Best Vegan Meatball Recipe – How to Make Vegan Meatballs
These “meatballs” are made with ingredients that are full of flavor, aren’t mushy, don’t crumble and are easy to make!
I have been on a vegan journey for 2 weeks now and I must say, I am loving it! It has gotten me out of my routine dinner slump and has me thinking more outside the box. And our plant-based journey, I have been researching tons of vegan recipes to see how it works. There are so many ways to substitute plant-based products for animal based! Chickpeas being one of them!
I have tried to make these in the past and finally have it perfected. These are the BEST Vegan Meatballs!!
Chickpeas are my new favorite ingredient
There are so many things you can make with chickpeas. Green Goddess and Classic Hummus being a couple of examples (which I love to spread on a Veggie Roll-Up) But after all of my research, I have discovered how to make a wonderfully satisfying Chickpea Meatball that is hearty, sturdy, and doesn’t crumble the second you touch it.
These chickpea meatballs are made with brown rice, walnuts, garlic, nutritional yeast (it looks like fish food but has a nutty, salty, cheesy flavor that is incredible in vegan cooking!), tomato paste, olive oil, basil, and breadcrumbs! Oh….and CHICKPEAS! Did I mention 100% vegan?
Looking for an excellent sauce to go on top of these bad boys?
I have an incredible Roasted Red Pepper Sauce that will rock your world. Roasting red peppers is easy. Simply cut the peppers in half, cut out the membrane, place face down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then broil on high for 2 minutes. Place the peppers in a plastic baggie for 10 minutes to steam and help release the skin from the “meat”. Peel away then throw in the food processor with a can of coconut milk, garlic, tomato paste, olive oil dried basil, oregano, and thyme, crushed red pepper, a few dashes of hot sauce or cayenne, a can of white beans and some turmeric for color and extra anti-inflammatory benefit.
The white beans add thickness to the sauce as well as tons of fiber! Use an emersion blender to make it thick and creamy. I like to sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top for a parmesan flavor hit!
This is my favorite scooper for meatballs
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or any grain
- 1 cup walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2, 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- a few dashes of hot sauce (I used Frank's)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 red peppers, halved and seeds removed
- 15 oz can of full fat coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Fresh basil garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place walnuts, chickpeas, garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, a few dashes of hot sauce (I used Frank's) dried basil, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until well combined yet still chunky
- Place the mixture in a large bowl and add the brown rice, nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs and stir to combine (I use my hands)
- Using a spoon or cookie dough scooper, scoop out some of the mixture making 1 1/2-2 inch balls
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
- Place the meatballs on the baking sheet. All of them should fit, these can be positioned close together
- Brush the top of each meatball with olive oil
- Bake for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Wash and dry 2 red peppers
- Cut lengthwise in half and scoop out membranes and seeds
- Place face down on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes
- Change heat to broil on high and place the baking sheet on the rack closest to the top
- Broil for 2 minutes until charred
- Place charred peppers in a plastic bag and seal shut. This will allow them to steam and help to separate the skin from the "meat"
- Remove peppers from bag and let cool
- Peel the skins off and discard skin
- Place your red peppers you just roasted into a food processor
- Next add the coconut milk, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, dried basil, oregano and thyme, red pepper flakes, & turmeric to food processor and blend until creamy
- The sauce will be cold at this point, let's heat it up!
- Pour the sauce into a pot and set the heat to medium
- Add the tomato paste and white beans
- Blend with emersion blender, this will thicken the sauce
- *If you do not have an emersion blender, do this step in the food processor and heat on stove when done
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish with fresh basil
- Pour on a bed of pasta and the chickpea meatballs and enjoy!
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