This article was updated on 28/07/2023 for clarity and to improve text readability.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your falafel, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 51 of the most popular side dishes for falafel.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes for falafel include lemon rice, grilled vegetable skewers, pita chips, and baba ganoush. To keep things light, you can serve a salad like quinoa tabbouleh or fattoush salad. Or you can go for something more comforting like lentil soup or gazpacho.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Falafels by themselves can’t make a complete meal, so starchy, filling side dishes are a must-have.
You can go with something simple but refreshing like lemon rice, or stick with your falafels’ Mediterranean roots and whip up some traditional stuffed grape leaves. Another traditional option is to stuff the falafels in pita pockets for an on-the-go meal.
This recipe is a delicious way to turn plain old boring rice into an irresistible side for your falafel. It’s super easy to make and requires only three other ingredients aside from the rice and broth: lemon, butter, and fresh parsley.
Pressure Cooking Today used half a cup of lemon juice and the zest of one lemon for that refreshingly zesty twist. But I always add a little more than this to make sure I get loads of flavor!
Quinoa stuffed peppers
Quinoa stuffed peppers, as the name suggests, are simply bell peppers filled with a tasty mixture of quinoa, beans, and cheese.
The whole recipe takes about 55 minutes to make, but Feel Good Foodie suggests using pre-cooked quinoa if you want to save a bit of time. You can also make these stuffed peppers in advance and pop it in the oven to reheat when it’s time to serve.
These stuffed peppers are tasty on their own, but I love pairing them with falafels and a dipping sauce for a complete protein-loaded meal.
Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries are the perfect side dish for a falafel wrap! They’re perfectly crisp on the outside and tender inside, making them oh-so-addictive.
And the best part? Making them from scratch allows you to flavor them however you like. Gimme Some Oven used a simple blend of smoked paprika and garlic powder, but I personally like adding a healthy sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
You can also go with a ready-made spice blend to eliminate the guesswork. Cajun seasoning is a solid choice if you want a spicy kick. Or try a za’atar seasoning blend if you want to stick with your falafels’ Mediterranean roots.
Pssst… don’t forget your ranch dip!
Stuffed grape leaves
Stuffed grape leaves, also known as Dolmas, are a popular Mediterranean finger food you can enjoy alongside your falafels. They features grape leaves filled with fluffy rice, ground beef, and a variety of earthy herbs and spices.
They’re a bit daunting to make at first, but Feel Good Foodie’s recipe walks you through the steps and even has illustrations to help you out, especially when rolling.
Just remember not to use brown rice for these — it takes longer to cook than white rice and your rolls may end up raw inside.
Garlic pita toast
Not a fan of sweet potato fries? Whip up as batch of garlic pita toasts instead. They’re such a breeze to make and require very little prep time.
The Kitchn recommends cutting the pita bread into quarters, but I like taking it a step further and splitting the pita open. This makes each pita slice thinner and crispier as they bake in the oven.
Serve these garlic pita toasts over a bed of greens and falafel or simply a bowl of creamy hummus or baba ghanoush on the side.
Dipping sauce and condiments
Falafels on their own are tasty, but a good dipping sauce takes them up a notch. My favorite is tzatziki, for its creamy, cooling bite.
Avoiding dairy? Hummus and tahini are delicious options too.
And if you’re not a sauce person, try pairing your falafels with pickled vegetables for a tangy palate cleanser.
Falafel is great, but if there’s one complaint I tend to have, it’s that it can be dry. That’s why I always have to serve it with a side of tzatziki.
This cucumber and yogurt dip boasts a creamy, but refreshingly zesty kick that complements the savory, earthy flavors of your falafels.
Feasting At Home used full-fat, thick Greek yogurt to make this. But you can also use sour cream, labneh, or even creme fraiche if that’s what you have on hand.
An Asian side dish that goes great with Mediterranean food? That’s Kimchi!
The traditional version takes weeks to make, but this quick version only takes an hour to prepare. You’ll still get the tongue-tingling spicy kick classic kimchi has, but none of the funky, fermented taste that tends to be off-putting.
Pssst… got leftovers? Store them in the fridge for up to seven days.
Who would be able resist these pink, beautifully pickled turnips? Not only do they look good, but they taste amazing too.
They’re soaked in a basic pickle brine for about five days, which gives them a bright, tangy flavor. Kevin also added serrano peppers in the brine for heat, but you can easily omit these if you prefer to these turnips spice-free.
These pickled turnips are great as a snack on their own, but I love stuffing them in my falafel wraps for a zingy bite.
Baba Ganoush is a popular Levantine appetizer that consists of roasted eggplant, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and a selection of other spices.
It’s creamy texture can be misleading and give you the impression it’s fatty, but it’s actually pretty low in calories coming in at just 87 calories per 100 grams.
You can bake the eggplant, as the Mediterranean Dish suggests. But I prefer sticking with grilling it because this adds a dose of smoky goodness to the dip.
