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Quick Homemade Falafel

Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Making homemade falafel can be quite a process. Traditionally, dried chickpeas are cooked until tender, then mashed with onions, herbs and plenty of spices before being formed into balls and deep-fried. While delicious, they can also be time-consuming and messy. We’ve put together a quick, no-fuss version that is guaranteed to earn a place in your regular dinner rotation. This recipe can be made in about 30 minutes and has all of the familiar flavors of traditional falafel. We take an easy shortcut that makes these falafel quick and simple without sacrificing any flavor whatsoever — enter: canned chickpeas. 

The trick is to make sure the legumes are well-dried before using them to prevent excess moisture. Blot them with some paper towels, then transfer the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor, along with a combination of onions, garlic, lemon, coriander, cumin and red pepper flakes. Pulse the mixture until it forms a thick paste. This paste can be rolled into balls or patties and shallow-fried. We only use about ½-inch of oil to cook these fritters and they still develop a crispy, crunchy outer crust. 

To serve,  pile a few over a bed of lightly dressed salad greens or tuck them into warmed pita pockets with fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers and a drizzle of your favorite sauce — we like lemon and garlic-infused tahini or tzatziki mixed with lots of fresh dill. 

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it.


  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup fine plain breadcrumbs
  • avocado or vegetable oil, for frying
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Line a baking sheet with a paper towel or clean dish towel. Spread out the drained and rinsed chickpeas. Use another paper towel or dish towel on top to pat the chickpeas dry, absorbing as much liquid as possible.


While the chickpeas dry, combine the garlic, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until finally minced and evenly incorporated. Add the chickpeas and breadcrumbs and pulse, about 1 minute, scraping down as needed, or until the mixture is a relatively smooth thick paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.


Lightly oil a baking sheet or platter. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to measure out a 2 tablespoon sized portion and shape into a small firm patty. The mixture should be easy to work with and hold together firmly. If it is too crumbly, add a tablespoon or two of water. If it is too wet or sticky, add additional breadcrumbs. Arrange on the oiled baking sheet and repeat with rest of batter.


Place a heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat and fill with about 1/2-inch oil. Fry the patties in batches, 1 to 2 minutes per side, flipping once golden brown. Add more oil to the pan between batches as needed. Transfer the falafel to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.


Serve warm with tahini or tzatziki for dipping, over greens as an entrée salad, or tucked into pita bread with vegetables and tahini sauce as a sandwich.