Air Fryer Falafel

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This easy Air Fryer Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!

This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!
Air Fryer Falafel

Falafel is a delicious Middle-Eastern vegetarian dish made with chickpeas, a mix of onions and different herbs and spices. They are shaped like meatballs, but there’s no meat in them. I wanted to create an air fryer falafel recipe that was quick and easy, made from canned chickpeas rather than dried. They come out great in the air fryer, so delicious and easy to make. You can see more air fryer recipes here!

This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!

Protein packed, nutritious and light – these air fryer falafel will delight your palate. Perfect on days you want to go meatless or just include more plant based foods in your diet. Falafel is both vegetarian and vegan. They are made from 100% plant-based ingredients—chickpeas, herbs, spices, and onions. It’s typically served with other vegan-friendly foods such as pita bread, salad, and pickled vegetables or serve them over hummus, with couscous, or over rice – you decide!

What are falafels made out of?

Falafel balls are usually made out of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), but you can find other variations depending on where you buy your falafel.

How To Make Falafel

Dried chickpeas are usually soaked, then ground up, and seasoned with herbs, spices and aromatics. Because they are usually made from soaking dried chickpeas, they can be quite time consuming to make. I wanted a speedy recipe so rather than starting with dry garbanzo beans, I created this quicker version with canned garbanzo beans instead.

The challenge using canned chickpeas is the inside comes out too soft, almost like a mashed potato texture. So I reworked the recipe a few times to get them just right. The trick is to blend all your other ingredients first so you don’t over-process the chickpeas and just pulse them a few times at the end. A few spritzes of olive oil before air frying makes them crisp on the outside and tender inside. The results are perfect!

How To Serve Falafel

The traditional way of serving falafel it is to stuff two or three pieces in a pita, along with lettuce, cucumber, tomato and a dollop of tahini. But it can also be eaten – hot or cold – as an appetizer or as part of a main course salad. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Serve them in a hollow pita. That’s pretty obvious, here in NY most street carts that sell them, they come in a pita with tomatoes, red onion and even pickles. Falafel is commonly accompanied by tahini or a spicy harissa hot sauce.
  • Serve them over hummus. That’s my favorite way to eat them, topped with cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes. A few pieces of toasted pita wedges on the side. Also great to pack for lunch!
  • Make a platter. Serve them over couscous or basmati rice with tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Lettuce wraps. Not traditional but you can keep it light and serve them in lettuce wraps. The outer leaves of a head of iceberg lettuce, in my opinion make the best “wrap” because they are larger and easier to fold.

 

This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!

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This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!
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4.63 from 58 votes
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Air Fryer Falafel

134 Cals 6 Protein 24 Carbs 2 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Refrigerate Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 45 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
This easy air fryer Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.5 ounce can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • olive oil spray

Optional for serving:

  • hummus, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, pita, tahini, etc

Instructions

  • Dry the chickpeas on paper towels.
  • Place the onions and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, scallions, cilantro, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  • Process until blended 30 to 60 seconds, then add the chickpeas and pulse 2 to 3 times until just blended, but not pureed.
  • Sprinkle in the baking powder and the flour, scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula and pulse 2 to 3 times.
  • Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, 2 to 3 hours.
  • Form the falafel mixture into 12 balls, if it’s too sticky add some flour to your hands and your work surface.
  • Preheat the air fryer 350F.
  • Spray the falafel with oil. Cook 14 minutes, in batches until golden brown, turning halfway.

Video

Notes

Refrigerate falafel for up to 4 days. Freeze uncooked balls for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before air frying.

Nutrition

Serving: 3falafel balls, Calories: 134kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 403mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g
WW Points Plus: 3
Keywords: Air fryer falafel, Easy falafel recipe, falafel, Falafel recipe canned chickpeas

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148 comments

  1. For me there needs to be more spices and to make the balls smaller as the ones I made, 12 balls, were too large to cook in 15 minutes.

