delightful crispy exterior.

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Falafel Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans): Chickpeas are the base of any traditional falafel, providing a nutty flavor and hearty texture. Canned chickpeas are less ideal, as they can make the falafel too soft.
  • ¾ cup yellow onion, chopped: Onion adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor. White or purple onion can be a suitable substitute if yellow is unavailable.
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped: Parsley brings a fresh, herby brightness to the mix. If needed, fresh cilantro can be used for a different but equally delicious flavor profile.
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced: Garlic adds a punch of flavor. 
  • 2 tablespoons flour: Flour helps bind the ingredients. For a gluten-free option, chickpea flour or another gluten-free flour can be used.
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt: Salt enhances all the other flavors. Sea salt or table salt can substitute if needed.
  • 1 tablespoon cumin: This spice gives falafel its distinct warm, earthy tone. 
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander: Coriander adds a citrusy, nutty flavor. 
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom: Cardamom adds a sweet, aromatic touch. It can be omitted if not available, but it adds a unique flavor to the falafel.
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper: Pepper adds a slight heat. Adjust to taste.
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper: This provides a spicy kick. Adjust the amount based on how spicy you like your falafel.
  • Vegetable oil (for deep frying): A neutral oil like canola or sunflower works best for frying and doesn’t impart additional flavor.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Meatballer: Yes, you can use your one-tablespoon measure twice, but this scoop is great for so many things, including cookies! It just makes everything go so much faster.
  • Hamilton Beach Food Processor: Even though they make a newer one, and there are many fancier ones, this workhorse has been going for almost 10 years!
  • Lodge Cast Iron Skillet: There’s a reason this pan is a fan favorite. It’s a heavy pan that will last for many years to come.
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How to Make Falafel

Time needed: 12 hours and 15 minutes.

Making homemade Falafel is so easy. It will make falafel that tastes like the ones from your favorite restaurant. Check it out!

  1. Soak

    Soak the garbanzo beans overnight. Make sure there’s extra water to allow them to expand.

  2. Blend

    Mince all the ingredients in a food processor until it is a slightly gritty texture. You don’t want to make a powder.

  3. Refrigerate

    Let the falafel mixture cool for about 2 hours. This step is critical to help it not crumble apart.

  4. Shape and Fry

    Shape each little falafel ball and fry it in medium-hot oil. You’ll need 2-3 minutes on either side. Let drain for a moment on paper towels, but only for a few seconds as you don’t want it to get soggy. 

  5. Serve

    Serve your falafel with tahini sauce, pita bread, hummus, pickled turnips, lettuce, and tomato, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Authentic Falafel Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 35
% Daily Value*
Sodium 235mg10%
Potassium 69mg2%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
how to make falafel with no canned beans
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How to Store Falafel

Storing Leftover Falafel

Properly storing leftover falafel is key to maintaining its taste and texture. Once cooled, place the falafel in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. Storing falafel properly ensures that you can enjoy this delicious dish beyond just one meal, keeping it fresh for quick snacks or future meals.

Reheating Falafel

When it’s time to reheat, the best approach is to use an oven or toaster oven. Preheat to 350°F and warm the falafel for about 10-15 minutes. This method helps retain the exterior crispness while ensuring the inside remains moist. Avoid microwaving as it can make them soggy. 

Freezing Falafel

Freezing falafel is a great way to preserve its flavor for an extended period. You can freeze both cooked and uncooked falafel. For cooked, let them cool completely and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. For uncooked, place the balls on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer to a freezer bag. When ready to enjoy, you can cook or reheat directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time. Freezing offers a convenient option for meal planning and ensures that you always have a tasty, healthy meal option on hand.

Pickled Turnips to serve with falafel recipe
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What to Serve with Falafel

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, try our Zankou Chicken Garlic Paste recipe to go with it. It’s magical. And it pretty much has a cult following in Los Angeles. v

Zankou Chicken's Armenian Garlic Paste Copycat to serve with Falafel recipe

Alternative Cooking Techniques for Falafel

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How to Bake Falafel

Baking falafel is a fantastic way to achieve a healthier version of this classic dish. Preheat your oven to 350º, lightly grease your falafel balls, and bake them for 25-30 minutes until they’re golden and crispy. Be sure to flip them at the 15-minute mark. This method significantly reduces the oil content while still delivering a deliciously crunchy exterior.

