Fried-Not-Fried BBQ Falafel

Raw falafel are shown sitting towards the edge of a stainless steel round grill grate.

Falafel doesn’t need to be deep-fried, it can be cooked on a barbecue in a method called ‘fried-not-fried’ which uses circulating hot air. These falafel are a healthy and tasty option for your next barbecue. They are also an option when considering dishes for vegetarian and vegan guests, or if you are looking for something a little different.

Falafel is a very versatile and hearty meal option. You can eat it as-is, with salad, rice, or bread. You can also make it into a sandwich and stuff it inside pita bread. We like to serve it with sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and plain yogurt to add a little fat and moisture.

By setting up the barbecue with the heat in the center, or using a kettle cone or vortex if you have one, it creates a hot airflow mimicking the same cooking environment found in an air fryer. Setting up your grill like this can allow you to cook many recipes typically deep-fried. This is often a healthier and safer option than deep frying outdoors.

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Raw balls of falafel are sitting on a silver tray ready to be cooked.
Round balls of falafel mix are created by rolling the dough in the palm of your hands.
Raw falafel are shown sitting towards the edge of a stainless steel round grill grate.
The falafel is positioned around the edge of the grill away from the direct heat. If needed, an additional finer grade grill grate can be added.
Cooked falafel are served on a camp plate with sides including tabbouleh, tomato, and lettuce.
Falafel are a tasty vegetarian or vegan option on the grill. Made from chickpeas, they are high in protein and flavor.
A close up view of three cooked falafel sitting on a stainless steel grilling rack.
Spraying or brushing the falafel with oil helps it brown. This is a key step to replace what would happening if deep frying in the traditional fashion.
Looking down onto a white plate filled with round, golden-brown falafel balls.
The falafel balls are created with a mixture of chickpeas, spices, and fresh herbs.

Fried-Not-Fried BBQ Falafel Recipe

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Raw falafel are shown sitting towards the edge of a stainless steel round grill grate.
Falafel doesn’t need to be deep-fried, they can be cooked on a barbecue in a method called ‘Fried-Not-Fired‘ which uses circulating hot air.
Preparation 25 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Ready in 55 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
CourseAppetizer
InfluenceMiddle East
DifficultySeasoned
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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose or plain flour
  • oil as needed

Equipment

  • closed grill
  • kettle cone vortex or similar, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl add the drained chickpeas and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  • Add the onions, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, and flour. Mash all the ingredients together to create a thick paste.
  • Form the mixture into small balls, a little smaller than a ping-pong ball.
  • Brush or spray all the falafels with oil.
  • Set up the BBQ for a fried-not-fried style cook. This method of cooking works particularly well in a kettle-style or round BBQ. Place the hot coals in the center only. You can use a vortex or kettle cone to help produce drier air circulation while minimizing the direct heat cooking. If you have a rectangular grill, place the coals to one side creating a hot zone and cool zone. If using gas, only light one side of the grill.
  • Place the falafel around the edge of the barbecue if using a round set-up or in the cool zone if using a rectangular grill. Cook for 30 minutes, rotating the falafel every 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 72kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 260IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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