Falafel are crispy, flavorful chickpea balls, seasoned with herbs and spices from the Middle East, often used in pitas, wraps, salads, sandwiches, and bowls. Falafel can be pan-seared, fried, baked, or cooked in an air fryer. Vegan, vegetarian, GF. Video.
Easy Authentic Falafel recipe made with soaked chickpeas, with Creamy Tahini Sauce.
This authentic recipe for Falafel was handed down to me by my Egyptian father. He called them “Taymea,” and loved making them because they reminded him of home and his own mother, still back in Egypt. They brought him so much comfort. Today, they do the same for me- transporting me right back into my parent’s kitchen when I was young.

What is falafel?

You may be wondering… what is falafel? Falafel is a flavorful mixture of chickpeas (or fava beans) fresh herbs, chilies, spices, onion and garlic, that are shaped into little balls and fried. Falafel is typically served pita sandwich along with tahini sauce, tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers and pickled turnips. They are also often served as part of a mezze platter. *Traditional falafel is made with dried chickpeas  (or dry fava beans) that have been soaked in water overnight. This is what gives falafel its unique texture.

How to make Falafel! | 60-sec video

 Falafel Ingredients

  • Dry chickpeas  (not canned) – Authentic falafel is made with dry chickpeas that have been soaked but not cooked. Using cooked or canned chickpeas will result in mushy falafel- with no texture.
  • Cilantro (or parsley)- Falfels have a greenish hue to them because they are loaded with herbs!
  • Onion and garlic- both add great flavor and depth!
  • Green Chili Pepper (jalapeno peppers, serrano, or sub cayenne) add fresh “heat”. Feel free to go light or make them more spicy.
  • Spices: Coriander, coriander and salt.
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil

Authentic falafels made from soaked chickpeas!

How to make Falafel (Step-by-step Instructions)

STEP ONE:  Soak dry chickpeas overnight in a bowl of ample cold water for 10-24 hours, until they more than double in size. Drain them well, and pat dry. I often just spread them out on a sheet pan and let dry completely.

An Authentic recipe for the BEST falafels ever, with instructions on how make the pita bread from scratch, the falafel sauce and the pickled turnips! | www.feastingathome.com

STEP TWO:  Place the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse repeatedly (do not blend), pulse -pulse- pulse, scrape down sides, and pulse again, until combined, but not overly smooth. Don’t over blend- you want to be granular, not smooth like hummus… and should look something like this below. You must pulse, scrape sides, and repeat a few times to achieve this.

This authentic Falafel Recipe is made with soaked, uncooked chickpeas and hands-down has the BEST texture and flavor! So easy! Bake them or pan-sear them. Great in wraps, bowls, or salads. |  #falafel #falafels #falafelrecipe #falafelsalad, #bowl #veganfalafelrecipe #bakedfalafel #vegan #easyfalafel
STEP THREE:  Refrigerate for 20 minutes (right in the food processor is fine) and then form into golf ball-sized, compressing them tightly with your two palms.  The dough will seem wet; this is ok, just compress tightly.

How to make Authentic Falafels made with soaked chickpeas, not canned. This recipe, hands-down has the BEST texture and flavor! Vegan and Gluten-free. |  #falafel #falafels #falafelrecipe #bestfalafel, #veganfalafelrecipe #easyfalafel #authenticfalafel #easyfalafels

STEP FOUR: Cook the falafel.  Heat a skillet, with high-heat oil, over medium heat.  Without crowding, carefully place falafels in the warm skillet, pressing down to flatten slightly.  TIP: Do not move them or fuss with them; just let them develop a crust. Letting them develop a golden crust, will allow them to naturally release themselves from the pan. This goes for almost anything you are searing or frying.

See recipe notes for BAKING the Falafels or air frying them! 

