Check out our guide to falafel, including where to buy it and plenty of recipe inspiration, then read about tempeh, couscous and halloumi.

What is falafel?

Falafel is a deep-fried ball made of ground chickpeas or broad beans. It’s a popular street food in Middle Eastern cuisine, commonly served in pitta, topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce and a tahini-based sauce. Falafel can also be eaten on its own as a snack, or as part of a wider meze spread. In Egypt, falafel is made with fava beans, whereas it’s more common in Palestine to use chickpeas as the base. Thanks to migration it’s gained popularity with vegetarians and vegans around the world, since hailed as an alternative to meat-based street food.

Where to buy falafel

Cauldron falafel, £2.65/200g, Waitrose

M&S 8 fresh herb falafels, £3.40/160g, Ocado

Falafel recipes

Avocado hummus, falafel and broad bean baguettes

These simple sandwiches are packed with creamy hummus, vibrant broad beans and flavoursome falafel, making a perfect lunchtime meal.

Falafel with Avocado Hummus Recipe and Broad Beans served in a crispy white baguette on a dark blue tray and table

Sweet potato falafel with coriander chutney and carrot salad

This recipe for sweet potato falafel with coriander chutney and carrot salad is vegan, low-calorie and gluten-free. Plus, it's ready in under an hour – perfect for midweek.

Sweet Potato Falafel Recipe With Coriander Chutney and Carrot Salad served with flatbread on a silver tray

Syrian falafel

Try this spiced falafel recipe from Imad’s Syrian Kitchen as part of a meze-style feast. They are best served with a fresh salad and lemony tahini sauce.

Homemade falafel on a blue plate

Falafel, beetroot and hummus grain bowl

Check out this colourful vegan bowl with fragrant falafel, crunchy beets and warm grains. This easy recipe is a simple yet stylish midweek meal for two.

Falafel, Beetroot, Hummus and Grains in a Bowl

Spiced falafel burgers

Pack in plenty of punch with our healthy vegetarian burgers, brightened up with pickled chillies and hummus.

Spiced Falafel Burgers Recipe

Carrot falafel

Try our take on the Middle Eastern classic, falafels. Use up your leftover carrots to give these delightful balls a lighter taste and texture. Plus, they're low calorie and full of flavour, and of course, carrots can help you to see in the dark, even in falafel form. Bonus!

Vegan Falafel Recipe with Carrot

Homemade falafel

The combination of crispy fried falafel, creamy condiments, crunchy salad and tangy pickles takes this spiced vegan sandwich to the next level.

Middle Eastern falafel pittas on a plate

Pumpkin falafels

These falafels are fun to share, adaptable, vegan and gluten-free. Serve with a cashew 'tahini' sauce and shredded red cabbage salad for a feast. This recipe comes from London’s Honey & Co restaurant.

A table spread with plates piled high with falafels, pita bread, red cabbage salads

Falafel-stuffed pittas

Feed a crowd of veggies with homemade falafel topped with salsa and stuffed into pittas. Easier than you think and much tastier than shop-bought.

Falafel-stuffed pittas

Sesame falafel salad with tahini sauce

A few clever cheats make this satisfying sesame falafel salad with tahini sauce quick and easy.

Sesame Falafel Salad Recipe With Tahini Sauce