The air fryer falafel recipe is what I call equal parts easy, fun, and healthy! These falafels have that perfect ratio of fluffy inside and shatteringly crispy outside, so they’re not dry and chewy but tender and light.
WHAT IS AIR FRYER FALAFEL?
Falafel is a fried patty made with chickpeas and spices. The popular Middle Eastern recipe originated in Egypt but now has become a much-loved fast food all over the world. Although making falafel from scratch sounds complicated, it’s rather simple to put together.
Typically, they are deep-fried, but I wanted to take the easier route and make a healthy chickpea dinner recipe, so my recipe is air-fried. In all honesty (and as a disclaimer) fried falafels taste really really good, but then anything steeped in oil does! That said, these air fryer falafels are still fantastic!
4 REASONS YOU’LL LOVE THIS AIR FRYER FALAFEL RECIPE?
Homemade falafel (air fryer version) is definitely healthier than fried falafel.
Hearty but not heavy falafels with a warm, fragrant core and crispy, crunch center.
The process is so straightforward that the recipe will sneak into your weeknight rotation.
Great make-ahead recipe: prep the mixture a night or day before and air fry 15 minutes before you need to serve!
HOW TO AIR FRY FALAFEL?
Step 1: Wash and soak chickpeas for 12 to 24 hours.
Step 2: Rinse and drain the soaked chickpeas and then pulse in a food processor with a half-small onion, garlic, parsley, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, and paprika (optional).
Step 3: Mince to a coarse and granular texture, not smooth.
Step 4: Transfer into a bowl. Combine with sesame seeds.
Step 5: Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to up to even overnight.
Step 6: When you’re ready to air fry falafel, mix in baking powder. Shape the mixture into balls. Flatten it slightly with your palm.
Step 7: Brush both sides of the falafel with olive oil. Place in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer. Cook for 5 minutes.
Step 8: Flip the falafels and air fry for another 5 to 6 minutes or until crispy, brown, and cooked through.
Final step: Serve!
NOTES ON MAKIMG FALAFEL IN AIRFRYER
- We don’t grind air fryer falafel into a puree or very fine mixture. You pulse for a few seconds, scrape the sides, and then pulse gain till everything is blended but still has structure. You’ve reached the right texture when you hold the mixture in your palms, which sticks together.
- Chilling the raw falafel helps the ingredients meld and ensures the mixture holds its shape better.
- Flatter falafels speak my language. You can, of course, shape them in round balls.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. Leave sufficient space between falafels.
- 10 to 12 minutes worked for me, but I recommend keeping an eye on the falafels after the 8-minute mark because every air fryer is different. Yours may be faster or take longer!
AIR FRYER FALAFEL INGREDIENTS
Baking powder gives the falafels an airy texture, so don’t feel shy about adding it.
Sesame seeds bring in the nuttiness and that extra crunch.
Chickpeas: Way back, I used to make falafels with cooked chickpeas, and let me tell you, the difference is stark. It’s a shortcut but not an authentic way to make this Middle Eastern recipe. Canned or cooked chickpeas do not cut it. If you want that mouth-watering falafel, they have to be dry.
Herbs: Garlic and onion are aromatics that add depth and complexity to the flavor. Besides them, you can use any combination of herbs – cilantro, dill, parsley, or mint.
Spices: Cumin and coriander are the traditional choices. I love the taste roasted cumin imparts. You can stick to regular cumin powder. Chili or paprika are optional. Use as little or as much as you like. If you want to make this crispy falafel recipe your own and up the heat, try green chilies.
SERVING AIR FRIED FALAFEL
Homemade falafel is a first-rate snack, but in my house, we love it in a meal with all the fixings.
- Stuff it in homemade pita to make a sandwich
- Serve it as a wholesome side with hummus or tzatziki
- Dip it with labneh for an easy appetizer
- Make it part of a mezze platter
- Put it on a Greek salad or tabbouleh salad.
CAN YOU STORE AIR FRY FALAFEL?
Warm up leftover falafel in the oven or air fryer. Raw falafels can be frozen for 2 to 3 weeks.
MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES
Half the joy of cooking is sharing it with others. That’s why I’m always eager to hear from you. So go right ahead and drop a comment or reach out on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Facebook. I hope you love the air fryer falafel recipe as much as we do!
Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe
- 1.5 cups / 300 gms Chickpeas
- 1/2 Onion, chopped
- 7-8 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 cup Fresh parsley
- 2.5 tsp Cumin powder I used roasted cumin powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 1.5 tsp Paprika
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1-2 tbsp Olive oil, for brushing on top
- Wash and soak the chickpeas for 12 to 24 hours.
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas well.
- Add the chickpeas, chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, cumin powder, coriander powder, paprika, and salt to your food processor.
- Mince to a coarse texture.
- Transfer to a bowl and mix in the sesame seeds.
- Cover and refrigerate this mixture for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the falafels, mix in the baking powder.
- Shape the mixture into balls and flatten them slightly.
- Brush both sides of the falafels with olive oil and place them in the basket of your air fryer in a single layer.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 200 C. Flip them and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes or until, crispy and browned.
- Remove carefully from the basket and serve on a platter. Enjoy!