If you are trying to figure out what to serve with falafel for lunch or dinner, this list is exactly what you are looking for. All of these sides go well with the fried little garbanzo bean balls. Sometimes they are made with broad beans too (favas) and equally as delicious. All of these sides pair well with the seasoned fritters.
Add one or two of these recipes to complete your meal. Whether you want a salad, vegetables, baked goods, or potatoes, we have you covered with so many choices on what to make. There are Middle Eastern classics, healthy salads, fried veggies, low-carb, keto, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and keto sides.
What is Falafel?
The vegetarian fried balls of garbanzo bean goodness are sometimes spicy but always comforting. Falafel balls or patties are deep-fried balls and traditionally made from chickpeas or fava beans, or both. The ground-up beans are combined with fresh herbs and spices.
Falafel sandwiches are amazing and served in a pita pocket or wrapped in flatbread. I also love it as a salad with my homemade Ranch Dressing without Mayo. But no matter how you enjoy it, all these recipes for side dishes and sauces are the perfect accompaniment.
This is a tasty list of what to serve with any homemade, restaurant take-out, or store-bought falafel. The traditional sides are often Middle Eastern in nature but we love falafel with so many side dish recipes. To help you decide what to offer, I have broken down the list into some subcategories.
So based on your mood, preference, or diet, there is something for everyone. This recipe roundup of what to make with falafel includes the following:
My Favorite Falafel Sides
Here are recipes from my blog that are great to eat with falafel. These sides are not only delicious and easy to make but they fill you up. You will find vegan, keto, and gluten-free sides as well as classic recipes. I love an appetizer plate with falafel balls served with these recipes for baked artichoke hearts & sweet potato fries.
Classic Middle Eastern Recipes
Here are some recipes for traditional Middle Eastern ideas to serve with falafel. There are vegan, vegetarian, and those with something meaty to please anyone's tastes.
- LABNEH - this homemade chees is made from strained yogurt. It is tangy, creamy, and a Middle Eastern classic. Drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle with pistachios for a wonderful side - or even dessert, it's that amazing!
- BATATA HARRA - (Lebanese spicy potatoes) - These are seriously addicting. When I see these on a menu, I order them. But you can make these roasted potatoes with garlic, red pepper, and cilantro at home.
- BABA GANOUSH - This eggplant dip is a classic recipe to serve with falafel.
- LEBANESE GREEN BEAN STEW - Rich tomatoes, green beans, and chicken make this flavorful hearty stew. In one pot this meal comes together and is so comforting that you will want to make this part of your regular meal rotation.
Salads & Vegetables
These salads and vegetable dishes are a great addition to your meal. All of them pair well with crispy fried falafel balls. These healthy recipes have so much flavor that you cannot go wrong with any one of them.
- SHIRAZI (cucumber salad) - This Persian salad is made up of cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. All dressed in lovely herbs and drizzled with olive oil. It's colorful, light, fresh, vegan, & delish.
- TABBOULEH SALAD - This vegan bulgur salad is herbaceous and easy to make. Traditionally loaded with parsley and mint for freshness and that classic green color that makes this enticing and beautiful on your plate.
- COUSCOUS SALAD - These starchy pearls of couscous make this salad hearty. Couscous is ball-shaped and similar to orzo pasta in size. This salad is packed with spices, feta, tomatoes, and olives.
- ZAATAR ROASTED EGGPLANT - Zaatar, a Middle Eastern spice blend including oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, etc.) is rubbed all over the eggplant before roasting. The creamy eggplant with the spice blend boasts savory and spicy flavors.
- GRILLED ZUCCHINI & SQUASH - For a quick healthy side, grill up some summer squash. They are charred, sweet, & low-carb/keto!
- ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH TAHINI - The cumin roasted cauliflower is dressed with tahini for a smoky, nutty, & spiced combination that everyone will love.
Rice & Potato Sides
These high-carb recipes all go well with falafel. So if you want some fries, pilaf, or something else, all these recipes are right up your alley. Topping fluffy rice with falafel and a drizzle of tzatziki is just so satisfying, simple, and comforting.
- SAFFRON RICE - The golden color of this rice from the saffron and turmeric is enough to get you excited. But once you have a bite, you will know why this is a bowl of favorite rice for many. Saffron threads may be pricing but you need very little to get the sweet, aromatic, & floral taste.
- RICE PILAF - This version includes vermicelli - don't mistake this for Rice-A-Roni. This homemade recipe is fantastic and so easy to make.
- GREEK LEMON POTATO WEDGES - Roasted potato wedges with lemon and oregano are the french fries' hearty cousin.
- OREGANO FETA FRIES - These shoestring french fries are loaded with feta. The yogurt feta dipping sauce takes them over the top... make extra sauce for your falafel balls too, you are welcome!
Sauces & Dips
Fried or baked falafels in my opinion can be a bit dry. I find that adding a sauce is just the thing to turn the savory little garbanzo balls into something magical. I suggest a combination of two sauces to have something creamy and something spicy. But whatever you decide, all of these sauces, dips, or dressings are wonderful for serving with falafel.
- TAHINI SAUCE - This creamy nutty sauce made from sesame seeds is amazing. It is great to drizzle over a falafel sandwich. I love dipping falafel balls into tahini for a yummy appetizer or snack. It is only 2 ingredients!
- TZATZIKI - the creamy combination of yogurt, dill, cucumber, garlic, and lemon is pungent and fresh. It adds zing to falafel and is popular in Europe and the Middle East.
- WHITE BEAN HUMMUS - This thick dip or sauce is typically made from garbanzo beans. But this lovely combination uses white beans that are pureed with tahini, garlic, lemon, and olive oil into a creamy spread that I recommend serving along pitas and falafels for a build-your-own-falafel bar.
- SPICY RED CHUTNEY - chiles and red bell peppers combine for this spicy, sweet, & gorgeous red chutney.
- AVOCADO CREAM - For a vegan dip or sauce, this recipe will hit the spot. The rich avocado and coconut milk plus seasoning are just the things to serve with those fried little falafel balls.
Small Bites & Condiments
Here are some lovely bite-sized ideas to serve with falafel. I love these when putting out a buffet or even making a charcuterie board with falafel. Grab a large platter and pile with wedges of pita bread & pita chips. Then add 2-3 sauces/dips from the list above and 4-5 of these fun condiments.
- Pickled Onions & Carrots
- Mediterranean Kalamata & Greek Olives
- Roasted Red Peppers & Eggplant
- Sliced Tomatoes & Cucumbers
- Fresh Parsley Sprigs
- Lemon & Lime Wedges