Our homemade Lebanese Falafel recipe showcases Lebanon’s beloved street food. Renowned as a popular street snack, falafel has earned its reputation for its crispy exterior and flavorful, herb-infused interior. Made from a blend of tinned chickpeas, fresh herbs, creamy tahini and aromatic spices, this recipe captures the essence of Lebanese culinary tradition. Whether enjoyed as a filling in pita bread or atop a vibrant salad, these golden-brown falafel patties promise a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine that can be easily recreated in the comfort of your own kitchen.
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Why You Will Love Homemade Lebanese Falafel
- No deep frying – our recipe uses less oil by shallow frying the chickpea patties.
- Healthier option than shop-bought falafel.
- Versatile – stuff it in wraps, top your salads or eat them on their own!
- Equally delicious served warm and cold, making it a perfect lunch box item!
More Lebanese Recipes
Love Lebanese food? Try some of the following recipes:
Ingredients and Substitutes
Here’s what you will need for this homemade falafel recipe (find the quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):
- canned chickpeas: also known as garbanzo beans. If you are cooking your own dry chickpeas from scratch, make sure to reserve some of the cooking water that will be needed as a binder for the small patties.
- spices: ground cumin and ground turmeric.
- flour: all-purpose flour will do the job just fine.
- breadcrumbs: we use regular dried breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs. Fresh breadcrumbs don’t absorb as much moisture leaving your falafel a little stodgy.
- fresh garlic cloves: may be replaced with garlic powder.
- fresh chilli pepper: finely chopped, seeds removed. Alternatively, use some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- fresh parsley: may be replaced with other fresh herbs like fresh cilantro.
- shallot: or small brown or yellow onion.
- creamy tahini.
- oil for frying.
Variations & Additions
- Add some very finely chopped red onion or spring onion into your chickpea mixture.
- Replace half of the aquafaba with lemon juice for a zingy twist.
- Roll the Lebanese falafel patties in extra aquafaba liquid, and then roll them in sesame seeds, before frying.
First, drain the chickpeas and reserve the aquafaba (the liquid that the chickpeas were in). There is no need to rinse your chickpeas for this recipe. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash them with a fork leaving some bigger bits unmashed for texture. Alternatively, pulse the chickpeas in a food processor.
Add cumin, turmeric, flour, breadcrumbs, garlic, chilli, parsley, shallot and tahini. Season with some salt and black pepper. Add 4 tablespoon of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea tin liquid) and mix well to combine. Breadcrumbs in this recipe are used to absorb and retain some of the liquid when cooking, which ensures moist falafel (we all had dry flavourless falafel and this is not it!).
Use the falafel mixture to form 9-12 falafel balls (about a large tablespoon each). Employ your ice cream scoop for this job, if you wish. Flatten them between your palms slightly.
Place them on a lightly floured board, cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. You can store the patties in the fridge overnight if you wish.
When you’re ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil (or enough oil to cover the base of the pan in a thin layer) in a large frying pan. Add the Falafel patties to hot oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side over medium heat until golden brown and crispy.
How To Serve Lebanese Falafel?
Falafel can be served in numerous different ways:
- Stuff them in pita bread pockets with lots of fresh vegetables and Lebanese Hummus or baba ganoush. Alternatively, make a falafel sandwich or falafel wrap and serve it with Lebanese pickles on the side.
- Serve crispy falafel with tahini sauce or spicy red shatta and couscous.
- Falafel balls are our favourite things to top grain bowls with.
Making Ahead & Storage
You can store uncooked falafel patties on a lightly floured board, covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 2 days.
If you have leftover cooked Lebanese falafel, the best way to enjoy is cold. Reheating them in the oven will dry them out too much, and microwaving will make them too soggy.
We do not recommend freezing Lebanese falafel.
Tips For Best Results & Recipe FAQs
Here are a few important tips for great falafel, especially useful if it is your first time making them:
- Leave some bits of chickpeas unmashed for the best texture.
- Make sure to chill uncooked Lebanese Falafels to let them firm up before frying.
- If you are doubling the recipe or have a small frying pan, make sure to cook falafel in small bathes. Overcrowding the pan will prevent the patties from crisping up as they will be stewing in each other’s steam.
- Be gentle when flipping the patties over, as they can be fragile.
- You may use a traditional way of cooking falafel and deep fry them for an extra crispy texture.
Other Chickpea Recipes
If our Middle Eastern Falafel isn’t quite what you want to use your chickpeas for, have a look at our other delicious recipes, where chickpeas are the true star of the dish:
- North African Spiced Chickpea & Feta Pie
- Vegan Beetroot Falafel
- Green Bean and Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Onions
- Smoky Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
Vegan Lebanese Falafel Recipe
For the Falafel:
- 1 tin chickpeas (400g) drained (liquid reserved)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 20 g (2½ tablespoon) flour
- 30 g (4 tablespoon) dried breadcrumbs
- 1 garlic clove minced or finely chopped
- ½ fresh chilli pepper finely chopped
- 5 g (2 tablespoon) parsley or coriander finely chopped
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 30 g (1¾ tablespoon) tahini
To Make Falafel:
- With a fork, mash your chickpeas, leaving some bigger bits unmashed for texture. Add cumin, turmeric, flour, breadcrumbs, garlic, chilli, parsley, shallot and tahini. Season with some salt and pepper. Add 4 tablespoon of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea tin liquid) and mix well to combine.
- Form 9-12 balls (about a large tablespoon each) and then flatten them between your palms slightly.
- Place them on a lightly floured board, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
- When you're ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the Falafel and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.