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:


rate this recipe:
4.91 from 121 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. Colleen

    I love these falafel and have made them several times. My whole family loves them – my husband says they are one of his favorite vegetarian dinners. I do add extra salt based on personal taste preference, usually 1.25-1.5 tsp. The texture is great and they reheat really well. Great with hummus, tzatziki, lemon turmeric rice and veggies. Love! ♥️

  2. Carolyn

    Jeanine, when freezing the patties, are you freezing them before or after the initial baking?
    I see when coming out of the freezer they are only baked 10 minutes until crisp and heated through.

  3. Marci

    3 stars
    Ugh! I followed the recipe exactly and was careful not to overpack the cookies dough scoop…….they melted into one solid mess on the baking sheet! Any suggestions on how to keep them together? Taste was good ……but not usable.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Marci, did you change any of the ingredients? I’m not sure what would cause them to spread. I might just make sure your herbs are not wet after you wash them.

  4. sara

    4 stars
    Hi can I freeze these after they bake?

  5. Judith Gay

    I made these and they turned out great. Not sure if I’m vision-impaired or not, but is there nutrition information posted somewhere for these?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Judith, I’m glad you enjoyed them! I’m sorry, we don’t post nutrition facts but you can plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

  6. Monique

    5 stars
    I was looking for more vegan recipes to add to my repertoire. These falafels were delicious. The only changes i made were extra salt and no cayenne. I placed them on a salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatos scallions, pickled radishes with tahini dressing. Yum!!! Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Monique, so glad you loved the falafel!

  7. Sue Sheehan

    Can I substitute split chick peas for the whole ones?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Sue, that should work fine!

  8. Diana

    Is there nutritional info for the Falafels ? Thanks.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry, we don’t calculate nutrition info, but you could plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

  9. Chloe

    5 stars
    I tried these for the first time tonight and they came out great consistency wise and flavor. Needs a bit more salt for my taste but otherwise great recipe.

  10. Carolyn

    Jeanine, when freezing the patties, are you freezing them before or after the initial baking?
    I see when coming out of the freezer they are only baked 10 minutes until crisp and heated through.

    • Mady

      ? I’m wondering the same thing

  11. miriam

    Is it one cup of chickpeas, before or after soaking them? That makes a huge difference. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Miriam, it’s 1 cup dry chickpeas before soaking them. They’ll triple in size after soaking and you’ll use them all.

  12. Ray

    I’ve tried this recipe twice. The mixture comes out the consistency of wet sand. If I squeeze a ball in my hands lots of liquid comes out. They then fall apart either as I place them on a baking sheet, while cooking, or when I remove them after cooking.
    Help! How can I rescue the recipe?

    • Jane

      If the mixture is too wet or not holding together try adding chickpea flour to the mix. 1/2 to 1 tablespoon should do the trick.. (At a push you could use plain flour)

      • Lana

        Jane, you are an angel. I love this recipe and I can never get all the falafels to hold. I added a tablespoon of chickpea flour and the anxiety I usually get forming the discs went right away! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Ray, it sounds like you might be squeezing them too hard, they’re more delicate and not sticky like forming a meatball would be. You could try using a cookie scoop to scoop them into balls, place them on the sheet pan and gently press into disks. I hope that helps!

  13. S. DiMartino

    I am making these today and was wondering if I could air fry them.
    They sound wonderful!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep – they’re great in the air fryer, they may cook quicker so just watch them.

  14. sparks

    First, every single one of these got eaten as they were very tasty… but eaten with a lot of liquids as they were very dry. I only have a small 2 cup food processor (small Paris apartment) so I had to make six small batches and then combine them back into one. So popping them back into the processor was not an option. I chilled them for a while and then I had to use my immersion blender to completely puree about 25% of the mixture to get them to hold together at all.

    Do you think an egg would help?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yes, it would. I am so glad you loved our recipe : )

    • sparks

      4 stars
      Made the recipe again but this time I used a small silicone muffin pan to hold the mixing in place while it cooked. That way I didn’t have to pack them so tightly. They were better.

  15. Susan

    5 stars
    These were SPOT ON for flavour and texture! I increased the cayenne to 1/2 a tsp and used 5 cloves of garlic (because that was what was left of my head) and cooked the in Instant Air Fryer for 12 mins, with just a quick spray of olive oil. Fantastic!! Thank you for posting!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them in the air fryer!

  16. Ann

    Can I skip the baking powder?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      You can, they may be more dense, the baking powder helps them puff up a little, so I recommend it.

  17. Lynette

    5 stars
    Oh, wow! These were absolutely delicious!
    I’m not a fan of pickled onions, so I did up some carmelized onions, instead. Fabulous. (By the way, a doubled recipe just barely fits in my 14-cup Hamilton processor.)

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Lynette, I’m so glad you enjoyed the falafel!

  18. Sage

    5 stars
    These falafels were so good! I paired it with naan bread, tahini sauce, and diced tomatoes. They were very crispy and my family of four finished all of them!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved the recipe!

  19. Joanne

    5 stars
    On a low cholesterol diet at the moment so I air fried these. They came out great. Will definitely make them again. Need to make pickled onions for mor flavor depth in the pita. Definitely easy to make and a keeper! Thanks!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad they worked well in the air fryer!

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.