Easy Vegan Falafel- made with just 7 ingredients! A simple, hearty classic Mediterranean inspired plant based meal. Serve in flatbread with Vegan Tzatziki and hummus. Pan fry or Bake options!
Are you a falafel fan? If you haven’t tried this delicious Middle Eastern food, you are missing out! Falafel are Middle Eastern fast food, basically made of chickpeas, garlic, fresh herbs and spices. They are usually deep fried so they get super crispy on the outside, and remain tender on the inside.
My falafel recipe is not totally traditional, but it is delicious and easy to make at home!
This Vegan Falafel recipe only requires 7 ingredients, and they are all easy to find foods. You will need:
- Canned chickpeas
- Cashews (a few tablespoons)
- & Flour
You will also need a food processor (or you could probably mash the chickpeas by hand but it won’t quite be the same).
Traditional falafel are made with dried chickpeas that have been soaked but not cooked. To make things easier, I went with canned chickpeas that are drained, rinsed and patted dry. I also added in a few tablespoons of cashews, which help give some crumbly texture without having to use soaked but uncooked chickpeas.
Just make sure you don’t over process the falafel mixture. You want it to be rather crumbly, but able to stick together.
How should I cook Easy Vegan Falafel?
You have two choices:
- Bake, or
- Pan Fry
I have done both, but went for pan frying here. I like the extra crispiness they get on the outside when pan frying, but they are pretty darn good baked as well. If you don’t have a quality non-stick frying pan, you will probably need a few tablespoons of oil to prevent the falafel from sticking. The oil also helps them get a delicious crisp.
To avoid oil completely, just bake ’em. Both options are delicious.
How should I serve the vegan falafel?
Serve with pita or flatbread with fresh tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, lettuce, hummus and Dairy Free Tzatziki Sauce.
You can also make a Falafel nourish bowl by serving over a bed of brown rice or farro, with all the same ingredients.
Or make a Falafel salad!
If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes! Rate it, leave a comment and tag a photo @noracooksvegan on Instagram. Enjoy!
Adapted from Minimalist Baker.
Easy Vegan Falafel
- 2 15-oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 3 cups cooked
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons raw cashews
- 3/4 cup fresh parsely
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3-4 tablespoons oil for cooking, optional
- 4-6 pita bread, naan or flatbread
- cucumber slices, tomato slices, lettuce
- 1 recipe Dairy Free Tzatziki Sauce, optional
- Hummus, optional
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and pat them dry with paper towels or a clean tea towel.
- Add the garlic and cashews to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop them. Do not blend them up, you just want them chopped. Now, add the chickpeas, parsley, cumin and salt and pulse a few more times, scraping the sides as needed until combined. You want a crumbly dough, not a smooth paste.
- Now, add in 3 tablespoons of flour and pulse again until combined. You should have a dough at this point that you can shape into balls without it sticking to your hands. If it's still too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons at a time and shape into a ball, then slightly flatten into a disc. Repeat until all the dough is used; you will have about 12 discs.
- To pan fry: Heat a large, non-stick skillet to medium heat and add the oil (or omit for oil free). Add the falafel discs and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip, and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Remove and serve.
- To bake: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the falafel discs and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake 10 minutes more.
- Serve in pita or flatbread with fresh tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, lettuce, hummus and vegan tzatziki sauce.
- May use gluten-free flour in place of the all purpose flour with varied results.
- FREEZER MEAL: The uncooked falafel patties freeze well. Simply shape them into discs, and lay them on a parchment paper lined pan or plate and stick it in the freezer. Once frozen (a few hours later or overnight), transfer the falafel to a freezer bag or container. To cook, remove from the freezer and bake or pan fry until cooked through, no need to let thaw.
Could the cashews be omitted? We have allergies to nuts and seeds. or could there be another substitution?
Hi Paisley. I haven’t tried making this without nuts, but sunflower seeds could work as a replacement.
Hi Nora! What could I use in place of raw cashews (I have nut allergies)?
Hi Sheila. I haven’t tried making this without nuts, but sunflower seeds could work as a replacement. Happy cooking!
Great falafel recipe, mine turned out perfectly. For the nutrition section, is your serving size per falafel?
Yes, if you ended up with 12 falafel. Thank you, so glad you enjoyed them!
Will blanched almonds or raw walnuts work in place of the cashews? Also what do you think about misting with oil then cooking in an air fry oven to reduce the amount of oil but still keep the outside crispy?
Yes I think either would work, I’d prefer almonds. The air fryer would totally work. Enjoy!