Falafel Gyro (Air Fryer or Pan Fried Method)

(12 falafels)
Total Time:
Jump to Recipe2 pitas with falafels

A falafel gyro is the perfect vegetarian meal. It has so much flavor and versatility.

This recipe shows how you can make your falafels on the stove top or in an air fryer. Then just add your favorite toppings!

Using canned chickpeas for falafels

This recipe uses canned chickpeas. Using dried chickpeas are a more common way to make falafels but it is just so much quicker with canned. When using canned chickpeas make sure to dry them before using. You want to get out as much moisture as you can. Do this by draining and rinsing the chickpeas, then place them on a kitchen towel. Fold over the towel and rub together to dry them off.

Falafel pitas next to pickled onions.

How to make falafels in an air fryer?

  1. Prep all your ingredients and add them to a food processor and pulse until a dough starts to form.
  2. Add to the fridge to slightly harden for 30 minutes.
  3. Scoop out 1-2 tbsp sized balls.
  4. Spray the bottom of the air fryer, add in the falafels, and then spray the top.
  5. Air fry at 390ºF for 20 minutes. Stop halfway through to shake.
Open pita topped with falafels.

How to make pan fried falafels?

  1. Add about 2 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. You can use olive, avocado, or vegetable oil.
  2. When oil in hot, add in falafels. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove from pan when edges are nice and crispy.

Air Fried Falafels vs. Pan Fried

The air fryer uses less oil, it is less messy, and you get a good all around crisp. The air fryer does take longer and it doesn’t get as crispy at the fried version.

Falafels that are air fried vs. pan fried.
Top row is air fried, the bottom row is pan fried.

What toppings to add to a vegetarian falafel gyro?

You can mix and match your toppings with whatever you have or prefer. I think the must haves are hummus, lettuce, and tomatoes. A few optional put delicious items are pickled onions, tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese. If you are looking for an easy tzatziki sauce I love this recipe: Easy Sour Cream Tzatziki.

Falafel wrapped in a pita.

Falafel Gyro (Air Fryer or Pan Fried Method)

5 stars4 stars
(12 falafels)
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:


Falafel Mixture

  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or shallot
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour


  • 4 pitas
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 2 cup lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • tzatziki, optional
  • 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil (for pan fried version)
  • avocado oil spray (for air fryer version)



  1. Rinse and dry the chickpeas. Place them in a towel and roll to get the water out.
  2. Add all falafel ingredients, except the flour, to a food processor and pulse until a sticky crumb mixture forms. You want it to stick together when you pinch it with your hands, but not so smooth that it turns to hummus. Once it is a crumb texture, add 1 tbsp of flour and pulse again. This helps soak up extra moisture.
  3. Place the falafel mixture in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Take out the mixture and roll into 1 1/2 tbsp sized balls. You should have about 12.
  5. Air Fryer Instructions: Spray your air fryer base with oil, add in the falafels and then spray again on the top. Bake at 390ºF for 18-22 minutes. Turn them once half way through to make sure all sides get nice and crisp.
  6. Stovetop Instructions: Add 2 tbsp of oil to a skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the falafels. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until a crispy edge forms.


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