Vegan Falafel is easy to make, crispy and flavorful. Serve with pita, hummus, and Israeli salad. Can be baked, fried, and even freezer friendly if you have leftovers.
Falafel is a family favorite in our house. It’s a great source of plant protein thanks to the chickpeas and it’s so flavorful from all of the herbs and veggies packed in them. We love making this large batch of vegan falafel so we can enjoy some now and freeze some for later.
what is falafel and is falafel already vegan?
Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish. it’s made up of mashed chickpeas, herbs, onion, garlic, and spices. It’s formed into balls, fritters, or patties. Typically fried or baked. Falafel IS vegan. It is also free of eggs, wheat, dairy, soy, and even gluten. It’s a meat-free dish that is an excellent meal for vegetarians and vegans, but even those who do eat meat love them too!
how to make falafel
The best way to make falafel is by soaking dried chickpeas. Some recipes will call for using canned chickpeas and that’s a big no-no to us. The falafel will be very mushy and soft. Also, some recipes may call for flour or a binder, but a true falafel has no flour.
We soak the chickpeas to plump them up and do so for about 20 hours usually.
- dried chickpeas, soaked
Once the chickpeas have soaked we drain and rinse them to make the falafel.
Place all of the chickpeas into a large food processor and blend together until the falafel mixture is small crumbs and just about to form a paste.
You can scrap down the sides of your food processor if needed.
Then you’ll take your hands and mold the falafel into patties for baking or balls for frying. We use a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet for the oven.
Once it’s done serve as desired.
can you freeze this recipe?
Yes! Simply form uncooked into patties or balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm and then place falafel into a freezer safe container for later use. Once you’re ready to use them just place in the desired amount in the refrigerator and allow them to defrost overnight.
how do you serve vegan falafel?
We always serve with pita, hummus, and Israeli Salad.
You can also serve with sauces and dips –
- Tahini Sauce – this is just made out of crushed sesame seeds and then mixed with lemon juice, garlic, and a little water to thin out into a sauce.
- Hummus – to make hummus you only need chickpeas, tahini, lemon, olive oil, and salt. It’s very easy to find in stores.
- Ketchup – kids love it with ketchup, it’s almost like eating nuggets.
- Vegetarian options include cucumber yogurt sauce or tzatziki.
- We always used our KitchenAid food processor when making this recipe. We recently attempted to make it in our ninja food processor which was a fail even doing in two batches. We ended up having to dump the entire mixture into the KitchenAid processor.
- This makes a large amount of falafel if you’re not wanting to make them all you can halve the recipe or even make the full batch and freeze half.
- Do not use canned chickpeas, it will be watery and mushy.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 medium onion
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Rinse the chickpeas and place in an extra large bowl with water. Add enough water so there's 3x the amount of water than there are chickpeas, as the chickpeas will expand. Cover and let them sit anywhere from 12-24 hours in the water.
- Drain the chickpeas from the water and rinse them.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place chickpeas and remaining ingredients into a large food processor.
- Process falafel mixture until crumbly, but not pasty.
- Bake falafel for 25-30 minutes, turning once in between cooking.