These homemade falafel patties (baked in the oven, not fried) are great in pita sandwiches, on salads, and as part of a mezze platter.
Falafel (middle eastern chickpea-herb fritters) are one of my all-time favorite foods. They’re so delicious, so herby, high in protein, and naturally plant-based. Basically, I order them whenever they’re on the menu.
For years, I assumed they were fussy to make. Recently though, I started to experiment with cooking them at home and realized I was dead wrong. Apart from needing to plan ahead (to soak the chickpeas) and breaking out your food processor, homemade falafel is actually quite easy.
Why You Should Try These Falafel Patties
- They’re baked, not fried. Traditional falafel is formed into balls and deep-fried. Although fried falafel doesn’t technically absorb more oil than baked, baking is easier and safer for a home setting – and less oil goes to waste. Because this falafel is cooked on a flat surface, forming them into patties versus balls makes more sense, too.
- Perfect for meal prep. Homemade falafel patties are a great treat to stash in your fridge. Perfect for tucking into vegan sandwiches, or tossing on salads or grain bowls during the week.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Dried Chickpeas: Should be soaked in water for at least 8 hours prior to making falafel.
- Herbs: This recipe uses a lot of fresh herbs – usually parsley, cilantro, or both – and sometimes scallions too. These give falafel its signature green color and the most delicious herby aroma. No need to pick off each leaf – feel free to use some of the tender stems. (Do not substitute with dried herbs.)
- Onion and Garlic: lend flavor, of course, as well as moisture. You can use yellow or red onion.
- Ground Cumin and Coriander: A classic middle eastern combo. If you don’t have coriander, sub with extra cumin.
- Baking Powder: Gives the falafel a light, fluffy texture.
- Chickpea Flour: This gluten-free flour acts as a binder to hold the dough together.
Soak the Chickpeas: 8 to 24 hours before you want to cook falafel, soak dried chickpeas in a bowl of cold water.
Purée the Ingredients: After soaking, drain the chickpeas super well in a strainer to get rid of as much water as possible. Then combine in a food processor with chopped onion, garlic, and herbs, and puree thoroughly until everything is broken down into a chunky paste.
Finish the Dough: Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the chickpea flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.
Chill the Dough: Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will give the flour a chance to absorb the extra moisture in the dough.
Bake the Falafel: Form the dough into patties; if it’s not holding together at all, incorporate a bit more chickpea flour, one tablespoon at a time. Place the patties on an oiled baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven until brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Then flip carefully and brown the other side. If the falafel are sticking or not flipping well, return to the oven for a few minutes before attempting to flip again; they will release after they’ve formed a nice crust.
Pro Tip: Don’t skimp on oil when baking falafel. A generously oiled baking sheet will keep them from sticking and give you those crispy edges.
How to Make Tahini Sauce for Falafel
Tahini is the most common pairing for falafel. To make this simple dip, combine 1/3 cup well-stirred tahini with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a splash of water. Whisk until smooth. Then add about 1/4 cup more water and whisk to incorporate (at first the sauce may seem lumpy, but keep going and it’ll come together). You can also make this cilantro-lime tahini or cilantro cashew cream.
How to Serve Falafel Patties
My favorite way to eat crispy falafel patties is on top of a fresh salad with tahini sauce. You can also tuck them into a halved pita pocket with lettuce, tomatoes, hummus, and/or tzatziki. Lastly, you can make them the star of a mezze platter with hummus, baba ganoush, pickled vegetables, and pita triangles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using dried chickpeas results in light, fluffy falafel. Canned chickpeas are too soft, so the falafel would turn out mushy or too dense.
Firstly, falafel dough should be a little crumbly – but it should still hold together. If it’s falling apart, stir in extra chickpea flour, starting with a tablespoon at a time.
Yes! If you don’t feel like heating the oven, fry the patties in a generously oiled non-stick skillet over medium heat.
More ways with chickpeas…
- Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup
- Curried Chickpea Salad
- Chickpea Crepes with Spinach and Mushrooms
- Chickpea Spinach Curry
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag @thenewbaguette on Instagram with your creation.Print
These baked falafel patties are great in pita sandwiches, on salads, and as part of a mezze platter.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 8 to 24 hours
- 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 ½ packed cups parsley or cilantro, or a mix of both* (see note below)
- 1 small white or red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander*
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- About 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, like avocado, refined coconut, or organic canola, for baking
- Drain the chickpeas in a colander and shake really well to get rid of as much water as possible.
- In a food processor with the blade attachment, combine the chickpeas, garlic, herbs, and onion. Puree until everything is broken down into a chunky paste, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Transfer to a large bowl, and sprinkle in the chickpea flour, baking powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and lots of pepper. Toss to combine. Place the bowl in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- When ready to bake, pour enough oil in a rimmed baking sheet to generously coat the bottom. Using your hands, form dough into 12-14 patties, 2-3 inches in diameter, and arrange in the baking sheet in a single layer, spacing at least an inch apart. (If the dough isn’t holding together well, mix a bit more chickpea flour into the dough a tablespoon at a time. I usually add 1-2 tablespoons at this point).
- Bake until the falafel are golden brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Flip gently with a metal spatula, and bake for about 10 minutes more. (If the falafel are sticking/not flipping well, return to the oven for a few minutes before attempting to flip again; they will release after they’ve formed a nice crust.)
- No need to pick off each leaf – feel free to use some of the tender stems, too. (Do not substitute with dried herbs.)
- If you don’t have coriander, substitute with extra cumin.
- Serving Size: 2 patties
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 g
- Fiber: 6.2 g
- Protein: 7.4 g
Keywords: vegan, baked, falafel, patties