A restaurant favorite gets a DIY makeover with this top-rated recipe for easy Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce.

Easy Homemade Falafel tucked inside pita bread with Tahini Sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley. Small blue blue with cherry tomatoes and white plate with chopped parsley in background.

In a moment of nostalgia a few weekends ago, I found myself digging through my massive bin of culinary school mementos—oil-stained notebooks, tattered chefs’ coats, broken vegetable peelers, a paper toque, and buried within a folder of class notes, a recipe for homemade falafel.

Chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder and cumin in a bowl of a food processor

Discovering the recipe among the mountains of note cards and textbooks was the only sign I needed to finally get serious about my falafel fix.

I was soon pulsing together cups of tender chickpeas and fresh herbs, and after a quick sauté, my hand was home to a warmed pita stuffed with four bright green patties dripping with cool and creamy tahini sauce.

Hand holding shaped falafel with food processor containing falafel mixture in background.

These bite-sized snacks are loaded with flavor and not fat. I’ve opted for sautéing them in olive oil, but if you want to go the oven route, check out my recipe for Crispy Homemade Baked Falafel.

Browned falafel in sauté pan with oil.

No matter which cooking path you choose, the result is tender veggie-packed patties perfect for stuffing into pita bread and topping with a drizzle of homemade tahini sauce. No time for saucin’? Opt for a schmear of Greek yogurt to add a cool and creamy complement to the hot homemade falafel patties.

Easy Homemade Falafel tucked inside pita bread with Tahini Sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley

Ready to see these falafel in action? Tune in to the video below for my homemade falafel tips and tricks!

Appetizer

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce

A restaurant favorite gets a DIY makeover with this top-rated recipe for easy Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce.
4.8 from 24 votes
Easy Homemade Falafel tucked inside pita bread with Tahini Sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley. Small blue blue with cherry tomatoes and white plate with chopped parsley in background.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 1 hr 36 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

For the falafel:

  • 2 cups roughly chopped white onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil, for sauteing
  • Pita bread, for serving

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (full fat or non-fat)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and press it through a strainer to release as much liquid as possible then set it aside.
  • Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.
  • Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)
  • Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  • While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.
  • Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 Tablespoons per ball) then flatten them slightly so they are the shape of patties. (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)
  • Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.
  • Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling rack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.
  • Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe inspired by a lesson in Module 2 of the Culinary Arts Program at The Institute of Culinary Education.


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Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 392mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 840IU, Vitamin C: 13.7mg, Calcium: 141mg, Iron: 2.8mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I love falafel and it is so much fun to make at home. The ingredients are so fresh and delicious! I also like to double the batch and then freeze the leftovers in patty shapes so when I need a quick dinner I can pull them out and fry them up in just a few minutes.

  2. 5 stars
    These are delicious! I made homemade naan and put the falafel inside with butter and garlic and the tahini sauce and it was out of this world!

    I was wondering though, what is the calorie count per serving? I checked the estimated nutrition info and it said 173 kcalories- is that 173,000 calories total? that’s still like 5000 per serving. Just wondering if that’s accurate haha :)

  3. 4 stars
    I used 2 drained cans of chickpeas, chickpea flour and baked them in muffin tins and they were delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS RECIPE! But within you mistook tzaziki for tahini. Tahini is ground sesame seeds. ❤️ Tzaziki is the yogurt topping you refer to.

  5. Question – it says 8 servings and says to put 3-4 falafel in each halved pita. Each falafel is made with 3 tablespoons. That calculates out to 24-32 falafel. I only got 12-13. How are people getting so many from 2 cups of chickpeas???

    1. Hi Deepa – This recipe yields 6-8 servings. The number of falafels you end up with just depends on how big you make them. :)

  6. 5 stars
    I love the flavor of these! My whole family – including the picky kids – loved them. Adding to my regular dinner rotation. And I love that it’s a nutritious and vegetarian option!

  7. This may be a silly question- but how would you modify if you don’t have a food processor? Just chop everything finely?

    1. Hi Corey! I’ve never tried this recipe without a food processor, but you’ll want a just rough enough chop so that the ingredients bind together with the addition of the flour. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    1. Hi Ashley – I’ve only ever cooked them immediately after forming the patties, so I can’t say with certainty how long they’d last.

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! They’re a family favourite! My family asks when are we having falafels again? Thanks for sharing this absolutely delicious recipe!

    1. Hi Morgan! You can freeze the cooked falafel and then reheat them in the oven so they’ll be nice and crispy. Enjoy!

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