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Of all the diets out there, I think vegetarian or vegan would be the hardest for me to follow—I love bacon too much! But if I were forced to follow a meat-free diet for the rest of my life, falafel would be something I’d eat every week. For some of you, I’ve already lost you with the name, so think of them as little fried vegetable donuts or cakes… that gets your attention I bet!
The first time we had this for dinner, I thought it might be the last time I’d make it. I really didn’t think my kids would like it. To my surprise, they scarfed it down! When this is on the menu we rarely have leftovers, but that’s fine, because it’s so cheap to make!
Our frugal falafel recipe is based on a recipe from Budget Bytes, but I’ve made it a bit easier and even cheaper by using more dry ingredients.
Don’t balk at the fact that you fry these in oil. I have tried other versions of falafel where you bake them or cook them in the slow cooker, and none of them compare. This is the best version of falafel I’ve ever found, and in the end you don’t use that much oil to cook them. Grab your air fryer if that makes you feel better.
My kids’ favorite way to eat falafel is on pita bread with a homemade yogurt sauce that I make by mixing some lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and parsley into plain Greek yogurt. On the side, we’ll have a vegetable of some kind or we’ll just dip raw veggies in the yogurt sauce as well.
I’ve heard from a friend who spends time in the Middle East that this isn’t the most authentic falafel recipe, but in terms of ease, convenience and taste, this one is my favorite, hands down.
If this falafel recipe isn’t jumping out to you, here are some of our other favorite vegetarian recipes: