Air Fryer Falafel that is perfectly crispy on the outside and oh so fluffy on the inside. They are vegan and gluten free and require no frying in oil. A Wonderful healthy recipe for an easy meatless family meal everyone will enjoy!
This healthy falafel recipe has actually become my new favorite air fryer recipe. I am not the biggest fan of meat but I do like Chicken and fish and occasionally turkey (this is probably evident from the recipes on my bog). Falafel is a type of food that I grew to love during my vegan/vegetarian days.
Why you will love this air fryer falafel recipe
- Quick and easy recipe
- Herby and delicious
- Crispy and fluffy falafel with no frying in oil needed
- Healthier than traditional falafel
- A wonderful meatless recipe the whole family will love
- Gluten Free and Vegan!
- Great for meal prepping!
It is a super easy recipe loaded with classic falafel flavors like onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin and coriander. To make this recipe a little healthier and simpler, I adapted it so you can cook it in the air fryer and skip all of that frying in oil that you would need to do if you were making a traditional falafel recipe.
Get more of my healthy air fryer recipes here.
Thanks to the air fryer you get this nice crispy outer layer with a fluffy center with little oil and much less effort. It still tastes just like it was fried, which is the most amazing thing about this no-oil falafel recipe.
What is falafel?
Falafel is a traditional food that originated in the Middle East that is actually considered a “fast food”. It involves blending chickpeas with herbs like parsley and cilantro and spices and rolling them into balls or patties and frying them in oil.
They are both vegan and vegetarian and also gluten free in this recipe. It is a great meatless meatball alternative that you can enjoy in wraps, pita sandwiches or even on top of a salad.
What is traditionally served with falafel?
The traditional way to serve falafel is on pita bread spread with hummus or tzatziki sauce loaded with lettuce and fresh veggies like cucumber, tomatoes and onion. I skipped the bread and made it into a humus bowl that is so good and still super satisfying. Of course, if you need the carbs then go the traditional route and pile them into some warm pita bread.
Ways to enjoy falafel
Serve them in some lettuce wraps. This is a great, lower carb alternative that is also so delicious. Spread some hummus onto some lettuce leaves, add some cooked falafel and top with chopped cucumber, tomatoes and sliced red onion. Yum!
On top of a fresh salad. I love to enjoy falafel on top of a salad with some super yummy homemade healthy salad dressing for a fast, healthy meal like in this Healthy Baked Falafel bowl with Tahini Dressing (also a great alternative if you don’t have an air fryer).
Air Fryer Falafel Ingredients
How to make Falafel in the air fryer
- Prep the chickpeas. Add dry chickpeas to a medium size bowl, cover them with enough water to about 1 inch above the chickpeas and let them sit at room temperature, uncovered for at least 12 hours or overnight. Then drain them and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to make this recipe.
- Make the falafel mixture. Place the onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cover and pulse a few times to break it all down. Then add in the chickpeas and pulse a few more times and add in the flour and baking powder. Pulse until everything is incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Form the falafel into balls. Use an ice cream scoop and wet hands to form the falafel into even size balls.
- Cook the falafel. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray and place some of the falafel into the air fryer basket in an even layer about 1 inch apart. Spray the falafel with more olive oil spray. Close the basket and cook the falafel at 350 degrees F for 14 minutes. Continue until you have cooked all of the falafel.
- Serve. Sprinkle the cooked falafel with lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Enjoy these hot or at room temperature with some hummus and fresh chopped veggies, in some pita bread or on top of a fresh salad.
The falafel gets so crispy on the outside and incredibly fluffy on the inside, it is so crazy good! I could eat these every day! They also make a great snack dipped in some homemade hummus.
My kids also loved these so I had to make two batches so I had some leftovers for me, haha.
Why use dry and not canned chickpeas?
Although canned chickpeas will work in this recipe, it will make the falafel more mushy and difficult to roll into balls. Starting with dried chickpeas that are soaked in water will give the falafel a better crunchy, crispier texture and help them stay together better when rolled into balls and cooked. See the notes section for a link on quick soaking chickpeas.
Can you make this in the oven?
Yes you can! Bake the falafel on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
Other air fryer recipes you will love
- Healthy Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- Gluten Free Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- 10 Minute Air Fryer Healthy Turkey Meatballs
- Low Carb Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Easy Air Fryer Salmon Patties
- Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Use dried chickpeas and not canned chickpeas. Although canned chickpeas will work, they will make these falafel turn out less crispy and fluffy. I also like the slight crunch you get from using soaked, dried chickpeas, which makes them taste like the traditional version. If you are short on time, check out this post on how to quick soak chickpeas.
- Chill the mixture before rolling into balls. You want to plan ahead and make sure you chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes before rolling them into balls. This will help the falafel stay together and not fall apart while they are cooking.
- Use an ice cream scoop and wet hands to roll the falafel. If you use an ice cream scoop it will help you roll the falafel into even size balls so they all cook evenly. Also, wetting your hands a bit with some water while rolling the mixture into balls will make it easier and also prevents the mixture from falling apart while rolling.
- Store the falafel in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 2-3 minutes. Freeze the uncooked falafel in a freezer-friendly container for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and cook as directed in this recipe.
Did you try this recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print