Sometimes the hardest part of creating a delicious meal is choosing the side dishes that can accompany a dish without overpowering it.
Your side dish could easily make or break the meal and you need to choose wisely or you might end up disappointed.
The key to choosing a great side dish is to find something that will either accent or complement the flavors of your main dish.
You can easily build a meal based on a side dish of choice but you can also choose side dishes based on your main course and be quite successful.
What’s the best side for falafel? The best side for falafel is hummus as the flavors and spices used between both are very similar, and the crunchy texture of falafel goes well with the creaminess of hummus. Other sides that can be used with falafel are tzatziki, baba ganoush, kimchi, and mushrooms.
In this guide, we are going to share with you 13 awesome side dishes to eat with falafel. Each of these options are tasty and they pair perfectly with falafel as a side.
You will find a good variety of options here that mix with different ways of making falafel as well as different flavor preferences and opinions. We hope you find an option here that seems perfect for you!
Keep reading to learn the best sides to eat with falafel and more!
What Is Falafel?
Falafel is a Middle-Eastern dish that is made with either chickpeas or broad beans. Sometimes it is made with a combination of both. The interesting thing about Falafel is that it can be served in more than one way.
While the ingredients used are primarily these two items, they can be rolled into a ball and then deep-fried or they can be shaped into a patty and cooked like a small fritter.
Falafel is often served with flat bread or pita and sometimes actually served inside of those.
Falafel is known for being able to be served hot and warm but also enjoyed chilled or at room temperature and still taste great. All of these little factors make for a pretty versatile dish, which means your side dishes can also be pretty versatile.
From your base ingredients of chickpeas or broad beans, you also have seasoning as part of the mix.
Falafel usually has some rich spices, like cumin and coriander. The spices can vary but these are two prominent and popular choices.
The spices really bring out the flavor, giving it a bit of a kick with some bold flavors as well.
Choosing A Side To Eat With Falafel
Choosing your side is a challenging job. But ultimately, you just want to be sure to choose something that has a flavor that will pair well with your dish. We’ve put together a few tips for choosing a side to go with falafel.
So when you’re coming up with your side dishes, you want to choose something that will go well with the bold spices in falafel.
You can use something that really enhances those rich flavors or something that almost tones them. The key is to be sure you don’t use a side dish that eradicates your flavor or causes weird combinations in your mouth.
In the case of falafel, it really is all about the flavor. The good news is that you have a lot of options for flavor that really work nicely and you will be hard-pressed to get it wrong.
When you are considering your side dishes, you might also consider how it is being served.
Will it be deep-fried and served as balls of goodness or will it be served more like fritters? Are you pairing it with something like pita, flatbread, or a tortilla?
All of these elements will be a part of your side dish decision process and should be considered.
The 13 Best Side Dishes For Falafel
It’s time to get down to business. We’ve searched for some awesome combinations and we think you will be pleased with your choices.
Everything you find here will be unique and different in some way. On the same note, everything here will pair perfectly with falafel.
No matter what your flavor preferences are or how you plan to serve falafel, you’re bound to find a great option here to help you along the way.
Below, you will find our top picks for the 13 best sides dishes for falafel.
Hummus can be a great option to pair with falafel, specifically green pea hummus.
Falafel is made from chickpeas a lot of times and there is just something about the flavor combination of a well-made green pea hummus paired with the bold flavors of falafel.
You get a colorful dish and the perfect array of flavors from this simple addition. You can use the hummus as an addition to your falafel or a topping inside of your flatbread.
You can also use it for a dip, which can work really well if you are serving deep-fried falafel.
Whatever you do, just grab your falafel and slather on some of this delightful hummus for flavors that will probably rock your palate’s world. It’s tasty and it’s a healthy choice that really brings out all of the best flavors from both worlds.
Tzatziki is a really great choice. This is another topping or dip item so you will want some pita chips or flatbread for sure to pair as well.
Tzatziki is a light but refreshing dip that is made with European flavors. It’s the perfect mix of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. This mixture makes it tart but light and refreshing.
This is a chilled dip and it is packed with flavors that pair well with falafel. You can dip your falafel in it or top your falafel with tzatziki and you won’t be disappointed.
We recommend some pita chips to make the perfect full meal here. You can also dip your pita chips into the tzatziki so you have a versatile and flavorful combination all around.
If you’ve never had kimchi, you are really missing out. It comes from a Korean radish and it is loaded with bold flavor that is also just a little bit on the spicy side.
Kimchi pairs with falafel as a side or a topping. If you are using flatbread or tortillas, you can load up the tortilla with kimchi and falafel. You can also just enjoy kimchi alone as a side dish if you prefer. It’s a pretty versatile option.
