Simple Falafel Pita Sandwich

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Get ready to taste the perfect blend of flavors with this simple falafel pita sandwich. Enjoy the crunch of falafels and luscious hummus, paired with fresh veggies and a tangy creamy sauce, all wrapped up in a warm pita pocket. 

Falafel balls are a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. They’re made with chickpeas, fava beans, or both, along with plenty of herbs and spices. To learn more about how to make the best falafels for your palate, check out our article What Does Falafel Taste Like.  

If you’ve never tried authentic falafels, you’re in for a real treat. Our falafels are crispy on the outside and dense yet fluffy on the inside, making them the perfect filling for a pita sandwich. This classic falafel pita sandwich recipe includes a tangy and flavorful tahini sauce that complements the falafel and fresh veggies. 

Why You’ll Love Simple Falafel Pita Sandwich Recipe

Our falafel recipe is made with chickpeas which are packed with protein and highly nutritious, making this pita sandwich a great vegan option for a filling meal. The fresh veggies and tangy sauce add layers of flavor, texture, and nutrients.

You can prepare a lot of the ingredients in advance and have a fresh falafel pita sandwich ready in minutes! For example, the falafel balls can be made ahead of time and frozen for an even quicker meal.

This classic falafel pita sandwich recipe is entirely customizable. You can sub or add any filling you like such as different veggies, sauces, and even the type of bread used. 

Bonus point, our falafel pita sandwich happens to be 100% plant-based! Falafels are naturally vegan and typically served with vegetables and a tahina sauce, making a wonderful animal-free meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe the Best Homemade Falafels
  • 6 pita pockets
  • ½ head of lettuce, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped and drained
  • 1 large cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp each fresh lemon juice and olive oil (for the Israeli salad)
  • 1 recipe quick pickled red onion (see recipe below)
  • ½ recipe of the Best Hummus Ever or 1 cup of store-bought hummus 

Tahini sauce:

  • ¼ cup tahini paste (sesame paste)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. ice water
  • 2 tsp. harissa paste (or salt and pepper for a non-spicy version)
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup

Quick pickled onions:

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • ¼ cup distilled white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

How To Make A Falafel Pita Sandwich

Step 1: Prep the falafels

Prepare the falafels according to the homemade falafel recipe. Fry them when the rest of the ingredients are ready.

Step 2: Prepare the Hummus

Also, prepare our homemade hummus or use store-bought. 

Step 3: Prepare the pickled onions

To make quick pickled onions, thinly slice 1 medium red onion (a mandoline works best for this). Clean and disinfect a large Maison jar and lid. 

Add the onion, and chili flakes, to the jar, packing it well.

Bring vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Then, carefully pour the hot brine into the jar of onions, seal, and refrigerate until ready to use. 

These quick pickled red onions can be used within an hour, but they get better with time. Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Step 4: Prepare the tahini sauce and Israeli salad

Put tahini paste and lemon juice in a bowl. Beat with a fork until thickened. Gradually add water as you continue beating until creamy. Add chili paste and honey (or maple syrup) and mix. Add more water if needed to achieve desired consistency.

To make the Israeli salad, combine chopped tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl.

Step 5: Warm pitas and assemble the falafel sandwiches

Warm the pita bread in the oven at 375°F for 10 minutes before assembling.

Step 6: Assemble Sandwich with Hummus, Vegetables, and Falafel in Pita.

Assemble the sandwich by first spreading hummus on the inside of the pita pocket, then layering it with lettuce, Israeli salad, pickled red onion, and falafel balls.

Step 7: Drizzle with spicy tahini sauce and serve. Enjoy your meal!

Drizzle with tangy spicy tahini sauce and serve. Dig in!

Notes & Tips

  • For the falafels, use dried chickpeas, not canned, for the best texture and flavor. Canned chickpeas are perfect for hummus, but dried chickpeas are best for falafels. 
  • You can make the tahina sauce up to 2 weeks in advance. And the pickled red onions up to 3 months in advance. The hummus can be made 3-4 days in advance.
  • Fry the falafels right before assembling the pita sandwiches. You can store falafel balls pre- or post-frying.
  • To freeze falafel balls, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them until solid. Then transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.

Variations & Substitutions

Use different veggies for the sandwich such as bell peppers, shredded carrots, or avocado. And other greens such as rocket, spinach, or chopped kale.

Don’t stop at veggies, you can add fruits too. Pomegranate seeds or apple slices add a nice sweet crunch. Go crazy and try some mango slices, you may be pleasantly surprised by the flavor contrasts. 

Level up your falafel pita sandwich with crispy fried eggplant or grilled eggplant. This is a common addition in Israel and makes the falafel sandwich heavenly. 

Try different condiments like Eggplant Chutney or Homemade Fermented Sriracha. Or add some more herbaceousness with this AIP Friendly Cilantro Basil Pesto. 

For a Greek twist, substitute the tahini sauce with tzatziki, and add some Kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Increase the heat with our Harissa Hummus recipe instead of classic hummus. Or simply add some harissa or other chili paste along with the hummus. 

To make this recipe super quick and hassle-free, use store-bought falafels, hummus, pickled red onions, or another pickle of choice. Or ask your local Israeli restaurant if they’ll sell you their falafels and hummus!

How Long Does This Falafel Pita Sandwich Recipe Take?

Let’s start with the homemade falafels. The falafel mixture needs to be chilled in the refrigerator for at least an hour before shaping and frying. But you’ll first need to soak the chickpeas overnight for at least 12 hours.

The actual cooking time for the falafel will depend on the method you choose. If you fry them in hot oil, it will take about 2-3 minutes per side until they are crispy and golden brown. Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 

Making homemade hummus takes only 15 minutes since we use canned chickpeas. Then you’ll need 10 minutes to make the pickled onions as well. 

Assembling the sandwich with the pita bread and toppings should take no more than 10 minutes. So overall, this falafel pita sandwich recipe should take around 25 minutes from start to finish, including the baking time for warming the pita bread.

Falafel Pita Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 281kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe the Best Homemade Falafels
  • 6 pita pockets
  • ½ head of lettuce chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes finely chopped and drained
  • 1 large cucumber finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil for the Israeli salad
  • 1 recipe quick pickled red onion see recipe and instructions above
  • ½ recipe of the Best Hummus Ever or 1 cup store-bought hummus

Spicy tangy tahini sauce:

  • ¼ cup tahini paste sesame paste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. ice water
  • 2 tsp. harissa paste or salt and pepper for non-spicy version
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup

Instructions

  • Prepare the falafels according to the homemade falafel recipe. Fry them when the rest of the ingredients are ready.
  • Prepare the tahini sauce. Put tahini paste and lemon juice in a bowl. Beat with a fork until thickened. Gradually add water as you continue beating until creamy. Add chili paste and honey and mix.
  • Combine chopped tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  • Warm the pita bread in the oven at 375°F for 10 minutes before assembling.
  • Assemble the sandwich. Spread hummus on the inside of the pita pocket, then layer it with lettuce, Israeli salad, pickled red onion, and falafel balls.
  • Drizzle with tangy spicy tahini sauce and serve. Dig in!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 417mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1342IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 3mg

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