falafel

$2.64 recipe / $0.30 serving

I was so excited, so drawn in, so salivating when I saw this recipe for falafel over on Making Life Delicious a few weeks ago. The only problem was that I didn’t have a food processor. But somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice was telling me, “you WILL get a food processor for Christmas… just be patient, Beth.” Sure enough, my parents bought me this food processor as an early Christmas and graduation gift. I’ve been using it non-stop ever since.

Any-whooo. If you’ve never had falafel before, they are a little cake made up of mashed beans (fava or sometimes garbanzo) along with tons of fresh herbs and spices. Traditionally (actually, ALWAYS) they are fried which gives them a wonderful crispy exterior with a soft warm center. I broke the rules and gave them a quick pan fry in non-stick spray. You can send me hate mail now. Actually, I might even send myself some hate mail on that one. Admittingly, my dry cooked falafel are not nearly as good as fried but the flavor of the fresh garlic, herbs and spices definitely carried the little falafel through. I froze most of my falafel uncooked and will probably shallow fry the rest of them.

Falafel can be eaten as an appetizer dipped in tzatziki sauce, placed on top of a greek salad or stuffed into a pita with fresh vegetables, tzatziki or feta. Any way you dish them out, falafel are little power packed cakes of flavor. If you love fresh garlic, you’ll LOVE these babies!

Falafel

Falafel
I really like fresh parsley and cilantro so I added a ton, making my falafel pretty green.

5.0 from 4 reviews
falafel
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $2.64
Cost Per Serving: $0.30
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans $1.58
  • ½ med. red onion $0.38
  • 1 handful fresh parsley $0.17
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.17
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.09
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • ½ tsp cayenne $0.05
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.03
  • ½ cup flour $0.07
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and add them to a food processor with the red onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, cayenne, garlic and cumin (all ingredients except baking powder and flour). Process the mixture until it forms a paste. Some chunks are okay and usually desirable. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Place the mixture into a bowl and stir in the baking powder. Begin adding flour, 2 Tbsp at a time) until the paste becomes dry enough to form into patties without sticking to your hands. Chick pea or garbanzo bean flour gives the best texture but all-purpose can be used in it’s place. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
  3. Using a small measure (about ⅛th cup or 2 Tbsp), form the falafel dough into small patties. If freezing the patties, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet so they can freeze without sticking together. The patties can be transferred to an air-tight container once they have frozen through.
  4. To cook the fresh or frozen patties, heat oil in a skillet (or pot if deep frying) until very hot but not smoking. Cook the patties on each side until deep golden brown and crispy. Serve with tzatziki, tahini, hummus or stuffed into a pita.

 

falafel

Step By Step Photos

falafel ingredientsfalafel ingredientsPlace all of the ingredients except the baking powder and flour into a food processor (drain and rinse the beans first).

falafel pasteProcess the mixture until you have a chunky paste. Chunks add great texture but too many will keep the mixture from holding it’s shape in a patty. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

flour and baking powderFirst stir in the baking powder. Then begin adding flour, 2 Tbsp at a time, until the paste is dry enough to form patties and not stick to your hands.

falafel pasteI had a lot of herbs that were wet from rinsing so I had to add about 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of flour. Chick pea flour works best but if you don’t have that, use all-purpose. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.

scoop falafelScoop the falafel out, using a small measuring cup, and form into small patties.

falafel to freezeI got 18 falafel with a 2 Tbsp scoop. I placed the falafel on a parchment covered baking sheet so that I could freeze them to cook later. Once the falafel are completely frozen, they can be transferred to a zip top freezer bag and they won’t stick together.

falafel armyMy falafel army…

pan fry falafelOkay, here is the incriminating shot… I cooked my falafel in a hot skillet with non-stick spray. I’ll admit, this cooking method did not do them justice texturally. Next time I will pour some oil in that skillet to get a nice crispy exterior on the little guys.

For instructions on deep frying your falafel, read the original recipe on Making Life Delicious.

falafelfalafel

link

66 Comments

  1. Mila says:

    I can’t wait to try this! How many patties does this make?

  2. lili says:

    Beth i enjoy your blog so many great recipes i made these and they were amazing best falafel ever and i can’t believe they were so easy to make thank you

  3. Kayla says:

    I’ve been eating vegan for a week now and needed something that tasted “splurge worthy”. I used this recipe and fried them to make more of a fritter consistency. Oh my they are delicious!

  4. Vegetarian, cheap, filling and delicious, I’ve been looking for a recipe like this :)

  5. Shayna says:

    omg.. i have only ever had falafels from the boxed mix before and was never really a huge fan. I decided to try these because the pictures looked so good. These were amazing! I officially love falafels! mine were a little soft but i don’t think i used enough flour. Regardless, they were so good..

