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top view close up of the best falafel that happens to be oil free on a white plate

Air Fryer Falafel (VEGAN, OIL-FREE)

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Gigi & Sersie
  • Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


With 10 key ingredients, this delicious air fryer falafel is OIL-FREE and easy to prepare. They're crispy on the outside and soft inside. These vegan and gluten-free balls of deliciousness can be used on a salad, pizza, wrap, or as a snack dipped in hummus or tahini sauce. Yum! If you don't have an air fryer, this falafel recipe can be baked in the oven. 


Units Scale
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans (NOT canned)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6 to 7 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp coconut or regular aminos
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • Salt to taste


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. Afterward, 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 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. If oven baking, bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. The outside of the falafel should be crispy and the inside moist. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve on a salad topped with Tahini Lemon Garlic Sauce, or hummus. Salt to taste.

Store leftover cooked falafel in the refrigerator for up to four days.

You can freeze this falafel mixture for later. Be sure to form the balls or patties first and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 6 to 8 hours to harden. Remove 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 (205°C) for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. If using an oven to cook from frozen, preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.



  1. Large bowl (for soaking chickpeas)
  2. Strainer
  3. Measuring cup
  4. Measuring spoons
  5. Spatula
  6. Cutting board
  7. Knife
  8. Oven or Air Fryer
  9. Food processor
  10. Baking sheet (if oven baking)
  • Prep Time: 9 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner Entrée
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean