Falafel is a delicious Middle Eastern dish. It’s usually served as an appetizer or part of a larger meal.
One of the challenges I have with falafel is that it can be challenging to reheat leftovers, especially if you want it crunchy.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have some leftover falafel in your fridge right now and are wondering what the best way to reheat it is.
Fortunately for us, there are many different ways to reheat falafel.
Read on to find out.
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish consisting of deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.
The falafel balls are typically served inside a piece of flatbread (called “pita” in some countries) with salad fixings and drizzled with olive oil-based tahini sauce.
There are many variations of the dish, incorporating other ingredients such as garlic, onion, cumin, or red pepper.
The origin of the word “falafel” is unknown, and there are several hypotheses about its origins.
One such theory contends that it derives from the Arabic words for “pepper” (fil) or chickpeas/garbanzo beans (full).
Is Falafel Better Fresh or Reheated?
A great debate in the food world is whether or not falafel tastes better fresh, or reheated.
The question has never been answered definitively, but each side of the debate does have its merits.
Reheating leftover falafel will make it chewier and drier than if you were to eat it right off the stovetop.
However, reheating allows for a more evenly cooked exterior, making for crispier bites with less grease in them when they’re freshly fried up.
Freshly-made falafel is usually made from ground chickpeas that haven’t had time to dry out yet.
Some people think they taste fresher and have an added crunchiness factor due to all those tiny bits of whole chickpeas in each bite.
Hence, it’s really up to the individual to decide whether they want something hot and freshly-made or if they’re more inclined towards leftovers.
Can Falafel Be Eaten Cold?
This is a very hot question that not many people have the answer to.
I think it tastes better when piping hot, but this could be because of my taste preference.
One thing for sure, however; you can make falafel in advance and store them cold until you are ready to eat them.
How to Store Leftover Falafel?
Falafel makes the perfect choice for a delicious, healthy meal.
If you are looking for other ways to use leftover falafel besides eating it right away, you have some great options.
Here is how to store your leftovers, so they last as long as possible.
To refrigerate: Place the leftover falafel in an airtight container and place it in the fridge (no need to heat up before storing).
The best thing about this option is that you can reheat them later without losing quality or flavor.
To freeze: Place the leftover falafel in an airtight container or zip-top bag and place it into the freezer.
This is an excellent option for those who want to store their leftovers for a long time.
Leftover falafel can last for up to three days in the fridge and about a month in the freezer.
How to Tell if Falafel is Bad to Eat?
So you’re in the mood for some falafel and have no idea how to determine whether or not it’s still good? Here’s how.
The color of the falafel is an excellent indicator as old falafel are typically brownish, while fresh ones stay white.
The texture also changes with age – they will go from being firm to feeling softer and more spongy when it has gone bad.
If you aren’t sure about checking out the falafel’s surface for any discolorations or other signs that indicate spoilage, then take a whiff.
A powerful odor indicates spoilage, while a milder one means that the falafel is still fresh.
If you’re in any doubt, don’t eat it and order something else instead.
How to Reheat Falafel in an Oven?
This is the one time you’ll be glad to have an oven in your kitchen.
Reheating falafel, especially after it’s been on a hot grill for hours and cooled off into tough meatballs of who-knows-what consistency.
The oven will take care of that problem for you, though.
- Place the falafel in an ovenproof dish and cover it with foil or another baking tray to keep them from drying out too quickly.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Cook at this temperature for 15 minutes before checking on their progress; they should be warm all through when done.
- If desired, brush some olive oil over the top just before serving as well.
How to Reheat Falafel in a Skillet?
Have you ever had a craving for falafel, but the idea of deep-frying it in hot oil sounds like too much?
I have, and this is why I’m sharing with you how to rewarm your falafel from frozen using a skillet. It’s easy.
- Load your skillet or pan over medium heat.
- When heated, add olive oil or butter (you can also use ghee if you’re vegan).
- Add the uncooked pieces of falafel, gently releasing them one by one into the cold pan/skillet as not to overcrowd it, and fry until browned on each side.
- You’ll know they’re ready when they are golden brown crisp on all sides.
- Remove from heat after about five minutes and place onto paper towel-lined.
Serve with your favorite dips like hummus, tzatziki sauce, or any other Mediterranean style dressing.
If you want to avoid deep frying altogether, place them in a pan over medium heat uncovered for about five minutes on each side until browned crisp as well.
The key is making sure they’re cooked all the way through before removing them from heat, so check after four minutes if necessary.
How to Reheat Falafel in a Microwave?
If you want a quick and easy way to reheat falafel without deep frying, then you can try microwaving them.
This method is perfect for juggling multiple tasks at once and want to keep their kitchen clean.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do this.
- Place the falafel in a microwave dish with some water and cover it with plastic wrap or an airtight container.
- Use medium power (50%) because high will cause them to dry out too much. Cook on full capacity if your microwave has made adjustments up to 100%.
- Microwave for about 45 seconds per piece of food, depending on how many parts you have.
Check often, so they don’t overheat and start getting crispy or dried out.
Although the microwave is quick and easy, the result will not be as crispy and fresh.
How to Reheat Falafel in Air Fryer?
When your falafel has cooled down and turned into a pile of mush, you may be wondering what to do next.
One good option is to reheat it in an air fryer, which provides better results than simply microwaving the food.
Follow these steps to reheat falafel in an air fryer.
- Preheat your air fryer between 390°F and 410 ° F for 3 minutes (adjust according to preference).
- Arrange the falafel in the air fryer basket so that they are not touching each other.
- Cook for about 10 minutes with stirring every few minutes to avoid scorching. Stop cooking when you notice a change in color and texture.
- Serve immediately.
How to Reheat Frozen Falafel?
Ever end up with a few frozen falafels in the back of your freezer? No worries.
Here is how to reheat them without compromising their texture and flavor.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the frozen falafel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and bake them for 12-14 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
You can also microwave the falafel for a few minutes, but they will not brown like you were to bake them.
What Can You Do with Left Over Falafel?
It’s the worst when you’re full, and there are leftovers.
What do I with all this leftover falafel? It can be fun to make creative dishes, but sometimes it just feels like a lot of extra work for something that might not even taste good in the end.
So what can you do with leftover falafel? Here are some ideas:.
• Falafel sandwich: Of course, there’s always the classic sandwich. But sometimes, it can be fun to put some falafel in a tortilla or wrap it with some lettuce and tomato for a straightforward lunch.
• Falafel patties: Make them into small patties, so you don’t have leftovers anymore.
• Lentil soup: This is great because you can use all those vegetables sitting around too long waiting to be used and beans from another dish (like leftover chili) to make this hearty soup.
• Pizza topping: Put these on top of your pizza crust before cooking it up for one more way to eat a delicious meal without any guilt attached. And then feel free to add sauce if you want it soaked up a bit better.
• Falafel salad: These are easy to make and even easier to eat. Add some of your favorite veggies, top with a falafel patty or two for protein, and then drizzle the whole thing with tahini sauce.
• Tacos with Leftover Falafel: Wrap a few of your favorite ingredients up in one tortilla and mix some leftover falafels into the filling to make it that much better.
The key is using what you have in creative ways so that nothing goes to waste.
Falafel is a delicious and nutritious Middle Eastern dish that can be eaten as an appetizer, main course, or snack.
With the proper methods, you can easily make your falafel last for days or weeks.
We’ve outlined four different ways to reheat your favorite Mediterranean dish with some essential tips on how to avoid a soggy outcome and keep that crispy crust intact.
Which method will you try?