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Air Fryer Falafel

For those who love the crunch but want to keep things light, air frying is an excellent option. It uses minimal oil and delivers a crispy texture similar to traditional frying. Place the falafel in the air fryer basket, spray falafel with oil, and cook at 400º for 6-7 minutes, and then flip them and do it again for about 6-7 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Classic Hummus goes perfectly with a classic falafel recipe
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Falafel vegan?

Yes. 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 can I prevent my falafel from falling apart while cooking?

Ensure your falafel mixture is not too wet. If it’s too loose, add a bit more flour to help bind it. Also, avoid overcrowding the pan or fryer, as this can cause the falafel to break apart. Also, make sure it is refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Is it possible to make gluten-free falafel?

Absolutely! You can substitute the flour with a gluten-free alternative like chickpea flour or rice flour to bind the ingredients together.

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

Authentic Falafel Recipe

Traditional Falafel made with dried chickpeas and tahini, this recipe is exactly what you'd have at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant!
Yield 20 falafel balls
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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)

To Finish:

  • 4 pita bread rounds , cut in half
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 1 cup lettuce , thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato , chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled turnips


  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Process the ingredients together until it looks like a coarse paste, like a super chunky peanut butter.
  • Be sparing with how long you process it, the chickpeas should still be visible in small chunks.
  • Put the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  • Make the paste into small balls, rolling them in your hand.
  • If your falafel batter is too loose to stay in a ball you can add a few more tablespoons of flour.
  • Make the falafel balls with 2 tablespoons of the mixture.
  • In a large cast iron (or other good frying skillet) add a couple of inches of oil.
  • Heat the oil on medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

To Finish:

  • Cut the pita breads in half and open the pockets.
  • Spread with hummus, top with lettuce add in falafel broken in half.
  • Top with tomatoes and pickled turnips and serve immediately.


Recipe adapted from Tori Avey.


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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Variations on Falafel

Whether you’re looking to switch up the ingredients for a health-conscious option or simply craving a different taste, the possibilities are endless. Here are some creative twists:

  • Bean Variations: Swap chickpeas with fava beans or a mix of both for a different texture and flavor profile. This variation is popular in certain regions and offers a slightly different taste.
  • Herb Mix-Up: Add or substitute parsley with other fresh herbs fresh coriander or mint for a refreshing twist. Each herb brings its unique flavor, making each bite a new experience.
  • Spice It Up: Introduce spices like a teaspoon of turmeric or sumac for an added depth of flavor and a hint of color. Spices not only enhance the taste but also contribute to the health benefits.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use chickpea flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour instead of regular flour to make your falafel gluten-free.
  • Stuffed Falafel: Add a cube of feta cheese inside each falafel ball before cooking for a gooey, cheesy center.
  • Sweet Potato Falafel: Incorporate mashed sweet potato into the falafel mix for a sweeter version that’s packed with vitamins.
Plate of falafel
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More Vegetarian Dishes

Photos used in previous versions of this post.

Chickpea Falafel

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi Sabrina, I can’t wait to make these falafels for my birthday this month. This recipe appeals to me the most of all the ones I’ve seen. Are the falafels still good if I leave out both peppers? I’m not a fan of either one. I’m curious about the chickpeas not being cooked. I like that there is this one less step in the preparation, but wouldn’t uncooked chickpeas make the falafel too crunchy?

  2. I just fried my first batch of falafel! I did add a couple more tablespoons of flour. I shaped them more like patties so they would fit into pitas more easily. They are delicious! I will, absolutely, make these again!

    1. My concern would be them not getting as crispy but you could brush the tops with oil and bake them for 20 minutes, flippin them halfway. Enjoy!

  3. Can I use an airfyer? We are doing weight watchers so frying just cant happen in my house, which makes me sad. Nobody said it would be easy.

    1. I’m so sorry but I haven’t tested it using one so I’m not sure. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

  4. When I made this recipe, all the balls just crumbled into mush after I fried them. How do I keep my balls from falling apart?

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

  6. I have ordered these in restaurants, but I haven’t attempted to make them myself! Can’t wait to try. Your variations sounds great too!

  7. 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.

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

    1. It’s just used as a side for the falafels and not an ingredient in making them. Sorry for the confusion.

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

    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!