Green Falafel is packed with fresh cilantro and fresh parsley to get a beautiful green color and prominent flavors. Serve with dipping sauces, hummus, in salads, sandwiches or wraps, or in buddha bowls!
Why This Recipe Works
- Healthy meat replacement. Falafel is a great substitute for meat if you are looking for a vegetarian option. Add it to sandwiches, wraps, gyros, salads, etc.
- Easy vegan falafel. Not only is this recipe vegetarian, but it is also vegan!
- Quick recipe that is great for meal prep. This recipe comes together quickly and makes about 16 falafel so you’ll have extras to use in meals and on salads later.
- Flavorful. This green falafel recipe uses fresh herbs and fresh garlic to make sure the flavor really comes through.
- Chickpeas: Be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas prior to using. You can also pat dry on a piece of paper towel.
- Cilantro: We want to use the leaves and stems to get the sharpest cilantro flavor.
- Parsley: We want to use leaves and stems to make sure the parsley flavor is prominent.
- Red Pepper Flakes: This will add a nice flavor complex. You can use more if you’d like a spicier falafel.
- Olive Oil: Not only will the olive oil add moisture and hold the falafel together, it will also add a nice olive flavor.
- Lemon Juice: The acidity of the lemon juice complements the cilantro flavor and really balances things out.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is a coarser texture than table salt, so be sure to know the substitutions if a recipe calls or one or the other. If a recipe calls for Kosher salt, use 1/4 teaspoon less of table salt per teaspoon of salt. If a recipe calls for table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon more of Kosher salt per teaspoon.
- Flour: This will help hold the falafel together. You might need more or less depending on the consistency you’re going for and how much liquid remained from rinsing the chickpeas. You can use gluten free flour as a substitution if needed.
- Add ingredients to food processor. Pulse the chickpeas, cilantro parsley, red pepper flakes (if using), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and flour until smooth.
- Portion into falafel balls. Using a 3T-sized cookie scoop, portion the falafel onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until the green falafel are set and no longer wet on the inside.
- Remove and serve. Remove rom the oven and serve with dipping sauces, hummus, in salads, sandwiches or wraps, or in buddha bowls!
The mixture will be similar to hummus but thicker and a tad drier. If it’s not this consistency, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it reaches this stage. If you’ve added too much flour, add a tablespoon of olive oil to balance it out.
You don’t have to use a cookie scoop, it just makes portioning the mixture much easier and makes the falafel uniform.
Slightly press down on the freshly scooped falafel with the palm of your hand to make them more of a disk shape and uniform in thickness. The falafel will be easier to add to sandwiches if that’s what you’re going for. If doing this, note the bake time might be less.
Depending on how much liquid was left with the chickpeas and if your flour was packed or airy, the falafel batter may be more moist or more dry than mine. This will affect the bake time. If your falafel batter was more moist, you may want to bake the falafel for a minute or so longer. If your batter was drier, you may only need to bake them for 18-20 minutes.
To check for doneness, remove a falafel from the oven and cut it in half to see what the inside is like. If it’s not baked to your liking, keep the pan in for a bit longer. I like my falafel a tad moist (not super super dry and crumbly) so I make my batter and bake time accordingly.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
To make ahead, pulse the mixture until smooth and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 24 hours and then portion and bake.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To freeze baked falafel, allow to cool to room temperature and then place the falafel on a baking sheet and flash freeze for about 60 minutes. Transfer the frozen falafel to a freezer safe Ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator and bake or microwave to reheat.
To freeze uncooked falafel mixture, scoop the falafel batter on a baking sheet then place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 1 hour, or until the falafel are frozen. Transfer the frozen falafel to a freezer safe Ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. The day before you plan on eating them, remove from the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
If your falafel mixture was extra moist or the baked falafel was soft on the outside, you may want to wrap the frozen falafel mixture or frozen baked falafel in plastic wrap prior to storing in an airtight container or Ziplock bag to prevent sticking upon thawing.
The Spruce Eats goes into more detail on freezing uncooked and cooked falafel.
Falafel is a Middle Eastern food that is made from smashed chickpeas combined with oil, flour and spices. They are typically fried. This green falafel recipe is baked to be healthier.
The super green falafel in this recipe come from the parsley and cilantro in the mixture. If you were to make falafel without the cilantro or parsley, the color would be more neutral-like from the chickpeas.
Yes you can. The flavor won’t be as prominent if you were to use fresh spices, so I would add more to make up for that.
I highly recommend it! Using fresh herbs and spices in the recipe will result in a much more prominent cilantro, garlic and parsley flavor.
More Chickpea Recipes
- 2 – 15.5 oz cans chickpeas - drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems - lightly packed
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves and stems - lightly packed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5-6 tablespoons flour - can use gluten free flour. Might need more or less…
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until smooth. The mixture will be similar to a hummus, but thicker and a tad drier. If it’s not this consistency, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches this stage. If you’ve added too much flour, add a tablespoon of olive oil to balance it out.
- Using a 3 T sized cookie scoop, portion the falafel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until falafel are set and no longer wet on the inside. Note: if your falafel batter was quite moist (and not as crumbly) you will need to bake the falafel for longer. If on the other hand, your batter was quite crumbly, you may only need to bake them for 18-20 minutes. See notes.
- Remove from the oven. Serve with dipping sauces, hummus, in salads, or on sandwiches… whatever you’d like!