Learn how to make this fantastic Falafel Platter for your next party, family dinner or picnic. This mezze style spread features crispy falafel, crunchy fresh vegetables, pita wedges and creamy delicious dipping sauces.
- Why you’ll love this recipe
- Homemade vs. Store-bought falafel
- What goes on a falafel platter
- How to make lemon tahini sauce
- How to make tzatziki sauce
- Tips for assembling a Falafel Platter
- How to eat it
- Variations and substitutions
- Recipe FAQs
- More Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes
- You may also like
- Meet the Author
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Falafel platter is a great option for parties and gatherings, especially if you're feeding guests who are vegetarian or vegan
- Easy, healthy and creative appetizer or dinner
- You can use homemade or store-bought falafel - the choice is yours!
- Easily customizable with lots of options (check Substitutions and Variations section below for ideas)
- Serve it on its own or as part of a Mediterranean themed spread alongside my Greek Chickpea Salad and Mediterranean Yellow Rice.
Homemade vs. Store-bought falafel
Making falafel at home is easier than you think. Traditional falafel is typically made with dry chickpeas soaked overnight and deep fried in oil. My favorite way to make falafel is in the air fryer using canned chickpeas because it's faster and easier to make.
All you need to do it to pat the canned chickpeas dry with paper towels and to add them to the bowl of a food processor with fresh onion, garlic, fresh herbs (parsley and cilantro), spices and a bit of flour. Then the falafel mixture goes in the fridge or freezer for a little bit to firm up. After that, it's easy to shape balls or patties that can be air fried, baked, sauted or deep fried.
Check out this Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe post for full instructions on how to make homemade falafel in the air fryer or oven.
Any falafel will work for the platter. If you have access to great store-bought falafel at your local grocery store or market, you can definitely use it to save time. Another easy option is to use a store-bought falafel mix.
What goes on a falafel platter
- Falafel: I used homemade air fried falafel patties
- Tomatoes: choose small firm tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or campari tomatoes
- Cucumbers: mini or Persian cucumbers are best because they have the most flavor and the least water. European cucumber will also work
- Red Onion: for its slighty sweet flavor and beautiful color
- Olives: I used a mix of green olives, Greek kalamata olives and feta cheese
- Greens: spring mix, spinach, arugula all lettuce mix will all work
- Pita Bread: I used Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita for extra fiber and whole grains
- Dips and Sauces: my two favorite sauces for this platter are lemon tahini sauce and Greek-inspired tzatziki (see how to make them below)
- Lemon wedges: for squeezing onto falafel
How to make lemon tahini sauce
To make this flavorful sauce traditionally served with falafel in Middle Eastern cuisines, you will need:
- Tahini paste
- Fresh lemon juice
- Cold water
In a small bowl mix together tahini, lemon juice and garlic until thick paste forms. Slowly add a liitle water and whisk. Add more water until you reach the desired consistency. Less water will result in more of a dip while more water will make this sauce pourable.
How to make tzatziki sauce
I like my tzatziki thick, creamy and garlicky. The authenitic Greek tzatziki recipe is made without dill but I really like the cucumber-dill combo so I added it. Feel free to skip it if dill is not your thing.
Here's what you'll need to make thick tzatziki sauce:
- Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%)
- Fresh garlic
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
Finely grate the cucumber, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out most of the moisture. Add to a small bowl with yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper. Mix well. Garnish with a few drops of olive oil and more dill.
Tips for assembling a Falafel Platter
- Use a large platter, baking sheet, tray or a large plate
- Visualize where everything will go - place your dips in containers on the platter first, then plan where to place the falafel, veggies, olives and pita
- Prep all your ingredients before assembling the platter: cut up tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, make the dipping sauces and place in bowls and cut up pita into triangles
- To make sure your falafel is piping hot and crispy, I recommend assembling the platter right before frying or baking the falafel
How to eat it
The Falafel Platter is served family style - place it in the middle of the table, make sure to provide plates, forks and spoons and let everyone help themselves. Little spoons and spreading knives are great, too especially for serving dips.
Another way to serve this mezze platter is to serve it with pita pockets or tortillas and have your family or guests make their own falafel sandiwches or wraps.
Variations and substitutions
This post is meant to be less of a recipe and more of visual inspiration. The nice thing about mezze platters and charcuterie boards is that you can make them uniquely yours. Use whatever ingredients you have and like.
Here are some suggestions on what you can add or swap to your platter:
- Be creative with dips and sauces. There are many options of sauces that you can dip falafel in: homemade hummus, baba ganoush, yogurt-based sauces, tahini-based sauces and more. Check out this list of 10 Best Falafel Sauce recipes.
- Add pickled veggies. Quick pickled veggies such as red onions, turnips, carrots or cauliflower would go exceptionally well with falafel.
- Add some fresh fruit. Red grapes or fresh figs compliment the mezze platter flavors. Fresh pomegranate seeds served in a small bowl are another great option.
- Fresh veggies such as carrot, red pepper and celery sticks will work well, especially if you serve the falafel with thicker dips such as creamy hummus or baba ganouch (roasted eggplant dip)
- For a more elaborate falafel platter, add items that are typically served as part of a mezze spread such as tabouli salad, dolmia (stuffed grape leaves), feta cheese, grilled haloumi cheese, marinated artichokes or peperonicini.
- To make your falafel platter vegan, skip the tzatziki and swap it for hummus or baba ganouch. Try this super easy Spiced Hummus recipe!
Generally, falafel tastes best when it's hot but you can certainly enjoy leftovers cold in salads or wraps.
Mezze platter is a Middle Eastern appetizer or light meal consisting of a lot of small savory dishes, such as dips, salads and veggies. Hummus, yogurt-based dips, baba ganouch, falafel and tabouli are often featured. It is typically served with fresh pita bread.
You can prep the individual ingredients ahead of time: cut up the veggies, make the dips and prepare the falafel mixture. When it's time to serve, place everything on the platter with freshly air fried/fried/baked falafel being the last thing.
If you try my Falafel Platter be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
- 12 falafel patties See note
- 2 pitas cut into triangles
- 1-2 mini cucumbers or Persian cucumbers, sliced thick
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes halved
- ¼ red onion sliced thin
- ½ cup mixed olives
- lemon wedges
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 garlic clove minced or pressed
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoon cold water
- ¼ cup finely grated cucumber
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt full fat or 2%
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove minced or crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make lemon tahini sauce: in a small bowl whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. The mixture will be thin at first but it will thicken after a few minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water and whisk together. Add more water, if you prefer thinner consistency.
- To make tzatziki sauce: place grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out most of the moisture. Add to a small bowl with yogurt, garlic, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper and mix until combined. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on top for garnish.
- Place your sauces/dips and olives in 3 small containers that will be served on the platter.
- Place the 3 containers on your platter spaced apart.
- Fill the gaps with fresh greens, cut up cucumbers, halved grape tomatoes, red onion, pita triangles and finally, falafel patties. Falafel should be hot.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.