30-minute Sweet potato falafel (vegan, with air fryer version)


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These golden, crispy little vegan falafel made of sweet potatoes, chickpeas and spices are addictive. Stuff them into fresh bread with hummus, dressing and snow pea shoots, or just layer them on top of a fresh salad.

A sweet potato falafel sandwich from the side on baking paper with kitchen equipment in the background.

Fancy falafel!

Falafel is one of those foods that I could eat every day. And no I’m not a vegetarian or vegan.

It’s something about the crispy outside and the nutty, satisfying centre. Falafel tastes like something naughty, but of course it’s packed full of healthy chickpeas and other goodies.

But do you know you can make falafel with sweet potato? Well, you sure can, and it’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients in sweet potato falafel

This is all you need to make these delightful little sweet potato fritters:

  • a sweet potato, roasted or microwaved (!) until soft (I sometimes use regular, and other times purple sweet potato (your choice!)
  • a can of cooked chickpeas
  • a finely chopped onion
  • garlic and various yummy spices such (cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika)
  • flour, baking powder and salt
  • lemon juice
  • sesame seeds (optional!)

Just a few ingredients. And vegan!

Collage of 2 images showing unpeeled sweet potatoes and snow peas and tomatoes in a colander on a wooden board.

How to make vegan sweet potato falafel

Sweet potato falafel ready to be cooked on a baking tray from above.

In 4 super easy steps!

  1. Cook your sweet potato in the microwave! (so easy!) If you’d rather though, roast in the oven.
  2. Roughly mash with all the other yummy ingredients.
  3. Let the mixture chill out in the fridge for a while before molding it into little nugget-shaped falafel.
  4. Shallow pan fry for about 5 minutes on each side.

Prefer to air fry?

Lately I air fry everything! Well, almost!

But seriously, these sweet potato falafel are perfect candidates for cooking in your air fryer. Air fry for 15 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket and falafel lightly with olive oil and cook for 15 minutes, turning half way.

Mmmm…. delicious, and even healthier!

That’s it – really! Now how do you eat them?

How to serve sweet potato falafel

Apart from the fact that it’s addictively delicious, the amazing thing about this recipe is that it makes around 30 falafel.

Which means there doesn’t have to be JUST falafel wraps on the menu.

When I make this recipe, this is what I make.

Falafel wraps!

Yes, these easy sweet potato falafel are incredibly delicious stuffed into fresh crusty Mediterranean style bread with some kind of greens or other salad and hummus and/or sauce.

My favourite way to do this is to stuff Turkish bread or Italian ciabatta with:

  • a big handful of snow peas (Have you tried them? Delicious!)
  • chopped tomatoes and spring onions
  • hummus (my go-to recipe is this one – you have to try the 2-ingredient flatbread too!)
  • tahini dressing (oh my goodness, this 5-minute dressing is so awesome!). If you don’t have any tahini, Greek yogurt works great as a makeshift dressing, too!
Collage of ingredients for making sweet potato falafel from above.
A roll with sweet potato falafel open on baking paper from above with more falafel scattered around.

Falafel salad!

Another option is to serve the falafel on top of the pea shoots and with all the little accompaniments and condiments on the side, like so:

A plate of fsweet potato falafel in a white bowl with salad.

Pro tip: Try drizzling over this 5-minute tahini sauce. Incredible!

More amazing Mediterranean recipes that you must try!

Or browse all my Mediterranean recipes here



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A sweet potato falafel sandwich from the side on baking paper with kitchen equipment in the background.
5 from 1 vote

Sweet potato falafel (vegan, with air fryer version)

Golden, crispy little falafel made of sweet potatoes, chickpeas and spices. Beautiful stuffed into fresh bread with hummus, Greek yoghurt and snow pea shoots, or just layered across a little fresh salad.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 30 falafels


For the falafel

  • 1 medium to large, ish sweet potato (or 2 small ones!)
  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas, 9 ounces/250 grams net weight
  • 1/2 a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 of a lemon worth of juice
  • sesame seeds for scattering over

optional ‘accompaniments’

  • chopped tomatoes & spring onions/scallions, pitta bread or another type of fresh bread, hummus, Greek yoghurt or tahini dressing, snow pea sprouts


  • Peel the sweet potatoes and cook in a microwave for about 10 minutes or until soft. (you can roast them if you prefer for about 45 minutes or so or until soft)
  • In the meantime, pulse the chickpeas a few times in a food processor until still a little bit chunky.
  • Mash the pulsed chickpeas and sweet potato together with all of the other ingredients apart from the sesame seeds. Cover the mixture and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  • Take spoonfuls of mixture about the size of a walnut and form into balls. Flatten the balls into a patty and press a few sesame seeds into them on both sides.
  • Heat up a layer of oil in a skillet/frying pan until quite hot, then fill the pan with patties. Let them cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy.
  • Remove from the pan and serve immediately with fresh bread and accompaniments of your choice.


