Mess Level: Low
Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
- 2 Cups Soaked Chickpeas (One Heaping Cup Dried)
- ½ Yellow Onion (Optional)
- 1 Head Parsley
- 1 Head Cilantro
- 1 Handful Arugula or Mixed Greens
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
- ¼ Cup AP or Chickpea Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- Salt to Taste
- Pepper to Taste
Note: To soak the Chickpeas cover with cold water and let sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours. (Click here for how to force-soak the chickpeas)
- Add the chickpeas to a food processor and blend until they are mealy, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Scrape out the chickpeas and add all remaining ingredients. Pulse until broken down, add the chickpeas back in and blend until everything is well incorporated. Taste and adjust salt/seasonings as needed.
- Continue blending until a handful of the mixture holds together when you squeeze it into a ball.
- Scoop out well-packed rounds of the mixture, press them into a ball. Stop here if deep-frying.
- For pan-fried, press the falafel balls flat with your palm, about ¼ inch thick.
To Deep Fry:
- Heat a few inches of oil to 350 degrees. Fry the falafel a few minutes each side till brown, crispy, and heated through. Rest on paper towels.
To Pan Fry:
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Lightly coat the bottom with oil and heat till it shimmers, about 30 seconds. Sear the falafel about 30 seconds to 1 minute each side, then transfer to a 170-degree oven to heat through.
- Serve warm, enjoy, and drop your questions in the comments!
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Gluten Free: Substitute the flour for chickpea flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour.
- Vegan: Yes! This dish is naturally vegan
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
Complete the recipe through step four. You can freeze or refrigerate the falafel balls, then defrost and deep-fry them when you’re ready to eat them. Or you can flatten them into patties and freeze them with parchment in between each patty. Defrost and cook by following step seven. If the thawed falafel is crumbly, dampen your hands and squeeze them back into the desired shape.
Additionally, you can sear the patties and then refrigerate or freeze. They reheat well (Defrost first!) in a 350-degree oven or in the microwave if you’re in a pinch.
Don’t feel like making falafel when you planned? You can freeze the soaked chickpeas! I find the best method is to freeze them in a single layer in a Ziploc bag. They defrost quickly in the fridge or under running water and then you’re good to go!
Can I use Canned Chickpeas?
Not with this method...If you blend canned chickpeas you will have a “falafel sauce” and your patties won’t hold together. I have a recipe coming soon for falafel using canned chickpeas.
What if I don’t have time to soak the chickpeas?
I’ve got you covered!
Method one - In an Instant Pot, cover the chickpeas with several inches of water. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Then they’re ready to go!
Method two - Pour boiling water over the chickpeas, immediately cover with a lid and let sit one hour. Then they’re ready to go!
Can I use different greens?
You betcha!Parsley and cilantro are classic, but you can use just one or sub out any flavorful green you have on hand. Got some radish or carrot tops? Throw em in! The greener the better, in my opinion, it adds flavor and a brilliant color when you break into the falafel.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
A good falafel is like a warm hug from your vegetarian friend. It’s actually one of my favorite, meatless meals to have on hand because it’s not trying to imitate anything, it’s just wicked delicious on its own.
My favorite way to eat a falafel is tucked into a soft pita (You must ALWAYS check the pita’s softness before buying) with ripe tomato, crisp cucumber, some red onion, and the star of the show, a big scoop of yogurt. Trust me on this.
However, the merit of falafel lies not only in it’s cozy-goodness, but it is also incredibly easy to make ahead of time. “Meal prep,” say it with me, is in fact so much more than cooking some chicken and asparagus and sticking it into a plastic container that you stare at miserably while it rotates in the microwave three days later.
Meal prep is what makes a restaurant run. Think about it, when you order a falafel at a restaurant, there is no line cook scrambling to pour all those ingredients into a food processor and make the falafel, it has been done ahead of time, seasoned to perfection, and is ready to be dropped into the deep fryer and then placed in a portion of three, perfectly crispy rounds on a small appetizer plate, decoratively smeared with a mint-yogurt sauce and some hummus. Who knew a chickpea could be so good.
To top it off with this recipe is easily modified to be gluten-free. So there you have it! How could you not fall for the falafel? It’s so good, so easy, can be made ahead of time, and will satisfy near most all of your friend's/child’s/sister's/partner's dietary wants. Falafel on my friends.