  6. I made these over the weekend, and because I’m gluten free anyway, I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose GF flour. It has chickpea and fava bean flour in it. I also used dried chickpeas that I cooked in my slow cooker for about 6 hours until they were cooked but still slightly firm. Once my mixture was done, I froze 9 patties. To cook, I defrosted a patty and fried it in about 1/4 inch oil. They are soooo yummy and I’m so glad to have an easy option for my lunches when I get home from work!

    • Sally says:

      I want to use dried chickpeas. How many cups of chickpeas do the two 15 oz cans yield?

      • It’s probably about 3.5 cups. You can be a little flexible with the amount on this one and it will still work out good. :)

  7. A. Tractor says:

    Made these for Christmas dinner. First attempt was to fry them in about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of oil. They dissolved in the oil. Sadness!

    Luckily, I made way more than I needed (was going to freeze them) so I pan fried the rest as the recipe indicates. They were still kind of mushy so I finished them afterward for 20 minutes in the oven at 375 (on a cookie sheet on top of a pizza stone).

    I used all purpose wheat flour — probably just not quite enough, though I am fairly sure it was close to a 1/2 cup. Also perhaps my other ingredients were just too wet or too abundant.

    It’s been so long since had falafel that I’m not sure how firm they’re supposed to be; the oven time may have been too much. Next time I will use more flour for sure, though!

  8. acoustic_alchemy says:

    Thanks for replying so fast :D I think I’ll play it safe and go get a bag of flour. I can’t wait to try these!

  9. acoustic_alchemy says:

    Thinking of making these for lunch and dinner tomorrow…they remind me of Indian kebabs, which aren’t skewered, but baked/shallow fried and served as appetizers.

    I was wondering; would corn starch and one egg be an appropriate substitute for the flour and baking powder? It’s all I have on hand right now.

    • Hmm, I think cornstarch and egg will make the texture quite different, although without trying it out I don’t think I could give an accurate description.

  10. I made these. In an ancient blender that I was convinced was going to give up the ghost any moment. (Because I killed my food processor trying to make bread in it like a crazy person). It took forever, and I added in idk how much liquid to keep the thing chopping. End result, though, was that they’re delicious, but I haven’t made any since because it was such a pain. Food processor is back on my list of needed kitchen appliances.

  11. One of my BB favorites!

  12. I love your blog, also I love this recipe. I just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you in my recent blog post here. Go check it out: http://dontboilmybooks.weebly.com/1/post/2012/10/oven-baked-falafal.html

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was awesome! Fried them in a little coconut oil. We made miniature sized falafal patties just because it was easier to scoop the mixture out and into the skillet with a spoon and then flatten with a spatula. My husband said these were better than what he gets at his favorite Mediterranean restaurant. This will become a regular in our house. THANK YOU!

  14. Michelle says:

    I know it’s not authentic, but I bind mine with egg and I LOVE the flavor and texture it adds (just one small egg for the whole batch). That probably turns it into another dish altogether, but I don’t care = ]

  15. The BEST falafel I have ever eaten was baked! I have cooked falafel on a griddle before too. The taste is still the same–fabulous!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    You could use some coconut oil the next time you cook them. One of the healthiest oils I know of. So you’d get that crispy texture without the guilt or the hate mail. I’m not sure how great the tropical taste will be, but it’s worth a shot. Just don’t heat the oil over 350 degrees or all nutritional value is lost. Good luck though. Super cheap and sound delicious.(:

  17. Anonymous says:

    Aha, I assumed they were $1.58 per can, man those are cheap!! Love your blog, it combines two things I love: food and saving money! -Anna

  18. Oh, and I *do* appreciate it when people catch my math errors (and spelling/grammar for that matter)! So, thanks!

  19. Actually, I’m pretty sure I used generic garbanzos from Wally world that were only $0.79 per can! A total steal, I know… my corner grocery sells them for almost $2 a pop!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Pardon me ma’am, but your math is off. You have omitted 1 can of garbanzo beans from your calculation. Now I am not only a grammar Nazi, but a math Nazi as well! Muuhhaaahaaahaaa!!! -Anna

  21. This looks great. Thanks!

  22. Lindsay – Yes, that would work really well!

  23. Hi Beth,

    Can I mix everything up the night before and then fry the patties the next day?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I accidentally bought a can of cannellini beans (as well as one can of chickpeas) & the recipe still turned out great! Thanks! :)

  25. Flavour is amazing, but when I tried to fry them in good hot oil, they slowly dissolved and all I could hear was ‘I’mmmmm meltiiiiiing’ lol /sigh
    optimally organic

    vestidos de novia valencia

  26. Anonymous says:

    I try it but with LENTILS sooo delicios! same just put the lentils in hot water for 1 hour then dry them and prepared in the same way u do with garbanzos, ITS SOO DELICIOUS!!

