Crispy Baked Falafel

Packed with herbs & spices, this crispy baked falafel recipe is bursting with delicious flavor. Stuff it into pitas, top it with your favorite fixings & enjoy!


Falafel was the food that first convinced me that a vegetarian diet could be filled with bold, exciting flavors. It’s crispy, rich, and satisfying, packed with fresh herbs and aromatic spices. Stuffed into pita bread with veggies, tahini sauce, and a pop of pickled onions, it’s insanely flavorful, making it one of my all-time favorite foods.

I included a recipe for red lentil falafel in Love and Lemons Every Day (one of my favorites in the book!), but never before have I shared a classic chickpea-based falafel recipe. Without a doubt, it was worth the wait. I’m picky about my falafel, but these little guys check all the boxes: they’re crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, and loaded with herbs and spices.

Falafel recipe ingredients

What is Falafel?

If you’re thinking, “Wait. What is falafel?”, you’re in for a treat. A traditional Middle Eastern dish, falafel are fried balls of ground chickpeas, which often include parsley, cilantro, and spices such as cumin and coriander. It’s 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 it stuffed into pitas brimming with fresh veggies, herbs, sauces, and pickles.

I’m not a fan of working with a big vat of hot oil at home, so instead of deep frying my falafel, I bake it. It comes out deliciously crisp just the same, and it’s a little lighter than the traditional version. This one is my favorite falafel recipe to date, and I hope you fall for it too!

Chickpeas and herbs in a food processor

My Falafel Recipe Ingredients

To make my baked falafel recipe, you need these key ingredients:

  • Uncooked dried chickpeas. I use soaked dried chickpeas, not canned chickpeas, in this recipe. Soak your dried chickpeas overnight before beginning the recipe, and then blend the soaked chickpeas into the herby falafel mixture.
  • Shallot and garlic. Together, they add a delicious bite! You can also use yellow onion in place of the shallot.
  • Lemon zest. It’s not traditional, but I love the lemon’s zesty brightness in these patties.
  • Cumin, coriander, and cayenne. This spice blend is warm and aromatic, and the cayenne adds a little heat.
  • Sea salt. It punches up the rich flavor of the herbs and spices.
  • Baking powder. Just a pinch makes these balls nice and puffy in the oven.
  • 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. I add a tablespoon to the chickpea mixture for richness. In addition, I drizzle the patties with oil before baking so they become nice and crisp in the oven.

How to make falafel

How to Make Falafel

Once you’ve soaked your chickpeas, this recipe is easy to make! Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Blend the ingredients. Add the falafel ingredients to a food processor, and pulse until well combined, but not pureed.
  2. Form the falafel balls. Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop and your hands to gently form the mixture into 12 to 15 thick patties.
  3. Bake! Drizzle the little cakes with olive oil, and bake, flipping halfway, until they’re golden brown and crisp.
  4. Serve, and enjoy! Stuff the cooked falafel into pitas with your favorite fixings, top them onto a salad, or serve them over a bowl. Then, dig in!

Baked falafel recipe

Best Baked Falafel Tips

  1. Used dried, NOT canned chickpeas. The perfect cakey, crumbly texture comes from dried chickpeas that have been soaked, but not cooked, before being blended into patties. Make sure to soak dried chickpeas ahead of time to make this recipe. Substituting cooked, canned chickpeas does not work here – your falafel will turn out wet and mushy.
  2. Drizzle the patties generously with oil before baking. Because this falafel recipe is baked, not fried, it automatically uses much less oil than traditional falafel. In order to get your patties nicely crisp and golden brown in the oven, don’t hesitate give them a generous drizzle of oil before baking. They’ll come out delicious and still be lighter than classic falafel.
  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 the mixture 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-degree oven for 10 minutes, until they’re crisp and heated through. Check out this post for more freezer-friendly dinner ideas and this post for some great meal prep tips.

Falafel Serving Suggestions

I love stuffing these into a pita sandwich loaded with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh herbs, hummus, pickled onions, and generous drizzles of tahini sauce. To customize your pita sandwich, you could easily swap another Middle Eastern sauce like tzatziki or baba ganoush for the hummus, or drizzle it with cilantro lime dressing instead of (or in addition to) the tahini.

If you’re not in the mood for pita, top your patties onto a big salad along with some crispy roasted chickpeas, or serve it over a bed of quinoa, cilantro lime rice, or cauliflower rice with lots of fresh veggies.

Baked falafel

And if you’re in the market for a side dish, any of these recipes would be excellent with this baked falafel:


If you love this falafel recipe…

Try my Mediterranean chickpea salad, shawarma wraps, or stuffed zucchini next!

Check out this post for more healthy dinner ideas, or this post for 85 more vegan recipes!


rate this recipe:
4.95 from 88 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves 4
This falafel recipe is my favorite vegetarian main dish. I like them stuffed into pita sandwiches, but they're also delicious over salads, grain bowls, or on their own for a quick snack! Gluten-free and vegan.


  • 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 (they will be plump but still raw at this point), 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.



Leave a comment:

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Meghan

    Do you soak the chickpeas at room temperature, or do you put in the fridge? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Meghan, I usually soak them in the fridge.

  2. Kate Viola

    Can I make these ahead of time and refrigerate until cooking? Have you tried using the airfryer? Thanks, I can’t wait to make them

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kate, I think that should be fine. I haven’t tried them in the air fryer, but I think they’d turn out well (not exactly sure of the time and temp without trying).

