This easy and healthy Air Fryer Falafel recipe is gluten-free, vegan, grain-free, and allergy-free! No oil or frying needed for these light and crispy falafel. Quick to make using canned chickpeas and chickpea flour and perfect for filling a gluten-free pita, lunches, appetizers, or dinners! Freezing and baking instructions included!
When it takes you this long to make some gluten-free falafel, there's a problem. The remedy for that is some quick air fryer falafel to make up for all that lost time! Light and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, 100% chickpea-based and full of fresh parsley and cilantro! So many ways to serve them up and a recipe worthy of adding to your weekly meal prep rotation!
What Is Falafel Made Of?
Authentic falafel is a deep-fried ball or disc of dough made from chickpeas or fava beans, flour, spices, and herbs like parsley and cilantro. They're a Middle Eastern street food served up piping hot in a pita or with flatbread like naan, pickled vegetables, and typically with some tahini sauce action going on. When falafel is made using cooked beans, the flour is needed to bind the dough more. If they're made truly authentically, from ground beans, no flour is needed.
Falafel Are Naturally Vegan
Falafel is popular with vegetarians and vegans since most street food is very meat-heavy, Falafel, on the other hand, is always plant-based and in most circumstances gluten-free! This falafel recipe is not only gluten-free but grain-free as well! Using chickpeas and chickpea flour, no all-purpose flour is needed!
Ingredients For Gluten-Free Falafel
- Cooked Chickpeas
- Cilantro (if you hate cilantro you can use all parsley)
- Paprika (smoked or not)
- Lemon Juice
- Baking Powder
- Chickpea Flour
How to make falafel dough
This is where you don't want to mess things up, so listen up! You are NOT making hummus. When you are blending your ingredients in your food processor, keep the mixture course and a bit chunky. No need to puree the chickpeas smooth, there should still be texture to you falafel dough.
How to form the patties
Falafel can be made into balls or a more flattened "doughnut" shaped pattie. Balls are better for deep-frying, patties are better for baking and air-frying. You can make them smaller or a bit larger, but I used about 2 tablespoons of falafel dough to form small palm-sized patties. If you'd like to make something more like a falafel burger, use more dough. With this recipe, I was able to get 14 falafel patties out of the dough.
How to make falafel in an air fryer
If you want QUICK falafel, the air fryer is the way to go! No oil needed here. No splattering, unhealthy deep-frying. The only thing you need to worry about is giving your falafels enough space to breathe in the air fryer basket so they can get truly crisp on the outside while staying light and fluffy on the inside! They only need about 5-7 minutes on each side, just so they get golden brown.
How to bake falafel in an oven
I know you don't all have an air fryer, but all hope is not lost! You can bake these easy vegan falafels in the oven at 400°F for about 15 minutes on each side. Use parchment paper or a Silpat so they don't get stuck and can still be oil-free!
How to store and freeze falafel
- To Store: You can make your falafel ahead of time and allow the cooked patties to cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
- To Freeze: To freeze the cooked falafel, allow them to cool on a wire rack, then wrap each pattie in some wax paper, stack them in a freezer-safe container or storage bag, and freeze solid.
- To Reheat: To reheat falafel, you can place thawed falafel from the fridge in the air fryer again and crisp them up at 370° for about 5 minutes. You can also toast them up in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes. To reheat frozen falafel you can nuke them in the microwave, or allow them to thaw in the fridge first and follow the reheating steps above.
Is falafel healthy?
This air-fried falafel recipe is! The deep-frying is the only "unhealthy" aspect to traditional falafel and since there's no oil needed for these, this plant-based recipe is perfect for any diet! They're...
- Vegan and Vegetarian
- Allergy-free (Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Peanut-Free, Wheat-Free, Sesame-Free, Corn-Free, Coconut-Free)
- Packed with Plant-Based Protein
How to serve your falafel
You can simply eat your falafel plain and on its own as a quick snack or appetizer. To make them a meal, however, you have plenty of delicious options for transforming this Middle Eastern street food!
- Serve with a gluten-free pita to make a sandwich with fresh crunchy veggies like cucumber, tomato, red onion, lettuce (or pickled veggies).
- Serve them with a cooling dairy-free yogurt dip. Use unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, mixed with some lemon juice and tahini!
- Drizzle hot sauce or plain tahini if sesame is not an allergy you need to cater to.
- Make a falafel bowl and serve them over rice (cauliflower rice) or other gluten-free grain.
- Make the patties larger and serve them as burgers or your favorite gluten-free sandwich bread.
Easy Air Fryer Falafel
Healthy Air Fryer Falafel (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Allergy-Free)
This easy and healthy Air Fryer Falafel recipe is gluten-free, vegan, grain-free, and allergy-free! No oil or frying needed for these light and crispy falafel. Quick to make using canned chickpeas and chickpea flour, and perfect for filling a gluten-free pita, lunches, or dinners! Baking instructions included!
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 10 Minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 14 Falafel 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Air Fry, Bake
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- In a large food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except the lemon juice.
- Blend the mixture together to combine, adding the lemon juice, as needed, to get the mixture moving. Blend until you get a course dough.
- Form about 14 falafel patties and work in batches to air fry, depending on the size of your air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd.
- Air fry the falafel at 380° for about 7 minutes on the first side, flip, and air fry again for about another 5 minutes. Repeat for the rest of the batches.
- To Bake: Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for about 15 minutes on each side using a parchment paper or a Silpat lined baking sheet.
*You can use 1 cup of parsley if you do not want to use cilantro.
- Serving Size: 3-4 Falafel
Keywords: falafel, chickpeas, air fryer, healthy falafel, vegan falafel, gluten-free falafel, easy falafel, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, allergy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free, coconut-free, corn-free, sesame-free, sugar-free, oil-free, kid-friendly, freezer-friendly
Delicious and perfect for some weekend meal prep! A healthy plant-based protein option that has ALL the crispiness on the outside, but still is like a fluffy chickpea pillow just waiting to be devoured!
More Easy Chickpea Recipes:
- Mini Chickpea Flour Vegan Frittata Bites
- Vegan Chickpea Flour Omelette
- 10-Minute Coconut Yogurt & Chickpea Curry
- Chickpea Nuggets
- Italian Chickpea Casserole
So tell me:
+ How will you be serving up your falafel?
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