Falafels, our beloved chickpea-based balls of deliciousness, are a firm favourite for foodie folks of all kinds. BUT, even though falafel is so well-loved, we’re hedging our bets that most of you tend to enjoy your falafel in one of a handful of ways:
- A classic falafel wrap.
- A magic mezze.
- A protein-packed snack.
Whilst we’re one hundred percent here for all of the above, we’re sure that from time to time, people fancy some falafel but don’t quite know what to serve it with. Well, we’re here to help with this ultimate list of sublime sides to supplement your fresh-out-the-oven falafels and turn a banging snack into a fully-fledged main meal.
The 21 best accompaniments to serve with falafel
1. Hummus and tahini
Hummus is a classic falafel pairing that is traditional across the Middle East, including in Bahrain, Egypt and Israel. Most traditional eateries serve their falafel with hummus and tahini sauce. This is traditionally known as a “falafel plate” and is not unlike a mezze you’ll most likely have tried yourself!
2. Homemade pita bread
There’s nothing better than a classic falafel pitta pocket (especially when you’ve made the pitas yourself). These are surprisingly easy to make with no mixer needed, and you can freeze them for later too! Add a traditional dip or sauce and salad to top it off.
Here’s one of our favourite, easy-to-follow homemade pita recipes from themediterraneandish.com to try.
For the Lebanese, toum is the preferred falafel partner. Toum is a creamy garlic dipping sauce that is notably thicker (almost like a spread) than most dips.
It’s also well-known for being particularly potent, so if you like a powerful garlicky punch, give toum a try! We’re fans of this recipe by feelgoodfoodie.com
4. Smashed tahini beans and zhoug sauce
Swap your hummus for this creamy smashed butter bean and tahini dip that’s topped with a zingy and refreshing zhoug sauce too!
It’s a great dip addition that offers a little something extra.
5. Harissa cous cous
Harissa’s smoky, peppery flavour works wonders with falafel.
This harissa-infused cous cous is the perfect side that’s full of fragrant flavour and fills you up, too.
6. Baba Ganoush
This roasted aubergine dip with tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice is a belter of a falafel accompaniment. It’s another Middle Eastern classic that always goes down a treat. Try our vegan baba ganoush recipe (or swap vegan yoghurt for dairy if that’s your preference!).
7. Beetroot hummus
This delicious dip not only adds a flash of colour to your falafel feast, it packs a heap of sweet beetroot flavour too. Great for adding to a falafel wrap or as a dip on the side.
8. Mediterranean cucumber salad
Made with just three main ingredients (cucumber, tomato and parsley, this is a super fresh salad that pairs perfectly with our falafel.
Try themediterraneandish.com ’s recipe for this one.
9. (Quick) Pickled onions
When you want to add a little extra tangy and vibrant zinginess to your falafel dish, we recommend reaching for the pickled onion jar!
Try this easy recipe from thespruceeats.com to whip up a batch so you have them on hand for next time!
10. Fattoush salad
Fattoush is a champion chopped salad (with bonus bread bits) that’s been a popular dish in the Middle East for decades.
This one has the usual leafy suspects you’d find in a chopped salad with radish, red onion, toasted sesame seeds and (as previously mentioned) bonus bread bits too.
11. Sumac salad
Chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions are mixed with aromatic herbs, sumac, and a lemony dressing to make a tip-top, fresh, zingy salad sidekick to falafel!
If you’re up for giving this a go, check out saladwithanastasia.com ’s recipe.
12. Turmeric cous cous
A warm bed of cous cous works with so many different dishes – and falafel sure is one of them. With turmeric and homemade veggie stock, this cous cous has even more depth of flavour to complement your fresh falafel.
13. Quinoa with a minty yoghurt dip
It’s not just cous cous (the side so nice they named it twice) that’s a grainy friend to falafel. Quinoa brings big flavour to the falafel party too. We like to go all out with a grain bowl, adding chargrilled veg to our quinoa base as well as a banging minty yoghurt dip too.
14. Tahini and chermoula dressing
When it comes to falafel pairings, you can’t go wrong with a traditional tahini sauce. Creamy, earthy, and delightfully rich, it’s a winner every day of the week.
Add to that a garlicky, citrusy, and wholly herbaceous chermoula dressing, and you’ve got a one-way ticket to falafel flavour town.
15. Avocado dip
Avocado makes everything better (it’s a foodie fact of life).
So don’t hesitate to whip up a creamy avocado dip with some coriander and lemon juice to take your falafel dish to new heights.
16. Muhamarra sauce
This roasted red pepper dip has a sweet, smoky, and earthy flavour that complements falafel incredibly well.
We’ve paired it with falafel stuffed peppers in this recipe but feel free to try it with any falafel dish you please!
17. Baked aubergine
Beautifully baked aubergine goes with falafel like tea and biscuits – a classic pairing that never fails. In this recipe, we’ve topped our baked aubergine with a spiced and garlicky harissa filling and Moroccan Falafel. Enjoy.
Fresh, creamy, herby with a little bit of bite and zing, tzatziki is a classic dip that may as well’ve been made to go with falafel. Considering how simple it is to throw together, it may be the most efficiently delicious dip there is.
We’ve perfected the vegan tzatziki, but if you dig dairy, just swap out the vegan yoghurt for your choice of Greek-style yoghurt.
Chimichurri tastes how it looks, deliciously bright and herby. This South American delicacy is typically served with meat, but it also works an absolute treat with falafel too!
Drizzle it all over your next falafel dish, and you’ll know what we’re talking about. This authentic recipe from cafedelites.com is a great one to give a go.
20. Black olive tapanade
This sweet, salty, and slightly earthy dip may seem like a Mediterranean recipe of old, but it was actually created in the late 19th Century.
Since then, it’s been a mezze platter classic that goes down a storm when dunked into by a warm and crispy falafel.
21. Persian jewelled rice
This Persian-inspired rice pilaf dish is an absolute showstopper.
Packed with a bunch of Middle Eastern spices, fruity additions and a little butter, it’s a side dish delight that complements lightly spiced falafels to perfection.
Give this recipe from theviewfromgreatisland.com a go.
Got some sides of your own to share? Let us know!
If you’ve got a firm falafel-accompaniment favourite, we’d love to hear it! Snap a pic and tag us on social media (@cauldronfoods).
We can’t get enough of all of your amazing culinary creations!