Falafel Pita Sandwich Recipe with Easy Tahini Sauce

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Falafel Pita Sandwich Recipe with Easy Tahini Sauce– is a delicious and healthy vegetarian meal that’s easy to make at home! Perfectly seasoned crispy falafel exterior and soft interior inside a warm pita topped with crisp vegetables and a velvety tahini yogurt sauce create a mouthwatering falafel sandwich. Instructions for pan fry and air fryer are included.

You will also love my Italian Grilled Eggplant Recipe.

plate of falafel pitas with all the condiments in the pita. Plus a bowl of hummus and extra sauce. and pickled red onions.
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What is Falafel?

Have you ever tried falafel? It’s a Middle Eastern version of fast food – chickpeas (or fava beans), fresh herbs, and spices, all packed into little patties or balls. It started in Egypt when Coptic Christians wanted something hearty during fasting or lent. Now, it’s not just a meat replacement; it’s a hit all over the Middle East and beyond!

Why you’ll love this

It’s a popular Mediterranean street food for a good reason!

  • Flavorful and Nutrient-Rich: The combination of fresh herbs, spices, and chickpeas creates a falafel that is rich in flavor and packed with plant-based protien.
  • Healthy Cooking Options: The recipe provides options for baking, pan-frying, or air-frying the falafel, allowing you to choose a cooking method that aligns with your health goals.
  • Satisfying and Filling: The falafel, combined with the creamy tahini yogurt sauce, creates a satisfying and hearty sandwich that’s perfect for a substantial meal.
  • Perfect Blend of Textures: The crispy exterior of the falafel, combined with the softness of the pita bread and the crunchiness of fresh vegetables, creates a delightful blend of textures.
platter with falafel pitas and sides.

Simple Ingredients

You’ll love the fresh ingredients in this falafel sandwich recipe!

ingredients for falafel pita recipe.

Falafel:

  • Uncooked Dry Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): This recipe uses Only dried and soaked chickpeas, not canned ones. Canned chickpeas are too soft and wet, and the falafel will turn into mush. This is the authentic way, and trust me, they do this for a reason! It’s so easy to do. You will notice that in recipes that use canned chickpeas, they add flour to compensate, yuck!
  • Garlic: Adds a pungent and savory flavor to the falafel.
  • Shallot: Provides a mild, onion-like flavor to enhance the overall taste.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds a fresh and herbaceous taste to the falafel.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Contributes a citrusy and slightly peppery flavor to the mixture.
  • Ground Cumin: Offers warm and earthy tones to the falafel mixture.
  • Ground Coriander: Adds a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor, complementing the other spices.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances overall flavor and seasoning.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a hint of heat and pungency.
  • Lemon Juice: Provides a refreshing and tangy element.
  • Olive Oil: Used for brushing the falafel before baking or for pan-frying, contributing richness and flavor.
dressing ingredients.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce:

  • Plain Greek Yogurt (or dairy-free alternative): Provides creaminess to the sauce.
  • Tahini: Adds a nutty and slightly bitter flavor, enriching the sauce.
  • Lemon Juice: Offers acidity and brightness to balance the richness of tahini.
  • Garlic: Grated garlic adds a subtle pungency to the sauce.
  • Warm Water: Adjusts the consistency of the sauce to make it creamy and pourable.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the overall flavor.

Pita Sandwich:

  • Warm Pita Bread
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Red Onion
  • Sliced Cucumber

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Homemade Falafel

Follow these step-by-step photos for the best homemade falafel!

How to make best falafel pita recipe step-by-step instructions: gather dry chickpeas.

The night before- rinse and place dried chickpeas in a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

How to make best falafel pita recipe step-by-step instructions: soak the chickpeas in water overnight.

Cover with water and let them soak for 24 hours.

How to make best falafel pita recipe step-by-step instructions: chickpeas after soaked overnight.

The chickpeas will double (or more) in size after soaking. You will use all the chickpeas. Dry chickpeas with paper towels before using them for the recipe (make sure they are completely dry). 

how to make falafel pita sandwich recipe step-by-step instructions: adding all the ingredients in the food processor.

