This falafel platter recipe is a celebration of flavors, textures and colors that’s sure to delight!
Whether you’re enjoying it as a casual lunch or as a prelude to a main meal, you’re going to love this vegetarian feast of the senses.
What’s on this Falafel Platter
Here’s what you’ll need to build this falafel mezze platter:
- Falafel. This is, of course, the centerpiece of our recipe. Falafel is made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices, formed into small balls or patties, and fried until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
- Hummus. Arguably the most well-known Middle Eastern spread, hummus is a creamy dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.
- Tzatziki Sauce. My personal favorite, tzatziki is a cooling yogurt-based sauce made with cucumbers, fresh herbs and lemon juice.
- Tabouli. Also known as tabbouleh, it’s a salad made with chopped parsley, tomatoes and bulgur wheat, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. My recipe for tabouli replaces the bulgur with gluten-free quinoa.
- Feta cheese. Look for a high quality feta cheese that is sold as a block vs. the crumbled kind. The creamy texture and tangy flavor of a good feta cheese is heavenly!
- Greek olives. Most grocery stores sell assorted olives together, or make your own assortment using your favorite olives.
- Pita bread. Making pita bread at home is such a rewarding experience, and you’ll love the soft, fluffy result! If you’re buying pita from the store, look for the pocketless variety, as it will be softer and more pliable than pita with a pocket.
- Persian cucumbers. Also called mini cucumbers, they are smaller than regular cucumbers and super crispy.
How to Make this Falafel Platter Recipe
Make the Homemade Falafel
Making the falafel mixture will only take a few minutes in the food processor. Then, get it into the refrigerator to chill.
We’re going to mimic the deep frying process by filling a large skillet with about an inch of oil. Because we are using canned chickpeas, the falafel mixture will be loose, even after refrigeration.
Use a large spoon to drop the batter into the oil. Then, use the spoon or a spatula to nudge the falafels into shape. They’ll look more like patties than balls.
Let them get nice and golden brown on both sides. Don’t worry, you can’t overcook them!
Make the Hummus
This is super easy. Put all of the hummus ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Reserve the liquid from the can of chickpeas. This way, if you like a looser consistency, you can add some of the chickpea liquid until it’s the consistency that you want.
Make the Tzatziki Sauce
No equipment required for this one. Just peel and dice the cucumber and combine it with the rest of the ingredients. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the platter.
Make the Tabouli
Get ready to work your arms, because you’ll need to chop 2 whole cups of parsley!
I’d grab two big bunches of flat leaf parsley from the grocery store. You can probably get away with one bunch, but it’s better to be safe.
Once the parsley, tomatoes and scallions are chopped, just toss them with the cooked quinoa and dressing.
Make the Pita
I’m going to send you here for my recipe for Greek pita bread. Homemade pita is fun to make and so delicious. But you can definitely skip this step and buy it at the store.
Prepare the Accompaniments
All that’s left to do now is to cube the feta and slice the cucumbers. Now you’re ready to dig in!
Variations on this Falafel Platter Recipe
There are so many things to love about this falafel plate recipe that it was hard to fit it all! Here are some more options for you:
- Add more fresh veggies like carrots, radishes or bell pepper strips. You could even include pickled vegetables.
- Try baba ganoush instead of (or in addition to) one of the other dips. Baba ganoush is similar to hummus but it uses roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas.
- Offer tahini sauce on the platter. It’s made with Greek yogurt, ground sesame seeds, lemon juice and garlic and it’s a total classic.
- Instead of tabouli salad, serve the falafel over a bed of homemade labneh. Labneh is an easy-to-make strained yogurt cheese that is super thick and creamy. I’m obsessed with it!
Store Bought Shortcuts for this Falafel Platter Recipe
This platter is only as involved as you want to make it. From fully homemade, partially homemade or totally store-bought, there’s no wrong answer.
Here are some great ways to save prep time:
- Use store-bought falafel. There are some great boxed mixes out there that only require the addition of water and maybe a little bit of olive oil.
- Grab pre-made hummus. From traditional to roasted red pepper to extra garlic, there is a hummus variety for every palate at supermarkets these days.
- Find tzatziki in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores. Costco carries my favorite pre-made tzatziki sauce.
- Making homemade pita bread is the most time consuming part of this Falafel Platter. Take a shortcut and buy pocketless pita bread at the grocery store.
Make this Falafel Platter Ahead of Time
If you’ve made homemade pita, store it in an airtight container or large Ziploc bag at room temperature.
When you’re ready to serve the platter, arrange everything on a serving plate and top with warm falafel balls.
Other Ways to Serve Falafel
Falafel is something I could eat every day! Here are my favorite ways to enjoy these crispy plant-based patties:
- Falafel Salad. Start with a big plate of fresh vegetables like crispy lettuce, cherry tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers. Top with warm falafel patties and drizzle with tzatziki sauce or tahini yogurt.
- Falafel Sandwich. Enjoy falafel street cart-style! Pile warm falafel into a fluffy pita and load it up with crunchy veggies and tzatziki sauce.
- Falafel Bowl. Serve crispy falafel over bed of golden turmeric rice with pickled red onions and crunchy vegetables. Don’t forget the tahini sauce for drizzling and dipping!
Can you use Canned Chickpeas for Falafel?
While the traditional way to make falafel is by using dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight, it is possible to make falafel using canned chickpeas.
This is a hotly contested topic that people get very emotional about! There are many falafel recipes out there that insist that the recipe simply will not work using canned chickpeas. My friends – this recipe works. And it’s delicious.
When you make this Falafel Platter Recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more vegetarian recipes, try these:
- Falafel Rice Bowl Recipe with Easy Tahini Sauce
- Indian Roasted Cauliflower Curry with Coconut Rice
- 30 Minute Saucy Ginger Sesame Noodles with Vegetables
For more grazing platter recipes, try these:
- Greek Charcuterie Board (Mezze)
- Butter Board Recipe with Pesto & Roasted Tomatoes
- Springtime Cheese Board
Falafel Platter Recipe with Hummus and Tzatziki
- 1 14 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
- 1 white or yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup all purpose or chickpea flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 14 oz. cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 Tbsp. tahini
- juice of 4 lemons
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 pint (16 oz.) Greek yogurt
- 1 cucumber peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp. fresh dill minced
- 2 cups flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 5 small tomatoes (Roma or vine) seeded and diced
- 1/3 cup scallions (green onions) chopped
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Prep the falafel: Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until combined but not completely smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the falafel: Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Remove falafel mixture from the refrigerator, and gently place heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the oil. Allow the falafel to brown on one side, about 3-4 minutes, and then use a slotted spoon to flip them over for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Drain 2 cans of chickpeas and reserve the juice. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend, adding reserved juice until desired consistency is achieved.
- Fold all ingredients together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently fold to combine. Season with salt and pepper.