Vegan Falafel Recipe ➤ Healthy, Without Deep-Frying | Gourmandelle (2024)

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This is a healthy vegan falafel recipe, without deep frying and with lots of fresh parsley! It’s so easy to make and I’m sure this healthy vegan falafel will become one of your favorite recipes too!

If you’d ask me how an ideal meal looks for me, I would tell you that it is made of veggie patties, fluffy mashed potatoes and a huge salad. For me, nothing is more delicious than this and as simple as it may sound, there’s no other meal that makes me happier! 😀

I think it reminds me of my childhoodwhen my grandma used to make me mashed potatoes with butter, served with a large steak or meat patties aside. Of course, I wasn’t vegetarian back then.

This falafel/chickpea patties recipe is, in my opinion, the best vegan falafel recipe I’ve ever tried! It’s not the traditional falafel recipe! I adapted it to my preferences andmade it healthier, without deep-frying! If you want to know more about falafel, its origins, and benefits, scroll down to the bottom of this article.

Hope you’ll like this vegan falafel recipe as much as I do! Check out my healthy version, below. Also, take a look at this recipeofmini falafel bites which resembles the traditional falafel recipe a bit more. 🙂

Later edit: I finally made a video for this vegan falafel recipe! 🙂

Vegan falafel video recipe

Yield: 20+ falafels

Healthy Vegan Falafel

Healthy vegan falafel recipe, without deep frying, GF flour and with lots of fresh parsley!

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time35 minutes


  • 2 cans (400g | 14oz each) boiled chickpea - you can use dry too, but if you want to have these chickpea patties ready in 25 minutes, then you should use canned chickpeas. If you'll use dry chickpeas, you have to soak them overnight
  • 2 Tbsps psyllium husks or ground flax seeds
  • 25g (1 cup) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 4 Tbsps chickpea flour, or any other type of flour
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsps tahini paste
  • oil, 3-4 Tbsps for frying


  1. Add boiled chickpeas in the food processor and blend well until they have a paste-like consistency.
  2. Put them in a large bowl and blend in all the other ingredients, except oil.
  3. Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  4. Make the patties – 1 Tbsps per patty.
  5. Fry them 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Put the falafels on a plate covered with a paper towel, in order to absorb all excess oil.
  7. Serve!


P.S. I LOVE Lebanese cuisine. If you love it too, check out Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. His recipes are truly inspiring!

Nutrition Information


Amount Per ServingCalories 200Total Fat 6gCarbohydrates 26.6gProtein 10g

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Food is one of those things, and just like language and pretty much everything else, it is the result of centuries ofcollaborationof people coming together and also of borrowing from different cultures. We all come together one way or another to create a value of some kind. Food is a great example! It’s the result of combinations that maybe wouldn’t have been possible for a single person to create on their own. Just ask yourself, what kind of cuisine would the world have if only one type of people were in charge of it?

Falafel: The Most Craveable Mediterranean Street Food

The American street food history was once a place that featured hot dog carts along the sides of the roads. That grew into pizzas and burgers and then in the last decade, food trucks boomed. Now you can get just about any food from all over the world in any major American city, including one of the most beloved from the Mediterranean: falafel.

Falafel is a traditional dish from the Mediterranean that has been around for centuries, but it’s gained popularity in the states over recent years thanks to the globalizationof countries as well as cuisine. They combine healthy ingredients and fry them, which really speaks to the American heart. They totally had us at fried.

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Falafel is made out of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that are soaked and then ground. They’re then combined with onions, scallions, parsley, cumin,corianderand garlic. Then comes the fun part. They get shaped into balls and then dropped into a deep fryer full of oil so hot that the outside gets instantly crisp while the inside keeps a light and fluffy texture. It’s a vegetarian delight that even meat eaters love.

When you order falafel at restaurants, you can either enjoy these tasty balls on theirown,or get them wrapped up in a pita with all kinds of garnishments. In traditional Mediterranean places, you’re likely to find it served with hummus, baba ganoush, and pickled vegetables but some places will pander to the American palate and keep it simple with cucumbers and tomatoes.

The falafel balls are often served wrapped in a pita bread and garnished with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles and herbs. Falafel restaurants may offer other garnishes as well, such as eggplant salad, shredded beets or pickled turnips. Most of the time, the whole falafel wrap is coated with hummus and drizzled with tahini.

Vegan Falafel Recipe ➤ Healthy, Without Deep-Frying | Gourmandelle (2)

If you’re not in a big city, it might be hard to get your hands on falafel. However, you can try to make them at home. There are many recipes for making falafel at home online. Seasonings can vary by the recipe as can methods. You can try deep-frying them in a deep skillet if you don’t have a fryer. You can also use an air fryer if you have that and fry it without any oil. Or you can bake it to cut out the frying completely.