  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I followed the directions exactly, and am amazed at how authentic and delicious these are. I served them over a simple Greek salad with tzaziki and feta. Also served warm pita on the side. It was a hit with my family.

  3. Somehow the last post saved 4 stars instead of 5. I’d give this more than 5 stars if possible!!

    Wow! I started making this for dinner tonight without realizing the instructions say to cool it in the fridge for a couple hours. I decided to omit this step and it still came out amazingly! It was a bit sticker than I imagine it would have otherwise been, but I just used a little extra flour when rolling the balls.  

    I served mine with homemade tzatziki (made with Greek yogurt), marinated “salad” of grape tomatoes, cucumber, and shallot in olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano, served on pita with hummus. Best recipe I’ve found on skinny taste and will definitely be making again soon. Thank you!

  4. Wow! I started making this for dinner tonight without realizing the instructions say to cool it in the fridge for a couple hours. I decided to omit this step and it still came out amazingly! It was a bit sticker than I imagine it would have otherwise been, but I just used a little extra flour when rolling the balls.  

    I served mine with homemade tzatziki (made with Greek yogurt), marinated “salad” of grape tomatoes, cucumber, and shallot in olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano, served on pita with hummus. Best recipe I’ve found on skinny taste and will definitely be making again soon. Thank you!

  5. These were great!   Was hesitant to double the recipe first time around due to some negative comments.   Very happy I did.   Followed the recipe as written and had no issues with consistency at all.   They freeze great and taste just as good after being frozen.  Thank you for all your great healthy recipes.   

  6. First official post. These are incredible. I have left them in the bowl overnight in the fridge, and its worked out incredible. Highly recommend

  7. The best falafel recipe ever! I just used less onion, because I read the comments and people mentioned it was too wet. Mine was still a little wet, so I added about 2 tbsp bread crumbs. Delish!

  8. My husband asked me to make these once a week. Great flavor and texture. 

  9. Followed instructions to the T and the falafels turned out perfectly. They were delicious. My hard to please teen and littles enjoyed it very much. Dinnertime turned out to be pleasant!
    Thank you so much

  10. Can you substitute rice flour, coconut flour or almond flour for the all purpose flour in the air fryer falafel recipe?

  11. I am trying to search for how to cook dried chickpeas in the instant pot. Every time I try the search lots of recipes come up USING chickpeas but none on how to cook them. n HELP!

  12. I make a double batch of these for meal-prep on a constant rotation. Here’s what works for me. (Amounts given for single batch)

    1) I use dried chickpeas (1/2 cup) soaked and cooked in the instant pot (it’s just more cost-effective since I make them so often). Leave them to dry on paper towel covered cookie sheet for an hour or so.
    2) 50 grams yellow onion, 31 grams of chopped parsley; 20 grams of cilantro; 33 grams scallions
    3) Wheat flour instead of white
    4) Use a small cookie scoop to portion.
    5) Misto for EVOO

    It’s been foolproof for the last couple months.

  13. I don’t have a food processor. Is there another way to make this? It looks delicious!

  14. Too wet! 🙁 More flour didn’t really help. Guess I need to cut back on onion? But I love onion…

    • It looks like others have had success with this recipe, but I have never had success when I’ve started with cooked chickpeas, whether canned or starting from dried–the falafel ends up wet, and then you have to add a lot of flour to form them, which makes them fairly dense.

      Instead, try soaking dried chickpeas overnight, but do NOT cook them . Drain them, dry them, and then process the soaked, uncooked chickpeas with all the other ingredients here EXCEPT flour. If you process it to fine grains (but not a paste), it should make delicious falafel. I know Gina is trying to save the soaking step, but it really won’t take any longer than opening and draining/rinsing canned chickpeas since you’re not cooking it. I hope that works for you!

    • Rosie, maybe you can reduce the onion and add some onion powder. I added 2 tbsp bread crumbs and it helped a lot!