How to make Authentic Falafels made with soaked chickpeas, not canned. This recipe, hands-down has the BEST texture and flavor! Vegan and Gluten-free. |  #falafel #falafels #falafelrecipe #bestfalafel, #veganfalafelrecipe #easyfalafel #authenticfalafel #easyfalafels
When deeply golden, use a thin spatula to turn them over.
How to make Authentic Falafels made with soaked chickpeas, not canned. This recipe, hands-down has the BEST texture and flavor! Vegan and Gluten-free. |  #falafel #falafels #falafelrecipe #bestfalafel, #veganfalafelrecipe #easyfalafel #authenticfalafel #easyfalafels
Remember, wait until they form a crust before moving, that way they will contract and release themselves from the pan.
How to make Authentic Falafels made with soaked chickpeas, not canned. This recipe, hands-down has the BEST texture and flavor! Vegan and Gluten-free. |  #falafel #falafels #falafelrecipe #bestfalafel, #veganfalafelrecipe #easyfalafel #authenticfalafel #easyfalafels
STEP FIVE:  Place the falafels that are done, uncovered in a warm oven while you cook the rest. This will warm them all the way though, activating the baking soda, giving them a little lightness.

How to Make a Falafel Sandwich!

Warm-up pita bread, slice the very top off inch off and open it up, leaving the edges intact. Spread both sides with the Creamy Tahini Sauce,  add a few warm falafels, sliced tomato and cucumber, creamy tzatziki, pickled onions or pickled turnips. Add hot sauce if you like! I love adding this Lebanese Slaw to the pita sandwiches too!

How to Make a Falafel Salad

If you are on a gluten-free diet, or just want to try something different, falafel salads are a good alternative. Use any greens and toss in your favorite veggies  (tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, olives). Dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper- then top with warm falafels and a side of  Tahini Sauce.
Here is our Falafel Bowl for more ideas!
On the homefront:  Food is deeply personal and becomes rooted in us at a very young age. For most of us, our comfort food is what we grew up eating – the special meals our parents made for us in celebration, but especially the simple daily meals we ate together as a family. After I moved away from home, this was one meal I missed the most and looked forward to every time I went back home. It was the same with my father, this meal reminded him of home.
One thing I encourage you to do is to learn how to cook the dishes that comfort you, from the people who made them for you (if possible).  It is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Truly.
When I feel homesick or lonely for my parents, I make these falafels and feel comforted.  ✨
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Falafels with Tahini Sauce. This authentic recipe is made with soaked, uncooked chickpeas and hands-down has the BEST texture and flavor! So easy! Bake them or pan-sear them. Great in wraps, bowls, or salads. |  #falafel #falafels #falafelrecipe #falafelsalad, #bowl #veganfalafelrecipe #bakedfalafel #vegan #easyfalafel

The Best Falafel Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 65 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 1x
  • Category: vegan, main, gluten-free
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegan


How to make the best authentic Falafel from scratch using soaked chickpeas (not canned)  with Homemade Pita, Creamy Tahini Sauce, Pickled Turnips, and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce  *Chickpeas need 10-24 hours of soaking time. I recommend making a double batch. See notes for an air-fryer or baked falafels.


Units Scale

Falafel Recipe 

  1. 3/4 cup dry chickpeas (yields 2 cups soaked), soaked 10-24 hours
  2. 1 cup cilantro, packed (stems ok) or sub-Italian parsley
  3. 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, rough chopped
  4. 3 large garlic cloves
  5. 1/2 of a jalapeno, seeds ok (add the entire thing if you want a little kick)
  6. 1 tablespoon ground Coriander
  7. 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/23/4 teaspoons kosher salt (add more to taste)
  10. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  11. high heat oil for frying, or spray oil for baking


