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Vegan Falafel Recipe

Easy Vegan Baked Falafel // Air Fryer Friendly Recipe

These delicious falafel are easy to make and can be made gluten-free and oil-free. Super easy to cook in the air fryer too!

Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 balls
Calories 225 kcal


Falafel Balls

  • 1 can garbanzo beans / chickpeas or 2 cups
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup parsley or cilantro fresh chopped or dried
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric optional
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (Panko is nice) gluten-free if needed
  • olive oil (spray) optional

Tahini Sauce

  • 6 Tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil optional
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • water to thin to desired consistency


To make the Falafel balls

  1. Combine the ground flax meal and water to make the flax eggs and set aside to gel.

  2. In a food processor, combine the garbanzos/chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, spices, and parsley (or cilantro). Blend thoroughly into a slightly chunky, not smooth paste (we're not making hummus here!)

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the garbanzo mixture with the quinoa, flax eggs, and bread crumbs. Stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. 

  4. Form the dough into 1-2" balls (depending on how big or small you want them).

    If you are baking them in the oven, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat, or lightly oil the baking sheet.

    If you are using an air fryer, place the balls in the basket, separated enought so they are not touching. You may need to do two batches depending on the size of your air fryer.

    Lightly spray or brush the falafel with olive oil if you like. This will help them brown but it is optional.

  5. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes or in the air fryer for 15 minutes. You can flip them over halfway through cooking but it is not absolutely necessary.

  6. After removing from the oven, you can make a sandwich in a pita with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onions - whatever you like - or put them in a wrap. Top with tahini sauce.

    You can add hummus too! (I usually do). You can also wrap them in a large chard leaf instead of pita, or put them on a salad. 

    They keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week, or you can freeze them and reheat in an oven, air fryer, or microwave, or eat them cold if you like.

Tahini Sauce

  1. For a large portion (about 6 servings), place the tahini paste, 2 Tbs. lemon juice, garlic powder, a dash of cayenne, and a dash of sesame oil (optional) in a small bowl. Stir together to combine.

    You will probably need to add a little water at a time until you get the consistency you want. 

    Tahini Sauce keeps well in the fridge for about 2 weeks. You may need to add a little water each time you use it after it has been refrigerated.