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This Middle Eastern-inspired green falafel is moist and fluffy on the inside, super crispy on the outside, and packs a ton of fresh herbs! This vegan falafel is the most delicious I have ever tasted!

Magical Green Falafels

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • They are magical. Why magical? Because that’s how they taste, seriously. Very fluffy, soft on the inside, and crunchy on the outside. They also pack a ton of fresh herbs, giving them a vibrant green color!
  • They are simple to prepare and require just 6 ingredients and a few spices. You will only need dry chickpeas, onion, some fresh herbs, and spices.
  • They are versatile. You can serve these as an appetizer with a dipping sauce or with pita bread, salads, hummus, or tabbouleh.
  • Belinda, a reader, said: “★★★★★ Best falafel recipe ever! After trying several other recipes using tinned chickpeas with horrible results, I was about to give up on the whole thing. Then I found this recipe, and the results are amazing, even better than the falafels in our local Lebanese restaurant. Thank you so much!”

🧆 What is a Falafel

Falafel is a classic Middle Eastern dish that consists of chickpeas and/or broad beans ground with fresh herbs and spices before being shaped into balls and deep-fried. Falafel is usually served with tahini sauce or hummus, or used as a filling in pita bread sandwiches.

This recipe is not your traditional falafel recipe. It contains three different types of aromatic herbs as well as several spices. Mint and dill are not classic ingredients in traditional falafels, but they really take the flavor to another level. Let’s do it!

🌿 Ingredient Notes

Falafel is easy to make and doesn’t require any hard-to-find ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) – Use dry chickpeas, not the cooked ones sold in cans. You can also use a combination of chickpeas and fava beans. Check the Tips to learn more about that.
  • Fresh herbs – I went with a combination of fresh mint, cilantro (or parsley), and dill.
  • Onion – If you don’t have onion on hand, you can replace it with shallots.
  • Spices – Cumin, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and ginger create a more complex flavor.
  • Baking soda – Adding baking soda does two things: 1) It makes fluffier and extra tender falafels. 2) It creates a darker crust that contrasts perfectly with the bright green inside.
  • Salt – For flavor.
  • Rice flour – Or chickpea flour. It prevents the batter from being too crumbly.

🥣 How To Make Falafel

Preparing falafel at home couldn’t be easier! The process consists of 3 steps: soaking the beans, processing the mixture, and frying.

Magical Green Falafels

Here is the process of making falafel:

  1. Soak the chickpeas. Start by soaking the dried chickpeas overnight or for at least 8 hours. Once the chickpeas have doubled in size, rinse and drain them.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Add the drained chickpeas, onion, fresh herbs, spices, and flour to a food processor.
  3. Process. Process for 10-15 seconds or until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (a bit like couscous). Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Let the mixture chill. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  5. Shape into balls. Shape the mixture into 2-3 tablespoon balls using a cookie scoop.
  6. Fry. Finally, deep-fry the balls for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown, and serve immediately!

🥙 What To Serve With Green Falafel

These falafels are delicious served with hummus or with a garlic tahini sauce. You can also use them as a filling for pita bread or serve them with a simple green salad!

If you plan on serving this falafel with a tahini sauce: whisk together 1/2 cup of vegan yogurt, 2 tablespoons of tahini, 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice (adjust to taste), 1 minced clove of garlic, salt, and pepper.

📔 Tips

  • Fry at the last minute. I recommend frying the green falafel before serving as they tend to dry a bit as they cool down.
  • For moister falafel: I have discovered that using a combination of half fava beans (also called broad beans) and half chickpeas creates moister and softer falafel compared to using only chickpeas. If you want to use fava beans, I recommend using split and shelled ones.
  • Shape: You can shape the falafels into balls if planning to serve them with a dipping sauce or into patties if you want to use them in pita or sandwiches.

❄️ Freezing

While I don’t recommend freezing cooked falafels (they won’t be crispy after reheating), you can freeze the uncooked falafel mixture for up to 2 months. Before using, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can then shape it into balls and fry them.

💬 FAQ

Can I use cooked chickpeas?

No, this recipe only works with soaked dry chickpeas.

Can I make green falafel ahead of time?

You can prepare the falafel batter mixture up to 2 days ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Fry right before serving.

Can I bake the falafels instead of frying them?

I do not recommend it. Frying produces a superior texture, crispy outside and moist/soft inside. Something you can’t get with baking.