    THANKS FOR THE RECEIPE

  27. Anon – That’s not a silly question! You can just fry them from frozen. If you make them small enough, the hot oil should thaw the inside fairly quickly so they won’t be left frozen on the inside and cooked on the outside. There’s nothing in them that actually needs cooking to be “safe” so it’s not a danger. If you don’t want to risk cold centers, you could always microwave them for 30 seconds or so before frying.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This might sound like a silly question, but if I freeze some, do they have to thaw out first or can I just fry them right from frozen?

  29. I just made falafel the other day and ate every one of the fritters. I didn’t think about freezing them. Good idea!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Just made this with naan it was wonderful!
    it is a very easy recipe ii will be making this again!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I made a different falafel recipe a few weeks ago and it turned out dry and not very flavorful. This recipe was easier, more moist and had so much more flavor!! Thank you for all of your great recipes :)

  32. I don’t think it would taste similar. Parsley is a major flavor component in these falafel and it’s quite different than green onion. You might try cutting the parsley in half and adding in some green onion, that would be an interesting twist!

  33. Anonymous says:

    do you think itd taste similar with a green onion stalk instead of the parsley?

  34. Just made these, and they’re amazing! They’re even better than ones I’ve gotten from restaurants — much more moist and flavorful.

  35. I finally got around to making these today! I made the falafel, pita, and tzatziki sauce. DELICIOUS!

  36. made these today for dinner and I loved the fact that they weren’t deep fried. This recipe is a keeper for me, thanks for sharing :)

  37. Anonymous says:

    My whole family loves this recipe! My “super picky eater” 15 year old says this is his new favorite food. Thanks!

  38. Ok, so my first ever falafel experience was as L’As du Falafel in Paris, which purportedly has the best falafels in the city. That set the bar awfully high. I have tried making my own a couple times in the past, with fairly miserable results. Then, last night, I made these. Sweet jeebus. They were A.MA.ZING. Little patties of chickpea wonder. *pauses to wipe drool from chin*

    I made them almost exactly to your recipe, except I used 5 cloves of garlic, and I added 1/2 a jalapeno that was staring at me in the freezer. I served them in a pita with shredded romaine slathered in my favorite yogurt dill sauce and a couple tomato slices. My husband and I could only stare at each other and nod vigorously over the tops of our pitas, because we couldn’t stop chomping long enough to speak.

    So anyway, yeah, they were pretty good. ;P

    Thanks for an awesome blog, btw. We’re new vegetarians, and your recipes have made the transition an absolute pleasure. We don’t even notice the meat is gone! (And that’s really saying something for husby.)

  39. I lived in Egypt for a couple of years & have traveled to Greece ….. and I have to say these falafels are so yummy!
    This recipe made enough to freeze & my kids (3 and 1) love them!
    Yeah for a meatless dinner-

  40. I HAVE MADE THESE (AND THE DELISH YOGURT SAUCE) THREE TIMES IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS AND OOOHhhHhhHH so good. I am serious. Such a delicious, healthy, simple meal. :)

  41. How about making these with sprouted beans? From dried beans? Even cheaper!

  42. Natalie says:

    Made this for our meatless monday dinner tonight…OMG, sooooo good! Thanks for sharing, I will definitely make this one again and again and again!

  43. Hi Beth,

    I found you through a post on ‘Food Inc.’

    I’ve not tried this recipe yet but I will as I’ve made these before and they’ve not held together well. My guys RAVE about the flavor! Even my teenager loves them : )

    You can reduce the cost of this fabulous recipe even more if you buy dried garbanzos. I soak them until they sprout and then simmer on low about 20 minutes until just tender. Mush better flavor than tinned beans.

    I love how you break down the cost of each recipe. This is a real contribution. Thanks so much for this post!

  44. oh yea.. and I added some other goodies into the recipe as well – 1 grated carrot, 2 green onion stalks and half a baked potato… just because I needed to use it up in something! :)

    Super delicious!!

  45. I’ve made your recipe once before and everyone gobbled them down (I didn’t tell the kids WHAT was in them.. just urged them to try a bite! lol)

    I made a double batch tonight and was having the hardest time getting the patties to brown up.. Finally I just took the whole bowl’s worth and poured it out onto a pizza pan and popped it in the oven on 375. I thought, surely this will do the trick!

