air fryer falafel recipe

Easy air fryer falafel recipe that you can make quick and healthier than the traditional method. No can chickpea is use here, and no deep-frying is required. To make this recipe, you will need an air fryer and a food processor or Vitamix.

If you never had falafel before, falafel is a delicious Middle Eastern street food that looks like mini meatballs. But unlike meatballs, falafel is completely plant-based. You will need raw chickpeas, fava bean, onion, garlic, and a mix of different herbs and spices to make falafel.

My biggest concern when it comes to eating falafel is the traditional way of cooking them. Traditionally, falafel gets cooked in a deep fryer. It comes out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This cooking method makes the falafel ball pack with calories and un-healthy impacts that come with deep frying. When it comes to a healthier alternative, air frying, pan-frying, and baking method is your friend. Unlike the baking and pan-frying way, air fryer falafel is the closest to your traditional falafel in terms of taste and texture. Air fryer falafel will still give you crisp on the outside while remaining soft and moist on the inside.

Air Fryer Falafel

Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Passive Time: 12-24 Hours

Serving Size ~30 Falafel balls

falafel

Ingredients:

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked*
1 Whole onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 Tablespoon Toasted sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano 
2 teaspoon Ground cumin powder
2 teaspoon
ground coriander
1 teaspoon
ground black pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Avocado Oil

Directions:

1. Soak dried chickpeas overnight or for at least 12 hours to rehydrate. Do not substitute this with can chickpeas, or try to accelerate the process by cooking it.

2. Throw in all the ingredients (except chickpeas and oil) in your food processor or Vitamix.

3. Chop and mix all the ingredients in your food processor or Vitamix. You want to make sure everything is grinding finely.

4. Wash and drain your soaked chickpeas. Add the soaked chickpeas into the food processor and pulse into a coarse meal. You want a little texture mixture and not a fine texture.

5. Transfer the mixture that is in the food processor or Vitamix to a bowl with a lid. Refrigerate and let it sit for an hour.

air fryer falafel before

6. Drizzle some avocado oil on your hand and form the falafel mixture into a small ball. The ball should be about 1.5" in diameter. Applying some oil will help to create a crispy texture on the outside. You can also do this step by using two spoons. Drizzle the oil onto your spoon and then scoop the mixture. Press the two spoon together in the opposite direction and form a ball shape. Then place each falafel ball into your air fryer basket.

air fryer falafel after

7. Fill up your air fryer basket and then cook it at 375 F for 15 minutes. Finished falafel should look golden brown and crisp. If it is not, cook for longer. Repeat this process until you use up all the dough.

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Tips:

  • Soak your dried chickpeas for at least 12 hours. Ideally, it should be soaking for 20 hours. 
  • Can chickpeas do not work for this recipe because it contains too much moisture. To make falafel balls, you have to use raw chickpeas. Do not try to accelerate the soaking process by boiling the chickpeas. 
  • The trick to binding is to let the mixture rest for about an hour before shaping. 
  • Coat the outside of the falafel ball with some oil will help create a crispier texture. Very similar to a deep-fried texture but without drenched with oil. 
  • If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, you can substitute for dried herbs. 

Six reasons why you should love this recipe:

  • These air fried falafel balls will come out golden brown. Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. If its time right, it will be crispy on the outside and not dry on the inside. You don't want to overcook it because the falafel balls will get dry. You also don't want to undercook it because then it won't be crispy.
  • Because they are air fried instead of deep-fried, they contain less fat.
  • This air fryer falafel recipe is gluten-free and vegan friendly, so they are great party appetizers that will satisfy everyone.
  • These air fryer falafel are the perfect bite-size that is pack with protein.
  • You only need a handful of ingredients to make this air fryer falafel recipe.
  • This air fryer falafel recipe binds well, and it is easy to form a ball.

What is falafel made of?

Traditionally, falafel is made from chickpeas/ garbanzo beans, fava beans, or both and seasoned with herbs and spice. But nowadays, you can find other variations based on where you buy your falafel.

The main ingredient of falafel is raw garbanzo/ fava bean, and raw beans usually come in dried form. To grind them the beans, they need to be re-hydrated first to soften them up. To re-hydrate the beans, you have to soak them overnight for 12-24 hours. Avoid using can or cooked beans to make falafel because they contain too much moisture and give the mixture a mushy texture. As a result, the falafel will be hard to shape, and the inside will be too mushy.

What is Traditionally served with falafel?

Falafel is considered street food in the Middle East and often serves as a sandwich or finger food.

The classic falafel sandwich is the falafel ball stuffed between pita bread with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and drizzled with tahini sauce. But nowadays, you can find all kinds of variations of a falafel sandwich.

When it serves as finger food, you can dip it in tahini sauce or hummus.

Here are some ideas how you can eat your falafel:

  • Make a pita sandwich. Place them in between pita bread and stuff it with lettuce, pickles, onion, shredded beets. Drizzle it with either a tahini sauce or spicy peanut sauce. 
  • Dip it. Dip your falafel with hummus, mint and cucumber yogurt sauce, baba ganoush, or your favorite dips. 
  • Lettuce wrap. Keep it light, and serve it in lettuce wraps. 
  • Make a platter. Serve them with salad, fries, pita bread, and your favorite dips. 
  • Can You Eat Air Fryer Falafel with Dietary restriction?

    Are Falafel Vegan And Vegetarian?

    Yes, falafel is both vegan and vegetarian. They are made from all plant-based ingredients, and this is a vegan falafel recipe. Falafel is traditionally served with pita bread, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and tahini sauce, which are all vegan. 

    Are Falafel Gluten Free?

    Traditional falafel is made from beans mixed with spices and herbs. It is naturally gluten-free. However, when you eat out or purchase it from a store, you should check the ingredients because some falafel can contain fillers.

    Are Falafel Keto Friendly?

    Falafel is not keto friendly because it is made with chickpeas, which has more net carbs than the keto diet guide. However, this does not mean you can't have falafel. There are plenty of keto friendly falafel recipes out there. 

    How to Make Air Fryer Falafel Ball?

    Traditionally, the falafel ball is shaped with a falafel scoop. If you don't want to invest in a falafel scoop, you can use your ice cream scoop. If you don't have any of that, you can shape it with your hand or two large spoons.

    Is Air Fryer Falafel Healthy?

    Traditional falafel is deep-fried in oil, so it is high in fat and calorie content. It also comes with all the un-healthy impacts that comes with deep fried food. Including put you at a higher risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Other than that, falafel is high in micronutrients and a good source of protein and fiber.

    Healthy alternatives to deep frying are pan-frying, baking, or air frying falafel. These methods can achieve the crispy on the outside and soft on the inside if done correctly. The falafel should shape flat with the baking and pan-frying option, so you have more surface area to heat up. If you are going with air fryer falafel, you will do exactly what you would do as if you were to deep fry them. If I have to choose between the three methods, I prefer air fryer falafel because it offers better crisp, cooks faster, and easy to manage. In terms of the healthiest alternative, baking is the healthiest method out of the three.

    Is air fryer good for you? Is it healthier for you? Learn everything you need to know about an air fryer.

    How To Store Left Over And Reheat Air fried Falafel

    Store your falafel mix or already made falafel in the refrigerator for no longer than five days. If you are not planning on eating it for a while, you can put it in a freezer bag or container and store it in the freezer.

    To reheat, place it either in the oven or in the air fryer at 325F. About 5 minutes in the air fryer, or 10 minutes in the oven.

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. This means I make a few dollars if you purchase/sign up after clicking my link. This costs you nothing, but it helps keep this blog running!

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