Falafel balls are an amazing vegan dish that can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. With so many ways to enjoy them, the options for what to serve with them are endless! Here are 27 of my favorite ideas.
Falafel balls are so versatile. They can be served as a delicious meal on their own, as a falafel burger, falafel bowls, or snuggled deep inside a falafel sandwich made of a warm pita bread and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and fresh hummus. They can top a Greek salad and add amazing flavor to each bite with just a squeeze of lemon juice or olive oil on top. They can also be served as an appetizer or a great side dish, alongside olives and hummus.
They are also a great fit for just about any audience. Authentic falafel are meat-free, high in protein and so crispy and delicious! What’s not to love? It’s no wonder they have become such a popular Mediterranean dish, sold by street vendors and food trucks all over the region.
If you are a fan of falafel and have mastered making them at home, then the next big challenge is just deciding how to serve them. The good news is there are plenty of options and I have plenty of suggestions.
Authentic falafel is deep fried in several inches of oil This is the method I recommend for the most delicious falafel with a perfectly fluffy yet crunchy texture. If you want to cut down on the amount of oil you use, you can pan fry them, air fry them, or even bake them. The less oil you use, the less crispy your falafel will turn out, so that’s something to keep in mind.
You want to use a neutral tasting oil for frying the falafel. Avocado oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil all work well.
You can use fava beans or dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for falafel. The key is to use beans that are dried and not precooked. Canned beans do not work well for falafel.
Do not boil your beans before adding them to your mixture. This adds too much moisture to the mix. You want your beans just soft enough to break apart in the food processor–not in your hands. Your ground chickpeas will cook as they fry.
Achieving the perfect falafel mixture texture can be tricky. Too much yellow or red onion or fresh herbs and your mixture will easily fall apart. You can fix this by adding a few tablespoons of chickpea flour to soak up some of the moisture. Do not add more than a few tablespoons of flour or it will make your falafel thick and dense rather than fluffy.
You can also test your hot oil before you begin frying with just a small dab of your mixture at a time. The right temperature will also help your mixture stick together.
My Favorite Recipes
- This traditional falafel recipe will teach you all the tricks for achieving the perfect Middle Eastern falafel.
- You can try making crispy falafel in the air fryer with this recipe
- If you want to use less oil, try this recipe that calls for no oil at all.
- Good falafel mix will have the texture of crumbly sand that can hold its shape when pressed together. Your mixture should not look like a paste. The best way to achieve this is by using a meat grinder or a food processor.
- It’s helpful to get your hands a little wet while shaping your balls. You can make falafel into balls or patties.
- Falafel is great when topped with tahini sauce or tzatziki sauce. You could also serve it alongside Shakshuka.
- If you are frying falafel for a crowd, allow them to drain on a wire rack in the oven at a low setting. This keeps them crispy and warm until ready to serve.
What to eat with Falafel Balls
- Toppings: Creamy tahini, tzatziki, hummus, Greek yogurt, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot sauce
- Wrap Options: Pita pocket, flatbread, tortilla, grape leaves
- Sides: Greek salad, green salad, fresh vegetables, lemon rice, red peppers, sweet potatoes, pita chips, brown rice, quinoa salad, French fries, cucumber salad
Instant Pot Hummus
Hummus (from Culinary Shades) is a vegan and gluten-free Mediterranean dip made with garbanzo beans or chickpeas. It is served as a side dish or an appetizer. Check out how to make instant pot hummus without tahini using dry chickpeas and not soaking them.
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
Fried Feta Cheese with Phyllo Dough and Honey
Mediterranean Tomato Cucumber Salad
I’m always looking for an easy summer salad to serve at a pot luck or an outdoor barbeque. My criteria for a perfect summer salad is pretty easy: fresh ingredients, zingy dressing, and little bursts of unexpected flavor. My Mediterranean Tomato Cucumber Salad (from Trendgredient) is refreshing and pairs perfectly with just about any meal served al fresco or at your dinner table.
Hot Honey Roasted Carrots and Green Beans
Hot honey roasted carrots and green beans (from Love From The Table) is a perfect side dish, with a sticky-sweet glaze that packs just the right amount of heat. Perfect for busy weeknights or fancy holiday dinners, this easy recipe is delicious any time of year.
Marinated Sumac Onions Recipe
Have you ever tried Sumac Onions (from Hilda’s Kitchen Blog)? This “Red Onion Salad” features thinly sliced red onions, chopped Italian parsley, and a zesty sumac-based marinade that will delight onion-lovers everywhere!
Greek Salad with Sardines
This easy, traditional Greek Salad (or Horiatiki) (from Champagne Tastes) is made with fresh summer produce and an easy vinaigrette, and topped with delicious and healthy sardines!
Fresh and easy, this Fattoush Salad (from The Honour System) is delicious as a side dish or a light lunch. This healthy salad recipe is anything but boring with a ton of veggies and a tasty lemony, mint dressing.