In a food processor, combine minced garlic, sliced shallot, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, dried chickpeas, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne (if using), kosher salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.
Pulse until well combined but not pureed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

how to make falafel pita sandwich recipe step-by-step instructions: mixing all the ingredient in food processor.

You should be able to form into patties with the consistency achieved if you can’t pulse it a bit more. 

how to make falafel pita sandwich recipe step-by-step instructions: making patties with the falafel mixture.

Take about 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of the falafel mixture and form the mixture into small patties (about 15-18). 

how to make falafel pita sandwich recipe step-by-step instructions: adding all the falafel patties to the baking sheet.

Place the falafel patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. See notes for pan frying and air fryer methods. 

how to make falafel pita sandwich recipe step-by-step instructions: brushing the falafel patties with oil.

Generously brush each falafel patty with olive oil- let it run down the sides. Save the rest of the oil for when you flip them. 

how to make falafel pita sandwich recipe step-by-step instructions: baking the falafel patties in the oven.

Bake in a preheated oven for 13-15 minutes on one side, then flip, brush with more oil, and bake an additional 10-13 minutes on the other side or until golden brown and crispy.

plate with falafel patties and fresh parsley on the side. one falafel patty split in half.

How to Make Falafel Sauce

Tahini Yogurt Sauce Perfection– The easy tahini yogurt sauce adds a creamy and flavorful element to the sandwich, tying everything together with a deliciously tangy finish.

how to make the tahini falafel sauce in a blender. Add ingredients and blend until smooth.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce: In a food processor, combine Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, grated garlic, warm water, and a pinch of kosher salt.

blend the tahini sauce (falafel sauce) until smooth.

Process until smooth and well combined.
Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed. The sauce should be creamy and pourable.

tahini falafel sauce in a jar with a spoon showing the sauce.

Assemble Falafel Pita Sandwich

Cut the pita bread in half. Stuff each pita half with a few falafel patties.
Add shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced red onion, and sliced cucumber on top of the falafel. Add a drizzle of tahini sauce over the fillings. Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious Falafel Pita Sandwich!

plate of falafel pitas with all the condiments in the pita. Plus a bowl of hummus and extra sauce.

Enjoy your amazing falafel pita sandwiches.

Air Fryer Falafel

Air frying is a healthier alternative that still gives a crispy texture.  Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Lightly brush or spray the falafel patties with olive oil. Place the falafel in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden brown and cooked through.

plate of falafel pitas with all the condiments in the pita. Plus a bowl of hummus and extra sauce.

Substitutions

  • Chickpeas: Substitute with canned white beans or black beans for a different twist on the falafel.
  • Fresh Herbs: Swap parsley and cilantro with other fresh herbs like mint, dill, or basil for varied flavor profiles.
  • Ground Cumin and Coriander: Use garam masala or curry powder for a unique and aromatic spice blend.
  • Pita Bread: Swap with whole-grain falafel pita pockets for naan, or flatbreads for a different texture.

Equipment

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Place the falafel patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store the pita bread and fresh vegetables in separate containers or wrap them in plastic wrap. The Tahini Yogurt Sauce should also be kept in a separate sealed container.

Reheating: When ready to enjoy leftovers, reheat the falafel patties in a preheated oven or air fryer for a few minutes until they regain their crispiness. Alternatively, you can briefly pan-fry them over medium heat with a touch of oil. Warm the pita bread in the oven or on a dry skillet, ensuring it stays soft and pliable. Assemble the sandwich with freshly reheated or raw vegetables and drizzle the Tahini Yogurt Sauce just before serving to preserve its creamy consistency.

Top Tips

Follow these important tips for the best results:

  • USE DRY chickpeas, not canned garbanzo beans: Traditional falafel is made with dried, NOT canned chickpeas. The chickpeas aren’t fully cooked before the falafel is baked. Soak them overnight, then grind them up to form the falafel balls. Trust me, you don’t want to use canned chickpeas! Your falafel will turn mush (I know from experience- ha!).
  • Refrigerate the falafel mixture: Chilling for at least 1 hour helps with the shaping and cooking. You can make the falafel mixture up to 24 hours before and chill overnight.

FAQ

What is falafel pita?

Falafel Pita is a mouthwatering and satisfying Mediterranean-inspired dish that centers around a flavorful and crispy chickpea-based patty known as falafel. The dish is typically constructed by stuffing pita bread with these delectable falafel patties, creating a wholesome and handheld sandwich.

