Falafel are a Middle Eastern specialty delectably consisting of crispy patties made from ground chickpeas, spices and herbs, and the perfect main ingredient in a scrumptious wrap. My falafel wrap recipe is prepared with freshly-fried falafel, a spicy hummus spread, plus lots of fresh cucumber and tomato all drizzled with my cool and creamy lemon-garlic dill sauce!
The Staring Ingredient in a Middle Eastern-Inspired Wrap
Here in Los Angeles, we're very lucky to have an abundance of amazing Middle Eastern restaurants to choose from to enjoy specialties such as grilled meats and kebabs, light and refreshing salads, hearty dips and spreads, plus flavorful rice dishes.
One of our most beloved appetizers/sides to order up when we go out to enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine is falafel, those small crispy-fried patties with a vibrant green interior made from ground chickpeas, lots of herbs, and a generous sprinkle of spices.
So flavorful and tantalizing, falafel are especially tasty when freshly-fried and served with a bright salad and a creamy dipping sauce on the side—totally irresistible!
A while back I learned how to prepare falafel patties in the comfort of my own kitchen, loving the entire process and the delectable end results.
And because my hubs and I typically end up making mouthwatering wraps out of our falafel, I thought it'd be fun to share our falafel wrap recipe here, loaded with the flavors of my spicy hummus spread, fresh cucumber and tomato, plus a creamy lemon-garlic dill sauce to douse everything with!
My Falafel Wrap Recipe with Spicy Hummus and Lemon-Garlic Dill Sauce
Ok, ok, I'll admit it, making falafel from scratch is a bit on the time consuming side...
But friends, homemade falafel are totally worth it!
Actually, it's mostly just “down time” while the chickpeas soak on your countertop for roughly 16 to 18 hours, then it's just a quick whirl in the food processor before shaping the falafel mixture into small patties and frying those for a few moments.
I love that this recipe yields a good amount of falafel (about 16), so you can enjoy a few of these patties fresh out of the hot oil, and then make a few wraps to enjoy for lunch or dinner going into the week. (Falafel are easy to reheat/re-crisp in the toaster oven too!)
And while the chickpeas soak, that's the perfect time to whip up the easy spicy hummus spread and keep that in the fridge until ready to make the falafel wraps, as well as the creamy lemon-garlic dill sauce to drizzle over everything.
The next day, when you fry the falafel, you'll have all of your scrumptious components ready to assemble your wraps!
Here's a peek at my falafel wrap recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I add my dried chickpeas to a large bowl, sprinkle in a little baking soda (apparently the chemical reaction helps to soften the chickpeas) and salt, then cover with water by about an inch or two. I allow the chickpeas to soak for 16 to 18 hours.
- Meanwhile, I prep my spicy hummus in my food processor, then spoon that into a covered container and keep it chilled in the fridge.
- Next, I prepare my lemon-garlic dill sauce, and spoon that into a covered container and keep cold in the fridge until ready to use for my wraps.
- When the chickpeas have soaked, I drain them and place them into a food processor along with my aromatic ingredients, then process until fairly smooth and well blended.
- I use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of the falafel mixture, and press/shape into patties.
- Next, I fry the patties in hot oil for just a few minutes, until a deep golden-brown, and allow them to drain on a wire rack.
- To assemble my falafel wrap, I spread a generous amount of my spicy hummus onto a pita or flatbread, add some greens/cucumbers and tomato slices, 2 to 3 falafel patties, then drizzle over my lemon-garlic dill sauce, and fold/wrap it all up and enjoy.
by Ingrid Beer
This falafel wrap is loaded with a crispy falafel, spicy hummus spread, fresh veggies, all drizzled with a creamy lemon-garlic dill sauce!
