The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE

The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE is a gamechanger.

But let’s back up. . .

The origin of the falafel is up for debate historically. Some food historians argue that the Egyptian Copts dating 1000 years back carried it with them from the Middle East, while others dated it back to India in the 6th century. For modern-day falafel eaters, you have most likely eaten an authentic version of this dish in a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean restaurant. So, what exactly is falafel? It is a ball or patty of yumminess. It is made from ground chickpeas, vegetables, herbs and spices, and then molded into balls or patties. Traditionally it is deep-fried and served inside a pita sandwich, as a side in a bowl with rice and tabbouleh, or on its own with tahini sauce.

I remember discovering and falling in love with falafel in high school and eating it almost every week for lunch. I still love falafel today, but these days I understand the danger of fried foods. So, eating falafel once a week has been a non-starter. 

I was recently going through my high school yearbook with friends, and then the next thing I knew, I felt like eating falafel. It’s amazing how memories can trigger foods you associate with a specific time in your life.  This is where the oil-free falafel was born. These falafels are so delicious. Even though these come out great in the oven, I must give special credit to the air fryer because it gave the falafel a crispy texture without the oil.

side view and close up of The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE on a white plate with a stainless steel fork garnished with fresh parsley and salad greens
The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE

The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE has 10 key ingredients:

  1. Dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that have been soaked in water for 8 or more hours
  2. Onion
  3. Garlic
  4. Parsley
  5. Cilantro
  6. Mint
  7. Coconut Aminos
  8. Ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal)
  9. Coriander
  10. Cumin
top view of key ingredients used to make The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE.
The 10 key ingredients for The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE

The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE is easy to make with just a few simple steps. However, soaking dried chickpeas the night before is a must for this recipe. Don’t use canned chickpeas. This falafel is a must-try. It’s so flavorful and packed with protein and fiber rich chickpeas, fresh herbs, aromatics and various spices like coriander and cumin, it will become your new go-to meal prep.  It is so versatile you can eat it alone as a snack or eat it as a meal by adding it to a salad like Gigi’s Big Rainbow Salad, and topping with Epic Tahini Lemon Garlic Sauce. You could also add a few falafel patties to an Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla with the Best Garlic Hummus (Oil-Free) and some veggies for a quick wrap.

Check out this short video of Gigi making a batch The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE:

How to make The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE.
decorative glass bowl container with dried chickpeas soaking in water sitting on a wooden cutting board for The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE.
Soak dried chickpeas in water for 8 or more hours, or overnight
top view of patties in an air fryer for The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE
After processing falfel mixture, make into small patties or balls and place on tray of air fryer, or parchment lined baking sheet for the oven
side view of falafel patties arranged on a parchment lined baking sheet prior to freezing
Store unused falafel in the freezer for later. Be sure to form falafel patties or balls before freezing.

One thing is for sure you won’t be disappointed. The Best Falafel that happens to be OIL-FREE truly is a gamechanger.

Sersie

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top view close up of The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE on a white plate with fresh parsley and salad greens

The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE


  • Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

1 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans (NOT canned)

½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

6 to 7 fresh mint leaves

½ onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp coconut aminos

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)

Salt to taste


Instructions

Put dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into a large bowl and cover with water. Since the dried chickpeas will absorb the water, make sure there is plenty of water—about 2 inches of water above the chickpeas should be sufficient. Soak chickpeas for at least 8 hours or overnight. Afterwards, rinse and drain the chickpeas. 

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and process to a coarse meal. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl to ensure all ingredients get incorporated. The mixture should be course enough to just hold in shape but is not too mushy.  Shape the mixture into small balls or patties with a spoon or ice cream scooper (about 1/8 cup size). 

Carefully place the balls or patties in the air fryer and cook at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. If oven baking, bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. The outside of the falafel should be crispy and inside moist. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve on a salad topped with Epic Tahini Lemon Garlic Sauce. Salt to taste.

If you’re not ready to cook the falafel, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. 

To freeze falafel mixture for later, be sure to form the balls or patties first, and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then place the baking sheet in the freezer for 6 to 8 hours to harden. Removed from the baking sheet and transfer to an airtight freezer safe bag or container. Falafel keeps well in the freezer for about two months. To cook from frozen, place in the air fryer and cook at 400°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. If using an oven to cook from frozen, preheat your oven to 425°F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe makes about 28 to 30 small balls or patties. 

Notes

  • Prep Time: 9 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner Entrée

Keywords: falafel, vegan, oil free, no oil, air fryer, parsley, cilantro, mint, garlic, onion, coconut aminos, soy free, nut free, gluten free, daniel fast recipes, daniel fast compliant, snack, entree, side, crispy falafel, best falafel

Nutrition Info

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