Crunchy, crisp fried falafel balls make for the best, cheapest dinners. With vibrant spices and creamy tahini sauce, falafel is one of our favorite dishes from Middle Eastern cuisine. But don’t stop at the basics: Here are some creative and surprising twists on falafel to inspire you this summer.
1. Classic Falafel
This recipe starts off with raw chickpeas soaked overnight, and the extra effort pays off in texture. Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, they make a perfect vegetarian dinner. Get our Classic Falafel recipe.
2. Falafel Burgers
Veggie burgers just got better. Use soaked chickpeas to make a burger that has a tender spiced interior and a crisp crust. A blend of spices like cumin and chili powder gives them an extra kick. Get our Falafel Burgers recipe.
3. Falafel Lavash Wraps
Elevate a basic falafel recipe by wrapping the fried croquettes in a pita. A tangy, tart lemon-tahini dressing and a sprinkling of harissa spice turn the sandwich into an impressive and picnic-worthy lunch. Get our Falafel Lavash Wraps recipe.
4. Falafel Salad
Falafel salad sounds too good to be true, right? Think again. This satisfying lunch starts with a base of crisp romaine and cherry tomatoes. Layer on salty feta cheese and crunchy falafel. A creamy lemon-tahini dressing tops it off. Get our Falafel Salad recipe.
5. Falafel Sandwich with Peppers and Onions
This filling sandwich combines sautéed peppers and onions with crisp fried falafel and a cooling cucumber yogurt dressing. Go ahead, make your coworkers envious at lunchtime. Get our Falafel Sandwich recipe.
6. Buffalo Falafel Pitas
This recipe reminds us again that buffalo sauce is always, always good. Basic falafel get dressed up with buffalo sauce, then stuffed into a pita with decadent garlic blue cheese fries. A ranch-style tzatziki finishes it off. Get the recipe here.
7. Beet Falafel
These gorgeous bright pink falafel use beets instead of chickpeas. They’re delicious in addition to being visually stunning, and they’re served over a chilled tomato bread sauce. Get the recipe here.
8. Falafel Pie
Meatless and healthy, this pie is your new alternative to quiche. A light and flaky phyllo dough crust holds a baked chickpeas filling, all topped off with crumbles of salty feta. Get the recipe here.
9. Falafel Waffle
Very important announcement! You can turn falafel into a waffle, and you should start doing it immediately. The filling stays creamy and soft while the outside gets exceptionally crispy with extra nooks and crannies from the waffle iron. Get the recipe here.
10. Sweet Potato Falafels
These falafel balls swap out the chickpeas and use sweet potato instead. Handfuls of fresh herbs brighten up the filling. The stunning orange color and extra boost of nutrition make this a perfect weeknight dinner. Get the recipe here.
11. Falafel Pizza
Combining two foods we love, this falafel pizza is a brilliant and quick way to eat your greens. The crisp pizza base is made from chickpea flour and topped with a layer of hummus, creamy tahini sauce, and fresh vegetables. Get the recipe here.
12. Falafel with Pickled Turnips
This recipe riffs on the classic falafel formula with an unexpected vegetable: turnips. Homemade pita are topped with traditional Middle Eastern spices and fried falafel balls, then garnished with tangy, hot pink pickled turnips. Get the recipe here.
13. Collard Green Falafel
Need a sneaky way to get more greens in your meals? Forget green juice. Try green falafel! This recipe incorporates hearty collard greens into a traditional chickpea falafel base along with tahini and cumin. Get the recipe here.
Posie Harwood is a New York City-based writer and photographer. She grew up on a farm and likes raw milk, warm bread with butter, and plenty of fresh air. Follow her on Instagram, and her blog 600 Acres.