These crispy and healthy cauliflower falafel taste so authentic and delicious, and you can make them in the air fryer, on the stovetop, or in the oven!
One food that I love that’s almost impossible to find gluten free at restaurants are falafels. It’s a dish that I used to always order at Mediterranean or Middle Eastern restaurants. There’s something so amazing and addicting about those soft bites surrounded by a crunchy outside layer.
While the traditional version is made with chickpeas and herbs, many restaurants use flour to bind everything together. I miss these crispy fritters so much that I decided to make a paleo and Whole30 falafel using low carb cauliflower for its base!
Paleo & Whole30 Cauliflower Falafel Recipe
I thought creating a grain free and paleo falafel would be one of those recipes would taste somewhat similar to the original version, but you can clearly tell the difference. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much this cauliflower falafel recipe resembled the ones I used to enjoy at restaurants!
The herbs and spices really help the original falafel flavor come alive, and the texture is fantastic as well. I tried making them in the air fryer, on the stovetop, and in the oven, and they all turned out delicious. I also love that you can eat such a large portion of veggies without even trying!
3 Different Ways to Make This Cauliflower Falafel Recipe
These paleo and Whole30 falafel can be made using 3 different cooking methods. I definitely prefer the air fryer and the pan fried methods, just because they yield the crispiest falafel. However, oven baked falafel also turns out crispy enough if you don’t have an air fryer or if you don’t want to deal with pan frying, which I totally get.
Air fryer falafel recipe: This is my favorite method by far. After shaping the falafel, all you need to do is cook in the air fryer (this is the one I have and love) in a single layer at 380 degrees F for 14 minutes and flip them halfway through.
Stovetop fried falafel recipe: Add 2-3 tbsp of avocado oil to to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Cook one side for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until crispy.
Oven baked falafel recipe: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and generously grease a baking sheet. Add the falafel in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
For both the oven baked and the air fryer falafel recipe, I recommend you spray each side of the falafel with cooking oil before cooking so they don’t dry out.
How to Serve These Paleo Falafel
Because this cauliflower falafel recipe tastes best when crispy and hot, serve them right after cooking. I love them over salads, with cauliflower rice, or just on their own.
Also, don’t miss out on the sauce! The sauce that you serve the falafel with is a huge part of what makes them so dang delicious. I highly recommend:
If you have any leftovers, you can quickly reheat in the air fryer or just pan fry with oil in a skillet!
Other recipes you might love…
- Whole30 Tzatziki Sauce (Paleo, Keto)
- Paleo Pumpkin Hummus (Whole30, Vegan, Keto)
- Roasted Whole30 Greek Salad (Paleo, Keto, Vegan)
- Grilled Greek Lamb Skewers (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
Paleo & Whole30 Cauliflower Falafel (Air Fryer, Pan Fried, or Oven Baked)
- Whole30 Tzatziki Sauce to serve
- 1/2 medium head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley chopped
- 4 tsp coriander
- 4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Avocado oil for stovetop and oven instructions
- Make the Whole30 Tzatziki Sauce in advance if you are planning to serve it with the falafel, and chill until ready to use.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a food processor or blender, and process until finely grated and sticky. This should yield about 2 cups.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except avocado oil and tzatziki sauce.
- Mix well and shape into about 20 falafel balls or patties (patties work better for pan-frying).
- Cook according to the instructions below and serve with Whole30 Tzatziki Sauce.
Air Fryer Method
- If your air fryer needs to preheat, preheat to 380 degrees for 5 minutes and spray the metal rack with cooking oil.
- Add the falafel in a single layer and spray the top with cooking oil.
- Cook for 6 minutes, then flip. Spray the other side with cooking oil and cook for 6 more minutes until golden and crispy.
Pan Fried Method
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 2-3 tbsp of avocado oil.
- Add the falafel patties in a single layer (work in batches if you need to) and pan fry for 3 minutes.
- Flip, and cook for 2-3 more minutes until golden and crispy.
Oven Baked Method
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and generously grease a baking sheet with avocado oil (I used about 2 tbsp).
- Place the falafel in a single layer on the baking sheet and spray the top of the falafel balls with cooking oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip. Spray the other side with cooking oil and bake for 15 more minutes until golden and crispy.
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