I love falafel, and recently, I ate a falafel burger at a local vegan restaurant near our home. Although it was fabulous, the restaurant version wasn’t as healthy as I would make at home. So, I took my Air Fried Falafel recipe and made oil-free falafel burgers at home.
Topped with my Vegan Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt Sauce), my falafel burgers are crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. And, WOW! These falafel burgers turned out better than I possibly imagined.
I buy my beans, legumes, and chickpeas on Amazon in bulk. They are cheaper and store well. In fact, buying food like this (especially if you are an Amazon Prime member) is great, because there isn’t any shipping cost, and it arrives in a day.
THE TRICK IS TO USE DRIED CHICKPEAS INSTEAD OF CANNED!
One of the biggest mistakes I made trying to make my own falafel at home was using canned chickpeas. What I didn’t know then, which I learned since is authentic falafel is made by soaking dried chickpeas and NEVER cooking them. Instead, the soaked chickpeas cook for the first time when baking or air-frying the falafel dough.
First of all, dried chickpeas absorb a lot of water. One cup of dried chickpeas, for instance, will expand 3 times its size, yielding 3 cups of chickpeas. So, when soaking chickpeas, always use a bowl three times the size and add 3 times the amount of water to cover the chickpeas. Then, soak the chickpeas overnight.
The trick, however, is you don’t ever cook the chickpeas for baked falafel. Instead, the chickpeas are drained and then rinsed a second time, prior to making the falafel dough.
Then, rinse the chickpeas before you plan to make the falafel mixture in a food processor. My Kitchen-Aid food processor is a large 9 cup variety, so the falafel mix can be made in one batch. If you have a smaller food processor, I suggest making the falafel dough in batches.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE NEEDED FOR FALAFEL BURGERS?
- Dry chickpeas or garbanzo beans; soaked overnight
- White onion, diced
- Red onion, diced
- Ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Lemon juice
- Chickpea flour (or flour of choice)
USE A FOOD PROCESSOR TO FALAFEL BURGER DOUGH
Once the soaked chickpeas are soaked and rinsed, it’s time to make the air-fry the falafel burgers. First, you need to use a food processor to grind the chickpeas and make the falafel dough.
Next, you simply add all the ingredients to the ground chickpeas and process on high until you achieve a grainy dough.
Then, transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it, and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour before making the burger patties.
One of my favorite veggie burger tools is my Cuisinart Burger Press. Once the falafel dough is chilled, I form the patties using the burger press.
HOW TO COOKED AIR-FRIED FALAFEL RECIPE IN AN AIR-FRIER…A FEW LITTLE HELPFUL TRICKS
In order to make oil-free falafel burgers, that taste great, there are a few other tricks.
For instance, pulse the mixture in the food processor, rather than processing on high. And, it is necessary to refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour to have it set up prior to forming the patties.
Since the falafel dough is a bit sticky, I suggest forming the patties and placing them in the freezer for 15 minutes before placing it in the airf-fryer. As a result, the falafel burgers are firmer and less likely to stick.
Another helpful suggestion is to flip the falafel burgers halfway through cooking with a spatula, so they cook evenly on both sides.
FREEZING AND REHEATING AIR-FRIED FALAFEL BURGERS
Since falafel burgers take only 20 minutes to cook, it’s a quick and easy meal once the dough is made ahead of time. Also, if you plan to freeze extra burgers, cook them first. Reheating is simple!
If you have leftover falafel burgers, place in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Similarly, air-fried falafel burgers can be stored in a freezer in a ziplock bag.
For reheating, I recommend cooking in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Or, you can also reheat air-fried falafel burgers in a microwave for 5-7 minutes.
FALAFEL BURGER TOPPINGS…KEEPING IT GREEK
Because I love the Mediterranean flavors of falafel, I kept in tradition by using traditional falafel topping rather than typical burger toppings.
My Vegan Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt Sauce), for example, is the perfect topping. Also, I added cucumber slices and tomato slices as well.
As side dishes, I served garlic roasted potatoes and grilled corn on the cob I marinated in greek dressing.
Not only do falafel burgers taste fantastic, but they are also men approved, which in my house is always a vegan win!
DO YOU LOVE MEDITERRANEAN FLAVORS? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES
- Greek Nachos
- Greek Wrap
- Healthy Greek Pasta Salad
- Avocado Hummus
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Vegan Layered Greek Dip
- Greek Quinoa Bowl
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
- Skinny Vegan Greek Spinach Pie
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Mediterranean Salad
- Tabouli Salad
- Mediterranean Vegan Quiche