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Vegan Meatballs with Spaghetti – Vegan Heaven


These vegan meatballs are the perfect comfort food. They’re really easy to make, so delicious, and incredibly healthy! Serve them with spaghetti for a quick and easy dinner. I promise you that you will LOVE them. They’re one of my all-time favorite recipes!

A bowl of vegan meatballs with spaghetti and marinara with vegan Parmesan and basil on the side

When I think of spaghetti with meatballs, the first thing that comes to my mind is the meatball scene in the Disney’s classic ” Lady and the Tramp” when Tramp takes out his Lady for a romantic dinner.

I used to absolutely love meatballs, so of course I had to make a vegan version of this classic American-Italian dinner. And they turned out soooo good!

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  • Kidney beans, rolled oats, and ground sunflower seeds give these meatless meatballs an amazing texture. They keep their form and don’t crumble when being baked or cooked. However, do not expect them to have the exact same texture as real meatballs.
  • You can serve the meatballs warm or cold. I like them even better when they’re cold because this way they have a firmer texture.
  • The recipe is very budget-friendly. Especially if you use dried kidney beans and cook them yourself. It’s perfect if you’re eating on a budget! Find out more about cooking beans on the stove or in the Instant Pot.
  • The meatballs are not only super delicious but also incredibly healthy.

uncooked vegan meatballs on a wooden board with cooked spaghetti in a colander

The ingredient list for these vegan meatballs is pretty short. No hard to find or fancy ingredients. You can find all of the ingredients in any regular grocery store.

You need:

  • canned or cooked kidney beans
  • garlic
  • onion
  • dried oregano and basil
  • tomato paste
  • soy sauce
  • rolled oats
  • sunflower seeds
  • salt and black pepper

As always, you can find the full ingredient list and the recipe instructions in a separate, printable recipe box at the end of this post. 

a stack of vegan meatballs in a bowl with tomatoes and basil on the side

FIRST STEP: Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package.

cooked spaghetti in a colander

SECOND STEP: Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Put them in a medium bowl and mash them well with a fork or a potato masher.

a hand mashing cooked kidney beans in a white bowl with a potato masher

THIRD STEP: In a medium pan, heat some oil and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Sautéd onions in a pan with a wooden spoon

FOURTH STEP: Put the sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved.

sunflower seeds in a Vitamix blender

ground sunflower seeds in a Vitamix blender

FIFTH STEP:  Add the sauteed onion and garlic to the mashed beans together with the spices, the tomato paste, the soy sauce, the ground sunflower seeds, and the oats. Season with salt and pepper.

Mashed kidney beans, oats, sauteed onions, and tomato paste in a white bowl

SIXTH STEP: Use your hands to thoroughly mix everything. Then form about 12-14 vegan meatballs. (Please note that I doubled the recipe for the photos, so there are more meatballs).

A collage that shows how vegan meatballs are being formed and put on a baking sheet

SEVENTH STEP: Preheat the oven to 350 °F bake the vegan meatballs for about 15 minutes. Carefully turn them halfway through the baking time.

vegan meatballs on a baking sheet before baking

They should be crispy on the outside but still a bit soft on the inside. They will get a lot firmer when they cool down.

vegan meatballs on a baking sheet after baking

Alternatively you could also pan-fry them. In a medium pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat and gently roast the bean balls for about 4 minutes until they are golden. You’ll achieve the best results with a cast iron pan.

Five vegan meatballs in a pan

However, I would definitely suggest the baking version. Not only is this version oil-free, they meatballs also become more crispier and firmer this way.

You can find the steps for the cashew Parmesan as well as for the marinara sauce in a separate recipe box at the end of this post. So just keep scrolling.

  • You can either bake or pan-fry these vegan meatballs. However, I would recommend baking them in the oven. This way they become a lot crispier. Besides, the texture is firmer and you don’t need any oil.
  • Pan-frying is, however, the quicker version. If you’re short on time, you can choose this method. Just be careful when you turn the meatballs.
  • I like these vegan meatballs even better when they’re cold. They become a lot firmer when they’re cold. I love to bring them to picnics and potlucks!
  • Make sure to sauté the onion and the garlic before you add it to the bean mixture. I’ve tried the recipe without sauteing and didn’t like it because the onions were still crunchy.
  • For a gluten-free version, make sure you’re using gluten-free oats and substitute the soy sauce with tamari.