    Well it never puffed, it never browned noticeably so I just figured no worries, I’ll use it as a dip for carrots and cucumbers and cut up the pitas instead.

    It was about an hour after dinner when I realized … DOH! I completely forgot to add in the baking powder and the flour!!! heh

    Just wanted to let you know this works really well as a dip too when you happen to forget some of the essentials! :)

    Thanks!

  46. Hmmm, I wonder if the gluten in the flour helped mine stay together. A couple other people had problems with theirs falling apart too, though. That’s definitely a bummer because the crispy exterior with warm interior is quite heavenly. I’m glad you were able to make it tasty anyway!!

  47. Melanie :-) says:

    I just made these tonight for dinner, only change was to use rice flour. Tried to find chick pea flour so it would be gluten free and authentic but no dice.

    Flavour is amazing, but when I tried to fry them in good hot oil, they slowly dissolved and all I could hear was ‘I’mmmmm meltiiiiiing’ lol /sigh

    I resorted to a non-stick skillet dry cook and they were still wonderful. No, not crispy fried in oil wonderful, but the ingredients and the flavour punch these little cakes had made up for it.

    I also made your pita recipe sans gluten :-)and ate it pretty much like your picture, even some very garlicky tzatziki stuffed inside.

    Hubby enjoyed it too, even after I told him it was a gluten free, vegetarian, low fat meal lol

    Ty again Beth, keep it up!

  48. Jessa says:

    I made these last night and they were amazing! I was out of garlic, unfortunately, but I -did- have celery that I hadn’t used, so I threw in a single stalk. It added a wonderful texture to it! Can’t wait to make these again.

  49. I finally got to making these and they were delicious! I pan fried them in an oven-safe pan and transfered the pan to the oven for a few minutes to finish them.

    I also found an incredible easy tzatziki recipe in my Body-For-Life cookbook where I combined 1/3c plain yogurt (I used greek), 1/2 a peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber, 1 clove garlic, minced and 1 Tbsp each of chopped fresh dill and chives. It took less than 5 minutes to throw together and tasted great with the falafel!

  50. Anonymous says:

    so happy to have found your blog- great concept!

    i tried these, and while the taste was great, they just would not stay together at all. big mess :( i added and egg and more flour after the first batch and it was a bit better but not much.

    any tips?

  51. I don’t have a food processor, so I ended up chopping/mashing everything up as finely as I could by hand, putting it in the blender with just a bit of liquid and then adding a little more flour later. It worked out just fine, a little bit chunky but very delicious. Just had to make sure I was constantly scraping down the sides, moving the mixture around, etc, because it is way too thick to just turn the blender on and walk away.

  52. Well, it’s definitely too thick for a blender. I suppose you could mince the onion, garlic and herbs super fine, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher (probably easier if warmed) then mix everything together. You’ll have a chunkier mix but I’m sure it will hold, especially after adding the flour. After all, falafel have been around FOREVER and they didn’t have food processors back in the day ;)

    It’s definitely worth a tray, anyway. These have made it to the top of my “all-time favorites” list.

  53. Do you think there is any way to make these without a food processor?

  54. BTW everyone, I’ve been frying my falafel since this first batch and they are TO DIE FOR! Those falafel pita sandwiches are by far one of the best things I’ve ever made and I can’t stop eating them! I made a quick tzatziki with a small greek yogurt cup, some dried dill and just a pinch of salt. Spread a couple Tbsp of that on the pita then stuff it with the falafel, tomato, cucumber and red onion. AMAZING!

    M- I bet WW flour would work although I can’t vouch 100% since I haven’t tried it. Since WW flour has a stronger taste, it might change the flavor just a bit too. Give it a shot and let me know if it works!!

  55. Well you may not have fried them up proper, but they look amazing. I’ve been looking for a good falafel recipe, I might just have to try this out.

  56. I am so making these this week. I just happen to have tons of beans, 3lb bag of red onions, lots of garlic and the pita. They look delish!

  57. yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  58. I am jealous of your stuffed pita… it looks so yummy!

  59. Looks delish! Will whole wheat flour hold them together?

  60. I have tried a couple falafel recipes recently, and I have been so disapointed because they wouldn’t hold together. I think the secret is the flour and baking powder which was never mentioned in other recipes I’ve read! Now I feel some hope when I think about trying again to make homemade falafel. Thanks!

  61. I love falafel and yours look delicious!

  62. Monica says:

    The green reminds me of a homemade Egyptian style falafel I used to eat three years ago. Can’t wait to try this!

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