Packed with fresh herbs and spices, this crispy baked falafel recipe is bursting with flavor. Stuff it into a pita wrap with all the fixings, and enjoy!


I’ll never forget the first time I tried falafel. Stuffed into pita bread with fresh herbs, crisp veggies, and a big slather of hummus, it was crispy, rich, and bursting with earthy, aromatic flavor. I devoured the entire wrap in minutes, amazed at the medley of tastes and textures dancing across my tongue. Falafel has been one of my favorite foods ever since. I still order it out to eat whenever I get the chance, but these days, I more often make this homemade falafel recipe.

What Is Falafel?

I’m getting ahead of myself. What is falafel, anyway? In case you’re not familiar with this traditional Middle Eastern dish, falafel are fried balls of ground chickpeas or fava beans seasoned with herbs like parsley and cilantro and spices like coriander and cumin. They’re a popular street food throughout the Middle East and Europe (if you’re ever in Paris, make a stop at L’As du Fallafel), where you can find them stuffed into pitas brimming with fresh veggies, herbs, sauces, and pickles.

I’m not a fan of frying at home (to be totally honest, the hot oil scares me!), so instead of deep frying falafel myself, I prefer baking it. It still comes out deliciously crisp, so I think it rivals any fried version. I hope you love it too!

Falafel recipe ingredients

Falafel Recipe Ingredients

To make this baked falafel recipe, you’ll need these key ingredients:

  • Uncooked dry chickpeas – When I was first working out how to make falafel at home, I learned that traditional falafel is made with dried, NOT canned chickpeas. In fact, the chickpeas are never fully cooked before the falafel is formed. Instead, you’ll soak them overnight, then grind them up to form the falafel balls. Trust me, you don’t want to use canned chickpeas here! Your falafel will turn to mush.
  • Shallot and garlic – They add a delicious savory bite! You can also use yellow onion in place of the shallot.
  • Lemon zest – It’s not traditional, but I love the brightness it adds to these patties.
  • Cumin, coriander, and cayenne – For warm, aromatic flavor and a kick of heat.
  • Sea salt – It punches up the rich flavor of the herbs and spices.
  • Baking powder – A pinch gives the balls the perfect light texture.
  • Cilantro and parsley – I use a good amount to make my falafel bright green and flavorful. There’s no need to toss the herb stems for this recipe – blend them straight into the falafel mixture along with the leaves!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It helps the falafel become nice and crisp in the oven.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Chickpeas, shallots, garlic, herbs, and spices in a food processor

How to Make Falafel

The first step to this method for how to make falafel is soaking the chickpeas. You’ll need to plan ahead here. The chickpeas need to soak for 24 hours, or at least overnight, before you form the balls. Drain and rinse them before proceeding with the recipe.

Once the chickpeas soak, pulse them together with the other ingredients. Add the chickpeas to the food processor with the shallot, garlic, herbs, spices, lemon zest, baking powder, olive oil, and salt.

Ground chickpea mixture in a food processor

Process until the ingredients are finely ground, but not pureed.

How to make falafel - Uncooked falafel on a baking sheet

Next, form the falafel balls. Scoop up the chickpea and herb mixture with a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, then use your hands to form it into balls or patties. If they’re not holding together, give the mixture a few more pulses in the food processor.

Finally, bake! Arrange the patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and drizzle them generously with olive oil. Seriously, don’t hold back on the oil here! We’re not frying, remember, so a good drizzle of oil is essential for helping the balls bake up nice and crisp.

Transfer the pan to a 400°F oven. Bake for 14 minutes, then flip and bake until the falafel is golden brown and crisp. That’s it!

Crispy baked falafel on a platter

Best Falafel Recipe Tips

  1. Used dried, NOT canned chickpeas. Really, canned chickpeas will NOT work! They’ll throw off the ratios in this recipe, and they’ll make the patties too wet and mushy. In order to achieve the light texture of traditional falafel, you MUST use dried chickpeas here. Soak them overnight (but don’t cook them!) before making the recipe.
  2. Drizzle the patties generously with oil before baking. Because we’re baking falafel here and not frying it, we’re automatically using much less oil than we would in a traditional falafel recipe. But oil is an important ingredient in falafel. It helps it become crisp on the outside while staying moist inside. To achieve this delicious balance, you need to drizzle your patties generously with oil. Don’t hold back!
  3. Don’t pack your patties too tightly. It’s tempting to really pack the patties together tightly, but doing so will make them tough and dense. 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.
  4. Make a double batch, and freeze the extras. These guys keep well in the freezer, so go ahead and make a double batch to have on hand for salads, bowls, or wraps. To reheat frozen falafel, pop them in a 400°F oven for about 10 minutes, until they’re crisp and heated through. For more make-ahead meal ideas, check out these 31 Healthy Freezer Meals and these 60 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas.

