Air Fryer Falafel Salad Bowl

The warm scent and taste of falafel transports me back to my undergrad days, when my favorite halal food truck would come to campus. Back then, the falafel were deep fried on a bed of salad and rice.


For this Air Fryer Falafel Salad Bowl, I made some tweaks to the traditional recipe to make it a bit healthier by using a lot less oil and skipping the frying factor, while still providing the comfort of a delicious, protein-packed, plant-based meal. As a major bonus, I feel so much better after the meal and stay satisfied for longer, due to the fiber-rich foods within this dish.


This recipe needs a blender or food processor and an air fryer. I love my Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender because it is so powerful and blends the ingredients so easily. It is also really simple to clean, which is another major bonus. The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is compact, easy to clean, and can hold about 5.5 quarts-worth of food, which is a good size when cooking for a family.

Watch this video on how to easily make the Air Fryer Falafel Salad Bowl:

 

Air Fryer Falafel Salad Bowl
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The warm scent and taste of falafel transports me back to my undergrad days, when my favorite halal food truck would come to campus. Back then, the falafel were deep fried on a bed of salad and rice. For this Air Fryer Falafel Salad Bowl, I made some tweaks to the traditional recipe to make it a bit healthier by using a lot less oil and skipping the frying factor, while still providing the comfort of a delicious, protein-packed, plant-based meal. As a major bonus, I feel so much better after the meal and stay satisfied for longer, due to the fiber-rich foods within this dish. This recipe needs a blender or food processor and an air fryer. I love my Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender because it is so powerful and blends the ingredients so easily. It is also really simple to clean, which is another major bonus. The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is compact, easy to clean, and can hold about 5.5 quarts-worth of food, which is a good size when cooking for a family.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the falafel:
  • 1 lb dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans), sorted and picked over
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1½ Tbsp za’atar seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • For the salad bowl:
  • Spinach
  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Persian cucumber, sliced
  • Yellow bell pepper, deseeded and julienned
  • Plant based or Greek yogurt tzatziki
  • Hot sauce
  • Small naan rounds
Instructions
  1. Soak dry chickpeas in a large bowl of water at room temperature for 12 hours and up to 24 hours. They will roughly double in size. Once complete, drain. *I usually soak the chickpeas overnight.
  2. Add chickpeas to a food processor or blender and process on high until a fine crumbly texture is formed. (You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your food processor or blender.)
  3. Add onions to the chickpeas and process on high until roughly the same size as the chickpeas.
  4. Add cilantro, parsley, garlic, za’atar, and black pepper. Process on high until a thick green paste is formed. Allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
  5. Remove from fridge and mix in baking powder. Using a cookie scoop, ice cream scoop, or falafel press, tightly pack mixture into a round ball or flat disc.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Lightly spray nonstick cooking spray air fryer basket and work in batches to air fry falafel balls for 10 minutes. Falafel should be lightly browned.
  7. Assemble the salad bowl by creating a bed of spinach and shredded lettuce.
  8. Top with 6 falafel balls, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, 1 to 2 Tbsp tzatziki sauce, and hot sauce as desired.
  9. Toast naan round in the air fryer for 1 minute, slice in half and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 falafels (analysis only includes falafel) Calories: 301 Fat: 5 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 51 Sugar: 9 Sodium: 103 Fiber: 10 Protein: 16 Cholesterol: 0
For more plant-based recipes, check out:
Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Cupboard Cookout Sweet and Sour Vegan Stir Fry
Vegetable Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Grain Bowl with Cilantro Lime Dressing
Gluten Free Tahini Banana Oat Pancakes
Discover the Best Plant Based Milk For You
Boosting Plant Based Foods for Kids and Adults

Recipe By: Alison Hoffman, BS, Dietetic Student

**There are affiliate links in this post and I will be compensated if you buy the products using these links BUT there is no extra charge to you!

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