It's the crispy falafel that you know and love, but entirely from scratch and made in the oven! These baked falafel are a weekly staple in my house, because they're equally welcome at the dinner table and in lunch boxes. Just pop a can of chickpeas in the food processor or blender, add all remaining flavorings, blend, shape and bake!
I pretty much always toss a can of chickpeas into my grocery cart. If I happen to forget, I can always make my instant pot chickpeas at home, too.
Chickpeas are just so versatile, and the flavor is so mild. If you've ever had crispy deep fried falafel, you probably know what true love tastes like. My easy version is made in the oven, and is just as crispy and flavorful!
I tuck these baked falafel into pitas that I split and stuff with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese crumbles, and drizzle with tzatziki. However, other times, I use them as a snack for the kids by serving them with hummus or plain yogurt for dipping.
- Olive Oil. It doesn't need to be extra virgin olive oil, because we'll be baking these in the oven.
- Chickpeas. One 15-ounce can of chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed, or 1 ¾ cup of freshly cooked chickpeas.
- Onion. A very small amount of finely diced white or yellow onion is so crucial for flavor in baked falafel.
- Garlic. Raw garlic is key for the classic falafel flavor. I implore you to buy a fresh garlic head and chop 3 cloves for this recipe. Please don't use the pre-chopped garlic packed in oil.
- Cumin. Classic spices found in falafel are dried ground cumin and ground coriander.
- Coriander. Dried and ground coriander is the seeds of cilantro plant. It's also a critical spice in this recipe.
- Cilantro. A big handful of fresh cilantro is so delicious, but if you have cilantro issues, just use double the amount of parsley.
- Parsley. I prefer fresh, flat-leaf parsley for this recipe.
- For serving: hummus, tzatziki sauce, pita bread, pita chips, fresh tomatoes and cucumber slices.
How to Make Baked Falafel
I really recommend a food processor for this recipe, because it makes such quick work of combining everything together. Also, a food processor breaks up the fresh herbs enough to dye the batter a light green color!
First, preheat the oven to 425-degrees Fahrenheit, and ensure an oven rack is in the center position. Brush one tablespoon of the olive oil over a large baking sheet. When to comes to baking sheets, light metal and thin are the best for even heat distribution.
In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and salt. Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth.
Next, add the fresh parsley and cilantro and one tablespoon of the oil. Pulse until a soft dough forms, but don't over-mix. You want to still see individual pieces of the herbs.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop out 16 dough balls, and roll them in your hands lightly to form balls.
Place all of the baked falafel dough balls on the oiled baking sheet, and then bake for 20 minutes. Then, flip and bake another 30 minutes. They should be dark golden brown and crispy on the outside.
You can always scroll to the recipe card and check the exact carbs and protein levels of this recipe.
Yes, you can absolutely bake these falafel, let them cool, and then pop them into freezer bags for 3 months of storage. To reheat, it's best to add them to an air fryer or toaster oven to maintain their crispiness. A microwave will make them too soggy.
After baking, these should be cooled and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, only use a toaster oven, air fryer, or regular oven, never a microwave. See above for instructions on long-term storage in the freezer.
These little bites are so good, I like to serve them on a platter with tzatziki and hummus for dipping. They're also great in a split pita bread with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and tzatziki on top.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup finely diced white or yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425 and ensure a rack is in the center position. Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to brush generously over a large, thin metal baking sheet.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas, diced onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt.
- Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth.
- Add the chopped cilantro and parsley, plus one tablespoon of the oil.
- Pulse the mixture a few times, until a soft dough forms, but don’t puree it too much—you want to see pieces of the herbs.
- Using a cookie scoop, make 16 balls from the dough, placing each ball on the oiled baking sheet, spacing them out as far as possible. Finally, brush the remaining tablespoon of oil on all of the balls.
- Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip the falafel and bake another 15-20 minutes, until dark golden brown.
- Serve with hummus, tzatziki and pita bread.
For serving: These are great on an appetizer platter with hummus and tzatziki sauce for dipping. Or, pile them in split pita bread with fresh tomatoes, cucumber slices, feta, and a drizzle of tzatziki sauce, like in the photos.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 724mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 10gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g