  1. Soak:  Cover the dry chickpeas in a bowl of ample cold water on the counter for 10-12 hours or up to 24 hours in the fridge. They will swell into 2 cups. Place in a strainer, drain well, pat dry with a towel for extra dryness. (Wet chickpeas will be more difficult to fry.)
  2. Blend: Place onion, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno in the food processor and pulse 10 times until chopped. Add the 2 cups of the soaked, raw chickpeas, salt, spices, and baking soda, pulse again 10 times, scrape down sides, then add the olive oil, and process 10 seconds, until it is well blended but still coarse like sand. Don’t overwork it- this should not be smooth but coarse and granular for the best texure. Place the falafel dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 400F.
  4. Form: Using damp hands, form round, golf ball-sized balls in your hands, compressing them tightly, slightly flattening them. The dough will feel damp, and this is OK- the compression with your palms will help bind them. If they feel incredibly wet, feel free to lightly dredge in flour if you absolutely must- but I don’t even when wet.
  5. Pan sear: In a non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, heat a ¼ inch of “high-heat” oil on med-high heat until it sizzles when a pea-sized portion of falafel is dropped in. Turn heat to medium.  Place them carefully in the hot oil, (they are fragile but should hold together just fine) slightly press down, and do not move them until they develop a deeply golden crust (this crust will ensure they naturally release themselves from the pan). Using a thin metal spatula, carefully turn them over. Lower heat if necessary. Sear the other side. Each side will take about 3-4 minutes. Cook in batches, not overcrowding. Place falafels in the oven  while you cook the remaining falafels to cook them through.  Keep them in a warm oven until ready to serve.
  6. Falafels can be cooked ahead, frigerated, and reheated in the oven. Alternatively, the falafel “dough” can be made ahead, refrigerated, and used throughout the week.
  7. Serve with our pita bread, tahini sauce, or tzatziki, or make pickled onions.


Do not use canned or cooked chickpeas- not the same. 

Try Fava Beans: Feel free to use soaked fava beans- or a combo of both- also delicious!

Baked Falafels: heat oven to 375 F. Place falafel on a greased parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush or spray the tops with olive oil.  Bake 12-15 minutes, flip and bake 10-15 more minutes or until golden. These can be cooled and frozen.

Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 380 F. Place falafels on a greased grate and spray with spray olive oil. Airfy 6 minutes, check, add another minute or so if needed.

Meal Prep: The falafel mixture can be kept in the refrigerator and pan-seared “to order”. For example, I’ll often make a double batch and just store the bowl of falafel mix (covered) in the fridge for the week, pan-searing as needed.

Pickled Turnips: Peel and thinly cut turnips and use the pickled veggies recipe. Add a tiny sliver of beetroot to get a lovely pink color!

Tahini Sauce: To make your tahini sauce even creamier- stir in a couple of tablespoons of yogurt.


  • Serving Size: 2 falafels
  • Calories: 246
  • Sugar: 4.7 g
  • Sodium: 510.1 mg
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.9 g
  • Fiber: 5.9 g
  • Protein: 11.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg




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  1. This was my first attempt at making falafels and it was a huge success. I had to make a few substitutions based on what was on hand. Didn’t have cilantro so used parsley and added about 3 large sprigs of mint. Then only had cumin seeds so cut the cumin in half. These are fresh and strong. I pan seared about 6 and air fried the rest. Texture is a hint different, but not that noticeable. Oh, and had just used my last fresh jalapeño so subbed hot pickled jalapeños (one to one), drained and squeezed dry. It worked; just a little bite of heat. Thank you for sharing your family recipe.

    1. You are so welcome Terry and I’m so happy you were able to make it work with what you had!

  2. I don’t know why- but my falafel came out super bitter 🙁 I did use the canned chickpeas because it’s all I had- and used a mix of parsley and cilantro, but everything else was the same. I air fried them, too, but the batter tasted bitter even before that step. I could eat it with everything else (sauce, pickled veg, etc.) but by itself was awful. I LOVE falafel and I’m super disappointed that these didn’t turn out better.

    1. Hey Oli- This recipe is just not designed for canned chickpeas. It just won’t work. I’m so sorry you had a bad experience and I hope you try it with the soaked dry chickpeas, I promise you you will never go back. 🙂

  3. 20/10 stars! We’ve all been a little “meh” about falafel until today. This recipe knocked our socks off. Might be my new fave. We paired with your picked red onions over mixed greens. The tahini sauce is equally kind blowing. Thanks for coming through on another Hit for us! ✨✨✨

    1. Glad to hear it Carolin! I just made this yesterday and I never tire of it!

  4. Thanks for the recipe. Do you really only use 1/2 tsp salt? I didn’t measure but I’m sure I used way more than that. Also deep fried them. Not as healthy as yours I guess 🙂

    1. Hi Andy- I usually add more salt to taste. 🙂 Bet they tasted great deep-fried.

  5. Really delicious! I ended baking in the oven only because I didn’t feel like frying. Will be making again

  6. Great recipe. Very easy to make. I used my Phillips Air Fryer for 6 minutes at 390 and they came out looking like they were fried in oil. So delicious!! I will definitely make again.