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Yield: Makes 5 wraps
Nutrition Info: 792 calories per wrap
Prep Time: 30 minutes (does not include time for soaking the chickpeas)
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Falafel Wrap Ingredients:
- 2 cups (about 14 ¾ ounces) dry chickpeas (canned will not work for this recipe)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ onion, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- ¾ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 7 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Pita bread, or flat bread to use as a wrap
- Greens, if desired
- Tomato slices, if desired
- Sliced cucumber, if desired
Spicy Hummus Ingredients:
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt (2%)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Pinch or two cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon-Garlic Dill Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 cups Greek yogurt, 2% (16 ounce container)
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teapsoon salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 small package (¾ ounce) of fresh dill, chopped
- Begin by soaking the chickpeas: place the 2 cups of dried chickpeas into a large bowl, along with the baking soda, and add in enough water to cover them by about an inch or two. Cover in plastic wrap and allow them to soak for about 16 to 18 hours out on your counter top.
- While the chickpeas soak, gather and prep your ingredients for your spicy hummus according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the spicy hummus, place the drained and rinsed chickpeas into a food processor along with the remainder of the ingredients up to and including the salt, and process until well blended. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil until everything is well combined and smooth, then spoon into a covered container and keep in fridge until ready to use.
- Next, gather and prep your ingredients for your lemon-garlic dill sauce according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the lemon-garlic dill sauce, place all ingredients up to and including the black pepper into a food processor, and process until smooth and well-blended. Add in the chopped dill and pulse just enough to incorporate and blend in the dill. Spoon into a covered container and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Once the chickpeas have soaked, gather and prep the rest of the ingredients for your falafel wrap according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized.
- To make your falafel, drain and then pat the soaked chickpeas very well with a paper towel to dry them. Add them to a food processor, along with the onion, cilantro, and all of the ingredients up and including the chili powder, and process until fairly smooth/finely crumbly, yet well-blended. Spoon into large bowl, cover, and chill the mixture for an hour.
- Once chilled, stir in the baking powder and the sesame seeds. Then, using a ¼ cup scoop, form the mixture into small patties, carefully pressing between your palms (the mixture will be fairly crumbly, but should still hold together well enough if you squeeze the mixture together), and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to hold.
- Fill a medium sized pot with enough of the vegetable oil to deep fry (I used 4 cups) and with the heat on medium-high to high, bring the oil up to around 375°. Once hot, carefully lower in a few falafel patties at a time, allowing them to fry for a few minutes until golden-brown. Remove and drain on a wire rack, and repeat with the remaining falafel.
- To make your falafel wrap, spread some of the spicy hummus on the pita bread, add a few greens plus some tomato slices and cucumber if using, then top with about 2-3 falafel. Drizzle generously with the lemon-garlic dill sauce, fold/wrap up, and enjoy hot.
Tips & Tidbits for my Falafel Wrap recipe:
- Dried chickpeas for falafel, not canned: While canned chickpeas are terrific for the hummus spread, they are a bit too soft and moist to make falafel patties out of. For this, you'll need to purchase dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), and proceed with soaking them and then processing them for the best texture for the falafel.
- Lots of herbs and spices for the most flavorful falafel patties: It may seem like a lot of herbs and spices to add to the chickpeas in the food processor when making falafel mixture, but this is where these patties gain all of their unique and spicy flavor—wonderful color too! If you prefer one herb over another, feel free to add more of that and less of another.
- Soak the chickpeas for 16 to 18 hours: Whenever I'm planning on making my falafel wraps, I typically will soak my chickpeas the evening before (and overnight) so that they're ready to be processed the next day. If you know roughly what time you'd like to fry the falafel to enjoy them for wraps, then just plan ahead and soak the chickpeas accordingly.
- Prep your spicy hummus and lemon-garlic dill sauce ahead: To make the assembly of these falafel wraps a breeze the day of, prep the hummus and lemon-garlic sauce while your chickpeas are soaking, and keep those chilled and ready. That way, you can just fry the falafel and assemble the wraps when ready.
- Cut the falafel patties in half, lengthwise, if too big: If you find the falafel patties a bit too thick or big to bite through in your wrap, slice them in half, length-wise, for thinner patties—this makes it easier to bite into the wrap.
