Falafel is a Middle Eastern street food consisting of a small fritter made from ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans), minced garlic, and fresh parsley. Falafel can be eaten plain, with hummus and vegetables, or most frequently tucked into a pita and topped with condiments like hot sauce or a yogurt sauce similar to tzatziki.
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour or chickpea flour (use chickpea flour to make gluten free), salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that... but don't overprocess, you don't want it turning into hummus!
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a cookie scoop. I usually use about 1 tbsp of mixture per falafel or an amount the size of a walnut. I then flatten it into a patty.
Place the falafel into an even layer into the air fryer in a single layer. Spray lightly with canola oil.
Close the Power Air Fryer drawer and press the power button. Use the "M" button and navigate to the "Fry" icon. Set the temperature to 370 degrees F. Set the time to 12 minutes - turning the falafel halfway through the cooking time.
Serve with hummus, pita, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and yogurt sauce.
Start with dry, do NOT substitute canned beans. They do not have the same consistency as the dry beans.
To freeze falafel patties:
Prepare the falafel according to recipe directions, but do not fry. Shape into small (1 ounce) discs and place on cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the freezer (called flash freezing) and allow falafel to freeze.
Remove cookie sheet from freezer and place falafel into a freezer-safe bag or container. Place back into the freezer. Frozen uncooked falafel will last about 3 to 6 months in the freezer.
Then just cook frozen falafel according to the recipe instructions.
Easy Air Fryer Falafel
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 222Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Vitamin A 377IU8%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 67µg64%
* (Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy, and is sourced from the USDA Food Database.