An easy and delicious falafel recipe using canned chickpeas – perfect for easy weeknight meals! Serve with a delicious Tahini Yoghurt Sauce for a tasty meal which your friends and family will love. Vegan and gluten-free.
Easy Falafel Recipe
I always try to serve a few vegetarian meals during the week, and homemade falafels is one of my favourite go-to dishes. My husband loves the fresh salads and chopped veges that I serve alongside, the kids get to eat with their hands – everyone is happy!
Why This Recipe Works
- This falafel recipe uses canned chickpeas to save on prep time.
- These falafels also contain frozen peas for extra protein and vibrant green colour.
- The cooked falafels keep well for several days in the fridge, so they are perfect for meal prep.
- This falafel recipe is suitable for vegans and can also be adapted to be gluten-free.
Growing up in Sydney
As a young child, I remember living in the western suburbs of Sydney for a few years where there was a strong Lebanese, Turkish, Greek and Italian community.
I remember my friends back then as fondly as the food that their families would serve me on our playdates – chicken souvlaki eaten straight from the barbecue, pita breads stuffed with tabbouleh and falafels, all-you-can-eat moussaka, crispy börek parcels filled with spinach, lots and lots of baklava and sticky Turkish delight.
When I think back to all of these delicious meals, I realise how much the cuisine of my childhood has shaped my palate today, and how lucky I am to have been introduced to so many wonderful dishes at such a young age. It makes me even more aware of the food that I cook and serve to my own children today.
As a busy mum with two small children, I’m always looking for ways to get dinner on the table quickly. When making falafels, you need to be a bit organised as there is some chilling time required, but the steps are not complicated at all.
My falafel recipe is heady with fresh herbs and spices, and it also contains frozen peas as a secret hidden vegetable – just don’t tell the kids!
Vegan Falafel Recipe
This falafel recipe is vegan-friendly.
Gluten-Free Falafel Recipe
I normally make these falafels with plain flour (all-purpose flour), but when I am entertaining friends who are on a gluten-free diet, I simply substitute the plain flour (all-purpose flour) with buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, or a gluten-free flour blend.
Dried Chickpeas vs Canned Chickpeas
Most traditional recipes for falafels use dried chickpeas as the main ingredient, and which need to be soaked for at least overnight. I’ve made falafels using both dried chickpeas and canned chickpeas, and, to be quite honest, I could never taste the difference!
Once I realised that my homemade falafels tasted just as good when using canned chickpeas, falafels quickly fell into my “easy dinner recipe” file.
I regularly keep canned chickpeas in the pantry to make my delicious hummus, and now they will also come in handy for making last-minute falafels.
How to Make Falafels
Place all of the ingredients for the falafels, except for the flour and baking soda, into the food processor. Blitz until everything just comes together.
Now add the flour and baking soda, and blitz again until you have a thoroughly combined mixture. It’s fine if there are some chunks of peas or herbs in the mixture.
Transfer the falafel mixture to a large bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
At this stage, you can keep the falafel mixture in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Pour about 2 cm (1 inch) depth of vegetable oil into a saucepan, and place this on the stove over medium heat.
Meanwhile, form the falafels. You can do this with your hands and you can make the falafels as big or as small as you like.
I like to use a small ice-cream scoop with a 15 ml (1 tablespoon) capacity so that each falafel is the same size. Sometimes I cook the not-perfectly-formed falafels straight from the ice-cream scoop; other times, I will roll them in to a nice little ball first.
If your kitchen is quite warm, you might need to chill the uncooked falafel balls before frying them; if they are too warm or soft, they might fall apart during cooking. Otherwise, if your kitchen is fairly cool, you can skip the second chilling stage.
Cook the falafels in batches until they are golden and crispy, and they have warmed through completely. Turn them constantly in the oil so that they can brown evenly.
I like to keep the cooked falafels in an oven-proof dish in the oven at 150°C (300°F) to keep warm until serving.
What to Serve with Falafels
My family love to eat falafels stuffed into warmed and toasted pita breads, which happens to be a healthy way of bundling up different herbs, salads, and vegetables.
At other times, I will rustle up some homemade flatbreads, which sound like a bit of effort, but they are ridiculously easy to make. In fact, the flatbreads shown in the photos are homemade 🙂 (Also because pita breads and flatbreads are hard to find in Zurich …) I hope to post my flatbread recipe soon!
But one of my favourite ways of eating falafels is served on a bed of couscous with a green leafy salad alongside. The options are endless!Print
Falafels with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce
An easy and delicious falafel recipe using canned chickpeas – perfect for easy weeknight meals! Serve with a delicious Tahini Yoghurt Sauce for a tasty meal which your friends and family will love.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
For the Falafels
- 150 g (1 cup) frozen peas, slightly thawed
- 2 x 400 g (14 oz) canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2–3 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
- 2–3 sprigs of coriander (cilantro)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 100 g (2/3 cup) chickpea flour, gluten-free flour blend, or plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- vegetable oil for frying
For the Tahini Yoghurt Sauce
- 500 g (1lb) natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
- 5 tablespoons tahini, or to taste
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
- sea salt, to taste
- flatbreads or pita breads, warmed
- salad leaves
- radishes, thinly sliced
- fresh herbs – mint, coriander (cilantro), parsley
- hot sauce (optional)
- food processor
- small ice-cream scoop
For the Falafels
- Place the peas, chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander (cilantro), lemon zest, tahini, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper into a food processor.
- Blitz until everything is just combined.
- Add the flour and baking soda.
- Blitz again until you have a smooth mixture.
- Transfer the falafel mixture to a large bowl.
- Chill the falafel mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Line a tray with baking paper.
- Roll 1 tablespoon of the falafel mixture into a small ball and place the falafel onto the lined tray. I find it easiest to use a small ice-cream scoop (with 1 tablespoon capacity), so that each falafel is the same size. Repeat until all of the falafel mixture is used.
- Place the tray of falafels into the fridge for at least 15 minutes to firm up.
- To cook the falafels, pour the oil into a saucepan until you have a depth of about 2 cm (1 inch).
- Heat the oil over medium heat.
- Cook the falafels in batches until they are golden brown all over and warmed through. Turn them frequently in the oil so that they can brown evenly.
- Drain the cooked falafels on paper towels.
- Serve immediately.
For the Tahini Yoghurt Sauce
- Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Taste for seasoning.
* Both the falafel mixture and Tahini Yoghurt Sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.
* The cooked falafels can be kept in the fridge for several days.
* Leftover cooked falafels can be kept in a covered container in the fridge. Reheat them in an oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 10 minutes until they have warmed through.
* The Tahini Yoghurt Sauce can also be kept in the fridge for several days.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.