Easy Homemade Air Fryer Falafel

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Learn how to make homemade Air Fryer Falafel that’s packed with wholesome ingredients like chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, and cumin and crisped perfectly in the air fryer.

Homemade air fryer falafel

I love falafel and used to make it with a store-bought mix, which is still great, but if you want to learn to make it yourself, this is a very easy recipe to follow. The air fryer is just one more easy step that means you don’t have to deep fry them to get that lovely crunchy exterior.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Crispy, Not Greasy: The air fryer gives you that craveable crunch without the oil-slick aftermath.
  • Intense Flavor Profile: Fresh herbs and a dash of spices make each falafel ball a burst of flavor.
  • Convenience: Skip the soaking, boiling, and frying; let the air fryer do most of the heavy lifting.

» You might also like Air Fryer Halloumi.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for air fryer falafel
  • Dried chickpeas – Use dried chickpeas in a bag, not canned or cooked
  • Baking soda – The baking soda makes the water more alkaline, which softens the chickpeas more quickly by weakening their pectic bonds.
  • Parsley – You need fresh parsley for this recipe. You won’t get the same results with dried.
  • Cilantro – You also need fresh cilantro. You can use the stems too.
  • Onion – I use a white or yellow onion.
  • Garlic cloves – Garlic is a must-have – be sure to use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
  • Seasonings – Cumin, ground black pepper, salt.
  • Baking powder – Baking powder helps make the falafel crispy when cooked.
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Cooking oil spray It’s very important to spray the entire exterior of the falafel with oil to get them crispy.

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Food processor: A food processor makes the job of blending the falafel dough so much easier.
  • Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
  • Mixing bowl: You’ll only need this if you aren’t using a food processor to blend the mixture.
Homemade air fryer falafel on pita

Helpful Tips

  • It’s crucial to use dried chickpeas and soak them overnight. This helps them break down better and gives a more authentic texture.
  • Refrigerating the mixture helps solidify it, making it easier to handle during the air frying process.
  • You might feel like the mixture isn’t going to hold together, but I found that most of mine did. Only a few fell apart and had to be squeezed back together. Carefully transfer them to the air fryer and once they’re in the basket, they’ll stay together.
  • The whole exterior of the falafel needs to be sprayed with oil to get the exterior perfectly crispy. There’s really no other way to do it than with a spray because brushing them with olive oil will likely cause them to fall apart.

How to Make Air Fryer Falafel

Step 1: Soak the chickpeas

Add the dried chickpeas and baking soda to a bowl of cold water, covering the chickpeas by at least 1 inch. Soak overnight.

Step 2: Blend

Blending the chickpeas in a food processor

In a food processor, blend the soaked chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, and spices until well combined. You might have to stop and scrape down the sides occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. This helps the mixture stay together once you form the balls.

Step 3: Prepare the balls

Adding ingredients to a bowl to mix falafel

Add in the baking powder and sesame seeds. Stir well.

Rolling falafel mix into a ball

Scoop the mixture into golf-ball-sized portions. I had to squeeze them tightly to get them to stay together. They do have a propensity for falling apart. If one does fall apart before you can get it into the air fryer, just pick it up and squeeze it back together. Place the balls in the freezer for 20 minutes before air frying, if you have time. This will help solidify them so they don’t fall apart easily.

Step 4: Air fry

Uncooked falafel in the air fryer basket

Place the balls into the air fryer basket and spray with cooking oil. Cook at 375º F(190°C) for 15 minutes. It’s preferable to turn the balls over halfway through cooking so you can spray the other side with oil, but if yours are having a hard time staying together, it’s best not to disturb them.

Cooked falafel in the air fryer basket

When the time is up, you can let them rest in the basket for a minute or two to firm up before transferring them with a pair of tongs to a plate.

Enjoy them hot either on their own or stuffed into pita bread with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers.

How to Store It

Seal leftover falafel in an airtight container and stash it in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. When you want to reheat them, just put them back in the air fryer for a few minutes. They crisp right back up!

Homemade air fryer falafel

Questions About the Recipe

Can I use canned chickpeas to make air fryer falafel?

It’s best to use dried chickpeas for this recipe, because they aren’t cooked yet and that helps hold the shape of the falafel and make them not turn soggy when cooked again. You can use canned chickpeas if you absolutely must, but I don’t recommend it.

How can I ensure that the falafel turns out crispy in the air fryer?

To achieve crispy falafel in the air fryer, you have to spray the falafel balls with oil on all sides before air frying. Additionally, preheating the air fryer and arranging the falafel in a single layer without overcrowding the basket can help ensure even crisping.

What if the balls fall apart before they make it to the air fryer?

It is possible that your falafel will fall apart before they make it to the air fryer. They aren’t held together with much. If they fall apart, pick up the pieces and squeeze them back together again. Carefully place them in the air fryer and try not to jostle them at all. If you really can’t get the mixture to stay together, you might need to refrigerate it for longer or add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the mixture to make it tackier.

Before You Go

Since you made it to the end of this article, you might be interested in more chickpea recipes. Here are a few more articles we think you might enjoy.

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Homemade air fryer falafel

Easy Homemade Air Fryer Falafel

Learn how to make homemade Air Fryer Falafel that's packed with wholesome ingredients like chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, and cumin and crisped perfectly in the air fryer.
5 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 25 Falafel
Calories 32 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup (200 g) dried chickpeas not canned or cooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh parsley leaves stems removed
  • 1/2 cup (8 g) fresh cilantro leaves stems removed
  • 1/4 cup (12 g) fresh dill stems removed
  • 1/4 small onion chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (0.1 g) dried coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon (4 g) toasted sesame seeds
  • Cooking spray
  • Pita tomatoes, cucumbers, tzatziki sauce, if desired

Instructions
 

  • Add the dried chickpeas and baking soda to a bowl of cold water, covering the chickpeas by at least 1 inch”. Soak overnight.
  • In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, and spices until well blended. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides to make sure it all gets blended well.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.
  • Mix in the baking powder and sesame seeds.
  • Scoop the mixture into balls (golf ball sized).
  • Set the balls into the air fryer. Spray with cooking oil.
  • Cook on 375º F(190°C) for 15 minutes, turning the balls and respraying with oil after 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot on its own or add to pita bread with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers.

Notes

  • It’s crucial to use dried chickpeas and soak them overnight. This helps them break down better and gives a more authentic texture.
  • Refrigerating the mixture helps solidify it, making it easier to handle during the air frying process.
  • You might feel like the mixture isn’t going to hold together, but I found that most of mine did. Only a few fell apart and had to be squeezed back together.
  • Carefully transfer them to the air fryer and once they’re in the basket, they’ll stay together.
  • The whole exterior of the falafel needs to be sprayed with oil to get the exterior perfectly crispy. There’s really no other way to do it than with a spray because brushing them with olive oil will likely cause them to fall apart.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 93mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 167IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chickpeas, herbs, spices
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