Try these crispy vegan chickpea fritters, air-fried or baked. Drizzled with lemony tahini dressing and green goddess dressing, these bite-sized treats are easily frozen and reheated to eat time and time again. You will love this chickpea fritters recipe!
When I first bought my air fryer, I experimented with various recipes. For instance, one of my favorite and easiest recipes is chickpea fritters. Though easy to make, this chickpea fritters recipe can be eaten in multiple ways. For example, eat them on a plate, inside a pita, or a wrap, serve as an appetizer or add as a protein for a salad topping.
Whether you eat chickpea fritters in a wrap or as a bite-sized treat, these little oil-free cakes melt in your mouth.
The word fritter implies being sautéed to fried, but I don’t eat fried food or recommend it. So instead, my chickpea fritters recipe is air-fried, soft on the inside, and extra crispy outside.
Falafel vs. Chickpea Fritters
Unlike air-fried falafel, flavored with heavy spices like cumin, coriander, etc., these fritters are flavored with Italian seasoning, garlic, basil, and fresh parsley.
Also, air-fried falafel and baked falafel are made with dried chickpeas, soaked, and not cooked.
Chickpea fritters, however, are made with drained, canned chickpeas. So, although they look similar, chickpea fritters’ tastes and textures are distinctive.
What is a Flax Egg?
Used as a binder, a flax egg is a vegan egg substitute made from ground flax seeds and water. It’s 100% natural, vegan, and gluten-free. Milled or ground flaxseed is the same thing as a flax meal.
To make a flax egg, combine one Tablespoon of flaxseed or flaxseed meal and two and a half Tablespoons of water and sit for about 5 minutes. This amount, for example, is equivalent to one egg.
While the flax seed absorbs the water and sets up, saute the garlic and onions, caramelize them, and cool completely before adding them to the other ingredients.
How to Make the Fritters
Even though this step requires a second pan, the cooked onions and garlic taste more profound in the fritters.
Chickpea Fritters Recipe Ingredients
- White Onion: The onion in the recipe is the only cooked vegetable to add to the chickpea fritter mixture.
- Chickpea Flour: To keep it consistent, I used chickpea flour, making the recipe gluten-free.
- Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast acts as a binder and provides a cheesy flavor to the mixture.
- Parsley: The parsley gives the mixture a fresh, herby taste.
- Basil: The basil flavor balances sweet and savory, with hints of mint, anise, and pepper. I prefer fresh herbs whenever possible.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese: I make my own vegan parmesan cheese with cashews.
- Maple Syrup: Just a little maple syrup helps balance the flavors and gives it more of a bonding agent to hold the mixture together.
- Italian Seasoning: The blend of herbs in Italian seasoning usually consists of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
- Sea Salt: A small amount of salt enhances the flavors in the mixture.
- Black Pepper: I prefer fresh ground pepper for a more earthy taste.
- Lemon Juice: A little citrus helps balance out the flavors.
- Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard has a tangy, sharp, and intense flavor with a bit of spice.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas taste quite like beans, considering they’re legumes themselves. Most people compare their flavor to cannellini and pinto beans because they’re starchy. They’re also known to have an earthy taste with nutty undertones. They take on the flavor or the combination of herbs and spices you use.
- Flax Egg: Used as a binder so the fritters stay together.
Chickpea Fritters Recipe Substitutions
- Choose green onions or red onions as an alternative.
- Try any herb combination you prefer.
- Agave or date syrup are great substitutes for maple syrup.
- If you don’t have Italian seasoning, add a little of each herb in the seasoning blend to the recipe.
- Stone ground mustard is the closest alternative to dijon mustard.
- Choose a study bean like a lima bean or a pinto bean.
Add all the ingredients to a large food processor bowl with a large blade to prepare the chickpea dough. Then, pulse the ingredients until the chickpeas and other ingredients form a dough. DO NOT over-pulse. As a result, some of the chickpeas should remain whole.
Furthermore, over-pulsing creates sticky and unmanageable dough, different from the goal.
Once combined, place the dough covered in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill, making it easier to work with.
When forming chickpea fritters, the fritters must be similar in size. That way, the fritters cook at the same rate. Often, I use a burger press, using the slider-sized burger mold. Or use hands to form identical fritters.
Air-fry and Baking Directions
I love my air-fryer, but this chickpea fritter recipe also bakes well.
- Place a single layer of fritters in the air-fry pan’s base, ensuring not to overlap fritter pieces.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping over each chickpea fritter at 8 minutes, and then cook the other side for the remaining 7 minutes.
- Remove air-fried patties and place them on a cooking sheet and place it in a warm oven to keep warm.
