Baked Falafel

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This easy baked falafel recipe provides a flavourful variation on the traditional deep-fried version. They’re easy to make, use less oil, while still maintaining that delicious crispy exterior and tender interior that falafel are known for.

A mezze platter filled with baked falafel, berries, nuts, pita bread, dips, avocado, cut vegetables, pickles, and cheese.Pin

What Is Falafel?

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern street food found in places such as Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. This vegetarian delight is made from a mix of pounded broad beans and/or chickpeas along with onion, fresh herbs, spices, and garlic. The mixture is then shaped into small balls or patties and deep-fried until golden and crispy on the outside while remaining tender and aromatic on the inside.

Falafels are typically served in pita bread, along with various basic salad ingredients, pickled vegetables, and tahini sauce or hot sauce. However, they can also simply be enjoyed as a snack or as part of a mezze plate.

And if you like a bit of history – the exact origin of falafel is the subject of debate however, several sources point to Egypt as the most likely place. Here, falafel are typically made with broad beans/fava beans and are called Ta’amia. This is certainly the origin of the recipe that my family made. The one below is my Nana’s recipe that was written out by my Mum for her cookbook.

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Why are some falafel green inside?

Some falafel are green inside because the recipe contains an abundance of fresh herbs like parsley and coriander (cilantro) in addition to the broad (fava) beans or chickpeas. These herbs not only add a vibrant green hue to the falafel but also contribute to their unique and refreshing flavour. Additionally, they also add plenty of health benefits given herbs are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too.

That being said, not all falafel recipes result in a green interior. The colour can vary depending on the specific combination of ingredients and the ratio of herbs used in the recipe.

Ingredients Needed To Make Baked Falafel

This recipe requires very basic ingredients and is a little different to my family’s. I’ve used chickpeas in place of the broad beans, as I find the latter can be difficult to get. Certainly, if you’re shopping at your local supermarket. They’re not stocked in mine. As such to ensure you enjoy these without a trip to a specialty store, I thought the chickpeas were the best option.

All the ingredients needed to make baked falafel have been laid out across a kitchen bench. The name is written beside each ingredient.Pin
  • Dried chickpeas – If you can, buy these with the skins already removed. It’s not always possible though, which is fine – you’ll simply need to skin them before blending.
  • Fresh herbs – This is most often a mix of parsley and coriander however I’ve just used parsley in this recipe.
  • Cumin – provides a warm, earthy, and slightly nutty taste that complements the other ingredients.
  • Coriander – adds a refreshing citrusy undertone that complements the flavour of the chickpeas.
  • Garlic – adds pungency enhancing the overall taste and aroma of the falafel.
  • Salt & pepper – to season to your tastes.

If you are able to get broad beans near you feel free to use them! They deliver a slightly different, and mildly bitter flavour profile but one that’s equally delicious. It’s important to note too that tinned chickpeas should not be used for this recipe. They contain too much moisture and will result in very mushy falafel.

How To Make Baked Falafel

My Nana’s original ta’amia (falafel) recipe, and many traditional recipes, call for frying but I bake mine instead. This is a great alternative for anyone who’d prefer a lighter version.

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl filled with plenty of cold water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Cover with a clean tea towel to keep any bugs out.
  2. Drain the chickpeas then add them to a food processor with the garlic and blend for 5 seconds to break them up.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend into a paste. Transfer to the fridge and let the mix chill for one hour.
  4. Remove the falafel mix from the fridge and form into patties. Brush with olive oil then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Cook on 190ºC/375ºF for 15 mins, flip them over, brush with olive oil again and cook for another 10.
  6. Once golden and crispy, serve on a mezze board, in a falafel bowl, or in a pita with salad, pickles and tahini sauce.

And of course, these can be fried if that’s what you prefer, or even cooked in the air fryer. See the notes section of the recipe card below for how to fry or air fry.

A close up of baked falafel on a mezze board. Carrots, raspberries, feta and cashews surround them.Pin


Can falafel be frozen?

Yes, they’re best frozen raw just after they’ve been formed into balls or patties. To do this line a baking sheet with baking paper. Lay the falafel out on the sheet with space between each then freeze. Once they’re frozen, remove and place in an airtight container which can be returned to the freezer. Doing it this way ensures the falafel don’t stick together from being tossed into a container on top of each other.

Why are my falafel falling apart?

It’s likely the falafel mix was not rested in the fridge before forming into balls or it’s not well balanced. It may be too wet in which case a little flour will help bind it, or too dry where adding a teaspoon or so of lemon juice will help. It may also be that the beans have not been soaked long enough. They should be left for the full 24 hours.

Are falafel gluten free?

Generally, yes, though some falafel recipes may include bread. Mine doesn’t though so is gluten free.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

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Baked Falafel

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside – this baked falafel recipe is packed with flavour and nutrients and provides a lighter alternative to traditional fried falafel.
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Baked
Prep Time: 1 day 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 16 falafel
Calories: 73kcal


  • 1.5 cups dried chickpeas (this will yield ~3 cups when soaked)
  • 1 bunch shallots (spring onions)
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (or a mix of parsley and coriander / cilantro)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to your taste


  • Add the chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Add a squeeze of lemon juice then cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and soak for a full 24 hours.
  • Drain the water from the chickpeas then add them to a blender with the garlic. Blitz for 5 seconds to break them down.
  • Add the beans to a blender and blitz to break them down. Next, add in all the remaining ingredients then blend again to form a paste.
  • Add in all the remaining ingredients then blend again to form a paste. Refrigerate in the blender bowl for 1 hour to help the mx firm up and the flavours meld together.
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC / 375ºF then remove the falafel mix from the fridge, and form into round patties. You should get roughly 16.
  • Place the falafel on a baking sheet (two if needed) lined with baking paper. Brush the tops with olive oil then move to the oven and bake for 15 mins.
  • Flip the falafel over, brush with olive oil again then cook for another 10 mins.
  • Serve on a mezze board, in a falafel nourishing bowl, or stuffed into pita bread with some pickles, basic salad ingredients and tahini sauce. These will keep in the fridge for a few days but will taste best when re-heated.


How to air fry falafel: You can attempt this if you’d like to however, I have found that the falafel stick in my air fryer. I do have one with steel trays, which is likely the cause, so if yours has a non-stick surface you’ll likely have more luck with this. Follow the recipe above including the cooking temp and time (190ºC/375ºF for 15 mins, flip, brush with oil, and cook for another 10 mins).
How to shallow fry the falafel: No extra steps are needed here. Simply follow the recipe above just as you’re forming the falafel into patties heat enough oil to deep fry. They will take roughly 3 – 4 mins each to become a lovely golden brown.
For information on freezing falafel or why they may be crumbly / falling apart – see the FAQ section above the recipe card.


Serving: 1falafel | Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

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