Falafel is the ultimate finger food that you’re going to be craving on the reg after you make this recipe! It’s packed full of flavor but it isn’t just tasty; it’s also bursting with protein from hearty chickpeas and our air-fried twist keeps things light on the oil. It’s like a flavor-packed high-five for your taste buds.

Interested in a deep dive into the history of falafel? Check out our Deep Fried Falafel recipe.

a plate o fair fryer falafel over a bed of greens with a side of tzatziki.

The Best Homemade Air Fryer Falafel 

You might’ve had falafel, but we’re willing to bet you’ve never had falafel like this before! Made in the air fryer instead of deep fried, it requires no oil and is loaded with fiber and nutrients. 

Even better, our air fryer falafel recipe cooks in minutes and has all the crispy texture you love. Make a big batch to keep on hand for quick appetizers, easy meals, or snacks! 

What is Falafel? 

A staple Middle Eastern food, traditional falafel are deep-fried balls or patties. They contain chickpeas, fava beans, fresh herbs, and spices and are crisp on the outside yet soft in the center. 

Is falafel a healthy recipe?

What we love about this falafel recipe is that it is healthy! Even our deep-fried falafel is healthy. Falafel is naturally packed with vitamins and nutrients and chickpeas, and fava beans are a solid source of plant-based protein.

One of the main benefits of using an air fryer is that it makes every recipe healthier. That’s right! Because the air fryer eliminates the need for saturating the food in oil, it is so much better for you. So, there’s much less fat in this falafel recipe than most others!

Ingredients You Need

  • Dried Chickpeas and Dried Fava Beans – Be sure to use dried varieties, and soak them overnight. Do not substitute cooked chickpeas or beans! 
  • Green Onions – Use the white and green parts. 
  • Red Onion – Chop the onion finely to add a slight crunch and a tangy taste to every bite. 
  • Garlic Cloves – Fresh garlic cloves provide the best flavor. 
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds a bright, almost peppery taste. 
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, ground coriander, and cumin create a bold, savory taste. 
  • Baking Soda – This helps soften the chickpeas and creates a crisp exterior. Do not substitute baking powder!
  • Sesame Seeds – Technically optional, these add a slightly nutty taste and a satisfying crunch. 
a hand holding an air fryer falafel.

How to Make Falafel in the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fry before you begin! The falafel won’t become crisp if it isn’t hot. 

  1. Prepare the legumes. Soak the chickpeas and fave beans in water overnight. 
  2. Create the falafel base. Add the soaked dried chickpeas, fava beans, green onion, red onion, garlic, and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined. 
  3. Season. Add the salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin to the food processor. Pulse again to combine. Then, stir in the baking soda. 
  4. Portion. Use an ice cream scooper to portion out balls of the falafel mixture. 
  5. Top. Roll the balls in the sesame seeds. 
  6. Cook. Arrange the falafel in the basket of an air fryer lightly greased with olive oil or cooking spray. Air fry until they’re golden brown and cooked, flipping halfway through. 
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Tips for Success

  • Work in batches. Avoid overcrowding your air fryer basket! It’s crucial to leave a bit of space between each falafel patty. Work in batches as needed until they all cook through. 
  • Avoid overcooking. Every air fryer is different, and the exact cooking time will vary depending on the size of the falafels. So, keep a close eye on the patties, and remove them as soon as they’re golden and crisp. 
close up image of an air fryer falafel topped with sesame seeds.

Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways to serve falafel! Some of our favorite options include: 

How to Make Ahead and Store

  • Store cooked and cooled air fryer falafel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. 
  • Freeze leftover falafel for up to for up to six months. To do so, arrange the patties on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Then, transfer the falafel to a sealable bag.
  • Reheat thawed or frozen falafel in the air fryer at 350 degrees, flipping every few minutes until heated through. 

Common Questions About This Air Fryer Falafel Recipe

Is it better to deep fry or air fry falafel?

This depends on your preference. Deep-fried falafel is the traditional option. However, air fryer falafel is just as tasty and less calorie-dense. 

Why did my falafel disintegrate in the air fryer

The most common cause for falafel to fall apart is the mixture being too wet. Be sure to drain the excess water from the beans. 

Why can’t you use cooked chickpeas for falafel? 

The starch in cooked chickpeas is already released and gets washed off, meaning your falafel patties will not hold their shape. 

More Air Fryer Recipes

two fingers holding an air fryer falafel topped with sesame seeds.

Falafel

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Our Mom's Egyptian falafel recipe is easy and delicious! We air fry them for a lightened up version!

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 cups fava beans soaked overnight
  • 6 whole green onions
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sesame seeds for topping

Instructions 

  • Soak the chickpeas and fava beans overnight to rehydrate them.
    1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight, 2 cups fava beans soaked overnight
  • Set up your food processor. Add chickpeas, fava beans, green onion, chopped onion, garlic cloves and cilantro to the food processor. Blend everything together.
    1 medium red onion, 6 whole green onions, 4 garlic cloves, 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • Next, add salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin to the food processor. Pulse it together.
    1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Remove the falafel dough mixture from the food processor and place it in a bowl.
  • When you are ready to start frying the falafel, add the baking soda to the bowl and mix it all together.
    1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out little balls of falafel dough. Release it into your hand and press in sesame seeds.
    Sesame seeds for topping
  • Arrange them in the air fryer and cook for 15-18 minutes at 350. Flip the falafel halfway through the cook time to make sure they’re crunchy on both sides!
  • Serve hot or at room temperature on it’s own or with tahini, hummus, pita bread, and salad.

Video

Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Alia and Radwa! I was curious if I can use canned chickpeas and canned fuul beans for this recipe? I’m looking for an even quicker version and I usually forget to soak anything the night before!