Falafel sandwich with pickled onions, herbs, and tahini sauce

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to serve falafel is in a pita wrap. I stuff it into the pita bread with a slather of hummus or a drizzle of tahini sauce, veggies like chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and/or lettuce, pickled onions, and fresh herbs. Other sauces and spreads are great here too. Try using tzatziki instead of the hummus, or drizzle on cilantro lime dressing instead of tahini sauce.

Not in the mood for a falafel sandwich? Serve the patties on a salad or grain bowl instead, or add them to a mezze platter. They’re fantastic with few dips or spreads, like muhammara, baba ganoush, or homemade labneh, and a salad or two. Try pairing them with any of these:

Round out the platter with lots of fresh pita bread!

Falafel recipe

More Favorite Vegetarian and Vegan Dinners

If you love this crispy baked falafel recipe, try one of these tasty vegetarian or vegan meals next:

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rate this recipe:
4.89 from 154 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Soaking time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 40 minutes
Serves 4
Falafel are flavorful balls of ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices. In Middle Eastern cooking, they're typically fried, but here, I bake them for an easy homemade twist. Serve them in a pita wrap with all the fixings, or find more serving suggestions in the post above.


  • 1 cup uncooked chickpeas, soaked 24 hours, drained, rinsed, and patted dry* (see note)
  • ½ cup chopped shallot or yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, patted dry
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves and stems, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

For serving


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large food processor, place the chickpeas (note: the chickpeas will have expanded during the soak time, be sure to use ALL of them here), shallot, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, baking powder, cilantro, parsley, and olive oil. Pulse until well combined but not pureed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Use a 2-tablespoon scoop and your hands to form the mixture into 12 to 15 thick patties (be careful not to pack them too tight or your falafel will be dense). If they're not holding together, give the mixture a few more pulses in the food processor.
  • Place the patties on the baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil (this is the key to making these moist and crisp since we're not frying) and bake for 14 minutes. Flip and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. During the last few minutes of baking, wrap the pita in foil and warm in the oven.
  • Assemble pitas with a slather of hummus, diced veggies, falafel, herbs, pickled red onions, and generous drizzles of tahini sauce.


*Canned chickpeas cannot be substituted in this recipe or your falafel will turn out mushy.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Rajavi Agarwal

    5 stars
    I told my son once that please stop ordering food online from delivery platforms. I will make whatever you want so it’s almost like he posted a challenge to me and told me okay, mom I want falafel
    I immediately started googling, and I saw that your recipe was treated by star by a number of people
    I cannot tell you, thanks to you. I won the challenge, and he has absolutely absolutely loved, loved the falafel
    The most amazing thing about it that it is not need to be fried, and it is super Healthy super easy with basic ingredients
    Thank you so much

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rajavi, aww, I love hearing this! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  2. Jo

    5 stars
    Love and Lemons truly never disappoints! The recipe was super simple and the end results were superb. I added slightly more oil (+ 1 tbsp) while blending and used a tad extra of both herbs and the end result was still perfect! Highly recommend

  3. Kristine Flynn

    1 star
    This is a no for me. I made two batches because I thought perhaps I didn’t pack them tight enough as per instructions. They crumbled, they were dry and under flavored. The only thing I did different was I used Harrisa instead of cayenne. I love your recipes but something is missing here.

  4. Tom M

    5 stars
    I have made these twice now, and they turned out fabulous both times. I make it a habit to follow the recipe to the tea, unless I can see something as egregiously wrong, when I make it for the first time. The second time I made it I swapped out the cilantro ferment. Just a preferred flavor profile for me. These are really so easy and so delicious. I do it all in the food processor. I don’t even chop the herbs first. Drop in the garlic, drop in the shallot, throw in the herbs and pull tail, chopped, then put everything else in… another great recipe! Thank you so much.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tom, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe!

  5. Angela from Pinterest

    I am not a fan of Middle Eastern spices such as turmeric, cardamom, cumin, etc and don’t like heat like cayenne, etc. Boring I know! Can you please recommend alternative spices? Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Angela, hmmm…these spices are really classic for falafel. I’m not sure that there are others I’d recommend adding in their place. If you like, you can omit the spices. The lemon zest, herbs, shallot, and garlic will still add some flavor to the falafel.

