Crispy Baked Falafel

Crispy Baked Falafel, an easy oven-cooked crispy falafel recipe using either canned or dry chickpeas. Forget frying!

baked falafel balls on a blue plate with a white dip on a white table

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Love homemade falafel but don’t want to fry them? Bake them in the oven! This simple recipe gets your crispy baked falafel without the added oil and mess of frying at home.

👉 Ready to learn how to make crispy falafel in the oven? Let’s do it!


🧆 Ingredients

  • Chickpeas: chickpeas are the base of falafel, you can use dried and soaked chickpeas or cans (see instructions for notes about canned chickpeas)
  • Red onion: one red onion chopped adds a bit of flavor
  • Garlic: a hefty amount of garlic flavor (can never have enough garlic!)
  • Fresh herbs: fresh cilantro and Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Seasonings: ground cumin and salt
  • Lemon juice: a squeeze of lemon juice adds zest and liquid for binding
  • Binding ingredients: olive oil and a small amount of a drippy tahini are used to help bind the ingredients for baking, then additional all-purpose flour is optional if your mixture is crumbly
  • Recommended tools: food processor, baking sheet, silicone baking mat or parchment paper
bowls of chickpeas, onion, lemon, spices, seasonings, and fresh herbs for falafel on a white table

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Prep chickpeas

You can make falafel in the oven with either canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas. For a firmer and less crumbly falafel, I suggest using dried chickpeas but you can also dry out your canned chickpeas as well.

👉 Here’s how to prep the chickpeas:

  1. Dried chickpeas: Add 1 cup dried chickpeas in 3 cups of water in a large bowl and leave sit overnight, at least 8 hours. Then drain and they’re ready to use in Step 2.
  2. Canned chickpeas: Add drained and rinsed canned chickpeas to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (or longer) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). This will dry out the chickpeas and help them release some of the water they hold, which will make the falafel mixture more dense and less crumbly.
roasted chickpeas on a sheet pan
Roast chickpeas if using canned chickpeas

2️⃣ Step Two: Blend falafel ingredients

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 Celsius) and add a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to a baking sheet and set aside.

Meanwhile, add chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, baking powder, and drippy tahini to a food processor.

falafel ingredients in a food processor before blender
Add ingredients to a blender

Pulse about 10-15 times, until the chickpeas are chopped and the ingredients are well combined, but not enough to make a into a completely blended paste.

Then give the mixture a taste and add more seasonings, as desired.

blended falafel ingredients inside a food processor after blending
Pulse ingredients until chickpeas are mixed

3️⃣ Step Three: Roll falafel mixture into balls

Roll the falafel mixture into 1-2 tablespoon balls – the smaller the ball, the crispier the falafel will be after baking.

Then flatten the ball and add it to the baking sheet.

👉 Recipe tip: If the mixture is not sticking together easily or is crumbly when making the balls, move on to Step 3 of adding a binding ingredient.

rolled falafel balls on a baking sheet before baking
Roll falafel into balls

4️⃣ Step Four: Add binder if mixture is crumbly (optional)

If the falafel mixture is crumbly when forming the balls, sprinkle in a bit of all-purpose flour and mix it into the falafel mixture.

Let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken, then reform the balls. Continue to add more flour as needed until the balls are thick and stay formed when rolled and flattened.


5️⃣ Step Five: Bake falafel

Once all formed falafel are on the baking sheet, brush each side with a small amount of olive oil. Then bake for 30 minutes, flipping once throughout to crisp the falafel on both sides.

When done, remove and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

a blue plate with crispy baked falafel balls and a white dipping sauce on a white table

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

What is the best way to prepare the chickpeas for crispy falafel in the oven?

The best way to prepare chickpeas for crispy falafel in the oven is to start with dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. After draining the chickpeas, pulse them in a food processor with onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and spices until they are finely ground, but not pureed. Adding a small amount of baking powder to the mixture can also help to create a light and crispy texture. Be sure to use dry chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas, as the excess moisture in canned chickpeas can result in a mushy falafel.

How long should I bake falafel in the oven to make sure they are crispy and fully cooked?

The baking time for falafel in the oven can vary depending on the temperature and size of the falafel. Generally, falafel should be baked in a preheated oven at 400°F for 30 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown on the outside and fully cooked on the inside. It’s important to turn the falafel over halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking and browning.

