Learn the secret for making your own falafel. It’s so simple and it makes such a difference.
Falafel is a great option for a vegetarian burger patty. I find it can be a bit finnicky to make at home though. However, I recently found a way to make homemade falafel more quickly. There’s a little trick to it and then it’s a cinch.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Is Falafel?
Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern street food. It is made of chickpeas, sometimes combined with another bean, and formed into a ball or patty and traditionally fried. The cooked chickpeas get combined with seasonings such as garlic, onion, parsley, and cumin in the food processor to pulse so they can be formed into patties.
Falafel is often served in a pita as a sandwich or dipped into hummus as an appetizer. Today though, we will be turning falafel into delicious veggie burgers.
Making Perfect Falafel
One of the hardest parts of making falafel is creating the perfect patty – not too wet so it slops around and not too dry so it falls apart in your hands. Some say to use dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soak them the night before, and then cook them before using in your recipe. However, who has time for that when I want a falafel burger now?
After some testing we found that the best texture came from squeezing the water from the pureed chickpeas themselves. It got rid of the excess water and left us with a beautifully textured patty.
Serving Falafel Burgers
We served our burgers with nice slices of feta on top. Don’t buy the crumbled kind. It won’t stay on the burger easily. Instead buy the feta sold in a block, whether in brine or not, so you can slice it and place it on the burger.
We also like a smear of tzatziki sauce and some tomato, red onion, and leaf lettuce.
Podcast Episode About Making Falafel Burgers
Listen to our editor, Christine Pittman, explain briefly about how to make this recipe, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup shredded cucumber, water squeezed out
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 6 oz. feta cheese, sliced
- 8 tomato slices
- 4 red onion slices
- 4 leaves of lettuce
- In food processor combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, flour, cilantro, cumin, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Pulse until combined and mixture comes together, about 10 pulses.
- Put 5 sheets of paper towel on the counter. Put mixture on towel and squeeze out excess liquid. If more comes out, you can use more paper towels. Shape into 4 patties using your hands.
- In medium nonstick frying pan, add vegetable oil and heat to medium-high. Cook patties until golden brown underneath, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until browned, another 4 minutes. Remove from pan and place on plate while preparing sauce.
- Combine Greek yogurt, garlic, shredded cucumber, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread on the tops and bottoms of each of the hamburger buns.
- Place the patties in the buns and top with feta, tomato, red onion, and lettuce.
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The post originally appeared in July 2016 and was revised and republished in April 2023.