  6. Lana

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes. I have already commented about it, but there was a person who posted a tip to add chickpea flour if the falafel breaks. I add a tablespoon of chickpea flour and the falafel stays in tact, it is a game changer for me.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Lana, great tip! Thank you for sharing it, and glad you love the recipe.

  7. Brenda Freeman

    Looking forward to making these. Di you have nutrition breakdown by any chance! Thanks!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Brenda, unfortunately, we don’t calculate nutrition facts for our recipes, but you could use an online nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal to get an estimate.

  8. Deborh F

    5 stars
    This recipe came out perfect and agree with Joe’s wife. These were better than what I’ve had in restaurants (or food trucks). I will share this recipe and make them again. Also appreciated the information on using the air fryer – certainly will use it for reheating.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  9. Patty

    3 stars
    Mine did not hold together at all when flipped. Disappointing.

  10. Joe

    Can you use an air fryer for this, just got one and kind of want to play with it.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Joe, yes! I’d do it at 400°F and flip the falafel after 10 minutes. I think they’ll take about 20 minutes total to cook, though it could be more or less depending on your air fryer.

      • Joe

        5 stars
        I finally got to make this tonight, my wife liked it a lot. She orders this in restaurants quite often and she said this was better than any of those. I liked it as well but am no expert, wife is. Thank you for this simple, quick and easy recipe, and thanks for getting back to me about air fryer, it worked great..

  11. Paula Taylor

    5 stars
    Made these falafels and they taste incredibly good. I made up double the quantity so that I can freeze some. I bought the dried chickpeas as recommended and I am delighted at how they turned out and how tasty they are. I’m sure that I’ll make these often 😀

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Paula, I’m so glad you love the falafel!

  12. Meredith

    Question – is it 1 cup of chickpeas before or after they soak? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Meredith – it’s 1 cup before you soak.

  13. Diane Vigilante

    Help! I have had my chickpeas soaking for 21 hours and they’re still hard. I’d hate to waste all this work just to make the falafels and they turn out bad because they didn’t absorb enough water? Should I boil them for a bit to speed up the process or just use canned ones or try with ththe semi hard chickpeas?

    • Tom

      Have a bread warmer? Warming slightly, about 40C, will reduce soak time. You can also briefly boil, turn off heat and leave to soak for a much shorter time, about one to two hours.
      Be sure to cover in warmer to prevent fluid evaporation loss.

  14. Ronda

    Can the falafel patties be frozen before they’re baked? (or maybe after?)

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Ronda, I freeze them after they’re baked.

  15. April A.

    5 stars
    I was a bit skeptical when the patties were rather messy going into the oven – but the falafel patties turned out great! I am not good at deep frying, so this was a perfect recipe for me.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi April, I’m glad you loved them! They can be a little messy to assemble.

  16. A

    Out of curiosity did you mean to say to use a 2 teaspon portion for each falafel ball? From the photo it looks like it rather than the 2 tablespoon measurement that was written in your recipe as well as the cook times needed for them.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi A, we use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop. Two teaspoons would be pretty tiny.

    • A

      5 stars
      Thank you. So sorry I didn’t mean not to leave you any stars in my comment I pushed send to quickly. It was perfect especially the next day. Please let me know if I can adjust my rating for you.

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Aw, thank you! I’m so glad you loved it!

  17. Taryn

    5 stars
    This was awesome! My chickpeas soaked for 48 hours (only because my dinner plans changed). I’m not sure this changed the recipe. Everything held together really nicely. I wasn’t shy with the olive oil when they went in to bake. Again – this was awesome and easy! Will certainly make again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Taryn, I’m so glad you loved it!

    • Serene

      Hi, I am planning to make these for a gathering and would like to avoid doing things last minute. Can I prepare the mix a day before and just shape the patties and bake before people come, or do you have other suggestions to ensure freshness and crispness on the day? Thanks

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Hi Serene – that’s what I would do.

  18. Barry

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a non-deep fry falafel recipe for a while and this one did not disappoint, in fact it was right on the mark.

    The hardest part of the recipe is soaking the chickpeas overnight (but given how well these freeze for meal prep – double up the recipe and save some time).
    Great flavours and a true to form falafel texture. WELL DONE!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Barry, I’m so glad you loved it!

  19. Estee

    5 stars
    Came out great! My teenagers ate them all up. Added roasted pepper hummus and cuke/tomato salad. Thank you for posting!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad they were a hit!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.