You’ll definitely have to experiment a bit to find your favorite falafel. However, one thing every recipe can agree on is this: don’t use the canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) to make falafel. You need to soak the dry chickpeas (garbanzos) yourself in order to get the authentic flavor and texture just right. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you fry them, you must get the temperature right or your falafel balls will fall apart.

Falafel, where do you come from?

Just one more discussion about the origin of a certain dish that has to begin with the phrase: its origins are unknown and they have been the subject of much debate. What many people think is that falafel’s history goes way back to when there were pharaohs in the world!

This delicious dish is thought to have been popular mainly in Egypt. That is until the country couldn’t hold it back any longer and then it spread to the Middle East. To be more specific, it appears that it originated in Alexandria. That’s why the breakthrough into other cultures might have been effortless. After all, Alexandria was a very busy port city.

Its name is most likely derived from the Arabic word “filfil”, which means pepper; synonym for spicy, perhaps? And another explanation for the origin of its name might be the Coptic Egyptian unattested phrase “phalaphel”, which translates roughly to “of many beans”. They both make sense!

Check outOttolenghi: The Cookbook for more awesome Middle Eastern recipes. His recipes are truly inspiring!

Falafel grew in popularity once it stepped into de Middle East and it became a common street food. Today, many centuries later, it has remained a type of street food all over the world. If you don’t quite believe that falafels are as popular as I might be making them out to be, how about this fun fact: even McDonald’s offered “McFalafel” in their restaurants throughout Egypt!

This dish made its breakthrough into the western world just like many other things do: through people! It has been taken all around the world by both Jewish and Middle Eastern people who decided to settle in different lands. That’s what’s so great about the world! We take our culture with us wherever we go and we share it until it becomes a thing in common with the rest of the world.

Vegan Falafel Recipe ➤ Healthy, Without Deep-Frying | Gourmandelle (3)

General facts about falafel

  • Falafel can be made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or fava beans, and even a combination of both. In Middle Eastern countries, chickpea falafel is the most popular.
  • Falafel is the second most common use of garbanzo beans to make a dish. Can you guess what the first is? … That’s right! Hummus!
  • There’s a bit of a squabble between Palestinians and Israelis over who appropriated whose dish.
  • Falafel is not a Jewish dish, but it was indeed adopted by Jewish immigrants in Palestine.
  • The Amman hotel of the capital of Jordan made the world’s biggest Falafel in 2012 and it weighed about 75 kg. How long would it take you to eat that?!
  • You know who else has appropriated falafel? You guessed it, vegetarians and vegans. They love it as a substitute for meat in their meals.
  • Falafel is used by people to break the daily fast after sunset during Ramadan.
  • Egypt,Palestineand Israel all three consider the falafel as their national dish. What a pickle!

Nutritional data: why Falafel is good for you!

Let’s start with the basic. Per 100 gr of Falafel, this is what you get: 333 calories(please don’t freak out), 18 gr of fat, 2,4 gr of saturated fatty acids, 4,2 gr of polyunsaturated fatty acids, 10 gr of monounsaturated fatty acids, 294 mg of sodium, 585 mg of potassium, 32 gr of carbohydrates, 13 gr of protein, and all of these vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, C, D, B6, B12, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Overall, if you eat them in moderation and you add them to your diet, instead of having them be your whole diet (no matter how tempting that may be), it shouldn’t pose a threat to your fitness or your health. In fact, there are many benefits, as you can see. There are quite a lot of vitamins and minerals present, plus it’s full of healthy fats. Yes, that’s quite a bit ofcaloriesfor a 100gr falafel, but considering everything you get in return it’s not that big of a deal.

Falafel also has a healthy amount of carbohydrates, which your body actually needs and it poses no risks for your cholesterol levels. It’s rich in fiber because it is made out of chickpeas which help you feel full for longer, so you won’t be overeating.

Want more veggie patties recipes. Try these:

  • Red Lentil Veggie Burger Patties with Greens
  • Vegetarian “Beef” Burger | Azuki Beans Veggie Burger
  • Quinoa Patties with Feta Cheese and Olives
  • Millet Cakes with Feta Cheese and Tomatoes
  • Quinoa Patties with Sweet Corn and Herbs
Vegan Falafel Recipe ➤ Healthy, Without Deep-Frying | Gourmandelle (2024)


Are homemade falafels healthy? ›

Chickpeas in falafel contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins and folate. They are full of antioxidants and are useful in fighting diseases. Of course, we emphasize again that you try to prepare it at home and do not fry it. If it is fried, its fat and calories increase and the food is no longer so healthy.