Kimchi is made with pickled vegetables so it has just a little bit of sour flavor to it from the pickling.
The most common picked vegetable is Korean radish but it sometimes could be something like cabbage instead. There is seasoning and spice added so the flavors may vary depending on the seasonings used.
4. Lemon Rice
Everyone loves a good side of rice with dishes like this and it’s a popular addition, particularly if you want something filling. We recommend lemon rice. The lemon paired with falafel will be absolutely perfect for a side dish.
You can serve lemon rice as a side or you can serve it underneath the falafel and it’s even acceptable to put it into a wrap with falafel as well. Lemon rice is a popular choice to pair with falafel and it’s a wonderful combination.
Lemon rice doesn’t just have lemon in it. It also usually will have a mixture of things like peanuts and curry leaves and if you want some added spice, you can add chili pepper to the mix.
Of course, there is also lemon as well. These bold flavors enhance falafel and bring both of the best of each dish together for you to enjoy.
You really cannot go wrong here in any way.
If you want a simple but healthy side dish to pair with your falafel, try sautéing some mushrooms. These are mild enough but yet flavorful enough that they taste great alongside your falafel.
For this particular side, simply slice your mushrooms as desired and sauté them in some olive oil. You can spritz a little bit of lemon juice on them and season them. It doesn’t hurt to use butter rather than oil if you prefer either.
Honestly, you don’t need seasoning with this method – just a bit of butter, olive oil, and a skillet will do.
However, you can add in some minced garlic and maybe some fresh parsley to really bring out a bit more flavor if you need something to enhance your mushrooms more.
This is easy and the mushrooms are great but won’t cause a reaction against the flavor of the falafel.
6. Avocado Dip
If you’re looking for a delicious dip for your falafel, try out this recipe that uses creamy avocado, garlic, cilantro, and a touch of citrus. This dip will be used chilled and it’s another light and refreshing option.
You can use it to top your falafel as well or pair them all together. It’s another versatile option so you get to be in control of you how you want to eat it overall.
7. Israeli Salad
This Israeli salad option is tasteful and delicious and will pair nicely with falafel just like the other sides we’ve shared.
While this salad is simple, just know that you can adjust it to your own preferences as well and it will most likely work no matter how you make it.
You may have enjoyed similar dishes to this in the past and never realized that it’s actually an Israeli salad.
This salad is a classic combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, olive oil, and vinegar. Some people like to add a touch of pepper as well but that’s totally up to you.
This is a slightly sour but mostly refreshing side and it complements the flavors of falafel, giving you a combination that will really taste great.
8. Olive Salad
Along the same lines of salad, here is another great option. This salad has a Mediterranean twist and that is just one more reason that it works excellently with falafel.
This particular salad uses a variety of olives but it also adds in some other flavors.
If you like olives, this is the perfect choice for your falafel. You get garlic and brine and it’s pretty tasty.
The combination includes black and green olives, roasted red peppers, cloves, vinegar, red onion, oregano, and dried basil. It’s served as a chilled salad.
Tabouli is similar to salad and the citrus and bright flavors pair well with falafel as well. You can make tabouli with either bulgur or quinoa. Then it is enhanced with the addition of some mint as well as lemon.
The result is something cool and refreshing with a little bit of substance thanks to the quinoa. It’s served as a side and the flavors between tabouli and falafel make a wonderfully appetizing combination.
10. Baba Ganoush
If you like the idea of some Mediterranean style, here is another option along those inspiration lines for you. Baba ganoush is a Mediterranean dish.
This is often served almost like a dip and used with pita or veggies so it makes it a good addition to falafel.
Baba ganoush is made with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. If you want a bit more spice to the flavor you can add smoked paprika and cumin as well.
Dolmas are often referred to as stuffed grape leaves and this is yet another Mediterranean option to pair with falafel.
This dish takes grape leaves and stuffs them with rice, lean meat, herbs, and spices. The spices used are typically cumin and allspice.
The bold and full flavors pair well with falafel, bringing everything together and giving you a filling and flattering dish along the way.
12. Pickled Onions
If you’re just looking for something light and enjoyable, pickled onions could be a great option. Warm falafel paired with pickled onions will be a party in your mouth.
The onions are pickled so they have that briny and citrusy flavor plus the crunch of the onion.
The onions and the pickled flavors really complement falafel nicely and it keeps your side light and simple as well.
13. Stuffed Peppers or Tomatoes
Finally, we recommend trying a stuffed pepper or even a stuffed tomato. You can do a combination or just use whatever you prefer. You will stuff the item with simple rice or quinoa that is flavored and seasoned with some herbs.
The star of the show is the stuffed pepper or tomato for the color and then you get the flavor of the rice from inside of the item and it all really comes together nicely to give you a well-rounded and colorful meal.