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Making Air Fryer Falafel is a great, healthy way to prepare your Falafels so they are incredibly crispy without the need for frying and accessive amounts of oil. This recipe is lower in calories and a great source of protein for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet. These Falafel are also gluten-free.
If you enjoy this Air Fryer Falafel recipe, also be sure to check out our Air Fryer Onion Rings.
Are there a lot of calories in Falafel?
Typically, Falafels are deep fried, making them high in calories. However, by using the air fryer, we are able to drastically reduce the amount of oil used and lower the calories significantly. Each Falafel is only 29 calories. You could enjoy 5 Falafel and it would only be 120 calories!
Is Falafel Gluten Free?
Falafel is usually not gluten free as it uses flour to hold them together. However, we use chickpea flour which accomplishes the same result, but makes the recipe gluten free. Chickpea flour is a great alternative and is also used in my Air Fryer Onion Rings.
How to make Air Fryer Falafel
First, you want to place the dry chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with water. Make sure the water is about 3 inches over the dry chickpeas since they will expand. Refrigerate overnight for 24 hours.
Then remove the chickpeas from the refrigerator and drain them. Give them a rinse to remove any access skin and let drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, spices, herbs, onions, garlic, chickpea flour, and baking soda. Pulse until you get a nice smooth consistency.
Using a cookie scoop, form small balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Then chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. This step is important to help the falafels keep their shape.
Once chilled, place in the air fryer so none of the Falafel are touching, spray or brush with olive oil, and cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Then shake the basket and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Finally, remove to a baking rack to cool until ready to serve. You can sprinkle with chopped parsley for a garnish and serve with Tzaiki or Hummus.
Can I use canned chickpeas to make air fryer falafel?
The texture from Falafel comes from using dry chickpeas which are soaked. Using canned chickpeas would change the consistency and you would need to experiment to ensure your Falafel holds together. You would need to add more flour, small amounts at a time until you reach the right texture.
In case the balls won’t hold together, you need to process the mixture once again and make sure to get a paste-like consistency. After this step, if the falafel balls won’t hold together, identify if the mixture is too wet or too dry.
If the mixture is too wet, try adding 1 tbsp of chickpea flour first and test the consistency. Continue adding 1 tbsp of flour at a time, mixing and testing until the desired consistency is reached.
If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to the mixture and test the consistency.
Tips for extra crispy falafel
To ensure your Falafels are extra crispy, make sure they are not touching each other when you place them in the basket. You will want to make these in batches. Also, remember to spray or brush with olive oil. Finally, by giving them a good shake after 10 minutes you will ensure they cook on all sides. You can also flip them one by one if you prefer, but a good shake is sufficient.
Falafels are a great filling meal that can be enjoyed so many different ways and the best part is they are incredibly healthy! Below are some suggestions on how to enjoy your fresh air fryer falafel.
- By themselves with Tziki Sauce or Hummus
- In a Mediterranean Salad
- In a Falafel Bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt drizzle, and feta
- In a gyro
Storage and Leftovers
For this recipe, you will want to store the batter which will last in the refrigerator for one week. This way the falafel is fresh with a perfect crispy outside and soft center. If you’ve ever had dry Falafel it is because they were left out and reheated.
Air Fryer versus Deep Frying
Falafels are traditionally deep fried in oil. By using an Air Fryer you can achieve the same results with much less oil. So you might be asking yourself, how do air fryers work? Air fryers cook by circulating incredibly hot air around food causing a convection effect. This causes food to become nice and crispy without the use of deep frying.
Among other air fryer recipe developers and home cooks, the Cosori air fryer was recommended most and also has a very high rating on amazing.
Try These other Vegan Recipes
Crispy Air Fryer Falafel
- 2 cups chickpeas dry (not canned)
- .5 cups yellow onion quartered
- 1 cup parsley fresh chopped
- ½ cup cilantro fresh chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp salt himalayan or sea salt
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp coriander ground
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil or spray
- First, soak your chickpeas overnight for 24 hours. By placing them in a large bowl. Add the dry chickpeas and water to cover them by about 3 inches. Soak overnight for 24 hours. The chickpeas will double in size as they soak, for this reason, choose a bigger container.2 cups chickpeas
- Remove the chickpeas from the refrigerator, drain them and rinse with running water to remove any skins floating in the water. Leave them draining while preparing the other ingredients.
- In your food processor, add the drained chickpeas, onions, garlic cloves, herbs, spices, chickpea flour, and baking powder..5 cups yellow onion, 1 cup parsley, ½ cup cilantro, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp chickpea flour, 1 tbsp salt, 1.5 tsp cumin, 1.5 tsp coriander, ½ tsp black pepper, ⅛ tsp cardamom, 1 tsp baking powder
- Using a cookie scooper, form small balls and place them on a baking cheat. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (preferably 2). This will help the falafel maintain its shape.
- Remove the Falafel from the refrigerator and place them in batches in the air fryer so they are not touching. Brush or spray with olive oil.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Then shake the basket to move the falafel around and bake for an additional 5 minutes.2 tbsp olive oil
- Remove and place on a wire rack to cool until ready to serve.
- If your falafel is to dry, add a tablespoon of water, pulse, and check for consistency.
- If the falafel mix is too wet, add a tablespoon of chickpea flour, pulse, and check the consistency.