Did you know that you can get crispy falafel without frying them? This crispy oven baked falafel recipe is really easy to make and tastes amazing! Chickpeas blended with onion, garlic, parsley, cumin and lemon juice. It's healthy, nutritious and budget friendly and it has so many used.
This oven baked falafel is bursting with Middle Eastern flavours and makes a tasty snack or addition to a meal. Stuff it in to a pita bread with some hummus or just dip it in to some tzatziki for a snack. If you are vegetarian, chances are you have eaten a lot of falafel, but if you haven't made it yourself then you are missing out!
What is falafel?
Falafel is a protein packed ball, or a flat patty, made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Herbs, spices, and onions are added to the mixture. They are traditionally deep fried. Falafel is a very popular Middle Eastern street food that is thought to have originated in Egypt, about 1,000 years ago.
Why you will love it
- Baked, not fried
- Lots of ways to use it
- Budget friendly
- Oil - Olive oil is best for this. Try to use the best quality olive oil that you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- Onion - We used a standard brown onion, but you could swap it for shallots which would give it a sweeter flavour.
- Chickpeas - This is the star of the falafel. We used a tin of chickpeas to make this a quick and easy meal. But you could also soak chickpeas overnight and then cook them to make this.
- Parsley - This is a delicious fresh herb to use in falafel. You could use coriander instead if you prefer.
- Garlic - The more garlic the better we say. Fresh is always best, but you could use a jar of chopped garlic from a jar to save time.
- Lemon - This gives a real burst of freshness to the falafel.
- Cumin and paprika - These give the falafel all the Middle Eastern vibes. You can adapt the amounts depending on your preferences.
- Plain flour - This helps to bind the falafel together.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook on low for 2-3 minutes until the onions has softened and then allow to cool.
Two: Put the onions in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
Three: Pulse until smooth, or leave a few chunks in it.
Four: Form the mixture in to 12 patties and put on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes.
Health benefits of chickpeas
Chickpeas a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They offer a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion and reducing the risk of several diseases. They are also high in protein and are an excellent alternative to meat.
Canned or dried chickpeas?
For best results you should use dried chickpeas that have been soaked. Canned chickpeas can be used, but they contain a lot more moisture, so you need to make sure they are well drained and then dried on some paper towels. You can also counter-act the extra liquid by adding flour to the mix to dry it out, but this can reduce the flavour.
We have used canned chickpeas just to make these quick and easy. However, if you are using dried chickpeas, then you need to soak them for 24 hours and then cook them. While this considerably adds to the preparation time, this does result in a crispier falafel.
Fresher, smaller chickpeas work the best as they soak the best. The older and larger the chickpeas, the longer you will need to soak them.
What to serve them with
Falafel can be served simply on its own, as a snack or appetizer. Or you can put them into pitas, wraps or a sandwich as a great filling, top a salad with them or have them as part of a meze.
How to store them
These keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days. They can be eaten straight from the fridge, but they taste better at room temperature. They can be warmed slightly in the microwave, but they will lose their crispiness.
To freeze let them cool completely, transfer them into a sealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Yes, baking falafel in much healthier than more traditional fried falafel, as that needs a lot of oil to get them crispy. This version is therefore lower in calories and fat. Falafel is protein packed and also high in fibre.
We used parsley in this recipe, however you could use coriander or a mixture of them both. We have also made them using dill before, but this is far from traditional.
Yes, you can swap fresh crushed garlic for garlic granules instead.
You can give this falafel a green boost by blending a handful of spinach in to the mixture. Not only does it make the falafel more nutrient dense, but it makes it a vibrant green colour too.
More Middle Eastern recipes
Oven Baked Falafel
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 0.5 Onion - diced
- 400 g (2.5 cups) Chickpeas - drained
- 3 tablespoon Fresh parsley
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 Lemon - (juice only)
- 0.25 teaspoon Cumin
- 0.25 teaspoon Paprika
- 20 g (0.33 cups) Plain flour
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
- Heat 1 teaspoon Olive oil in a frying pan and add 0.5 Onion. Cook on low for 2-3 minutes until the onions has softened and then allow to cool.
- Put the onions into a food processor with 400 g Chickpeas, 3 tablespoon Fresh parsley, 2 Garlic clove, juice of 1 Lemon, 0.25 teaspoon Cumin, 0.25 teaspoon Paprika, 20 g Plain flour and 1 pinch Sea salt. Pulse until smooth, or leave a few chunks in it.
- Form the mixture into 12 patties and put on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Brush with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Soak your dried chickpeas for at least 24 hours before making the mixture.
- If using canned chickpeas, you will need to add some flour to reduce the wetness of the mixture.
- We used parsley in these falafel, however you could swap it for coriander or use a mixture of them both.
- Add a little spice to these with a sprinkling of red chilli flakes in to the mixture.
- You can swap the onion for shallot if you want a sweeter taste.
- They need a generous brush or drizzle of olive oil before putting them in the oven, as this really does help them to crisp up.
- Don't pack the patties too tightly, as this will make the falafel quite dense.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.