If you have falafel or falafel wraps on your menu tonight, here’s my newly updated list of tasty and easy ways to decide what to serve with falafel!
Falafel is a vegetarian, meatball-like treat made from a mixture of chickpeas or fava beans, fresh herbs, and spices, then formed into small patties or balls.
This Middle Eastern food is traditionally paired with pita bread or a sandwich, but you see–pairing these yummy deep-fried balls with the same things over again can significantly lead to boredom.
And we don’t want that!
Thanks to the slightly crunchy texture and rich, savory taste of falafel, the delectable morsel works great with almost side dishes.
Here’s my list of some really good side options that pair well with the layered flavors of falafel…
…from the citrusy snap of our recipe for Lemon Rice to the yummy eggplant dip Baba Ganoush and Olive Salad and, of course, creamy snack/dip/side dish Hummus!
I’m making myself hungry—I’m not sure there’s a single Greek/Lebanese/Mediterranean dish that I don’t absolutely love.
We love making lists of delicious foods that traditionally go with falafel.
But #1 and #13 just might surprise you!
Get to know even more about this hearty, plant-based food here in our Falafel FAQ.
Let’s start with kimchi.
It’s a side dish consisting of pickled vegetables such as napa cabbage and Korean radish.
Its taste varies depending on the seasoning ingredients.
But kimchi’s common flavor is the combination of spiciness and tanginess with a nice crunch.
Here is an FAQ how to best store kimchi, too.
2. Lemon Rice
What’s a good side dish for falafel?
Don’t forget the lemon rice!
This five-ingredient entry features a lemony flavor profile with a beautiful aroma suit to complement the heavenly taste of your falafel.
It’s best to cook the rice in vegetable broth instead of water as it adds flavor and richness to the food.
Another good side to falafel is tzatziki.
It’s a dipping sauce made from English cucumber, Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, and lemon juice.
It has a creamy taste with a hint of the garlic flavor profile.
You can also serve this dip with your favorite chicken, grilled veggies, or even pita chips.
Sauteed mushrooms isn’t just for grilled chicken or pork, it complements your falafel too!
This simple side dish features ingredients you likely have in the kitchen.
All you need is olive oil, water, butter, mushrooms, and a 30-minute block of your time (or less)!
Here’s a few tips for washing mushrooms (and why we think it’s important).
If you’re still wondering what goes with falafel, then try pairing it with salads, particularly this Israeli salad.
Apart from its refreshing flavor, what I like about this recipe is its versatility and simplicity.
The dish mixes Persian cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, onion, fresh parsley (or you can use dried parsley), olive oil, and vinegar.
The best part?
It’s easy to put together too!
6. Olive Salad
Another salad dish that complements the flavor and texture of falafel is the olive salad.
The recipe is full of garlicky and briny flavor, thanks to the combination of black and green olives, roasted red peppers, red onion, cloves, red wine vinegar, dried basil, and oregano as well as the giardiniera.
Making an olive salad is straightforward.
Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then refrigerate it for an hour before serving it at the table.
7. Baba Ganoush
Baba ganoush is a Mediterranean dish that’s often served together with pita bread, raw veggies, and of course…falafel.
It combines eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, resulting in an irresistibly smooth, smoky, and savory dip!
Also, you can include ground cumin, smoked paprika, and fresh parsley in the mixture if you want the extra flavor in your dip.
If you’re new to hummus, it’s a kind of spread or dip made from chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and tahini (a condiment made out of ground hulled sesame seeds).
It’s so creamy if you remove the hulls from the cooked chick peas before processing.
Feel free to add more ingredients like roasted red pepper, pine nuts, and kalamata olives to flavor your hummus.
Also known as stuffed grape leaves, dolmas is a Mediterranean dish packed with exciting flavors coming from the combination of rice, lean ground meat, herbs, and spices like cumin and allspice.
You can serve them next to your main courses such as Greek lamb, roasted chicken, grilled lamb chops, or alongside tzatziki, greek salad, tabouli, and falafel.
10. Avocado Sauce
Imagine having a warm falafel dunked into an irresistible avocado sauce.
The recipe is so simple to make and requires no cooking.
Plus, you only need avocado, olive oil, cilantro, lemon juice, and garlic to put them together.
If you would like, you can add in additional ingredients like cherry tomatoes.
The sauce is excellent with zoodles, a bowl of pasta, and falafel.
11. Pickled Onions
If you haven’t tried partnering your warm falafel with pickled onions, then you’re seriously missing out!
Pickled onions have the texture and flavor profiles that can complement the taste of falafel.
What’s more, the variation of this simple dish is endless.
You can add additional spices such as pepper, allspice, or even crushed peppercorns to make the recipe even more satisfying!
