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Takeout basket filled with Easy Vegan Falafel on pita with vegetables and sauce
4.84 from 124 votes

Easy Vegan Falafel (Freezer-Friendly!)

Easy, 10-ingredient vegan falafel made with canned chickpeas to save time, and packed with flavor from parsley, cumin, and garlic. A simple, flavorful approach to restaurant-quality falafel!

Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 (falafel)
Category: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

FALAFEL

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (rinsed, drained and patted dry)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (or sub cilantro)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium shallots (minced // 2 shallots yield ~ 3/4 cup or 65 g // or sub white onion)
  • 2 Tbsp raw sesame seeds (or sub finely chopped nuts, such as pecans)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 healthy pinch each cardamom and coriander (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbsp all-purpose flour (or sub oat flour or gluten-free blend with varied results)
  • 3-4 Tbsp avocado oil for cooking (or sub any neutral oil with a high smoke point)
  • Panko bread crumbs for coating (optional // see instructions // gluten-free as needed)

FOR SERVING

  • Garlic Dill Sauce (for serving // found within the Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potato Recipe)

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, pepper (and coriander and cardamom if using) to a food processor or blender and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed until thoroughly combined. You’re looking for a crumbly dough, not a paste (see photo).
  2. Add flour 1 Tbsp (~8 g) at a time and pulse/mix to combine until no longer wet and you can mold the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands - I used 4 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).

  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more salt, pepper, and a dash of cardamom and coriander. You want the flavor to be pretty bold, so don’t be shy.
  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to firm up. If you’re in a hurry you can chill in the freezer for 45 minutes or skip this step - but they will be a little more fragile when cooking.

  5. Once chilled, scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts (~30 g in weight // I used this scoop) and gently form into 11-12 small discs (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  6. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and gently press to adhere - flip and repeat. This will produce a crispier falafel, but it's optional.
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan - about 2 Tbsp (30 ml). Swirl to coat.

  8. NOTE: If not cooking all of the falafel right away, FREEZE uncooked falafel between layers of parchment paper and store in a container in the freezer up to 1 month. Then just thaw and cook as instructed!

  9. Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafel as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time - about 5-7.

  10. Cook for a total of 4-5 minutes, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown. Repeat until all falafel are browned - the deeper golden brown they are, the crispier they'll be. They will also firm up more once slightly cooled.
  11. OPTIONAL: For even crispier falafel, bake in a 400 degree F (204 C) oven for 5-10 minutes after pan frying (either on a baking sheet or your skillet if it's oven-safe)!

  12. Serve warm with garlic-dill sauce or hummus, inside a pita or naan, and with desired toppings or atop a bed of greens.
  13. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep in the refrigerator covered for 4-5 days. Freeze after that to keep fresh for up to 1 month. From thawed, reheat in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven for 15 minutes or until hot.

Notes

*Recipe loosely adapted from Tori Avey.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without sauce or optional ingredients.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 12 falafel)