Easy Dinners, Healthy Snacks, Lunchbox Friendly Food, Main Meals, Sides, Vegetarian

friendly falafels

{gluten, dairy, soy, egg and nut free}

Failsafe Falafels. Um, you mean boring balls of veg. Can they be done successfully without all the spice and pomp? Yes, yes they can. What is my measure of success? Both my kids woofed it down for lunch and with a mouth full of hummus (aka falafel sauce), my toddler Jack said “v’ese are so yummo mum!” and then giggled to himself because he said ‘yummo’ instead of ‘yum’. What a kid! For someone who has been more picky than ever lately (I think this whole diet thing is starting to wear thin…I don’t blame him)…this was a wonderful result!

The only real trick to falafels is to soak dried chickpeas overnight and whack them in the food processor without cooking them. If you are thinking you’ll open a tin of chickpeas for this recipe, go right ahead and put it back in the cupboard. Quick! Unless of course, you want to make hummus…if so, do continue. I apologise. hehe.

I did a bit of research to find an authentic falafel recipe…because if all the ingredients can’t be authentic (spices/herbs etc), I wanted to try and replicate the method.

So DO use dried chickpeas. DON’T use tinned chickpeas.

What will happen if you use tinned chickpeas? It will end up mushy and tasteless. Basically weird lumpy hummus. Not ideal. Ever.

The bonus of using dried chickpeas? Well, they are not only loads tastier but also much cheaper. One 375g bag makes about 5-6 cups of soaked chickpeas so you get great value for money!

What’s to love about these falafels?

They are delicious

Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle

Packed with veggies

Easy to freeze and reheat

Allergy friendly; free from gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and egg. Also vegan.

Great source of protein


Perfect in wraps, salads or on their own with failsafe hummus to dip.

Serving suggestion: serve the falafels alongside failsafe hummus with a salad of thinly sliced red cabbage, celery, iceburg lettuce, beans, chopped cashews, soft boiled egg and some failsafe citric acid dressing. So delicious and fresh! Check out my falafel and rainbow salad bowl recipe here and the hummus recipe here.

For best results, allow ample time for the beans to soak overnight (6-8hrs) and for the raw falafel mix to be refrigerated for 1-2 hours before cooking.

Note: If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please let us know by commenting below. If you alter the recipe to suit your own preferences or dietary needs, we’d also love to know if it was successful so we can share that information with others.

Happy falafel-ling,

friendly falafels
Recipe Type: Dinner, Lunch
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
IMPORTANT NOTE: for best results, allow ample time for the beans to soak overnight (6-8hrs) and for the raw falafel mix to be refrigerated for 1-2 hours before cooking. Makes approx 16 falafels.
  • 3 brussel sprouts, chopped
  • 4 spring onions* chopped
  • ¼ cup chives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped (up to ¼ cup if you can tolerate it)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup besan (chickpea) flour
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (1 ½ cups once soaked)** see note
  • 1 tsp citric acid
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • Rice bran oil, to shallow fry***
  1. Place 1 cup of dried chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with water several inches above the chickpeas. Cover with a tea towel and leave over-night.
  2. Once the chickpeas have soaked for at least 6-8 hours, drain the liquid and rinse well.
  3. Place the drained chickpeas in a food processor along with all the other ingredients (except rice bran oil).
  4. Pulse the ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Stop and scrape the sides of the processor regularly, pushing the mix down towards the blade. Continue to process until the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste ^ see note
  5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and use a fork to mix it around. If you find any chunks of chickpeas, take them out and discard. Cover and place the falafel mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until chilled^^
  6. Take the mixture out of the fridge, and with wet hands, shape into balls or flatten slightly to make discs (approx 1-2 tbsp each).
  7. Heat a frying pan with 1 inch of rice bran oil. Shallow fry the falafels in batches, being careful not to over-crowd the pan. Turn when golden brown on either side^^^
  8. Place onto a paper towel to drain oil, cool and enjoy warm!
*spring onion substitute: 1 leek, chopped (white part only not the thick dark leaves)[br][br]**dried chickpeas: for authentic falafels, the chickpeas must be soaked overnight and not cooked. The falafel texture will be much more mushy and less flavourful if you use tinned chickpeas so it is not recommended.[br][br]***rice bran oil: any failsafe oil would be fine; safflower, sunflower or canola.[br][br]^texture: a more paste like consistency will help the mixture to hold together… but if you overprocess, it will turn into hummus![br][br]^^chillling: helps the mixture to stick together as it cooks.[br][br]^^^troubling shooting if its not sticking together when cooking: [br]put the mixture back into the food processor and blend again.[br]try adding more chickpea flour and blend again (1-2 tbsp)[br]as a last resort, add an egg and blend to combine


10 thoughts on “friendly falafels”

  1. Pingback: hummus dip
  2. Even though we are not all failsafe, they were loved by the family. A little too citrusy for the younger ones so will knock that back with the next batch. Sprouts and chic peas prepped and in the freezer waiting…!

  3. Thank you for your awesome recipes. Can we freeze cooked falafels and if so do we need to thaw before heating? And how would you recommend to heat them if you don’t have a microwave?

    1. Hi Joy. No worries at all. Thank you for leaving lovely feedback 🙂 I would say yep, you could absolutely freeze cooked falafels. I would try and thaw them at room temperature a little if you don have a microwave and reheat them in a pan with oil, or in the oven. If you try either of these options (or another), I’d love to hear your feedback. Thanks for stopping by, Laura x

      1. Yes these are great frozen, thawed and reheated in the oven.
        I still use this recipe even when not doing Failsafe, it’s so delicious

    1. Hi Sarah. Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed them. I was actually a little bit shocked how yummy they were…even without the traditional spices. I’m starting to learn that leaving out strong spices actually helps the more subtle flavours in vegetables sing! Who would have thought ay? All the best, Laura x

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