- Reheating falafel: When we have leftover falafel patties, we just simply reheat/re-crisp them in a toaster oven for a few minutes until warmed through and crispy on the outside, about 350° for 10 to 15 minutes.
Craving more recipes with Middle Eastern flair? Check out these Grilled Lemon Chicken Flatbread Wraps, this Warm Eggplant and Yogurt Dip, these Steak Kabobs, these Chicken Kebab Wraps with Tzatziki Sauce, this Za'atar Seasoning, this or Quinoa Tabbouleh!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and has been updated with even more love!
Can the Falafel be baked rather than deep fried for a healthier version?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Arlene, thanks for your question! Unfortunately, not for this recipe; the falafel are only in the oil for a short period, and that is so that the exterior can quickly sort of "seal" up and become nice and crunchy; they're quite delicate, and baking these will simply not produce the same result.
What a spicy, incisive, preamble. Love this. To recognize this in ones self is half the journey. The rest of the journey, will be mostly downhill.
Still looking forward to make the recipe.
The Cozy Apron
Zoe, thanks so much for your kind words- much appreciated. And I truly hope you give this 'spicy' & zesty recipe a go, as well. Cheers to your journey.
Ingrid knocks it out of the park again! The falafels themselves were SO good, and the combination of the falafels with the hummus and lemon-garlic dill sauce was just heaven! As soon as I tasted the garlic-dill sauce, I knew I would be using it again as a dressing on Greek salads (it's like a delicious, creamy feta-dill dressing), or I could even see it being wonderful drizzled on a piece of seared salmon. Just a note that I have a 9-cup food processor, and all of the falafel ingredients BARELY fit---they came right up to the tippy top. But it all worked!
Also, if you're wondering if you can get away with pan-searing these in a little oil or baking them, just bite the bullet and deep fry them. I tend to wimp out when I see the amount of oil needed to deep fry anything, so in the past I've tried shallow frying and baking falafels, and they just don't taste good. The chickpeas (which are essentially raw when you form the falafel patties) never fully cook using any other method than frying, so they have an unpleasant raw taste. These babies NEED to be fried! There is a world of difference between a baked or seared falafel and a deep-fried falafel, so please do justice to Ingrid's wonderful recipe and pop 'em into some hot oil. When you taste them, you won't be sorry!
Hats off to you, Ingrid!
The Cozy Apron
Allie, you're awesome—thanks so much for your kind comments, and useful tips for others to check out!
I'm thrilled you enjoyed the recipe. Happy cooking to you, Allie!
What else can you use instead of feta
The Cozy Apron
Tina, pretty much anything you'd prefer. Cotija cheese is a good alternative, or you could also just leave off the cheese completely.
There has been a dry vs canned authenticity debate. What are the merits of either or both and why would canned not work in this recipe?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Anele, interesting question!
When doing my research on falafel recipes, I saw both. However, the more authentic recipes seemed to use the dried/soaked garbanzo beans.
From my understanding (and forgive me, because I'm no expert when it comes to the more "science" side of food), it has to do with the texture and binding power of the dried/soaked vs canned.
Since the canned beans are already pre-cooked, it seems that a lot of their innate starch is lost in the cooking liquid, and their texture is different from the dried. They don't tend to bind the falafel as well, often needing more additional binders such as flour, which makes for not such a terrific texture in the end result.
The dried/soaked, once processed with the other ingredients, seem to hold together better, which is very helpful since falafel can be quite delicate to work with. They also have a nice, light texture, crisp on the outside and soft/mildly crumbly on the inside.
So to sum it up, one could certainly use either canned or dried/soaked, but the latter seems to yield a more enjoyable inner texture to the falafel, and holds together better (without additional binder) than canned.
I'm typically all about the convenience of good quality canned garbanzo beans, but for this particular recipe I like the way that the dried and soaked beans came together. (I'd recommend saving the canned for the spicy hummus that comes with this recipe! 😉 )
Hope that (somewhat) answered the question!