We love this falafel recipe made with roasted chickpeas, plenty of fresh parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallots and spices and then air-fried to the perfect crispiness! Since most falafel is fried in oil, we had rarely eaten it … until now! That’s where the magic of the air fryer comes in. It’s a game changer because it doesn’t need all of that extra oil to make the falafel crispy. We are so happy because all of these amazing flavors are so hard to resist and they are such a healthy, filling, vegetarian and vegan dish, too. This is such delicious, quintessential middle eastern street food!
While you can certainly fry your falafel in a pan of oil, or bake it in the oven, the air fryer produces a crispy outside and a soft and fluffy inside to the falafel. Now we eat it way more often! Plus all of the great breads and sauces to eat with falafel are amazing, like naan or pita, whipped feta, tzatziki, Greek olives … I could go on. Those Mediterranean flavors pretty much make our taste buds flutter!
Many thanks to Arisha at Wake Up and Kale for her baked falafel inspo! We love her recipe that calls for a lot of fresh parsley and cilantro, which gives it a super fresh taste and a beautiful green tint on the inside. We made several changes including adding shallots and where most recipes call for using soaked and ground raw garbanzo beans (chickpeas), we used canned beans, but then roasted them to dry them out a bit before processing them with the rest of the ingredients. This speeds up the process and tastes really delicious! And, finally, we add just a bit of baking powder and seltzer to the mixture, which also helps to keep the inside light and fluffy.
If you would like to make whipped feta to go with your falafel, simply beat 1 cup of crumbled feta and 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil together until the cheese is mostly creamy. Then whip in about ½ cup of plain nonfat yogurt and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice until fluffy. That’s it! So simple and soooooo good!
Air Fryer Falafel
- Air Fryer We have the Instant Vortex 6-Qt. Air Fryer and we really love it, because you get all of the crunchiness of fried foods, but with so much less fat!
- 2 16-oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 small shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. dried coriander
- 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. flour (can use regular all-purpose or any gluten-free flour)2 +/- tablespoons seltzer water
- 2+/- tbsp. seltzer water
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
- Drain garbanzo beans and rinse them in cold water. Drain water off and spread them out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or just until dry and starting to brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Place garbanzo beans, parsley, cilantro, shallots, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper and baking powder into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until evenly mixed and small, fine pieces of garbanzo remain and mixture sticks together when you press it together. You don’t want it too finely puréed, but just enough to hold together.
- Turn the mixture out into a bowl and mix in flour and seltzer water. Now, the mixture should be able to hold its shape when formed into balls. Add more seltzer if needed for be able to form balls. Divide batter into 10 balls, approximately 2-inches in diameter.
- At this point, you can freeze the falafel in an airtight container, or refrigerate for several hours until you’re ready to bake them in the air fryer.
- To cook, preheat the air fryer on the “air fry” mode to 350 ° F. When it says to add food, place the falafel balls on the tray and air fry for about 12 minutes or until the edges are crispy and the centers are hot.
- Serve hot with pita or naan, whipped feta, hummus, tzatziki or even on a Greek salad.
- To make whipped feta, place 5 oz. feta cheese, 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor and process until creamy and fluffy. °