Master Falafel Recipe

5 from 7 votes

My falafel recipe is easy to make, filled with nutty and earthy chickpeas and an assortment of spices like cumin, coriander, and cardamom. It also features fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro to round out the flavor.

pan fried falafel in a bowl with sauce

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re no stranger to chickpeas. They serve as a great plant-based meat substitute and are packed with protein! They are also often used in Middle Eastern cuisine to create chickpea patties, also called falafel. 

The dish is thought to have originated in Egypt and was originally called ta’amiya. Back then it was made out of fava beans. Chickpeas were thrown in the mix when Jewish settlers tried their hand at making ta’amiya. They called their creation falafel.

Even carnivores will love my easy to make (and easy to eat) falafel recipe. It’s made with chickpeas, onions, fresh herbs, and spices that are formed into small patties or balls and then fried. They are often paired with hummus and other dipping sauces like tahini, and you may have seen them used as a sandwich filling as well. 

Whether you want to serve your chickpea patties as a hearty snack, as a topping on a salad, or as a filling for your favorite pita sandwich, I encourage you to try my falafel recipe! It involves a bit of preparation, but once you’ve formed your batter they take under 10 minutes to cook. I’ve also included both frying and baking methods as well as a video below!

map of Egypt and Middle East


  • Dried Chickpeas – Make sure to opt for dried chickpeas instead of canned! Canned varieties will make your falafel fall apart if you try to fry it. And remember, you need to let them soak overnight before you begin working with them. Don’t cook them when they are still dry!
  • Red Onion – You’ll have to dice these before you get started. They don’t have to be perfectly diced, as you’ll be running them through the food processor!
  • Garlic – Opt for fresh cloves here for the best flavor. If you buy a bulb of garlic, just be sure to separate and peel the cloves before adding them to your food processor.
  • Baking Powder – This small addition will keep your chickpea patties fluffy.
  • Flour – To help bind your batter together.
  • Vegetable Oil – You need this to fry your chickpea patties. Use your preference — mine are canola or peanut oil. 
  • Fresh Herbs – Toss in cilantro and parsley for added freshness! Because these will be blended in the food processor, it’s fine if you can’t remove every piece of stem.
  • Dried Seasonings – To achieve the signature falafel flavor, be sure to include:
    • Salt
    • Cumin
    • Coriander
    • Cayenne
    • Cardamom
  • Sesame Seeds – Add a sprinkle over your chickpea patties before you cook them for extra crunch!
photo collage of step by step images  show how to make chickpea patties


  1. Soak the Chickpeas. Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Cover the bowl and let it soak overnight, at least 8 hours. They will double in size as they soak up the water.
  2. Drain the Chickpeas. After you’ve drained your chickpeas in a colander, place them in a food processor with the chopped red onion, garlic, parsley, and cilantro. Pulse the mixture several times until it is finely chopped. Make sure that the texture isn’t too grainy or mushy. 
  3. Mix the Batter. Place the chickpea mixture into a bowl and add in the salt, dried spices, baking powder, flour, and water and mix until well combined. Let it chill for an hour in the refrigerator. You can either fry or bake your falafel recipe, depending on your preference.
frying falafel in a pan


  1. Prepare the Frying Pan. In a large sided skillet (cast iron works great), heat your vegetable oil to 350°F. You can use a food-safe thermometer to determine the temperature. 
  2. Form the Falafel. Using wet hands, scoop about a tablespoon of the batter into the palm of your hand and form a ball. It should be about the size of a walnut. If you’d like, you can use an ice cream scoop or a falafel scooper to keep them uniform in size!
  3. Fry the Chickpea Patties. Sprinkle a bit of sesame seeds over your patties and flatten them slightly before you fry. Place them in the oil and deep fry them in two batches — make sure not to overcrowd the pan! Fry for up to 4 minutes, or until each is brown and cooked through. Give them enough time to cook! 
  4. Drain and Serve. Drain fried falafel on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. Serve on its own with tahini sauce, or place inside a pita with other condiments to create a sandwich! 
batch of cooked falafel


  • Use dried chickpeas. Soaking them overnight is a must if you want to enjoy crisp, non-crumbly patties.  Alternatively, fava beans may be substituted. Simply replace the chickpeas with equal amounts of fava beans.
  • Don’t overwork the batter. Mix everything until just combined. Handle it as little as possible to keep it light and fluffy.  
  • Chill to preserve shape (optional). Form these however you like. Round balls or flattened disks are the most common. After shaping, place on a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This helps the patties hold their shape.
  • Storing: After shaping, uncooked falafel can be kept covered in the fridge for several days. This makes it so quick and easy to fry more tomorrow! The uncooked patties are freezable. However, be sure to FLASH freeze them. Accomplish this by placing shaped balls in the freezer on a cookie sheet, spaced so they’re not touching. After they have frozen, store them in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
  • For best results, keep the oil between 350 and 360°F while frying.
  • Serving: This meal is best if eaten right away. While the leftovers will keep in the refrigerator, the flavor won’t be as vibrant.
serving dish with falafel


