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  • Makes 10 cups salad + 12 falafels
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With warm falafel, creamy dressing, and a medley of chopped veggies, this vegan Greek salad is seriously satisfying. Lining the air fryer basket with foil helps the falafel get nicely browned, so don’t skip this step. Serve with whole wheat pita for a heartier meal. Note that this recipe calls for chilled cooked bulgur, so be sure to have that ready to go. 

Tip: If you’re looking for a cashew-free dressing, this dish also pairs well with Tahini Dipping Sauce

No air fryer? Use this delicious baked falafel recipe instead.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 1½ 15-oz. cans no-salt-added chickpeas, drained (2¼ cups) and aquafaba (chickpea liquid) reserved
  • ⅓ cup shredded zucchini
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups chopped romaine
  • 2 cups chilled cooked bulgur
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½-inch slices
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons slivered Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked 20 minutes in hot water
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice


  • Preheat air fryer to 375°F. In a food processor combine the drained chickpeas, 1 Tbsp. of the aquafaba (chickpea liquid), and the next six ingredients (through coriander). Cover and process until mixture starts to come together and is nearly smooth, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Add additional aquafaba as needed to achieve a nearly smooth texture that adheres together. Season with salt and pepper.
  • For falafel, form chickpea mixture into 12 balls (2 Tbsp. each) and flatten to ¾ inch thick. Line air fryer with foil. Place falafel in a single layer on the foil, in batches if necessary. Air-fry 12 to 14 minutes or until firm and browned, carefully turning once.
  • For salad, arrange the next six ingredients (through olives) on a serving platter.
  • For dressing, drain soaked cashews. In a small food processor or blender combine cashews, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Cover and process until nearly smooth, gradually adding milk until creamy.
  • Serve falafel on salad and drizzle with dressing.

Comments (17)

(5 from 7 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Great salad. Rather than soak cashews and blend ( didn't want to clean the blender) , and we had run out of cashew butter. Just made a simple vinegarette with the remaining dressing ingredients. Added left over Aquafaba for creaminess to the dressing.


Can you give directions for baking in the oven? I do not own an air fryer. Thank you.


This is tasty and easy and I will make it again. Next time, I will increase the coriander and cumin and make smaller falafel balls. Dividing it into 12 balls and air frying as recommended, they weren’t cooked through, so I added 4 more minutes and they were still raw inside. I think I can solve that by doing smaller falafels, flattening them more, and adding cook time as needed.

Mary Ann

Instead of cashews can I use white beans?





Catherine McCarthy

I, too struggled with the consistency...felt they were too runny (and I did drain the chickpeas). I ended up adding more flour and then kind of 'plopping' them onto the air fryer. Watched them closely and likely cooked them at least twice as long as noted here to get them to be brown and solid. They don't look very good but they seem to taste okay.

Melyssa Braman

Maybe the zucchini needed to be squeezed out on a tea towel. They hold a fair amount of liquid

Teresa Farquhar

What size cucumber is used? How many cups? Thanks


However much cucumber you like in your salad.


Delicious!! Ate them without the sauce and they had a great flavor by themselves.


We have this at least once a week. Super delicious, flavors make your mouth water! Thanks for the recipe!!


Great recipe!

Stephanie Johnstone

Do you think you could Substitute the chickpea flour for plain flour? Thanks


Don't sub on the chickpea flour. You need the consistency of it, as it will make the falafel stay together better.


I love the idea of this but the falafel was very runny and could not be formed into anything! I was skeptical about the undrained chickpeas, maybe they are supposed to be drained first? I ended up scooping some batter onto a cookie sheet and baking them 20 minutes before air frying. It tasted great anyway!

Linda M, Sooke BC

Hi, yes, you're supposed to drain first, but save the water to add some back in. i haven't tried it yet, but plan to. Maybe try again? Good luck.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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