Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells and immune sentinels. Human DCs are composed of two classical DC subsets; DC1 (CD141, BDCA-3)+ and DC2 (CD1c, BDCA-1)+, as well as a third non-classical DC subset characterised by the expression of CD16 (FcγRIII). Non-classical DCs comprise half the DC compartment in humans, yet few studies have investigated their function. We evaluated CD16+ non-classical DC function in controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) studies with Plasmodium falciparum. In malaria-naive adult CHMI volunteers peripheral blood, non-classical DCs were examined before and after P. falciparum infection. Cytokine production (TNF, IL-12 and IL-10) was quantified ex vivo and in response to stimulation with toll like receptor (TLR) ligands and P. falciparum-infected red blood cells. DC number and maturation (HLA-DR, CD86) were also assessed. In response to TLR stimulation, non-classical DCs produced high levels of TNF and low levels of IL-12 and IL-10. In response to in vitro stimulation with P. falciparum-infected RBC, non-classical DCs increased co-production of TNF and IL-10. During CHMI, non-classical DCs significantly increased both TNF production and co-production of TNF and IL-10. Re-stimulation with P. falciparum-infected RBC further increased IL-10 production. In addition to enhanced cytokine production, CD16+ non-classical DCs also increased expression of HLA-DR and CD86 during CHMI. Together, these findings demonstrate that CD16+ non-classical DCs are uniquely activated and key responders early during P. falciparum infection.