This Air Fryer Falafel is fluffy in the middle, crispy on the outside, and perfectly seasoned. Serve in pita, on a salad, or as an appetizer with tzatziki.
What is falafel?
Falafel is a Middle-Eastern “fast food” made up of chickpeas, oil, herbs, and spices.
The ingredients are blended together then formed into balls or patties and fried until crispy on the outside.
Falafel can be served in a bowl, as a sandwich, on a salad, or as an appetizer with tahini or tzatziki sauce for dipping!
- Chickpeas – the main falafel ingredient. Use canned and drained chickpeas for easy prep. You can cook dried chickpeas if preferred.
- Red Onion – add a bright sweetness.
- Minced Garlic – provides a subtle nutty kick of flavor.
- Cilantro, Parsley, and Green Onions – adds bright freshness.
- Egg – binds the ingredients together so the falafel can hold their shape.
- Ground Cumin, Salt, and Black Pepper – a simple seasoning blend that adds warm, earthy flavors and a kick of spice.
- Baking Powder – makes the falafel fluffy and light on the inside.
- Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar – gives the falafel moisture and nutty, tangy flavors.
- Panko – breadcrumbs soak up the moisture from the olive oil and vinegar and become another binding agent.
- Tzatziki – for serving!
How to make
This air fryer falafel is ready in just 20 minutes for a quick, easy, and healthy snack, lunch, or light dinner.
- Place chickpeas, red onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, green onions, egg, cumin, salt, pepper, baking powder, olive oil, and vinegar into a food processor and process until a coarse texture.
- Pulse the panko in until just combined.
- Use a large cookie scoop to portion the mixture out onto a clean work surface then roll into balls.
- Place 7-8 falafel into a greased air fryer basket with the air fryer preheated to 350ºF and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Repeat with remaining falafel then serve and enjoy!
How to make air fryer falafel crispy
There are a couple of ways you can make sure your air fryer falafel is nice and crispy on the outside:
- Preheat the air fryer. Make sure you let the air fryer preheat to 350ºF before you add in the falafel so they cook just right.
- Spray with cooking spray. Coating the outsides of the falafel with cooking spray helps them crisp up nicely as they cook.
Can you bake air fryer falafel?
You sure can! To bake your falafel, place the falafel balls on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat and cook in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes.
Is falafel vegan?
No. This air fryer falafel recipe isn’t vegan since egg is used to bind the ingredients together.
For a vegan falafel recipe, check out my oven-baked falafel instead which uses flax egg as a binder! You could try this recipe using flax egg but I haven’t tested it so I can’t guarantee the results.
What to serve with air fryer falafel
Air fryer falafel is delicious on its own as a snack or you can bulk your meal up with some of these delicious recipes!
How to store
Leftover falafel will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To reheat, bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes or place back in the air fryer to warm and re-crisp.
Air Fryer Falafel
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas drained
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro
- 1/2 cup packed parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup panko
- Tzatziki for serving
- Place chickpeas, red onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, green onions, egg, cumin, salt, pepper, baking powder, olive oil, and vinegar into food processor and process until combined into a coarse texture.*
- Pulse in panko until *just* combined.
- Use a large cookie scoop to scoop the mixture out onto a clean work surface (you’ll make 15 falafel), then roll into balls.
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees and grease the basket with cooking spray.
- Place 7-8 falafel into preheated air fryer (be sure the falafel aren’t touching), spray the tops with cooking spray, and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through. The falafel should be lightly browned on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle.
- Repeat with remaining falafel.
- Serve warm with tzatziki and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.