For years, falafel has been a filling meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans who want the crispness of chicken nuggets without the meat.
Falafel is technically a type of fritter that originated in the Middle East and found popularity in North America in the 1970s. Depending on the recipe, falafel can be made out of fava beans or broad beans, but more commonly chickpeas.
It is the spongey, soft inside and perfectly crisp outside that makes falafel such a hit across the world. But should you reheat falafel, and can you regain that crispy texture after the falafel has been in your fridge for a few days?
To reheat falafel, add oil to a hot skillet, then fry the falafel for 2 minutes on either side or until hot through to the centre. They can also be reheated in an oven, but this will take a little longer.
How to Reheat Falafel
It is not difficult to reheat your leftover falafel and make them just as delicious as if they were freshly made.
The biggest challenge when reheating your falafel is making the outside crispy enough to have that slight crunch without completely drying out the inside of the fritter. Luckily, there are a couple of reheating methods that work great for reheating falafel:
How to Reheat Falafel on the Stove
Most recipes will require you to cook falafel in a frying pan to develop that crispy exterior. However, when reheating falafel after it has already been cooked, a skillet will be your best option.
Better yet, you can reheat both big and small falafel portions in just a few minutes while getting that perfectly crispy outer shell. Here is how:
- Add Oil
Take your favourite neutral cooking oil and pour a thin layer into your skillet, moving the oil so that is covers all of the bottom of the pan. Set the pan to a medium high heat.
- Warm the Oil
Set your skillet on a medium high heat and leave it to get hot. When the oil starts to sizzle, it is hot enough to reheat your falafel.
Place your falafel directly into the skillet. Allow the falafel to cook for around 2 minutes in the hot oil.
After 2 minutes, flip the falafel over and reheat for a further 2 minutes. This will make the falafel reheat evenly.
When the outside of the falafel has developed a nice, deep colour, it will be ready to serve.
How to Reheat Falafel in the Oven
A lot of store-bought falafel products will instruct that you use an oven to cook them for the best texture. You can regain this texture with both store-bought and home-made falafel by using your oven at a steady temperature:
- Warm Your Oven
Before you reheat your falafel reheat your oven to 180 C.
- Wrap Them Up
To retain that spongy middle, wrap your falafel up in kitchen foil. You can either wrap the falafel pieces individually if they are bigger, or wrap them together as a group.
Place your wrapped falafel directly into the middle of the oven and reheat for 5 minutes.
For smaller portions of falafel, you will only need to reheat them for 5 minutes before they are good to serve.
- Or Reheat Again
But if you are reheating a bigger batch of falafel, turn the falafel around in the oven after 5 minutes and reheat for a further 5 – 10 minutes.
Do not cook your falafel for longer than 15 minutes as it will start to dry out. Instead, serve it as soon as your timer is done.
How to Reheat Falafel Successfully
As mentioned, the biggest issue you may run into when reheating your falafel is drying out the falafel in an attempt to regain that crispy exterior. Here are a few tips that can help you stop that from happening and get the perfectly reheated falafel:
- Pre-heat Your Appliance – When reheating falafel in a pan or in your oven, allow 5 minutes for the oven or pan to get hot. Trying to reheat falafel while your appliance is still warming up will prevent the falafel from developing that crispy exterior. It may even make the falafel soggy.
- Play With Oil Flavours – Typically, we would recommend using neutral-flavoured oil to reheat any dish. But falafel is so versatile that it can be paired with a range of oil flavours and still taste delicious. Use your leftover falafel to experiment with non-neutral oils, such as sesame oil.
- Avoid The Microwave – Unless you enjoy soggy, non-crunchy falafel, you will want to avoid using your microwave to reheat your leftover falafel. Trying to get the crispy texture in a microwave will just dry the falafel out and make it crumble apart.
- Smaller Pieces = Quicker Reheat Time – Like anything, the smaller your falafel pieces are, the less time they will need to reheat. Remember this when you are following either of the above methods, as you will dry out your falafel if you reheat them for too long.
Is It Safe to Reheat Falafel?
Many people often enjoy falafel cold and on salads, so you do not need to reheat it to make it safe to eat.
However, if you do prefer hot falafel, then you will need to refrigerate your leftovers. You will not face the same safety issues as you would reheating meat, but falafel can turn bad quickly when not stored properly.
Reheating Falafel FAQs
Do you still have a question or two about reheating falafel? Then give these a read:
No, reheating falafel in a microwave is far from a good idea, unfortunately. The falafel will lose all their texture and become soggy and mushy – far from what you want!
Yes, you can reheat falafel in the air fryer and they will only take 5 to 6 minutes at 180C. The air fryer should give you a crispy, crunchy outside.
Falafel are much tastier when served warm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them cold. They work perfectly when served as part of a picnic.
Acacia may be a freelance writer by day, but they are a food fanatic by night. They are always trying out new recipes or finding different ways to elevate classical dishes. But their biggest culinary aim is to educate others on the basics of the kitchen so that they too can enjoy delicious food.