Air fryer falafel cooks up easily in the air fryer for a healthier spin on this classic street food! Packed with so much flavor, perfectly crispy, and incredible piled into a soft pita bread.
Homemade falafel is so much easier to make then you may think!
And dare I say, this air fryer version blows the regular deep-fried falafel straight out of the competition. Not even a question.
The only question is, how many of these little wonders are you piling on your pita?
You know how traditional falafel is always that darker brown? These beauties today are a vibrant green (like they should be!) so you KNOW they’re incredible.
Also incredibly hard to stop eating, but you probably guessed that.
This Air Fryer Falafel features…
- A perfectly crisp outside and fluffy interior
- Garlicky, herby flavors from fresh garlic and plenty of fresh cilantro and parsley
- A blank canvas for an incredible sandwich or Mediterranean platter
- Easy to make ahead of time and no fancy ingredients needed
Making the Air Fryer Falafel
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Dried chickpeas
- Lemon zest
- Cayenne pepper
- Whole wheat flour
- Nonstick cooking spray
How to Prep Chickpeas
Plan ahead because we are using dried chickpeas in this falafel that need to soak overnight or up to 8 hours before they can be used.
Why are we using dried chickpeas and not canned? We found that canned chickpeas made for too dense of a texture because they are fully cooked.
Dried chickpeas that had been soaked gave us a winning texture of crisp on the outside + fluffy and moist on the inside. Well worth the extra step!
Tips for Perfect Falafel
- Soak chickpeas – as mentioned above, this does wonders for the texture! Make sure you put 2-3 inches of water above chickpeas as they will expand as they soak.
- Use fresh herbs – lots of cilantro and parsley give the falafel an herby flavor, plus they give the falafel its signature green color!
- Grind falafel in food processor – the falafel “dough” gets made entirely in the food processor. Pulse mixture several times until finely chopped. – you don’t want it a smooth enough to be a puree so take care during this point that you don’t over-process.
- Roll falafel into balls – shape the dough into 1-in balls. You should end up with around 12.
- Preheat air fryer – preheat a 4-qt air fryer to 375F for 3 minutes prior to cooking
- Air fry falafel – spray the grate of air fryer with pan spray, then lay falafel in a single layer. (work in batches for this part if necessary!) Spray the falafel well with spray and air fry at 375F 8 minutes.
- Flip falafel halfway through cooking – this helps ensure that the falafel cooks up perfectly crispy.
How to Serve Falafel
There are many ways you can enjoy falafel! Try some of these ideas…
- In a pita – spread a pita with hummus and top with sliced cucumbers, tomato, falafel, and a drizzle of tzatziki sauce if desired.
- On a Mediterranean plate – serve alongside hummus with pita chips, fresh cut veggies, feta, and olives.
- In a wrap – serve with hummus, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh greens.
Oven and Stovetop Instructions
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make this recipe! Follow instructions below for oven and stovetop instructions.
Oven: place falafel on a large greased baking sheet and bake at 400F 20-25 minutes, flipping falafel halfway through.
Stovetop: heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1-2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil. Pan sear falafel in oil, turning occasionally until golden brown and cooked through.
Storing and Freezing Falafel
Store cooked falafel in refrigerator up to 6 days. Uncooked falafel may also be stored in fridge up to 6 days and air fried as needed.
Falafel may also be frozen (cooked or uncooked) up to 2 months.
For reheating cooked falafel, reheat in air fryer at 400F 4-6 minutes. If reheating from frozen (cooked or uncooked), add 2-4 additional minutes of cook time.
These falafel are just the king, you guys. They’re so perfectly crispy, loaded with bold herby flavors, and absolutely phenomenal tucked into a sandwich or wrap.
We pretty much keep these on hand 24/7 now for whenever the craving hits and trust me, it’s OFTEN!
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
Need more air fryer inspiration? Try these favorites next!
Air Fryer Falafel
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup firmly-packed fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup firmly-packed fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Nonstick cooking spray
- For serving: pita, hummus, sliced cucumber and tomato, tzatziki sauce, and additional fresh cilantro and parsley
- Place chickpeas in a medium bowl and cover with water (about 2-3 inches above chickpeas) Soak chickpeas overnight or 8 hours.
- Drain chickpeas and rinse well with cold water. Place in a food processor with shallot, garlic, lemon zest, flour, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Pulse mixture several times until finely chopped (do not pulse long enough to form a smooth puree)
- Scrape falafel mixture into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop mixture into 1-in balls and place on a large baking sheet. Note: at this point, you can store falafel balls in a container in fridge up to 6 days and cook as needed.
- Spray the grate of a 4-qt air fryer and preheat to 375F for 3 minutes. Working in batches if necessary, lay falafel in a single layer in air fryer and air fry at 375F 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping falafel halfway through frying. Repeat cooking with remaining falafel.
- Serve falafel warm in a pita with hummus, sliced cucumber and tomato, tzatziki sauce, and fresh herbs on top. Enjoy!