I know falafels are already pretty healthy, but it can never hurt to make your meal healthier by serving a veggie side dish.
Roasted veggies are a popular choice but when the sun is out, I like to fire up the grill for some vegetable skewers.
And if you’re in a rush, simple steamed green beans or sauteed spinach leaves are your best friends.
These sautéed mushrooms are the perfect accompaniment for hearty falafels when you’re going for more of a dinner vibe.
They’re rich and earthy with a distinct zesty twist, thanks to an unexpected ingredient —Italian salad dressing! Who would’ve thought it wasn’t just for jazzing up your greens?
And the best part is these mushrooms are really easy to prepare. They’re ready in less than 15 minutes, and any leftovers you have are great for next day’s breakfast with some eggs.
Grilled vegetable skewers
These gorgeous veggies layered onto skewers are a summer classic, but you can also make them year-round on an indoor grill and enjoy them with your falafel.
You can use whatever veggies you like, as long as they can withstand grilling, so this side is GREAT for clearing out your fridge. I used an array of summer veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers to achieve picture-worthy skewers.
But you can also try corn, mushrooms, onions, and even pineapple chunks.
Psst… get your guests involved and have them make their own skewers.
This garlicky sauteed broccoli dish is great when you’ve left everything to the last minute but don’t want to compromise on flavor.
It involves steaming the broccoli florets quickly, then finishing them in the pan to achieve the perfect crisp-tender texture. Zestful Kitchen added sesame seeds for extra texture and flavor, but I prefer toasted almonds.
Pair your falafels with a healthy serving of this simple side dish for a nourishing dinner.
Falafels and salads make for a perfectly light but satisfying meal. You can never go wrong with a tabbouleh, but you can also go with something leafy, like arugula or spinach salad.
And if you’re not a fan of leafy greens, don’t fret.
Even a quick tomato and cucumber medley will do the trick.
Quinoa tabbouleh salad
In Mediterranean recipes, tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur – a grain made from cracked wheat.
But if you can’t find it at your local grocery store, quinoa is a great alternative. It’s gluten-free and is a good source of plant-protein, fiber, and nutrients.
With quinoa being a protein powerhouse, this salad is already great as a stand-alone lunch or dinner. But pairing this with a serving of falafels makes it even more filling.
Another one of the many Mediterranean salads I enjoy eating is the “Fattoush” – a Levantine side dish mixed with lettuce, parsley, cucumbers, radishes, and other seasonal vegetables.
Instead of the classic vinaigrette, Ameera and Robin skips the olive oil to make this version oil-free. I was hesitant at first because I love olive oil, but the dressing still turned out great. It clung onto the veggies nicely and it’s still delightfully zesty.
But if you’re not a fan, you can still add olive oil.
If you think croutons are the best part of a salad, this Italian salad is a must-try.
The croutons will soak up all the juices from the tomatoes and the tangy vinaigrette, making each bite oh-so-flavorful.
The Mediterranean Dish suggests using crusty loaves like country bread or ciabatta, but I’ve also tried this with toasted cornbread and it tasted fabulous.
If you’re craving for a warm and comforting meal, pairing your falafels with a piping hot bowl of soup is the way to go.
They go great with a rich butternut squash soup or a healthier cauliflower soup.
But not all soups need to be warm – a serving of gazpacho will refresh you on a hot summer day.
Gazpacho is a refreshing no-cook cold soup traditionally made with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, grilled peppers, and cucumbers. It requires zero cooking time, so it’s perfect as a last-minute side dish.
Spend with Pennies makes it even easier by using tomato juice in the mix for a more vibrant flavor.
Enjoy a bowl of this with some freshly cooked falafel for a refreshing summer treat.
If you want a soup with more substance, you can’t go wrong with this spiced lentil soup.
The lentils and chunks of veggies make this super filling and healthy. Plus, it’s got a rich, creamy broth that makes every sip feel like a warm hug.
But no worries, this soup is still completely vegan because instead of cream, the broth is blended with a portion of the cooked vegetables to achieve its luscious consistency. Now that’s what I call nourishing!
Serve this lentil soup together with some baked falafel, and you’ll have everyone asking for a second serving… or more!
Psst… the garlic pita toasts are also super tasty dipped in this soup.
What To Serve With Falafel – 51 Side Dishes
- 1 portion Lemon rice
- 1 portion Lentil soup
- 1 portion Vegetable skewers
- 1 portion Stuffed grape leaves
- 1 portion Garlic pita toasts … and more
- Prepare your falafel according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside them.
- Sides include quinoa tabbouleh salad, kimchi, sautéed mushrooms, grilled vegetable skewers, gazpacho, garlic broccoli, sweet potato fries, lemon rice, stuffed grape leaves, quinoa stuffed peppers, garlic pita toast, pickled turnips, baba ganoush, fattoush salad, and lentil soup.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.