This roasted chickpeas recipe is one of the best side dishes for falafel.
You won’t believe that it only requires a few ingredients to make.
Just make sure to thoroughly dry the washed chickpeas so that there’s no moisture left.
They will turn out to be crispier once roasted.
CookingChew Tip: We have learned that the crisper you want any food, make sure it’s very dry before you cook it, whether it’s meat in a frying pan or vegetables in the oven.
Cilantro lime sauce is a dip or salad dressing that includes greek yogurt, taco seasoning, garlic, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.
It’s made to enhance and complement the flavors of your favorite dishes such as salads, tacos, falafel, and grilled meats.
14. Tahini Sauce
Fun fact: Tahini sauce and falafel are a match made in heaven!
Tahini sauce is a dip that features simple ingredients such as lime juice, garlic, tahini paste, and fresh parsley as toppings.
It’s best served warm along with pita, veggies, falafel, roasted fish recipes, and grilled kabobs.
The possibilities are endless!
16. Tabouli Salad
This Lebanese vegetarian salad is packed with wheat bulgur, parsley, tomatoes, and garlic-based dressing.
But you can play around by adding other veggies, herbs, and spices to your liking.
This salad is an excellent accompaniment alongside falafel, pita bread, and hummus, but it’s also great on its own as a light meal.
Pita bread is a default side dish when it comes to falafel.
Some falafel wraps that you might find for sale on the streets of NYC sometimes use pita bread.
This recipe has simple ingredients such as yeast, water, all-purpose flour, olive oil, and salt.
And making them yourself might change how you see store-bought pita forever.
Plus you don’t need to be a kitchen master at making these as the dough is easy to put together.
While raw zucchini may be bland, it acts as a flavor sponge, soaking up other ingredients when you toss it in a salad.
This basic salad is made extraordinary by adding bright flavors like lemon juice, fresh mint, shaved Parmesan cheese, and toasty, buttery pine nuts.
The mixture of zesty flavors and textural layers from crunchy nuts, creamy cheese, and soft zucchini is nothing short of divine, despite the simplicity of the ingredients.
Ingredients include: Zucchini, lemon juice, pine nuts, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.
19. Shawarma Sauce
This sauce, which is rich and flavorful with its creaminess, garlicky undertones, and lemony brightness, is excellent on a falafel pita, sandwich, or salad.
Or, you can simply use it as a dip by placing the bowl in the center of a tray of crisp falafels.
The tahini enhances the dish’s familiar Middle Eastern flavor and adds warmth and depth.
Ingredients include: Greek yogurt, lemon juice, fresh dill, mint leaves, and garlic.
Muhammara, with its zesty spices and exotic flavors, is unlike any other dip you’ve had.
This Middle Eastern dip features roasted red peppers and walnuts for a flavor profile that is equally tart, sweet, nutty, and spicy.
If you have cheese-stuffed falafel, this dip enriches its savory flavor perfectly.
Ingredients include: White onion, tomato paste, sumar, cumin, and bell pepper.
21. Shirazi Salad
Salad-e Shirazi is a traditional Persian salad made with cucumbers and tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a dressing of citrus juice and extra-virgin olive oil.
This no-lettuce salad is ready in no time and goes well with almost any main course.
Although this salad may remind you of salsa, it’s juicier and herbier with a pleasant zippy edge from dried mint and cilantro.
Ingredients include: Roma tomatoes, dill, Persian cucumber, red onion, and parsley.
The Persian Jeweled Rice is a dish that looks as good as it tastes.
The blend of golden rice, candied apricots, and plump red raisins makes the dish look like a jeweled platter.
It’s aesthetically pleasing, but that’s not all: it also has savory, flowery hints that are subtly flavorful.
It takes time and effort, but the result is well worth it.
Ingredients include: Basmati rice, dried apricots, almonds, golden raisins, and red raisins.
23. Harissa Sauce
Fresh ground jalapenos are commonly used to flavor falafel, but they are not that spicy.
So, to spice up your falafel bowl or sandwich, serve some hot sauce on the side.
I’d settle for any bottled variety, but it’s extra delicious if it’s red pepper spiciness from harissa sauce.
Ingredients include: Chili peppers, coriander, cumin, caraway seeds, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
Since I enjoy foods with a lot going on in flavor, color, and texture, the first bite of a Greek tomato hit the spot in my taste buds.
So, I came up with the idea that stuffed tomatoes would be a clever twist on the traditional side of falafel.
When falafel is served on a platter, tomatoes are often included; why not make the tomatoes the second flavor bomb on the plate?
Ingredients include: Long grain rice, ground beef, white wine, ground nutmeg, and allspice.
