Vegan Falafel is a Mediterranean dish that is bursting with flavor. This falafel is pan seared for a crispy outside and contains a tender, flavorful center. Serve your falafel on pita, in a bowl, etc.
You only need 7 ingredients to make these chickpea falafels! I love using chickpeas for homemade falafels, but you will find that some recipes use fava beans.
Falafels are so delicious, but you'll probably want to pair them with other foods. A tasty tabbouleh or pasta salad on the side is a great option to pair with these Vegan Falafels. Alternatively, I especially love this Mediterranean phyllo flatbread paired with falafels!
This Vegan Falafel recipe is...
- Made with 7 ingredients
- Naturally gluten-free
- Made from dried chickpeas
How to Make Vegan Falafel
- Soak your dried chickpeas overnight.
- Combine the garlic, onion, and parsley in a food processor.
- Drain your chickpeas and add them to the food processor along with the cumin, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is thick and granulated.
- In a bowl, stir together the mixture with the chickpea flour. Then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Shape into balls, and pan fry falafel balls in olive oil in a skillet.
- Place falafels on a paper towel-lined plate, and then serve.
Full directions on how to make Vegan Falafel are in the printable recipe card below.
Tips & Tricks for Perfect Vegan Falafel
Texture of Mixture
After you let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, if you find the mixture is still too wet, add another tablespoon of chickpea flour. Mix, and then let the mixture sit for another 5 minutes. This should help your mixture thicken up.
I find using a heavy-duty, high-quality pan for frying helps you to cook your falafels evenly. High-quality pans will heat up evenly, but low-quality pans can have hot spots.
Consider using a cookie scoop for measuring out your falafel balls. Using a cookie scoop will give you similar-sized falafels, which will help them all cook the same. Make your falafel balls as large or small as you would like!
Variations to Vegan Falafels
Fava beans are a common ingredient in falafels. You can easily swap the chickpeas with fava beans. I find that chickpeas work best for me, but feel free to swap them out if you prefer.
I used fresh parsley, garlic, an onions for flavoring in this recipe. But, you can swap out the spices and garnishes to alter the overall flavor.
If you don't want to pan fry your falafels, you can bake them in the oven. Just place your falafels on a greased pan, and then bake them at 425°F. Make sure to flip your falafels halfway through! Additionally, spritzing your falafels with cooking spray will give them a nice golden crust.
Vegan Falafel FAQs
What is falafel?
Falafel is a Mediterranean dish made with fava beans or chickpeas. The beans or chickpeas are mashed with spices, formed into round balls, and fried to crispy perfection.
How do you serve falafel?
Can you freeze leftover falafels?
Absolutely! To save your falafels for later, place them in a freezer bag or airtight container and store them in the freezer for 3–4 months. When you're ready to eat them, warm them up in the microwave or oven.
If you love vegan cooking, make sure you grab a copy of my free vegan cheat sheet while you’re here. It’s packed with all my favorite plant-based substitutions to help you vegan-ize any recipe!
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our other Greek-inspired dishes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Place the onion, garlic cloves, and parsley in a food processor.
- Pulse a few times.
- Add the previously soaked and drained chickpeas, cumin, salt, and ground pepper to the food processor and blend again.
- Blend ingredients until the mixture has a thick, granulated texture.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the chickpea flour. Stir very well and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. You should now be able to form the dough into balls. If the mixture is still too moist, add one more tablespoon of chickpea flour, then let the dough sit for 5 more minutes.
- Pressing with your hands, roll falafel mixture into 14–16 falafel balls.
- To fry your falafels, add olive oil to a hot skillet. Add the falafel balls, turning them over occasionally, until they are golden brown on all sides.
- Place the fried falafels on a clean paper towel to drain the excess oil.