An easy recipe for white bean falafel coated in sesame seeds and baked in an air fryer for a crisp finish with less oil.
Homemade fluffy falafel made with white beans and coated with a crunchy seed coating.
Cooked in the air fryer until crisp, but of course, you could cook these in the oven or deep fry them.
- 🧾 What you need to make air fryer falafel
- 🥫 White beans
- 💭 Are tinned beans ok to use?
- 💭 What is gram flour?
- 👩🏻🍳 Sesame seed crust
- 🥘 Deep fried or baked in an air fryer?
- 💭 Air fryer tip
- 🥙 Vegan street food
- 🥪 How to serve falafel
- ⏲️ How long will falafel keep?
- 🌡️ Can you freeze falafel?
- 👩🏻🍳 More vegan air fryer recipes to try
- ⭐ Hit the heart (NEW)
- 👩🏻🍳 How to make cannellini bean falafel
- 📖 Recipe
🧾 What you need to make air fryer falafel
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make these tasty white bean patties.
- Cannellini beans - or chickpeas, if you prefer
- Garlic - fresh or garlic powder
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- Coriander - fresh or dried, fresh gives more flavour, but just used dried if that's what you have
- Parsley - fresh or dried
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Gram flour - see below
- Sesame seeds
🥫 White beans
These patty-shaped fritters were made with white beans instead of chickpeas.
Cannellini beans were the beans I used, but you could use the more traditional chickpeas to make this Middle Eastern snack.
Falafel is traditionally made with chickpeas in the Middle East and is really popular in Lebanese cooking.
In Egypt, this tasty street food is made with broad beans (fava beans). Read more about them in this Guardian article about Egyptian Falafel.
💭 Are tinned beans ok to use?
They are, but you should shake as much liquid off them as possible when you drain them, and patting them with kitchen paper is a good idea too.
Traditionalists would shake their heads in horror and say the beans have to be dried beans not tinned, but heck life is too short sometimes.
💭 What is gram flour?
Gram flour is basically a pulse-based flour made with ground chickpeas.
It is also called chickpea flour, besan or garbanzo bean flour.
It's a good source of protein and fibre.
👩🏻🍳 Sesame seed crust
I added a sesame seed coating to this easy vegan falafel.
It does have a strong flavour, but I do like the crunch and adding seeds to your diet is always a good idea.
If you don't like the flavour of sesame seeds or you are allergic to them, you can skip this step.
🥘 Deep fried or baked in an air fryer?
Traditionally deep-fried, these crispy snacks can also be shallow-fried, baked or cooked in an air fryer.
Cooking in an air fryer is a great option as you get that crisp finish without lots of oil, so they are healthier.
You can bake them in the air fryer with no oil or just a light spray of oil.
Of course, if you prefer to deep-fry them or shallow-fry them, then go ahead.
💭 Air fryer tip
If you are cooking this white bean falafel in an air fryer with shelves, remember the top of the fryer is hotter and cooks quicker.
If you are cooking on two shelves, rotate them during cooking.
Check out my guide 31 Easy Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes.
🥙 Vegan street food
Eaten hot and fresh from a street food vendor, is the best way to enjoy falafel. but these balls of deliciousness are really good made at home too.
So much nicer than the slightly bland ready-made falafel sold in supermarkets.
A staple of many vegetarian and vegan diets, these flavourful patties can be added to so many dishes.
Serve them with this white bean and olive pate.
🥪 How to serve falafel
Falafel is such a versatile dish that can be served in so many ways.
Here are a few ideas.
- Wrap - on a wrap with salad and hummus, try this easy homemade hummus.
- Flatbread - in a flatbread sandwich with salad and drizzled with ranch dressing.
- Dip - served with a tahini dressing to dunk.
- Salad - in a salad with beetroot and vegan feta.
- Couscous - served with couscous, beets, cucumber, tomato, and vegan whipped feta.
- Sandwich - in a sandwich, try this beet falafel bagel or this falafel and apple sandwich.
Also, try this oil-free air fryer falafel.
⏲️ How long will falafel keep?
White bean falafel is best served when they are freshly fried, but it can be eaten cold too.
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days (once it is cool).
🌡️ Can you freeze falafel?
Yes, you can also freeze falafel.
Flash freeze them on a tray, then pop it in a freezer bag.
Leave in the fridge overnight to defrost for the next day.
👩🏻🍳 More vegan air fryer recipes to try
Here are a few more easy, vegan air fryer recipes for you to try next.
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Caprese Sandwich (toasted or air fryer grilled)
- Cheese toasties
- Crunchy pizza chickpeas
- Easy vegan pepperoni
- Fruit scones
- Oil-free falafel
- Quick garlic bread
- Raspberry Muffins
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👩🏻🍳 How to make cannellini bean falafel
Step-by-step photos. Keep scrolling for the full printable recipe (with full ingredient list, calories and nutritional info).
Step 1 - Beans & spices
- Add the cooked cannellini beans to a food processor with the onion, garlic, and spices.
Step 2 - Herbs, lemon and oil
- Add the herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add some of the flour and blend.
Step 3 - Gram flour
- Spoon the mixture into a bowl, then add the rest of the gram flour and mix in.
Step 4 - Bake
- Either spray your air fryer shelf or drawer with oil or cover with non-stick baking paper.
- Roll balls of falafel, I used a tablespoon to scoop out generous dollops of the falafel mixture.
- Rolls in sesame seeds and press down (you can leave them as balls).
Step 5 - Serve
- Bake until crisp (turning part way through if you have them on baking paper)
- Serve and enjoy!
Air Fryer White Bean Falafel with Sesame Seeds
- 246 g cooked cannellini beans (400g/140z tin drained)
- 1 small white onion (quartered)
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 cloves garlic, crushed)
- 2 teaspoons dried coriander (cilantro) (or a handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or a handful of fresh parsley)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 tablespoons gram flour (also called besan, chickpea or garbanzo flour)
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
- Add drained, and dried beans and onion to a food processer and then add the spices.
- Add the herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of gram flour and season with salt and pepper.
- Whizz until fairly smooth.
- Spoon into a bowl and add another 6 tablespoons of gram flour and mix in well.
- Roll dollops of the mixture into balls, then roll in the sesame seeds and flatten slightly.
- Cook at 200c/400f in the air fryer for 20 minutes until crisp. If you are using a drawer or shelves, you can spray with oil to prevent sticking or use non-stick baking paper.
- Turn part way through so they crisp well on both sides.
- Serve and enjoy!
- If you can't find cannellini beans, you can use chickpeas.
- If you don't like coriander (cilantro), just add extra parsley.
- If you don't like sesame seeds or are allergic to them, you can skip the seeds or replace them with other small seeds like flaxseeds (linseeds).
- You can also deep fry, shallow-fry or oven bake this falafel.
- Keep them in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Flash freeze on a tray, then pop in a freezer bag and return to the freezer. Defrost in the fridge overnight.