How long do these falafels keep?

While these falafels are better served right after frying, you can keep them for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.

Magical Green Falafels

I’m sure you will love these falafels! They are moist, tender, and taste even BETTER than the ones you get at restaurants. Plus, they are naturally vegan and gluten-free!

🥗 More Middle Eastern Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Magical Green Falafels
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Recipe
Magical Green Falafels

Magical Green Falafels

4.88 from 16 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
This Middle Eastern-inspired falafel is moist and fluffy on the inside, super crispy on the outside, and packs a ton of fresh herbs! This vegan falafel is the most delicious I have ever tasted!
Prep Time : 30 minutes
Cook Time : 5 minutes
Soaking time : 1 day
Total Time : 1 day 35 minutes
Servings 16 Falafels
Calories 88 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of each: cinnamon, anise, cardamom, ginger
  • a pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup rice flour or chickpea flour
  • 4 cups oil for frying

For serving

Instructions
 

  • Soak: Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl with the baking soda. Cover with water and let soak overnight.
  • Make the falafel: Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them in a food processor with all the other ingredients: fresh herbs, salt, spices, garlic powder, oregano, baking soda, and rice flour.
  • Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped and a coarse meal forms. Scrape down the sides and pulse again until the texture resembles a fine meal, like couscous. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • Shape and chill: Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Form small balls (about 3 tablespoons) using your hands and place them on a plate lined with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Letting them rest overnight is best as it allows the flavors to develop.
  • Fry: Fill a large skillet with vegetable oil, you want a depth of about 1 inch. Heat over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. When the oil is hot, fry the falafels for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once the falafels are ready, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel to remove the excess oil.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy with hummus, tabbouleh, or tahini sauce. You can also add them to pita bread with hummus, salad, and red onions.

Notes

  • Fry at the last minute. I recommend frying the green falafel before serving as they tend to dry a bit as they cool down.
  • For moister falafel: I have discovered that using a combination of half fava beans (also called broad beans) and half chickpeas creates moister and softer falafel compared to using only chickpeas. If you want to use fava beans, I recommend using split and shelled ones.
  • Shape: You can shape the falafels into balls if planning to serve them with a dipping sauce or into patties if you want to use them in pita or sandwiches.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 Falafel | Calories: 88 kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8 g | Protein: 4.2 g | Fat: 1.3 g | Fiber: 3.9 g | Sugar: 2.4 g
Course : Appetizer
Cuisine : Egyptian, Middle Eastern
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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Hi Thomas,

Thanks for this recipe!

I’m looking forward to try it.

Which food processor are you using? Do you have any recommandations when choosing one?

Thanks again and keep the good work.

Greg

These are so pretty and look delicious. I’m not quite sure how, but I’ve lived without a food processor for quite some time. I think I’m going to have to break down and get one so I can make this recipe.

These falafels look amazing! I cannot believe how thick and fluffy they are! They really are magical!

The crispy outside and that soft doughy-like inside has go me swooning! LOVE falafels!

I’m so excited to make these! A restaurant near my office has the best green falafels I’ve ever tasted – light and moist inside, crispy outside – and I’ve been searching for a decent recipe to replicate the experience. I think your recipe is the one! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

I’m confused. I thought dried beans were poisoness unless you boiled them vigorously for 10 mins, changed the water and simmered them again for some time?

I think what you are referring to is not “poison” but the enzyme inhibitors that is naturally in all nuts and seeds. In most beans, phytic acid (a phosphorous-bound organic acid that protects the plant seed from premature germination) is gotten rid of by soaking the beans (usually overnight, but times vary according to the bean or seed — you can find it online). When you eat foods with phytic acids still intact, they bind with important minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper and prevent absorption and can block protein absorption. So if you soak then and then dehydrate them, you will have a safe bean to use in this recipe. Ancient agrarian cultures soaked beans before eating or cooking and did not use the soaking water, so they did not ingest the phytic acid. I am not sure if how the phytic acid dissipates in cooking without soaking.

Charles, that’s kidney beans. They can be deadly if undercooked. You can just read about it via an Internet search.

Can’t wait to try these! I have a question though. Can they be frozen? If they can, is it best to freeze before frying? Thank you!

Me, too!!! And the carmelized shallot hummus sounds super either with them or on its own.

Is it correct that this serves 22?