Air Fryer Pita Chips
Air Fryer Pita Chips (from Yellow Thyme) – Pita Pockets air fried till they are crispy and golden brown. These chips are a great finger food or appetizer option. Especially when you are entertaining.
Mujadara (from Little Sunny Kitchen) is a Middle Eastern lentil rice dish served with flavorful caramelized onions that were fried in olive oil. This simple dish is naturally vegan, made with just pantry ingredients so it’s incredibly frugal, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes!
Loaded Ranch Potato Salad
This loaded Ranch Potato Salad (from Budget Delicious) is an easy side dish for lunch, dinner, potlucks, and BBQs. It’s quick to put together with minimal ingredients and has a delicious dressing including bacon and cheese that everyone will love.
Marinated Tomatoes with Basil
Marinated tomatoes (from Budget Delicious) are the perfect summer side dish. Marinated tomato salad is so simple to prepare and goes perfect with grilled foods and tastes great on its own. You’ll want to keep a bowl of this sliced tomato salad in your fridge all summer long.
Courgette Ribbon Salad with Lemon and Herbs
This delicious raw courgette ribbon salad (from Cinnamon and Kale) is fresh with the taste of lemon and herbs. It’s a very easy, healthy way to enjoy courgettes, whether you are buying them from the shop or have a glut in the garden.
Persian Shirazi Salad
Fresh and vibrant, Shirazi Salad (from Somebody Feed Seb) is a wonderful Persian tomato and cucumber salad tossed with lime and olive oil dressing! An extremely versatile side dish, this salad is a perfect example of how to make a delicious salad without lettuce! Fresh tasting and ready in 10 minutes, this is one of our favourite summer salads, when we have tomatoes, cucumber and herbs growing in the garden!
Turkish Shepherd Salad
This homemade Turkish Shepherd Salad (from Simply Scrumptious) mezze (appetizer) is made with fresh vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and a yummy lemony dressing. It can be used as a dip or rolled up in a pita/ flatbread with falafel. The secret ingredient with this recipe is sumac. It gives it that wonderful authentic flavor.
Ezme – Spicy Turkish Salsa
This authentic Turkish Ezme (Acili Ezme) (from Always Use Butter) takes just 15 minutes to make and is super healthy loaded with veggies and not much else. It’s a delicious spicy sauce, salad, dip and meze that you will want to have with everything. This recipe uses common ingredients you can find at your regular supermarket.
5-Ingredient Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Chicken stuffed peppers (from I Heart Naptime) made with 5 simple ingredients in just 30 minutes! A flavorful family-favorite that’s perfect for busy weeknights!
Lemon Dill Hummus
Looking for a creative and delicious way to flavor your basic hummus? This Lemon Dill Hummus (from Balance with Jess) is the best answer! It’s ultra creamy and smooth with bright zesty lemon and fresh dill for a fun twist.
Lemon Basil Rice
This easy 30-minute Lemon Basil Rice (from Balance with Jess) is perfectly fresh, zesty, and delicious. With star ingredients like butter, fresh basil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, this refreshing side dish pairs well with anything and everything!
Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapenos and Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapeños and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (from Coley Cooks) is a simple summer meal that’s fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious! Salty Halloumi cheese turns crispy and melty on the grill, making it a perfect pair for the jammy, sweet charred peaches. A hefty mound of arugula, spicy jalapeños and a sweet and tangy honey lemon vinaigrette bring it all together for an awesome gluten free, vegetarian salad that’s great for dinner, lunch or even brunch!
Jerusalem salad (aka Israeli salad) (from The Daily Dish) is a flavorful salad that’s made with simple, fresh ingredients. It’s a perfect side dish, and also makes a delicious filling for pita sandwiches with falafel.
Perfectly Puffed Pita Pockets
Pita bread (from FoodWorthFeed) is the perfect, soft, fluffy companion for dozens of meals and cuisines. Pita bread is simple to make and requires just a few, staple ingredients. This naturally vegan flatbread is great for dipping into hummus, adorning mezze platters, wrapping a gyro sandwich, or sopping up warm, spiced soups and stews.
Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce
This vegan Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce recipe (from The Rustic Foodie) is easy and makes a great healthy dressing for salads or dip! It’s made with fresh herbs and garlic.
Carrot Hummus – Flavored hummus is a healthy appetizer or snack to keep around. Quick, easy & cost efficient. Great for game day parties!
Mediterranean Hummus Bowl
This Mediterranean Hummus Bowl (from The Almond Eater) uses brown rice as a base and is filled with tomatoes, feta and roasted chickpeas for a tasty vegetarian lunch or dinner. It can be prepped ahead of time and the whole dish comes together in just 30 minutes!
Roasted Beet Hummus with Pita Chips
Healthy vegan Roasted Beet Hummus (from Happy Kitchen.Rocks) served with pita chips is a delicious colorful appetizer perfect for Valentine’s Day. This creamy beet hummus packed with nutrients will surely get you in the mood!
Sweet Potato Hummus
Man, oh man, oh man…Sweet potato hummus (from iFoodReal) in June? Why not! At last, summer is full of beach and backyard healthy snacks.