Is falafel vegaterian?

Yes! It contains no meat, dairy, or eggs. This also makes my falafel recipe vegan.

Can you freeze falafel?

Freeze falafel is an easy meal prep idea! Let them cool completely, then for best results, freeze on a baking sheet in a single layer before transferring to a freezer-safe container for storage. Reheat in oven or pan fry until warmed all the way through the center.

Is Falafel pita sandwich healthy?

Yes, a Falafel Pita Sandwich can be a healthy meal choice, particularly when made with baked or air-fried falafel, whole-grain pita, and a variety of fresh vegetables. The chickpea-based falafel provides plant-based protein and fiber, and the addition of veggies contributes essential vitamins and minerals.

holding the falafel pita and ready to eat.

Looking for other recipes? Try these:

What to Serve with Falafel Pitas

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platter with falafel pitas and sides.

Best Falafel Pita Sandwich Recipe

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Falafel Pita Sandwich Recipe with Easy Tahini Sauce– is a delicious and healthy vegetarian meal that’s easy to make at home! I encase crunchy chickpea patties in soft pita bread alongside crisp vegetables and a velvety tahini yogurt sauce, creating a mouthwatering sandwich. Pan fry and air fryer instructions included.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1518 falafel 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

Falafel:

  • 1 cup uncooked chickpeas, soaked 24 hours, drained, rinsed, and patted dry (see notes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shallot or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, for topping.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (can use dairy-free yogurt if vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 clove garlic, grated
  • 23 tablespoons warm water
  • Pinch kosher salt

Serve With:

  • Chopped roman lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced red onion or pickled red onion
  • Diced cucumber
  • Hummus, if desired
  • Optional: fresh mint as garnish

Instructions

Falafel: 

  1. The night before- rinse and place dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover with water and let them soak for 24 hours. The chickpeas will double (or more) in size after soaking. You will use all the chickpeas. Dry chickpeas with paper towels before using them for the recipe (make sure they are completely dry). 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. In a food processor, combine minced garlic, sliced shallot, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, dried chickpeas, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne (if using), kosher salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.
  4. Pulse until well combined but not pureed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You should be able to form into patties with the consistency achieved if you can’t pulse it a bit more. 
  5. Take about 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of the falafel mixture and form the mixture into small patties (about 15-18). 
  6. Place the falafel patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. See notes for pan frying and air fryer methods. 
  7. Generously brush each falafel patty with olive oil- let it run down the sides. Save the rest of the oil for when you flip them. 
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 13-15 minutes on one side, then flip, brush with more oil, and bake an additional 10-13 minutes on the other side or until golden brown and crispy.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce:

  1. In a food processor, combine Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, grated garlic, warm water, and a pinch of kosher salt.
  2. Process until smooth and well combined.
  3. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed. The sauce should be creamy and pourable.

Assembling the Falafel Pita Sandwich:

  1. Cut the pita bread in half.
  2. Stuff each pita half with a few falafel patties.
  3. Add shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced red onion, and sliced cucumber on top of the falafel.
  4. Add a drizzle of tahini sauce over the fillings.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious Falafel Pita Sandwich!

Notes

Pan-Fried Falafel:
Instead of baking, you can pan-fry the falafel for a crisp exterior. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the falafel patties in the skillet, ensuring they have enough space between them. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Air-Fried Falafel:
Air frying is a healthier alternative that still gives a crispy texture.  Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
Lightly brush or spray the falafel patties with olive oil. Place the falafel in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through until golden brown and cooked through.

TOP TIPS:

USE DRY chickpeas not canned garbanzo beans: Traditional falafel is made with dried, NOT canned chickpeas. The chickpeas aren’t actually fully cooked before the falafel is baked. Soak them overnight, then grind them up to form the falafel balls. Trust me, you don’t want to use canned chickpeas! Your falafel will turn to mush (I know from experience- ha!).

Refrigerate the falafel mixture: Chilling for at least 1 hour helps with the shaping and cooking. You can make the falafel mixture up to 24 hours in advance and chill overnight. Don’t skip this step!

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 20 min (+soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Greek

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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