Are there any tips or tricks to getting the perfect crispy texture for oven-baked falafel?

To achieve perfect crispy falafel in the oven, use dry chickpeas and pulse them in a food processor with baking powder until finely ground. Squeeze out excess moisture before shaping, brush with oil, and ensure even baking on a lined baking sheet with space between falafel. Finally, cool on a wire rack before serving to maintain the crispy texture.


💡 Ideas for serving

a hand dipping a falafel ball into tzatziki sauce on a blue plate
Serve with Vegan Tzatziki Sauce

🧊 How to store and reheat

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftover falafel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  2. Freezer storage: Freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove from the freezer into the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating.
  3. Reheat instructions: To reheat, cook for 10 in the stove, for 5 minutes in pan with a little bit of oil, or reheat 1 minute in the microwave.
a close up photo on a blue plate of crispy falafel balls

👉 More recipes using falafel

Want recipe ideas for using your falafel? Try this Mediterranean Arugula Falafel Salad.

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NOT SURE WHERE TO START WITH PLANT-BASED EATING?

Get my 4-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan to start your journey on the plant path.

a blue plate with crispy baked falafel balls and a white dipping sauce on a white table

Crispy Baked Falafel

Kristina Todini, RDN
Crispy Baked Falafel, an easy oven-cooked crispy falafel recipe using either canned or dry chickpeas. Forget frying, make a lighter falafel in your oven!
5 stars (2 ratings)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizers + Platters
Cuisine Mediterranean-Inspired
Servings 12 servings
Calories 77 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 food processor
  • 1 baking sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups chickpeas soaked overnight or from can*
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • cup cilantro chopped
  • cup Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for baking
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons drippy tahini
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour as a binder (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Prep chickpeas: If using dried chickpeas, add 1 cup dried chickpeas in 3 cups of water in a large bowl and leave sit overnight, at least 8 hours. Then drain and they’re ready to use in Step 2. If using canned chickpeas, first bake the chickpeas on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes to dry them out before making the falafel mixture.
  • Preheat oven and prep baking sheet: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 Celsius). Add a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Blend falafel ingredients: To a food processor, add 1 ½ cups chickpeas, 1 small red onion, 3 cloves garlic, ⅓ cup cilantro, ⅓ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 2 tablespoons drippy tahini. Pulse about 10-15 times, until the chickpeas are chopped and the ingredients are well combined, but not enough to make a into a completely blended paste. Give the mixture a taste and add more seasonings, as desired.
  • Form into balls: Roll the falafel mixture into 1-2 tablespoon balls (the smaller the ball, the crispier the falafel will be after baking). Then flatten the ball and add it to the baking sheet. NOTE: If the mixture is not sticking together easily or is crumbly when making the balls, move on to the next step of adding a binding ingredient.
  • Add binder (optional): If the falafel mixture is crumbly when forming the balls, sprinkle in a bit of ¼ cup all-purpose flour and mix it into the falafel mixture. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken, then reform the balls. Continue to add more flour as needed until the balls are thick and stay formed when rolled and flattened.
  • Bake until crispy: Once all formed falafel are on the baking sheet, brush each side with a small amount of olive oil. Then bake for 30 minutes, flipping once throughout to crisp the falafel on both sides. When done, remove and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
  • To serve: Serve with hummus, tzatziki, or in pitas or salads.

Notes

Dry or canned chickpeas? Dry chickpeas will produce a falafel mixture that sticks and holds together easier than canned, as the canned garbanzo beans hold onto a lot of moisture and may be too crumbly. If using canned chickpeas, first bake them for 10-15 minutes before blending with the other ingredients to help them dry out and release their water.
Prep ahead: Falafel are excellent for prepping and freezing for later. You can also make the blended falafel mixture up to two days before baking (the extra time will allow the mixture to thicken as well).
Leftovers and storage: Store leftover falafel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove from the freezer into the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating. To reheat, cook for 10 in the stove, for 5 minutes in pan with a little bit of oil, or reheat 1 minute in the microwave.
Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is an estimate using all listed ingredients except the optional flour for binding. This recipe uses all plant-based ingredients and is gluten free if you do not use the optional flour binder (you can use gluten free flour for this, if needed).

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (1 ball)Calories: 77kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 463mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 184IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 1mg
Keyword crispy baked falafel
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