  7. These were a smash hit. Tahini sauce made with Forager cashew yogurt-obsessed. A minor mishap with falafel-too wet. Used Bob’s Red Mill GF 1-to-1 flour to correct the problem. Also Polenta Lasagna another huge hit.

      1. Yes, yes I made it work. Also tried the Baked Tacos, rave reviews, and the Maple Granola which is excellent. Thanks!

  8. This is an exceptional recipe, easy to make, tastes wonderful, and freezes well. I always make a double batch. Wondering if you can use any kind of bean?

  9. These falafel are so good just batch-up and increase the recipe 3x because you are going to crave them. I had never attempted to make falafel before but this recipe is so easy and beginner friendly. I added fresh mint, which is probably not authentic but I love the fresh hit it lends. One day I’ll make the pita. 🙂

  10. Hands-down, the best falafel I’ve ever made. Love, love, love the use of cilantro here (I think the use of straight Italian parsley is often too bitter for my taste). And the spice is just perfect (I think falafel has a tendency to be over-spiced to the point you taste only cumin). The consistency and flavor of these are phenomenal. I’ve tried *and failed* may times to get falafel right over the years. . . wish only I’d come across this recipe sooner. Thank you!

  11. What do you suggest if I don’t have a food processor? I do have a blender, or I suppose I could try to mash or chop the chick peas?

    1. Yes, I guess you could chop everything very finely and mash the chickpeas. The food processor really helps it get fine enough to stick toghether- so that is what I worry about if you do it by hand. May be crumbly.

  12. Hi Sylvia- Could you use 2C chickpea flour (I have some I need to use up), moistened? Or would that alter the taste/texture too much?

  13. The falafel is yummy! The sauce is not vegan though. Have you tried using plant-based yogurt in the sauce?


    1. Yes, you can make the Everyday Tahini Sauce instead- it’s vegan. 🙂 Or add vegan yogurt, up to you!

  14. Great recipe! Much better than any bought falafels I’ve tasted. I’m still getting used to the frying method…sometimes it comes out to soft and other times it’s just right.

    1. Great to hear Gen! Yes, I always do a practice one first to gauge the best temp of the pan.

  15. This is a fantastic recipe! I can’t wait to do this one over and over again. I served it at a dinner party and people were going back for 3rds and 4ths…huge hit. It was so delicious! I also added zatar broiled eggplant, and avocado! Yum

  16. hi Sylvia, you have two different recipes for falafels. One starts with 2 cups of drawing chickpeas and the other starts at three quarters of a cup of dry chickpeas, but they both use 1 cup of cilantro. So is one of them revision or are they just two different recipes? Do you have a preference? Thanks so much!

      1. Yes, but one recipe calls for 2 cups of Dry chickpeas, and the other recipe calls for 3/4 cup of Dry chickpeas, and the ingredients in the second recipe are mostly halved, but the cilantro is a full 1 cup in both recipes. One recipe was for the falafel bowls and one was just for falafels in a pita. It’s a puzzle.

  17. The flavor and texture are fantastic, even without the jalapenos. I struggled getting the mixture chopped up in my blender. I wonder if chopping the chickpeas by themselves first in the blender, before adding the rest of the ingredients, would be a better bet for me? Thank you.

  18. I frequently make a large batch and store it in the refrigerator, then cook it as needed throughout the week. You can dredge it in flour if it starts to feel wet.

  19. I made this recipe tonight. It was delicious! The flavor was fantastic – A+. I did not have coriander or the jalapeños seeds and it still came out great.

    1. Yes Pina, you can totally do that! In fact I often make a batch and keep in the fridge and just cook as needed through the week. If it starts to feel wet, you can dredge in flour.

  20. Sylvia, what’s the difference between this recipe and your baked falafel bowl recipe. ? I have made your baked falafel bowl recipe and it is fantastic. Also can I prepare the mixture the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight and then form into patties and bake the following day or is it better to make the mixture form into balls , refrigerate overnight and then bake. I’m pressed for time and wanted to prepare ahead of time. Thanks for all your great recipes.

    1. The falafels are the same- only the bowl version, is baked. And served in a “bowl”. But falafel recipe is the same Pina!


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