This tasty keto falafel is an easy recipe made with lupini beans and authentic spices. Cooked in the air fryer for a crispy vegan, low carb and gluten free falafel. Just under 2g net carbs a falafel too!
Crispy on the outside and soft inside, these low carb falafels taste as good as the real thing! The balance of warm spices with fresh herbs is delicious and fairly authentic.
We lived in the Middle East for 5 years and falafel was very much part of our diet. I'd happily munch on a falafel wrap for breakfast as well as enjoying it as part of a Lebanese lunch. With the happy taste memories firmly in my mind I've been looking for a low carb alternative.
What are the carbs in falafel?
Traditional falafel is made with chickpeas or fava beans with a 100g serving (about 6 falafels) being 31g net carbs. Falafel is also deep fried whereas these are air fried, using a lot less oil.
These vegan lupini bean falafels are under 2g net carbs each. A much healthier choice and a great source of protein too.
What type of lupini beans to use
Lupini beans are a legume but are low in carbs and high in protein making them a great option for a low carb vegetarian or vegan diet. As with peanuts, if you have a legume allergy, they should be avoided.
We use lupini beans in a jar. They need to be popped out of their skins, rather like popping peas out of their pod. I've read that you can purchase them without their skins but need to check what brand this is.
Dried lupini beans could be used for this vegan falafel recipe but they need to be soaked in water for 24 hours first, then cooked. Planning is required with dried beans!
How to make lupini bean falafel
This is an easy recipe that takes minutes to make. All the ingredients are blended in a food processor. We use lupin flour to bind the mixture together and then make the falafel shaped balls.
To make the falafel balls we used a medium sized cookie scooper but your hands can be used too. The cookie scooper gives a more uniform shape. I have had falafels in the Middle East that are more flat in shape and have a hole in them, almost like a donut.
The air fryer makes these falafel deliciously crunchy without being too dry. The spices are just right for my palate too! Warm cumin with fresh parsley and coriander hit the spot.
Keto Falafel in the Air Fryer
Our low carb cauliflower falafel recipe is baked in the oven. A tasty treat but we wanted these lupini beans falafel to be crispier. Just as you would get using chickpeas. So the air fryer was used.
Preheating the air fryer is recommended and check the manufacturers instructions for this. Our air fryer has a button for this, so I just press and get back to chopping!
We like to give the air fryer basket a light spray with oil. The baking spray in a can is used for this. Once the balls are in the basket, another spray of oil over them is given.
What to serve with lupini bean falafel
This vegan keto falafel is delicious by itself but serve with a side of our tahini dressing or make a simple sauce with tahini, water and lemon. Other sides to enjoy with these falafels are:
- Low Carb Flat Breads - Use them as a wrap
- Low Carb Pita Breads - Split and fill with falafel and salad.
- Tabbouleh - Serve a low carb version of this classic Lebanese salad made with hemp seeds.
- Lupini Hummus - No serving of falafel is complete without a spoonful or two of hummus. Lupini beans made a tasty low carb hummus.
- Easy Creamy Coleslaw - Add a touch of crunch to your meal.
If you like falafel but don't want to use lupini beans, try our baked cauliflower falafel. The flavours are very similar but it uses an egg to bind so is not a vegan recipe.
How to store and reheat your falafel
You may have leftovers as these falafels are a hearty and filling snack or lunch. We made 12 balls and still had some leftover.
Store them in the fridge in an air tight container. They should last for up to 5 days. Enjoyable cold the next day, especially with a dip, they can be reheated. Pop them in the air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes.
We have also reheated them in the microwave but find this slightly softens them. If you are reheating them in the oven, place on a tray for 15 minutes at 190C/375F.
If you freeze them, do it on the day that they are made for freshness. Once the falafel is cold, place the balls in an zip lock bag, remove the excess air (we use a straw to suck it out) and freeze. They should last up to 3 months.
The lupini flour used to bind the mixture can be replaced with almond flour or oat fiber. Coconut flour may be a bit too dry.
Check the cooking time half way through and if they look like they are getting golden and crispy, reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.
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Lupini Bean Keto Falafel
- Place all ingredients apart from the lupin flour in a food processor
- Blitz until smooth.
- Place the mixture into a large bowl and add the lupin flour to bind the mixture. Add more if the mixture is too sticky, add more flour.
- Form small sized balls with an ice cream/cookie scoop or with a tablespoon.
- Preheat the air fryer according to manufacture instructions.
- Place the falafel balls into the air fryer, give them a light spray with oil and cook for 10 minutes at 190C/375F degrees. Turn the balls over, spray again and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Bake on a parchment lined baking tray at 190C/375F degrees for 30 minutes until golden. Turn half way through cooking.