Crispy and even healthier air-fryer falafel! And when I say crispy, I really meant it. The inside is fluffy and tender, flavoured with spices and fresh herbs. You will not miss anything from the deep-fried ones, I promise. Dip this falafel in my 5-minute tahini sauce with lemon and garlic, oh la la!
Using an air-fryer is really a game changer. No more frying smell lingering in the house, and no need to handle (and throw!) the abundance of oil.
I use my air-fryer almost every single day and have created recipes using air-fryer instead of deep-frying like my easy orange chicken, crispy soy sauce chicken and spicy ramen with chicken katsu. They're amazing!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Dried chickpeas - Always use dried chickpeas as they will give you a wonderful texture and their starch will help keep the falafel together.
Parsley and cilantro - They give a wonderful fresh touch to the falafel. I love to use this half-and-half combo for the flavour but you can just choose one and double that amount instead.
Cumin and coriander powder - A must-have spices in amazing falafel! Again, I love to use these 2 combos but you can also just choose one and double that amount.
Cayenne pepper powder - Adds a touch of heat to the falafel. If you know me by now, you'll know that I love spicy food! Omit this if you're not into spicy, no problem at all.
Baking soda - Just a small amount helps in getting that golden brown colour when we cook the falafel in the air-fryer, without using an abundance of oil. Nobody can't tell these weren't deep-fried! *wink!*
How To Make Air-Fryer Falafel
- Ingredients - Soak dried chickpeas with water for 24 hours. Drain and pat them dry. Add them to a food processor together with the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend - Blend everything into a semi-fine paste. Don't over-blend until you get a hummus, alright?
- Chill - Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Scoop - Use a 1.5 tablespoon ice cream scoop so that the falafel are the same size and cook evenly.
- Shape - I find that tossing the patty from one hand to the other while shaping it into a ball avoids it falling apart.
- Cook - Spray the air-fryer basket with some oil, place the patties in and give them another spray of oil. Cook using "Air fry" function at 375ºF (190ºC) for 16-18 minutes. Flip them at minute 10.
Tips To Make This Recipe
- Soak - Make sure to soak the dried chickpeas for 24 hours before using. I've tried soaking them for only 20 hours and the falafel still came out great. Just letting you know.
- Dry the chickpeas - Make sure to drain and pat the chickpeas dry. This will prevent extra moisture and avoid the falafel from falling apart while cooking.
- Chill - Will give time for all the wonderful flavours to blend and the cold mixture also makes it easier to shape the patties later.
How To Serve & Store
Serve - Always serve immediately, hot! Dip in my tahini sauce with lemon and garlic, oh la la!
Store - I'd recommend storing uncooked dough in the fridge, for up to 4 days, in an air-tight container. To freeze, just shape them into balls and place them on parchment paper, on a tray and freeze for 2 hours. Then place them in a Ziploc bag. They last up to 6 months. No need to thaw before cooking, just cook them a few minutes longer.
Can I use canned chickpeas instead?
I don't recommend it for this recipe as you'll get a very wet chickpea puree-like dough with no texture, and it'll fall apart as you cook it.
Why is my falafel falling apart in the air-fryer?
The culprit has to be the excess moisture. Make sure to drain the chickpeas good. Give them a pat with kitchen paper just to make sure.
What do you eat falafel with?
I love to dip them in my delicious tahini sauce! You can put some falafel in pita bread with fresh lettuce, red onion or anything you desire. Again, don't forget the tahini sauce!
Can I freeze the falafel?
Absolutely! I'd recommend you shape the raw patties first, place them on parchment paper on a tray and freeze them for 2 hours. Then place them in a Ziploc bag, and back in the freezer. Follow the instructions on how to cook them, with a few minutes extra cooking time. Easy!
Watch How To Make It
Crispy Air-Fryer Falafel
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 shallot
- ½ cup fresh parsley , roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro , roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- black pepper to taste
- Soak chickpeas in a bowl with water for 24 hours. Drain and pat them dry before using.
- Add chickpeas together with the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until you get a semi-fine mixture. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Using a 1.5 tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture and form into a ball. Tossing the patty from one hand to the other helps shape it and prevent it from falling apart.
- Spray the air-fryer basket with some oil and plate the patties inside. Give it another spray of oil. Cook using the "Air fry" function at 375ºF (190ºC) for 16-18 minutes. Flip them at minute 10. Serve immediately with some tahini sauce!