When roasted, eggplant acquires an exceptional tender texture and takes on a pleasant charred crisp, smoky flavor around the edges.
And when rubbed all over with zaatar, a spice blend consisting of oregano, thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds, before being roasted, it takes on a new character.
The spice blend lends a savory warmth to the creamy eggplant and becomes incredibly tasty.
Ingredients include: Eggplant, arrowroot powder, Za’atar, parsley, and chili flakes.
Absolutely gorgeous in both looks and taste, this cold lentil salad is a feast for the senses.
As it contains no lettuce, it holds up well, making it ideal for lunches on the go, potlucks, meal prepping, or a light summer dish.
It’s like having a fiesta in your mouth with each bite, thanks to the contrasting flavors of the cucumber, plum tomatoes, lemon juice, and mustard.
Plus, they have complementary textures that make them a delightful duo on a plate.
Ingredients include: Lemon juice, mustard, cherry tomatoes, brown lentils, and cucumber.
This grilled Naan delivers an airy and supple center and is slightly chewy on the outside, with a thin, crisp crust that crackles and is dotted with bits of smoky char.
The grilling process gives the naan a smokier flavor, which is closer to how naan would taste if cooked in a traditional Tandoori oven.
And that’s fantastic naan bread, by the way.
Also, I’m always down for a good recipe that requires minimal effort, so I was thrilled to find a no-knead naan recipe that only requires a quick grill.
Ingredients include: Active dry yeast, yogurt, honey, lukewarm milk, and lukewarm water.
28. Lentil Soup
You probably already have most of the ingredients to make this hearty vegetable soup.
Brown lentils add a touch of earthiness to the dish and serve as a delicious flavor neutralizer.
Spices, vegetables, aromatic herbs, and a tomatoey base all combine to create a bold flavor dish.
When you add some falafel to this bowl of warm lentil soup, it becomes very filling.
Ingredients include: Carrots, celery, bay leaves, turmeric, and brown lentils.
Sumac onions are a flavorful, tart, and spicy Turkish onion salad.
The sumac gives this onion salad a hint of lemon flavor, and the red wine vinegar and olive oil soften and tame the strong flavor of onions.
It’s the perfect companion to cut through the fatty, deep-fried meals like falafel, with its intense raw onion flavor, zingy sumac, and a fresh undertone of thyme leaves.
Ingredients include: Onion, oregano leaves, sukac, thyme leaves, and za’atar.
This bright green sauce only needs simple ingredients but will completely alter the flavor of anything you put it over.
Chimichurri sauce is commonly served with steak, but why limit yourself?
It goes well with grilled meats like chicken and fish, as well as vegetarian options like falafel.
The pungent garlic, parsley, and cilantro flavors give this sauce flair and aromatic fragrance.
You can count on getting your fill of herbs and spices from some tasty falafel and chimichurri.
Ingredients include: Red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic, fresh parsley, and kosher salt.
Mujadara’s charm lies in its delicious caramelized onions.
Caramelized onions are an unexpectedly perfect flavor match with earthy brown lentils served atop rice.
And you can use either brown or green lentils.
Remember not to use red split lentils as you would find in lentil soup; they will become too mushy.
Ingredients include: Brown lentils, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, cumin, and yellow onions.
As an appetizer or a side dish, try this Spicy Turkish Ezme, a salad, or spread with a kick.
Bright summer flavors and a warming kick make this a must-have seasoning for many dishes.
It’s the Turkish equivalent of condiments like relish and salsa.
Ezme is crisp but has a deep, tingly heat that awakens your tastebuds and brightens whatever it is paired with.
Ingredients include: Chili flakes, cucumber, tomatoes, olive oil, and red bell pepper.
The bottom line
You don’t have to be at your most exemplary when choosing sides for falafel.
Just make sure to pick the accompaniments that complement your favorite finger food and ultimately not overpower its flavor.
Whether you serve it on its own or partner it with tahini sauce, vegetables, or salad – you simply can’t go wrong with falafel!
More About Falafel
- Lemon rice
- Sauteed mushroom
- Israeli salad
- Olive salad
- Baba ganoush
- Avocado sauce
- Pickled onions
- Roasted chickpeas
- Cilantro lime sauce
- Tahini sauce
- Pickled turnips
- Pita bread
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad
- Shawarma Sauce
- Shirazi Salad
- Persian Jeweled Rice
- Harissa Sauce
- Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
- Roasted Za'atar Eggplant
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- No-Knead Grilled Naan
- Lentil Soup
- Sumac Herb Marinated Red Onion
- Find your favorite recipe from our What To Serve With Falafel list.
- Gather all the ingredients needed.
- If you love it, don't forget to share where you got it!