This easy Falafel recipe is made quicker and healthier in the air fryer with canned chickpeas – no deep frying!
Air Fryer Falafel
Falafel is a delicious Middle-Eastern vegetarian dish made with chickpeas, a mix of onions and different herbs and spices. They are shaped like meatballs, but there’s no meat in them. I wanted to create a falafel recipe that was quick and easy, made from canned chickpeas and didn’t require frying. Solution, air fryer to the rescue! You can see more air fryer recipes here!
Protein packed, nutritious and light – these un-fried falafels will delight your palate. Perfect on days you want to go meatless or just include more plant based foods in your diet. Serve them in a pita, over hummus, with couscous, or over rice – you decide! Also great for meal prep!
What are falafels made out of?
Falafel balls are usually made out of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), but you can find other variations depending on where you buy your falafel. The chickpeas are usually soaked, then ground up, and seasoned with herbs, spices and aromatics.
Because they are usually made from soaking dried chickpeas, they can be quite time consuming to make. I wanted a speedy recipe because I never have time for that so rather than starting with dry garbanzo beans, I created this quicker version with canned garbanzo beans instead.
The challenge using canned chickpeas is the inside comes out too soft, almost like a mashed potato texture. So I reworked the recipe a few times to get them just right. The trick is to blend all your other ingredients first so you don’t over-process the chickpeas and just pulse them a few times at the end. A few spritzes of olive oil before air frying makes them crisp on the outside and tender inside.
What is traditionally served with falafel?
The traditional way of serving it is to stuff two or three pieces in a pita, along with lettuce, cucumber, tomato and a dollop of tahini. But it can also be eaten – hot or cold – as an appetizer or as part of a main course salad. Here’s a few ideas:
- Serve them in a hollow pita. That’s pretty obvious, here in NY most street carts that sell them, they come in a pita with tomatoes, red onion and even pickles. Falafel is commonly accompanied by tahini or a spicy harissa hot sauce.
- Serve them over hummus. That’s my favorite way to eat them, topped with cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes. A few pieces of toasted pita wedges on the side. Also great to pack for lunch!
- Make a platter. Serve…