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Falafel is one of my absolute favorite foods. I think I was spoiled during university when I lived right down the street from a Lebanese food place that was open until 2am (and was right below a 24 hour Tim Horton’s). Eating a vegan keto diet most of the time, I don’t get to eat falafel quite as much as I would like. A few years ago, I posted a low-carb vegan falafel, but it still wasn’t really low-carb enough to eat with much regularity.
I also have a recipe for raw falafel protein balls in my cookbook, but sometimes you want something warm and filling, too. So, I set to work trying to come up with a fully keto falafel recipe that would be filling and warming in the winter.
I leaned pretty heavily on the previous recipe, because it really is super tasty. The main problem with it is that it relies pretty heavily on chickpeas. So, I figured I’d just sub out that bean for a comparable, but much lower carb, option. Enter lupini beans. They have a rich history in the Mediterranean, so they seemed like a natural choice.
For those of you that have difficulty finding lupins/lupini beans in store: I haven’t actually found them in the bean section. I buy lupini beans at my regular grocery store (shout out to Market Basket), but always find them with the kosher foods, with the Latin American foods and with the Mediterranean foods. So, if you’re struggling to find them, check in those places!
As mentioned in the title, these falafel are gluten-free (you’d be surprised how many places add wheat flour) as well as soy-free and nut-free. They’re also coconut-free and of course – egg-free and dairy-free. You may also notice that these treats are made in an air fryer. I’ll be honest – I’ve been struggling to find recipes online for the air-fryer that actually work, so I’ve started experimenting on my own. We can count this as a success!
The air fryer I have is by Philips, and I really like it. It’s big enough to make everything in one batch and gets the outside of these nice and crispy without being oily (I really don’t like oily food, which is indeed weird since I eat so much fat…).
Have any of you ever used an air fryer? Are you as obsessed with falafel as I am?
Air Fryer Vegan Keto Falafel (gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free)
- The key to the lupini beans here is soaking them. Since the only lupini beans I can find in stores happened to be brined, they impart way too much briney flavor to recipes. It’s just not tasty. So, soaking the beans is actually important here.
- You could use cauliflower here instead of the broccoli, as in my original recipe. I just really like broccoli.
- If you don’t have an air-fryer, you can bake these for 25-30 minutes at 350F (377C) (until golden and crispy on the outside).
- If you can’t find lupini beans, you can use 1 cup (120g) almonds instead. Still soak them, though, so that they are tender and easy to blend. 🙂
- The dipping sauce I use is actually the tahini dressing from my cookbook! It’s super simple: stir together 1/4 cup tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, 3 tbsp water and 1 tsp crushed garlic. Add more water 1 tsp at a time until you get a consistency you like. 🙂
- I like to serve these on a bed of raw baby spinach, with tahini dressing or with steamed spinach and tahini dressing.
- The brand of tahini I always use is called Once Again, so macros are based on that. 🙂
- I strive to provide accurate macronutrient calculations, but different brands/varieties of ingredients have different nutritional values, so your numbers may be different!
This vegan keto falafel is easy to make in an air fryer and is crispy and delicious. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and low carb.
- 1 cup (170g) brined lupini beans
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) thawed frozen broccoli
- 1/4 cup (60g) tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- Before you start, soak the lupini beans in hot water for between 30-60 minutes and then drain them. This should help to temper some of the overly briney flavor.
- In a food processor, chop the beans and broccoli until they are in pieces, about the size of a grain of rice (you can even go smaller, if you have the patience!). Transfer this mixture to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice and seasoning to the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Stir in the ground chia seeds completely and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, so the chia can absorb some liquid and a thick dough forms.
- Shape the dough mixture into 12 patties - I started with a golfball-sized ball of dough, and then flattened them to be about 5cm (2 inches) across and 1cm (a little less than 1/2 inch)thick.
- Arrange the patties in your air fryer in a single layer, and cook at 350F(177C) for 14-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them!
- Enjoy while warm. To reheat these, I stuck them back in the air fryer for around 8 minutes at the same temp.
Nutrition info is calculated for the falafel alone, and doesn't include the dipping sauce (see notes above).