Air fryer instructions

Air fry for 15 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket and falafel lightly with olive oil and cook for 15 minutes, turning half way.

How to serve your sweet potato falafel

I would highly recommend making a batch of your own hummus for this recipe. My go-to recipe is this quick hummus and 2-ingredient flatbread
This incredible 5-minute tahini dressing goes really well, too. 

How long do they keep?

This recipe makes quite a large amount of falafel, so you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days quite comfortably.
I prefer to keep the uncooked dough in the fridge and then quickly fry them up fresh before eating rather than frying them all first then keeping in the fridge. If you want to though you can pre-cook them all, then quickly reheat them in a hot pan when you want to eat them. 

Can you freeze them?

Yes! Either freeze them uncooked, then let defrost and pan-fry as normal, or freeze cooked, then defrost and re-fry quickly in a hot oiled pan. 


Calories: 6kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Sodium: 41mg, Potassium: 26mg, Vitamin A: 655IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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  1. Hi, I made them last evening and they were really tasty. I only came up with 11 though, just enough for me and my kids for one dinner. I also thought they would be crispy and harder but they are really soft and mushy. Easy and tasty, thanks

    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Cara! They’re crispy on the outside soft in the middle when I make them!

      1. I was wondering what is the baking powder for? They don’t really get bigger on the pan. Have you ever made them without the baking powder?

      2. Hi Cara, and great question! Some falafel recipes don’t use baking powder. I haven’t made any without, but the baking powder is supposed to lighten them up a little and keep them moist. They can end up a bit more ‘dough like’ without it.

    1. Hi Cara! You need one medium to large or two small sweet potato and one can of cooked chickpeas (a standard 14 oz can, or 9oz net). I hope that helps!

      1. Thanks, I wrote this comment before seeing the list of ingredients on the bottom of your post. Sorry

  2. I had exactly that kind of week this week! These falafels definitely would have saved the day they look perfect 🙂 I love sweet potato combined with hummus! It’s such a great flavour combination!

  3. Love falafels! Also, love the fact you’ve used sweet potato- so delicious! I will be trying these out soon! 🙂

    1. Hi, Jessica! And thanks so much! Do let me know what you think if you do give them a try!

  4. Ah, falafel. It’s been far too long since I’ve enjoyed the amazing taste of falafel. I really should try to make it one day. The only time I’ve had it is when ordering at a restaurant.

    Funny you mention the rain. It’s been raining all day where I live. I don’t really mind, though. I like when it’s rainy and stormy. But I also like to enjoy the outdoors, much like you do. So when it rains for days and days and days, I too get a little bummed. Glad the weather has cleared up for you!

    1. I think this may have been my first attempts at falafel, but I don’t think it’s going to be the last. It isn’t so easy to find it where I live, so I guess that’s a good enough incentive!
      Thankfully the weather here has cleared up to the point where you’d be forgiven for thinking it was summer. Honestly, I don’t know how these Australians have the gall to say that they have a winter!

  5. I have butternut squash falafel on my blog and we eat them on a fairly regular basis but why have I never thought of using sweet potato? I adore them. Definitely on the list to make!

    1. Oh, I think butternut squash would produce almost the same end product! I should try mine with the squash next time!

  6. I am such a sucker for anything with sweet potato! And I have never ever made a falafel at home! Obviously I am so behind! I will be making these soon!

    1. Oh, yes, please do try making some falafel, Annie! I thought they were really easy to make, and so worth the effort anyway. I’d like to try making some classic ones, too. You probably can’t beat those. 🙂

  7. Helen – I adore falafel but have never thought to use sweet potatoes – or any potatoes in them for that matter – ooh this combo with cumin, coriander and paprika sounds incredible! I am so glad the clouds parted and the sun got y’all to the farmers market so you could bring us this wonderful recipe -thanks btw for sharing it!
    And now I have this line …when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year …stuck in my head! I have a friends DVD -guess I know what I will be doing this evening! 🙂

    1. Hahahaha! Sorry about the song, but at least I know you will now have an entertaining evening!
      The falafel worked really well – they were different to ordinary falafel, and I’m not sure anything can really beat those, but they were certainly good. Give them a try some time!