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Vegetarian chickpea meatballs

Vegetarian chickpea meatballs

 

 

Inspired by the success of my “meatless meatloaf”, I have been wanting to post a vegetarian version of another family’s classic.

Vegetarian meatballs seemed a very straightforward option, because who doesn’t like meatballs?

I wanted these vegetarian meatballs to be easy to make, without having to precook anything. You know, busy night and so...

Mission accomplished with these super easy chickpea meatballs. They require few prep work and you’ll only have to clean the bowl of your food processor, a mixing bowl, and a spoon!

The main ingredient is - you guessed it - chickpeas. Canned, drained, rinsed, and mixed with three more ingredients and a few herbs and spices. Then baked in the oven for about 30 minutes. That’s it!

While they bake I heat our favorite organic tomato sauce, full of veggies and without any nasty ingredients. Do check the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any added sugars. Or make your own marinara sauce if you have time.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free options

This recipe contains panko, which are Japanese breadcrumbs. You can substitute these with regular breadcrumbs if you like. For a gluten-free version, you can use the same amount of ground rolled oats or ground gluten-free crackers instead.

If you have a problem with dairy, you can use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.

For egg-free vegetarian meatballs, you can replace the egg by a flax egg (1 normal egg = 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed + 2 ½ tbsp. water).  

Serve with…

After baking the meatballs in the oven, I gently stir them into the hot tomato sauce and serve over zucchini noodles. But you can also make string beans, broccoli, or any veggies you like your regular meatballs with.

We love these vegetarian chickpea meatballs because they’re:

  • Vegetarian
  • So easy to make
  • Full of fiber
  • Protein-rich
  • Have gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free options
  • Can be made ahead
  • Can be used for school lunchboxes

Recipe inspired by Nora Cooks - Easy vegan meatballs

Prep Time10 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time40 mins

Ingredients

Makes about 15 "meatballs". 

3 cups* (460g) canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
3 eggs
½ cup (25g) Panko breadcrumbs (or normal breadcrumbs, or ground oats, or ground gluten-free crackers)
¼ cup (25g) grated parmesan
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
Optional: freshly cracked pepper
For serving
Good quality (organic) tomato sauce (without added sugar). Or make your own.
2 medium zucchini or any other veggies you like with your meatballs.
More parmesan
Fresh or frozen parsley
 

*Unless stated differently, my recipes are measured with US measuring cups like these ones


Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 410°F or 210°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and roughly grind them in a food processor. You don’t need to pulse for too long, just until there are no whole chickpeas left.

3

Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients using a wooden spoon or your hands until well combined.

4

Roll into balls the size of a golf ball. You should get around 15 balls.

5

Place the balls on the baking sheet and bake for about 30-35 minutes, turning them halfway through.

6

In the meantime, heat the tomato sauce and prepare the zucchini noodles. I use a spiralizer to shape them in long noodles, but a mandolin works too. Bake in olive oil on medium heat for no longer than 3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

7

When the meatballs are ready and lightly browned on the edges, place them in the hot tomato sauce and stir gently to coat. Don’t be too rough because these chickpea meatballs aren’t as firm as real meatballs.

 

Ingredients

 3 cups* (460g) canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
 3 eggs
 ½ cup (25g) Panko breadcrumbs (or normal breadcrumbs, or ground oats, or ground gluten-free crackers)
 ¼ cup (25g) grated parmesan
 1 tsp. garlic powder
 1 tsp. onion powder
 ½ tsp. oregano
 ½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
 Optional: freshly cracked pepper
For serving
 Good quality (organic) tomato sauce (without added sugar). Or make your own.
 2 medium zucchini or any other veggies you like with your meatballs.
 More parmesan
 Fresh or frozen parsley

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 410°F or 210°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and roughly grind them in a food processor. You don’t need to pulse for too long, just until there are no whole chickpeas left.

3

Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients using a wooden spoon or your hands until well combined.

4

Roll into balls the size of a golf ball. You should get around 15 balls.

5

Place the balls on the baking sheet and bake for about 30-35 minutes, turning them halfway through.

6

In the meantime, heat the tomato sauce and prepare the zucchini noodles. I use a spiralizer to shape them in long noodles, but a mandolin works too. Bake in olive oil on medium heat for no longer than 3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

7

When the meatballs are ready and lightly browned on the edges, place them in the hot tomato sauce and stir gently to coat. Don’t be too rough because these chickpea meatballs aren’t as firm as real meatballs.

Vegetarian chickpea meatballs

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