How would you feel if I told you that you could eat falafel, without worrying about the extra calories or feeling guilty about it? Yes, you read it right. We bring to you, air fryer falafel! For those of you who don’t know it already, Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern “fast food” made of a mixture of chickpeas (or fava beans), fresh herbs, and spices that are formed into small patties or balls.
A modern twist to the classic Lebanese dish, air fryer falafel cook up fluffy, light, and extremely crispy, with comparatively very little oil. These can be simply served with a hummus dip or on pita bread with a dressing of your choice. Falafel might be your perfect choice because they are very economical, can be made with the ingredients commonly found, and can also be made prior and kept to freeze thus making meal preparations super easy. Let’s have a look at the delightful recipe!
How to make air fryer falafel
1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup onion (roughly chopped)
¾ cup parsley (roughly chopped)
¾ cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper (rough chopped)
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 tablespoons chickpea flour or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder Olive oil spray
- Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Soak overnight.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas and add them to a food processor. Add onion, parsley, cilantro, pepper, garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, and salt and process until it’s the texture of couscous.
- Sprinkle in the 4 Tablespoons flour and baking powder, and pulse, adding additional flour if needed so that you can form the mixture into a ball without it sticking to your hands.
- Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the mixture to firm up.
- Using your hands, or a cookie scoop, form falafel into golf ball-sized balls.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees. Spray the basket with oil and place the falafel inside, leaving space between them (depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches). Coat the falafel with additional oil spray.
- Cook 15 minutes, until golden brown, flipping over halfway through.
Vegan Air Fryer Falafels:
With veganism so popular among the new generations, we also have a very kid-friendly and vegan recipe for falafels as well.
2 cans (14-ounce) organic no salt added chickpeas, rinsed, drained well & patted dry
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp. superfine blanched almond flour 1 tsp baking soda
- Place drained chickpeas in a food processor with onion and garlic. Pulse for about 30 seconds until the chickpeas are mostly smooth.
- Add lemon juice, parsley, coriander, nutritional yeast, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Blend again until smooth and combined. Then stir in the flour and baking soda.
- Take a tablespoon-sized scoop of the mixture and roll into a ball or form into patties. Repeat with the remaining mixture. It should make around 15 falafels.
- Lightly coat falafel with avocado oil spray. Working in batches, place patties in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Turn the air fryer to 375F and cook or 12-13 minutes, flipping each one over half-way through.
- Best served hot but will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 3 months.
Air Fryer Falafel Burgers:
You can opt for a very healthy but extremely tasteful variant of hamburgers with Falafel Burgers. Read the recipe below and find out how to make it.
For the Burger
1 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste) 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns*
For the Relish
8 ounces whole poblano peppers 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar
- In a food processor, blend about half the chickpeas with the lemon juice until smooth. Add remaining chickpeas, red onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, cumin, chilli powder, salt, baking powder, and tahini. Process the entire mixture until coarsely ground.
- Shape burgers into 6 patties, about 4 ounces each. Refrigerate until firm.
- Meanwhile, prepare the relish. Cut peppers in half, remove stems and scrape out the seeds. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 7-8 minutes, remove from microwave but leave the plastic wrap on bowl 1-2 more minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap and let peppers sit until cool enough to work with. Gently peel off the skin and dice peppers.
- In a medium sauté pan, combine diced peppers, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until vinegar is reduced and relish has slightly thickened about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Turn Air Fryer on to 350 degrees F. Coat the basket of your air fryer with cooking spray. Add falafel patties in a single layer (you may have to cook in batches), and lightly coat with cooking spray. Air fry 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve each patty on a bun and top each with about 2 tablespoons relish.