No-Gadget Falafel (Falafel without a Food Processor) Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Izy Hossack



2 Ratings

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 12

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Author Notes

Don't have a blender OR a food processor? Not even a potato masher!? Who *are* you!? You are me. And thank goodness, I've found a way we can still make falafel without all the gadgets.
(Note: I'm a parsley and dill-hater, hence why I prefer to make my own falafel! I used a small amount of parsley in this recipe, but if you want to amp up the herbs, feel free to add more chopped parsley and/or dill). —Izy Hossack

  • Test Kitchen-Approved
  • For the falafel:
  • one 14-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoonall-purpose flour (or buckwheat flour, if gluten-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoonground cumin
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cupfinely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (use the other half for serving)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cupfinely chopped cilantro
  • vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • To serve (all optional!):
  • 1/2 cupplain yogurt
  • handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • hummus
  • mixed salad leaves
  • flatbreads, to serve (gluten-free, if needed)
  1. Open the can of chickpeas and pour them into a strainer to drain. Rinse the beans and the can under cold water. Keep the can as we're going to use if for smushing!
  2. Pour the drained, rinsed chickpeas into a wide bowl with the lemon juice. Use the base of the empty can to smush and squish the chickpeas into as smooth a paste as possible. If the cut-edge of the empty can is sharp and not safe to hold, just use the base of an unopened can and rinse it off after you're done.
  3. To the chickpea paste, add the flour, ground cumin, salt, and parsley. Stir together well, then add the onion, garlic, and cilantro. Mix together using your hands until very well combined.
  4. Divide the mixture into 12 equal balls (roughly 2 tablespoons of mixture per ball). Flatten each ball slightly with your fingertips.
  5. Heat a skillet over a medium flame and fill to about 1/4-inch depth with oil. When the oil looks shimmery, place a few of the flattened balls into the skillet. Fry until golden, then flip and cook on the other side until golden. Remove to a tray or plate lined with paper kitchen towel to drain.
  6. To serve: Mix together the yogurt, mint, and cilantro. Spread some of this herbed yogurt over a flatbread along with some hummus, slices of red onion, salad leaves, and falafel. Wrap up and eat!


  • Falafel
  • Sandwich
  • Middle Eastern
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Mint
  • Chickpea
  • Bean
  • Parsley
  • Make Ahead
  • Weeknight Cooking
  • Fry

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Peony

  • Yvetta Lukoff

  • Nodirjon Akhdiyor Sattarov

  • Izy Hossack

  • ncindc

Recipe by: Izy Hossack

Passionate about cakes, roasted vegetables and anything involving Maldon salt or maple syrup. Izy is a student living in London, UK who spends her spare time blogging and rambling on

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9 Reviews

Peony February 8, 2018

Followed the recipe exactly and ended up with mushy oily crumbs...I added a bit of extra flour and let them rest over night and still did not hold. :-(

Nodirjon A. August 24, 2019

They fall apart because the recipe asks for canned chickpeas. Don't use canned chick peas ever for falafel. Sometimes, to avoid having to soak them over night, I quick soak them by cooking chickpeas in boiling water for 2 min, taking them off the stove and letting them sit in the hot water for an hour. After the hour I just drain the water and let them dry.

Baileybayo December 23, 2017

We loved these! We ended up making them into patties and they were delicious!

KC June 2, 2015

My family (4yr old included) loved these! But they were falling apart in the pan. Any suggestions on how to firm them up a bit? Oh, and we skipped the parsley and dill but added a ton of chopped chives.

Izy H. June 2, 2015

you could add an egg white to help bind the mixture together a bit more! Also make sure everything you add is very finely chopped and that the chickpeas are as smooth as you can get them - that should help to make the mixture a bit more moist so it holds up better. Glad you enjoyed them :)

ncindc August 28, 2015

I added a bit of tahini, and it helped to bind them together

beejay45 September 17, 2015

If you let the balls sit for a while, even overnight (covered in the fridge) the flour or other binder will hydrate better and help hold them together. I use the Norpro Ebelskiver pan (which sucks for ebelskiver since the indentations are pattie-shaped rather than half rounds) which really keeps all of this kind of stuff together, from falafel to crab cakes and everything in between and means you can avoid wheat flour altogether with certain recipes, or use gram flour or buckwheat instead for more flavor.

Brittney N. July 8, 2017

I had the same issue, but I just added another tablespoon flour and the second batch turned out great

Yvetta L. May 22, 2015

I'd recommend actually washing the can -before- using it to smush food, too.

No-Gadget Falafel (Falafel without a Food Processor) Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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