Chickpea patties are fine to eat as is, but there are so many delicious sides to serve them with! Drizzle or smother them in any of these rich sauces, and serve alongside any of these complementary dishes for a complete meal:

  • Tahini Sauce has a luxurious, mildly nutty and savory taste. 
  • Toum Sauce is also known as Lebanese garlic sauce. This creamy condiment is made with garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. 
  • Red Shatta Sauce is a Middle Eastern chili sauce and is the equivalent of North American hot sauce. 
  • Schug, a Yemeni hot sauce, is fantastic with almost any Middle Eastern dish.
  • Hummus, a delicious creamy chickpea and tahini spread that you can use either as a dip, or smooth on the inside of the pita before adding the other ingredients.  
  • Tabouli salad is a delicious bulgur salad with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon, and mint. 
  • Pickled red onions are fantastic in a variety of dishes, including this one. Stuff them in a pita with the patties, or serve them on the side for a colorful and yummy meal.
  • Pickled turnips are a unique way to add flavor in spades.  
  • Shirazi salad is a delightful combination of fresh vegetables and a tangy citrus dressing (just omit the chickpeas).
falafel with a bite out of it

Chickpea Patties Video

To see us make this falafel recipe from start to end, watch the video in the recipe card below.

falafel in pita bread with sauce with cucumbers and tomato

Do You Cook Chickpeas Before Making Falafel?

You don’t need to cook chickpeas before making falafel, but you do need to soak them. Dried chickpeas must be soaked overnight for at least 8 hours before placing them in your food processor. Not only will your stomach thank you, but you’ll save your food processor from a world of damage!

pan fried falafel in a bowl with salad and sauce

What Holds Falafel Together?

You need a binding agent to hold your chickpea patties together. I recommend that you keep things simple and use all-purpose flour! You don’t need to add a lot to get the job done. If you want to make this falafel recipe gluten free, opt for a GF flour. The obvious choice would be a bit of chickpea flour.

What is the Best Oil to Fry Falafel?

As mentioned, I prefer to use canola or peanut oil to fry my falafel recipe. Don’t be turned off by the name of the latter — it boasts a very, very mild peanut flavor. If you’re concerned with allergies, stick to canola.

Chickpea patties with sauce

This post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes February, 2021, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in June, 2022.

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overhead image: dish of pan fried falafel

Master Falafel Recipe + Video

5 from 7 votes
Looking for an easy falafel recipe that you can make at home? Look no further! Use this as a base for your Middle Eastern creations.
Servings: 20
Prep: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Soaking/Refrigerator: 8 hours
Total: 9 hours 28 minutes


Falafel Mixture

  • 1 1/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp water


  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying


  • Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups water. Cover and set aside to soak overnight (8 hours). They will double in size.
  • Drain chickpeas and transfer to food processor (See Note 1) along with the red onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Pulse several times for about a minute until finely chopped, but not too grainy, or too mushy of a texture. It should just start to hold together.
  • Remove mixture from processor and mix together in a bowl with the salt, spices, baking powder, flour and water. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Fry Method

  • Heat oil to 350°F in a large sided skillet (cast iron) or heavy bottom medium saucepan.
  • Wet your hands and scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into the palm of your hands to form a ball about the size of a walnut. You could also use a small ice cream scoop, spoon or falafel scooper if you prefer to keep them uniform in size (they will be flat and rounded).
  • Place each falafel on a tray and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Deep fry them in 2 batches, don't over crowd the oil, it will lower the heat. Fry for 4 minutes until browned and cooked through (See Note 2).
  • Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with tahini sauce and or all Optional Condiments in a Pita.

Baked Method

  • Add a 1/4 cup vegetable oil a baking sheet, spread to cover and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Wet your hands and scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into the palm of your hands to form a ball about the size of a walnut. You could also use a small ice cream scoop, spoon or falafel scooper if you prefer to keep them uniform in size (they will be flat and rounded).
  • Place each falafel on a baking tray and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. I have found it better to flattened the balls slightly when baking or make the disk shape. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping after 12 minutes.
  • Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with tahini sauce and or all Optional Condiments in a Pita.



  1. Using dried chickpeas in this recipe is a MUST. You want these soaked over night, but you do not cook them. Soak, drain and into the food processor. If canned chickpeas are used in this they will break apart when frying.
  2. It’s important that they really dry out on the inside, so make sure they have plenty of time in the oil. If they brown too quickly lower and keep oil at 350°F.


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
pan fried falafel in a pita with cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. omygosh my tummy wants these . Thank you for the recipe 😘 😋🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻♥️

  2. I soaked a big batch of chickpeas the other day, i.e. more than 1.5c dry. What would be the quantity of *soaked* beans needed for this recipe?

    1. Click the Video button on top of the post or Jump to Recipe and see the video after the Instructions. If you have a ad blocker on your browser, that may be the issue. Other than that, you can view all my videos on my Youtube channel, link here.

  3. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried falafel until now and I have definitely been missing out! So easy and delicious; easily, a new favorite recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Your instructions were perfect. I had never made them before and they turned out perfectly. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. 5 stars
    My hubby and I absolutely love this recipe! Definitely one of our favorites, and I’ll be making these again soon!