Crispy Falafel Sliders are full of flavor and have the perfect crunch with every bite. Topped with an herby mayo and homemade quick pickles. They’ll quickly become your new go-to slider for a vegetarian dinner!
There are no Monday blues ’round here because Crispy Falafel Sliders are in town.
The sun was shining all weekend long, so I really can’t complain.
Actually, if I’m being honest with you, I’m trying really hard not to complain. You know that saying, “chaos precedes great change”? Well, I’m currently in the chaos phase of it.
First there were all the tech problems, and then car problems and so I’m stuffing my face with all the sliders to make myself feel better.
Problem solver, right?
So anyway…these sliders. They’re what we’re here for. They’re the crispy falafel sliders that are stacked high with toppings, loaded with texture, and fantastically flavorful.
Yes, those sliders.
Falafel is one of those magical foods that upon first bite, you know it’s good when it’s good. The crunchy exterior that leads into a soft, flavorful interior full of fresh herbs and chickpeas.
Oh, how I love falafel.
I love falafel in a pita.
I love falafel in a bowl.
I love falafel on a salad.
I love falafel in a slider.
While you can take this falafel recipe and adapt it to any of the above-mentioned methods, you’re gonna fall head over heels with it in slider form, too.
Get ready for a summer filled with these mini-sammies loaded with flavor.
Perfect for a Vegetarian BBQ
As a mostly vegetarian (hi, flexitarianism), summertime grill parties can have their pitfalls.
Well-intended friends buy packaged, bland, rock-hard veggie burgers, or dinner becomes just a bunch of chips and wine (I’m totally a snacker so this works for me most of the time).
But nothing replaces the feeling of a bun in hand, a drink in the other, and the sun shining down.
So, my fellow vegetarian friends (and meat-eating falafel loving friends!) no more being left of out the slider club.
And you know what, even those meat-eaters out there will be reaching for a Crispy Falafel Slider in the end, because they’re so dang tasty!
Let’s talk about the star of the show: the falafel.
This recipe yields a falafel patty that has ALL the flavors. You cannot beat the bursting freshness of each bite, thanks to these ingredients:
- fresh cilantro
- fresh parsley
The falael ingredients are blended together in a food processor until combined for form the falafel mixture. I recommend scraping down the sides of the processor as you go, so all the goodness gets incorporated evenly.
Now, onto cook the falafel!
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY FALAFEL
Not only is the fresh flavor profile going to be a rising reason these are the BEST, but it’s that crispy, crunchy exterior, too. The one that’s perfectly crisp and falls deep into a creamy interior. Yes, that one.
And the one that comes from fried falafel. There’s nothing like it.
First: the falafel balls are rolled in panko. The panko adds to the texture and provides additional “oomph” for frying. Yes, oomph is a technical term. 😉
Next: the panko rolled falafel balls are pan-fried in a little oil, yielding the deliciously crispy exterior we’re after.
It’s really that easy. Not deep-fried, just lightly pan-fried perfection. Once they’re golden brown on each side, they’re ready to be devoured. I like to rest the done ones on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil while I cook the rest.
Can I bake the falafel? Yes, you can bake it, however, you, unfortunately, won’t yield such crispy results. I recommend preheating the oven to 375° and baking for 16-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. I’d also leave the panko off if baking, as it won’t crisp up like it does when frying.
Ok, friends, you know I wouldn’t make a falafel slider and not have any sauce to go along with it. Because, OF COURSE, a slider needs a falafel sauce pairing.
And the sauce is a creamy, herby, lemony mayo sauce. That is SO. EASY. to make.
You find the ingredients I’m sure you already have: mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, and parsley, then whisk ’em up, spread it on your slider, and there you have it.
But it doesn’t stop there.
You cannot forget the homemade pickles AND pickled onions. They may be homemade but never fear: they are quick and easy. And absolutely, without a doubt, part of what takes this slider to the next level.
Between the creamy, lemony sauce, the briny punch of the pickles, and the crispy falafel recipe, we have a winning partnership, my friends.
Tools this recipe uses:
Crispy Falafel Sliders
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup shallots, heaping roughly chopped, approx. 1 medium bulb
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- Pinch black pepper
- 4-6 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko
- Oil for frying
- Slider buns
- Lettuce for garnish
- Homemade pickles and onions for garnish
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 TBSP fresh parsley finely chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- To the bowl of a food processor, add chickpeas, shallot, garlic, cilantro, parsley, salt, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Pulse until a coarse, pea-sized mixture forms. Add 4 tablespoons flour, and continue pulsing until combined. If the mixture is really sticky, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of flour until the mixture is uniform and fairly smooth.
- Form approximately 2 tablespoons of m the falafel mixture and form into a ball, continuing until you have 8 balls. Roll each ball in panko. Once they are all formed, place them in the fridge for 15 minutes to "set up".
- Meanwhile, begin heating a flavorless oil in a skillet over medium heat. Oil should be approximately 1 inch high in the pan. Add falafel balls in the hot oil, evenly spacing them and not crowding the pan. Using a spatula, gently press down on the ball to form a patty. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel or cooling rack. Continue frying the remaining falafel (I usually do 2 batches, this will depend on the size of your pan).
- Assemble sliders with falafel, lettuce, pickles and onions, herb mayo, and any additional toppings you want!
- Whisk together all ingredients. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.