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Cooking falafel in the air fryer gives you perfect falafel that’s crispy outside, fluffy inside, and lighter than deep-fried options. This recipe’s super easy to make thanks to the canned chickpeas, making it a great option for a low-effort meatless meal.

Overhead view of a bowl of air fryer falafel with a cucumber and tomato salad on a table with a napkin.

♨️ What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Um, everything about this recipe is good! Falafel has a ton of incredible flavor. Fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and dill; garlic and onion; crushed red pepper flakes. PLUS, it’s a protein-packed meatless option that isn’t difficult to make and is great for meal prep.
  • Air fryer falafel in particular is great because it uses significantly less oil to get fluffly-yet-crispy results. Traditional falafel is deep fried, and while it does get even crispier that way, it uses a good bit of oil to make that happen. If you’re looking for a lighter option, this is it!
  • Most falafel recipes use dry chickpeas soaked for hours, which makes the falafel crispier. We’re using canned chickpeas instead, so the recipe takes much less time since there’s no soaking needed. Canned chickpeas are mushier than dried & soaked ones, so they won’t have that same crunch, but they’re still delicious.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • When you’ve got the falafel in the air fryer, check on them pretty frequently to make sure you don’t overcook them – especially if your air fryer runs hot or if the falafel seem almost-ready when you flip them over. All air fryers behave differently so you may not need as much time with yours as I did with mine.
  • Don’t skip the chill time! (Important advice in life and in falafels.) Chilling the falafel mixture helps it stick together better when you roll it into balls, saving you a ton of frustration.
  • If you’re still having trouble rolling the mixture because it’s too sticky, try wetting your hands a little first. Don’t go overboard – you don’t want the falafel to end up soggy. Just a little should help make things a little easier.
Close-up of air fryer falafel with a bite taken out.

Check Out These Chickpea Recipes, Too

Recipe By: Sam Guarnieri

Easy, Crispy Air Fryer Falafel

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Total 1 hour 40 minutes
Easy, crispy falafel made with canned chickpeas and air fried rather than deep fried for a lighter option.
4 servings


  • Food processor
  • Cookie scoop with release handle
  • Plate or baking sheet
  • air fryer
  • spray cooking oil safe for air fryers
  • Tongs


  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ½ cup fresh dill chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Add chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, dill, garlic, onion, flour, salt, baking powder, and red pepper flakes to bowl of food processor. Secure lid on bowl and pulse mixture until ingredients are very finely chopped but not puréed.
    Falafel mixture in food processor bowl.
  • Place processor bowl in refrigerator and refrigerate falafel mixture one hour.
  • After one hour, remove falafel mixture from refrigerator. Use cookie scoop to scoop mixture into 2-tablespoon sized scoops. Roll each scoop between palms of hands to shape into smooth ball, then place on plate or baking sheet and set aside. Repeat with remaining mixture, until all mixture has been formed into balls.
    Uncooked falafel rolled into balls and placed on a white plate.
  • Preheat air fryer to 380° Fahrenheit. Once air fryer is preheated, remove basket and spray generously with spray oil.
  • Place falafel balls in air fryer, being careful not to overcrowd basket. Work in batches as needed. Return basket to air fryer and air fryer falafel 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, remove basket and use tongs to carefully flip falafel over. Return basket to air fryer and cook another 10 minutes or until falafel is golden brown and crisp.
    Crisp, golden brown air fryer falafel in an air fryer basket.
  • Remove basket from air fryer and carefully remove falafel from basket. Serve as desired.
  • Cook times will vary from one air fryer to another. I recommend checking the doneness of your falafel frequently. Take them out of the air fryer when they’re crisp and golden, even if that’s sooner than instructed.
  • If the falafel mixture is too sticky to easily roll between your hands, wet your hands a little with water first.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 235calProtein: 12gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 1296mgPotassium: 494mgTotal Carbs: 39gFiber: 11gSugar: 1gNet Carbs: 28gVitamin A: 2056IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 180mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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