[…] 4. Spiced Pumpkin and Chickpea Bake – Recipe Here5. Magical Green Falafels – Recipe Here […]

Do you think they could be baked or cooked in a AirFryer?

Yes u can bake falafel 375○F 25~ min flipping halfway. They come out super crisyy and soft inside, its lighter too.

[…] potato quinoa balls come to the rescue. And I have to say I love these köfte balls just as much as falafels! Crispy on the outside and super soft on the […]

[…] refreshing, healthy and packs 14g of protein per serving. You can serve it as is, or as a side with falafels or tofu skewers for […]

Wow this looks amazing! Will be making them this weekend!

5 stars
Hello! If you have fresh (still in their pods, even!) fave beans do they need to be soaked? Should you just boil with the chickpeas the next day? I love this recipe and my family asks me to make it every year for Easter. Thanks for sharing!

If no nutmeg wat is the best replacement

Hi there, I’m from the U.K. and was wondering if I have tins of ready cooked chickpeas how many would I need (each tin has 240g)

Are the fava beans from dry as well?

5 stars
Well mine didn’t look quite like yours and I used fresh broad beans because that’s what was in the garden but still absolutely delicious. Thanks for recipe.

About the fava beans, if my only option is frozen fava beans would I need to prepare this differently?

Recently I went on a grocery adventure (with the purpose of trying this recipe) and stopped at every grocery seller within about 75 miles of me and exactly zero of them sell fava beans in any capacity, dried or canned, but there is a restaurant supply company that does sell them bagged and frozen, and they’re usually OK with selling “unique” ingredients to non restaurants in small orders.

I’ve only had falafel in two restaurants, one of them uses fava, one uses only chickpeas. I strongly prefer falafel with fava so I want to find a way to use them if I can.

Thanks,
Beanless

5 stars
Best falafel recipe ever! After trying several other recipes using tinned chickpeas, with horrible results, I was about to give up on the whole thing. Then I found this recipe, and the results are amazing, even better than the felafels in our local Lebanese restaurant. Thank you so much! One word of caution, this recipe makes LOTS – I still have about 20 small felafels in the freezer, and that is less than half the recipe amount. I don’t know how much longer they will last, as we can’t stop eating them

Hi
If you forget to put baking soda when you soak beans what to do

Making hummus from scratch is really worth it, when I say from scratch I mean by cooking the garbanzo beans yourself. I used to make hummus from canned chickpeas and I still do when I don’t have much time, but by starting with dried chickpeas, the hummus has a nuttier and more pleasant taste.

Cooking garbanzo beans or chickpeas?
Great recipe by the way! Could you replace the maple syrup with balsamico?

Jo

I’m curious why baking soda is mentioned twice?

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking soda

? Do you add it two separate times? Can’t wait to make it!

Hi Thomas,

Is there any reason not to use fresh garlic in this recipe?

I just made this recipe and found that despite overnight soaking the skins of the broad beans were still so extremely tough that it literally nearly broke my food processor making them. Also, quite a few of the beans remained hard as rocks, almost as though the water did not penetrate the skins during the soaking period. I also had to mix in some flour before forming them as they wouldn’t hold together. Perhaps there should have been a caution about the beans in the recipe notes – if you’ve found the same thing, that is. Apart from that criticism I thought the recipe was good. I served them with a freekeh tabbouli with lots of mint and a home made hummus – great.

4 stars
I just made this recipe and found that despite overnight soaking the skins of the broad beans were still so extremely tough that it literally nearly broke my food processor making them. Also, quite a few of the beans remained hard as rocks, almost as though the water did not penetrate the skins during the soaking period. I also had to mix in some flour before forming them as they wouldn’t hold together. Perhaps there should have been a caution about the beans in the recipe notes – if you’ve found the same thing, that is. Apart from that criticism I thought the recipe was good. I served them with a freekeh tabbouli with lots of mint and a home made hummus – great.

[…] – Chickpea Bean Falafel […]

[…] 4. Green Falafels […]

I made the mistake of not reading the recipe and used tin chickpeas. The falafels tasted amazing but fell apart when frying. Cant wait to try with dried chickpeas….

Can I use frozen broadbean, pop them out of their pods, and add to thdd mixture? Do they have to be cooked, off can I just defrost them, and add?

5 stars
Absolutely love it. Good work and interesting site. ❤

5 stars
Made this recipe last night! Excellent! Thank you for posting it and making it available!