  3. Lucille

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and very easy to make with a good processor. I doubled the recipe and hit 18 quite large falafels. The smell while they were baking was heavenly!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  4. Anna

    I really want to make these tonight but only have canned chickpeas! What will the difference be in the result? Thanks!

  5. Deb

    I found these easy to make and delicious. I baked them in my ninja flip, they came out crispy. I soaked the chickpeas for 10 hours.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  6. Katie

    Just quick wondering how to get the nutritional information for your recipes – especially calories? Do you have those somewhere on your website?

    Thank you! Have your cookbooks and love your recipes!

  7. Julie Smith

    These were by far the best falafels I’ve ever had…and I usually purchase falafels at two local family owned Mediterranean delis known for their falafel wraps!!!!

    I just purchased your newest cookbook, arrived yesterday and I’m very excited to start cooking.
    Thank you!!

  8. Nicole

    Hi there- looking forward to making these! Wondering: could the baked falafel be frozen to store longer and reheated later? Just wondering if I can make a big batch, given I have more than 1 cup of dry chickpeas, and freeze the leftovers… please let me know!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nicole, yep, they freeze great! Bake them as instructed, freeze them and then you can reheat them in the microwave if you want them quickly (they’re not as crisp, but still great on a salad)… or bake them in the oven drizzled with a little olive oil until they’re warmed through and they’ll crisp back up.

  9. Katherine

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner. It was amazing. I am planning to make it again tomorrow as I have more chickpeas (I soaked 2 cups worth overnight). Awesome recipe 🙂

  10. Rachel O

    Hi! I am super excited to make this but have a question – you say 1 cup uncooked chickpeas soaked overnight. Is this 1 cup of the dry unsoaked? Or 1 cup worth once the chickpeas have soaked and expanded?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rachel, one cup dry before soaking. Then you’ll use all of the expanded chickpeas in the recipe.

  11. Cathe Olson

    5 stars
    These were amazing! Easy to make, great texture and very tasty. It took at LOT of blending before the dough finally held together but we didn’t give up or give into the temptation to add additional liquid, and it did work.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved the falafel!

  12. Linda

    5 stars
    Very delicious! Loved that it was NOT dry and baked! Made homemade bread to serve it on too!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Josh

    Such flavor! What a delicious recipe. The falafel had a great crunch and paired with lettuce parsley and bell peppers the crunch was not lost in the mix. Most importantly was the Tahini sauce, it was just so delightful to the palate. One important thing: don’t forget you need a food processor. I tried a blender and failed. So I mashed and chopped until it was the right consistency to hold together and what a success! My wife peaked in half way through preparing and turned up her nose. After dinner she raved!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad your falafel turned out so well!

      • Josh

        5 stars
        I had half of the recipes ingredients left since the mashing was so time consuming. The next day I bought a new food processor and it made life so much easier. I pulsed down to a better texture and it was even better the second day. Ive fallen in love with your site as we are trying to have a more vegan diet.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipes!

  14. Rachel

    I never ever leave comments on recipes, but dang, this is THAT good. I’ve spent years trying to make falafel at home and have always failed. This recipe worked perfectly, and tastes delicious. I’m done struggling with the deep fryer and will come back to this again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  15. Turtle Dove

    5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe! I don’t deep fry so I was looking for a recipe for falafel to bake. The flavors are spot on so I won’t change anything next time I make them, and there will be many next times! The lemon zest compliments the other flavors. The texture is meat-like and the patties held together well.

    Now I’m thinking about other ways I might innovate with soaked, raw, ground chickpeas. Add to veggie patties or veggie loaf? Make breakfast patties flavored with traditional sausage seasonings? How about Italian meatballs to serve with spaghetti and tomato based sauce? This opens up a whole new world for someone who eats Whole Food Plant Based (vegan with minimal processed foods). Thank you for this great recipe!

  16. Maxine

    Hi. My patties turned into little dry mounds because I could not get things to hold together. The mixture was quite wet. I even pulsed a few more times but it didn’t seem to help. I must have done something wrong but I can’t figure it out. Any ideas?

  17. Beverly

    5 stars
    Delicious! Do you have nutritional values for the falafel?

  18. Liz Eastman

    5 stars
    They were delicious, easy to follow recipe. I put olive oil on the parchment paper before putting them on, worked well

  19. Eugenia

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I want to do it again for tonight but forgot that I need to soak the chickpeas for full 24 hours. Can I soak them for less? Say 4 hours?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I don’t think 4 will be enough – I’d say 8-12 would be the minimum but I’m not sure I’ve tried it that early.

    • Stacey

      5 stars
      You can do a quick soak. Place the chickpeas in a pot, cover with water up to 2” above chickpeas, bring everything to a boil. Boil for 1 min, remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour. After the hour, drain and rinse the chickpeas.

      It works great if you forget to soak ahead of time (like I always do)

  20. Stephanie

    5 stars
    I followed the recipe and I am so glad I did. These are some of the best falafels I’ve had in a long time and pretty simple to put together which is always a bonus. They felt a bit delicate and I was worried they’d just crumble but after baking they were perfect! I had no idea the secret was soaked chickpeas instead of canned but it definitely makes a huge difference in texture.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Stephanie, I’m so glad you loved the falafel!

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.