15 Minute Falafels

15 minute falafels_

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15 Minute Falafels

My brother called me when I was making falafels for the video. When I said I couldn’t talk because I didn’t want to burn my falafels, he wanted to know what were falafels? In my haste I explained them as like meatballs for vegetarians. He wasn’t convinced that they’d be any good. Why would you go and take the best part, ie the meat out of a meatball? I guess I didn’t do them justice, these falafels are far more delicious than any old meatball.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes (of course!)

1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 small red onion, finely sliced, optional
8 tablespoons natural yoghurt or hummus
pita bread, to serve, optional

1. Preheat an overhead grill (broiler) on its highest setting. Drain chickpeas and place in a food processor with the cumin, a handful of parsley. Pulse until roughly chopped and still chunky.

2. Add the egg and stir to combine by hand. Season. Drizzle a baking tray with olive oil. Using a teaspoon and clean hands, form the mixture into small balls about the size of a quail egg. Place the falafels on the tray as you go.

3. Drizzle falafels with more oil and cook under the hot grill for 5-7 minutes or until starting to brown.

4. Combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl. Season. Toss in the remaining parsley & onion.

6. When the falafels are brown and feel firm, gently turn and cook for another few minutes.

7. Serve falafels drizzled with yoghurt or hummus with salad on the side and pita bread (if using).

Prepare Ahead?

You could prepare the falafels and refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to cook. You could also cook the falafels and freeze. To reheat just pop frozen falafels in the oven for 15 minutes or so. The salad will be OK in the fridge for a day or so, but will get a little wilted after that.

Leftover Potential

Great. Will keep in the fridge for a week or so.


vegan / egg-free – replace the egg with about 50g fresh bread crumbs. If the mixture is too dry, a little water will help. May be difficult to get the falafels to stay together without the egg. And serve with hummus instead of yoghurt.

carnivore – serve with pan fried chicken or BBQ chicken. Or replace the chickpeas and egg with ground lamb or beef. Just combine with the cumin and parsley and form into balls. Grill as per the falafels but they may take a little longer to cook through. Or you could just brown some ground (minced) beef and serve with falafels.

carb lovers / more substantial– serve everything wrapped in warm pita breads or other flat bread.

dairy-free – serve with hummus instead of the yoghurt.

fava beans – sometimes in Egypt they make falafels with fava beans – try this recipe with canned butter beans for something different.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – replace chickpeas with roast sweet potato and yoghurt with tahini. Or serve this crab omelette instead with the salad.

more veg
– serve with grilled veg like zucchini, eggplant or peppers.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

chickpeas, cumin, onion – pantry.

parsley – use for another meal or freeze. Will wilt when defrosted.

egg – keep in the fridge for a month or so. Otherwise have for breakfast!

lemon – keeps in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

yoghurt or hummus – both will keep in the fridge for a month or so. Hummus can be frozen but not the yoghurt.

Problem Solving Guide

falafels sticking to the tray? – I had this problem too – next time be more generous with the oil. But for now, wait until the falafels are cooked before trying to turn them.

falafels falling apart – it’s important for the egg to cook enough to set and bind the falafels before you try and turn them. Leave for a few more minutes.

– remember to season generously. A little more cumin sprinkled over the top may help.

too dry – that’s part of being a falafel. Be more generous with the yoghurt sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serve falafels on a bed of salad, drizzled with the yoghurt sauce.

Or wrap everything in warm pita or lebanese bread.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie Armsby August 16, 2014

made this tonight. One of the best recipes so far. Favoriting it right now!


jules August 21, 2014

Awesome Ellie!
So glad you’re using the favourites function 🙂


jules November 22, 2011

Great question Ginger!

I have a dishwasher and I still try and avoid using the food processor if I can.. you’re right about the extra mess.

You can easily just mash the chickpeas in a bowl with a fork. You want to have about half chunks and half puree to hold the falafels in shape.


Ginger Murphy November 20, 2011

Is there an easy way to make these without the food processor? I do have access to one in my shared kitchen, but I don’t have access to a dishwasher, so I avoid using it if at all possible.


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