Ways to Serve These Vegan Meatballs:

  • With spaghetti and marinara. The classic!
  • With zoodles  (zucchini noodles).
  • In combination with a green salad.
  • They’re great to bring to picnics. You can even pair them with some dips, such as salsa, guacamole, or hummus.
  • As an appetizer.
  • In wraps.
  • Or you could also use them to make a vegan meatball sub.

a bowl of spaghetti with marinara and vegan meatballs with basil leaves on top

Vegan Meatballs – Health Benefits:

The vegan meatballs are not only super delicious but also incredibly healthy. They’re packed with nutrients and protein.

  • The sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.
  • The kidney beans provide the meatballs with lots of protein. One cup of cooked kidney beans contains about 15 grams of protein.
  • Cashews, which I used for my vegan Parmesan, are are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They’re also rich in iron, selenium, zinc, and magnesium.

Vegan Meatballs – FAQ:

Can I freeze these vegan meatballs?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze them! Just put them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they’re warmed through.

Could I turn these vegan meatballs into veggie burgers?

Yes, you can just make patties out of the bean mixture and bake them in the oven. However, you have to adjust the baking time a bit depending on the size of the burger patties.

Try baking them for 20 minutes instead of 15. Check how they are and bake for another 5 minutes.

How is the texture of these vegan meatballs aka. beanballs?

They’re supposed to be crispy on the outside and softer on the inside. However, they’re a lot former when they’re cold.

Can you substitute the sunflower seeds?

Yes, you could also use almonds instead.

More Delicious Vegan Pasta Recipes You Might Like:

I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU GUYS!

I hope you like my vegan mushroom bacon as much as we do around here.

If you give these vegan meatballs a try, I’d love to know what you think about it. Just leave me a comment and a star rating below. Your comments really make my day!

You like my recipes and want to see more? Then follow me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest

Sina – xx

Vegan meatballs with Spaghetti

Vegan Meatballs with Spaghetti

These vegan meatballs are made from kidney beans. They are really easy to make and super delicious. Serve them with spaghetti for a quick dinner!

Print Pin Rate

Course: Entrée

Cuisine: Italian

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 459kcal

Ingredients

For the chunky marinara sauce:

Instructions

  • Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package.

  • Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Put them in a medium bowl and mash them well with a fork or a potato masher.

  • In a medium pan, heat some oil and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

  • Put the sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved.

  • Add the sauteed onion and garlic to the mashed beans together with the spices, the tomato paste, the soy sauce, the ground sunflower seeds, and the oats. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Use your hands to thoroughly mix everything. Then form about 12-14 vegan meatballs. (Please note that I doubled the recipe for the photos, so there are more meatballs).

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F bake the vegan meatballs for about 15 minutes. Carefully flip them halfway through the baking time.

  • Alternatively you could also pan-fry them. In a medium pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat and gently roast the bean balls for about 4 minutes until they are golden. You’ll achieve the best results with a cast iron pan.  However, I would recommend the baking version. Not only is this version oil-free, they meatballs also become more crispier and firmer this way.

  • Make the marinara sauce: In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and the carrot. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. 

  • Then deglaze with red wine and allow to evaporate. Add diced tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Before serving add some fresh basil leaves.

  • Make the cashew Parmesan: Put the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder in a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved.

  • Serve the spaghetti with the marinara and vegan meatballs and sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Notes

  • You can either bake or pan-fry these vegan meatballs. However, I would recommend baking them in the oven. This way they become a lot crispier. Besides, the texture is firmer and you don’t need any oil.
  • Pan-frying is, however, the quicker version. If you’re short on time, you can choose this method. Just be careful when you turn the meatballs. You’ll achieve the best results with a cast iron pan. 
  • I like these vegan meatballs even better when they’re cold. They become a lot firmer when they’re cold. I love to bring them to picnics and potlucks!
  • Make sure to sauté the onion and the garlic before you add it to the bean mixture. I’ve tried the recipe without sauteing and didn’t like it because the onions were still crunchy.
  • For a gluten-free version, make sure you’re using gluten-free oats and substitute the soy sauce with tamari.

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2790IU | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 5.8mg

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