Why can't you use canned chickpeas for falafel? ›

Turns out that dried chickpeas are essential to good falafel. See, canned chickpeas have already been cooked. Starch molecules within them have already burst and released their sticky contents, much of which get washed away in the cooking liquid, leaving the remaining chickpeas with very little clinging power.

What are the 2 types of falafel? ›

“Where the traditional falafel is the basic fried falafel comprising a mix of chickpeas, onions, garlic, herbs and spices, baked falafels are made using fresh herbs in the chickpea mixture,” says Chef Sati from Ophelia. Spraying baked falafels with olive oil before baking makes them crispy.

Is all falafel deep-fried? ›

Falafel can be baked in the oven for about 20 minutes using few tablespoons of oil around 200°C (392°F). You should be careful when forming the balls not to make them too large. It is better to make them a little bit thin to make sure they are well cooked, and help prevent stomach aches.

Is falafel OK for weight loss? ›

Falafel is low in calories and fat. When eaten as part of a healthy diet, it can aid with weight loss or weight maintenance. One of the healthiest ways to eat falafel is in a buddha bowl with plenty of healthy greens and veggies.

Is it OK to eat falafel everyday? ›

Yes, falafel can be a healthy option when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Falafel is typically made from chickpeas or fava beans, which are good sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

What are the disadvantages of canned chickpeas? ›

Canned chickpeas contain high amounts of potassium. Since people who are on certain medications, such as beta-blockers for heart disease, have increased levels of potassium in the blood, they should be careful about their potassium intake.

How to get falafel to stick together? ›

Don't pack your patties too tightly.

Form the falafel balls gently, and if your mixture isn't holding together, pulse it a bit more in the food processor until it sticks together. If it's still too crumbly, pop it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before shaping and baking the patties.

What is falafel called in English? ›

Falafel (/fəˈlɑːfəl/; Arabic: فلافل, [fæˈlæːfɪl]) is a deep-fried ball or patty-shaped fritter of Egyptian origin, featuring in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly Levantine cuisines, and is made from broad beans, ground chickpeas, or both.

What is the binder in falafel? ›

A binding ingredient can help keep it together, especially if you are using canned beans instead of dried. And the perfect binding ingredient for falafel is flour. Nothing fancy, just plain all-purpose flour. Add a few tablespoons at a time to your mixture, until you can press it easily into balls or patties.

Is falafel a carb or protein? ›

Falafel contains high amounts of protein and carbohydrates from chickpeas; it also has significant amounts of soluble fiber that helps to reduce the bad cholesterol from your body. Chickpeas are also rich in calcium, iron & potassium, making falafel a superb vegetarian food to replace meat.

How unhealthy is falafel? ›

There are also ample amounts of B-vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Four to five pieces of traditionally prepared, deep-fried falafel contains about 540 calories and 26 grams of fat, but there is also a whopping 17 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein. Overall, not such a bad meal.

Is it better to deep fry or air fry falafel? ›

Or you could air fry them.

It's true that the falafel cooked this way doesn't get 100 percent as crispy as a traditional deep fry, but it's very close. Plus, the the easy clean-up and use of less oil make it totally worth it.

Is falafel bad for cholesterol? ›

Falafel's Nutritional Profile

Zozos says that the health benefits of falafel are plenty. It tends to be relatively low in cholesterol, low on the glycemic index scale, and high in protein. Also, it's full of complex carbs and fiber, which are good for a healthy gut and regular bowel movements, adds Zozos.

Are falafels healthy for you? ›

Falafel is high in many micronutrients and a good source of fiber and protein. As such, it may help curb your appetite, support healthy blood sugar, and lower your risk of chronic disease. Yet, it's typically deep-fried in oil, which raises its fat and calorie content.

Is falafel healthier than chicken? ›

In essence, the ingredient profile of falafel is in the least unhealthy. In fact, compared to other counterparts of the food, including chicken shawarma, falafel tops the list to contain the healthiest amount of all ingredients that are required by the body.

How many carbs are in homemade falafel? ›

A falafel patty contains a little more than 5 grams of carbohydrates, the majority of which come from the chickpeas or fava beans. The food is high in complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber—the type of fiber that helps lower LDL cholesterol (known as the "bad" cholesterol).

Is falafel or gyro healthier? ›

Go with the falafel. The gyro has more saturated fat, more calories, and (usually) more sodium than the falafel—or chicken or vegetable sandwich fillings—on most menus. Take Daphne's, a "California-fresh" West Coast chain with 56 restaurants that lists calories on its menus and Nutrition Facts on its Web site.

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