- Repeat the process for all the fritters until done.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping over the fritters halfway through (15 minutes) of cooking.
- Cook until crisp and browned on the outside.
Next, I drizzled them with vegan green goddess dressing and Lemony Tahini Dressing.
Lemony Tahini Dressing
- Tahini: Tahini tastes like its source ingredient—sesame seeds. Tahini has a savory, bitter, and nutty flavor profile.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice helps to balance the flavors in the dressing.
- Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika adds a little rich smokiness to the dressing.
- Sea salt: A little sea salt enhances the flavors in the dressing.
- Water: The water acts as an emulsifier instead of oil and thins the dressing.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar gives the dressing a tanginess.
- Try almond butter or another preferred nut butter if tahini isn’t available.
- Use bottled lemon juice if necessary.
- If you don’t like the taste of smoked paprika, exchange it for sweet paprika.
- White vinegar or champagne vinegar is often used as a substitute for apple cider vinegar.
Other Dressing Options
Yes. You can freeze chickpea fritters for up to 3 months. After that, place them in a freezer container or bag.
Yes. You can make chickpea fritters beforehand, but keep the patties covered before placing them in the fridge—Cook in 3 to 4 days.
Chickpea flour (or besan as I grew up calling it) is a staple in South Asian kitchens that is higher in protein than other flours and is gluten-free. It’s a bit denser than all-purpose flour and is the perfect binding flour for baked goods, but it is super light and becomes crispy when air fried.
- Chilling the mixture makes it thicker and easier to form using your hands instead of a burger press or mold.
- If using a larger burger size, increase the cooking time to 2 times the time indicated.
- If air-frying and batch cooking, I suggest heating an oven to 325 degrees and preparing a baking sheet to keep the cooked chickpea fritters warm while you cook the other batches.
- Although the onion and garlic can be added uncooked, the flavor of the fritter is much better when the onions and garlic are cooked.
- Chia seed eggs work similarly to flax eggs. Combine whole chia seeds with water and let them rest for a few minutes to produce an egg-like consistency. We prefer flax eggs over chia eggs, but for those with an allergy or sensitivity to flax or who cannot find or make a flaxseed meal, chia eggs are a great option!
- Freeze the chickpea fritters cooked or formed raw. Regardless, thaw completely before cooking.
So, try this chickpea fritters recipe the next time you are looking for a great weeknight meal. And remember, these fritters freeze for easy reheating as well.
Try These Vegan Air Fryer Recipes
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Try these crispy oil-free chickpea fritters, air-fried or baked. These chickpea fritters are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside; these chickpea fritters are a perfect meal, appetizer, salad topper, or sandwich filler. Drizzled with lemony tahini dressing and green goddess dressing, these bite-sized treats are easily frozen and reheated to eat time and time again.
Sauce Options or choose your sauce.
To make the lemon tahini dressing, combine all ingredients in a small cup blender and blend until smooth.
To make the Green Goddess dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small cup blender and blend until smooth.
Making the chickpea fritter dough
Saute the diced onion and minced garlic in a non-stick skillet until the onions are translucent.
As the onions and garlic begin to brown, add a small amount of water or vegetable broth and stir the onions and garlic until the broth or water dissipates and the onions turn brown.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In the meantime, add all the other ingredients to a large food processor bowl fitted with a large blade.
Pulse the mixture ONLY until the chickpeas are slightly broken, and the ingredients are combined.
DO NOT OVER-PULSE! The dough should be chunky and only combined.
Place the dough covered dint eh refrigerator for 1 hour to chill the dough.
Then, using your hands or a small burger mold, form equal patties.
Air-frying Chickpea Fritters
Place a single layer of falafel balls in the air-fry pan’s base, making sure not to overlap falafel pieces.
Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping over each fritter at 8 minutes, and then cook the other side for the remaining 7 minutes.
Remove air-fried chickpea fritters and place them on a cooking sheet and place it in a warm oven to keep warm.
Repeat the process for all the chickpea fritters until done.
Baking Chickpea Fritters
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping over the fritters halfway through (15 minutes) of cooking.
Cook until crisp and browned on the outside.
- Making the dough ahead of time allows for it to chill and is easier to work with if forming the fritters with your hands.
- Do not over pulse the chickpea mixture, or it will be difficult to form patties, and does not cook the same.
- If making entree-sized burgers increase the time to 2 x the suggested time for air frying and baking.
- Since the chickpea fritters have Italian seasonings, they are also wonderful served with marinara sauce and pasta.
- Chickpea fritters are great as a salad topper, in a sandwich, as an appetizer, or side dish.
Serving: 6gCalories: 331kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 16gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 576mgPotassium: 511mgFiber: 9gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 784IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 200mgIron: 4mg
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