Celebrate Lady and the Tramp in style with some delicious vegan meatballs! They are full of flavor, easy to make, and perfect for a large family feast. Plus, you won’t be missing out on any Italian flair - these plant-based meatballs come packed with authentic spices that will take your dinner game up several notches.
So if it's time to switch things up at home or try something new while following a vegetarian diet, why not give this tasty dish a go? You just might end up dreaming about sharing noodles like our furry friends did...
This recipe is inspired by my vegan Swedish meatballs and my bolognese sauce. This recipe pairs well with a crusty bread, bruschetta, Caesar Salad.
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This is a list of the healthy ingredients you will need to make healthy vegan meatballs.
You can find the ingredients with quantities and the recipe to print out on the recipe card below.
- Black Beans
- Gluten Powder (Vital Wheat Gluten)
- Rolled Oats
- Baking Powder
- Bulgur, cooked
- Sea Salt or to taste
- Roasted Fennel Seeds
- Smoked Paprika
- White Pepper
- Dijon Mustard
- Sweet Paprika
- Molasses (opt)
- Soy Sauce
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Flaxseed Powder
- Tomato Paste
- Almond Butter
- Marinara Sauce
Let's start with cooking the bulgur. And preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). It is best to start boiling the pasta water now, it will take a while until it boils. Roast the fennel seeds in a non-stick pan and let them cool slightly.
Now take a Food Processor and blend the black beans, oats, tomato paste, molasses, flax seeds, baking powder and water until they are relatively creamy. if you do not have a food processor, you can also use a potato masher. It just takes a little longer. Now add the remaining ingredients, except for the bulgur and the fennel seeds. And mix until the spices are well mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
Now fold in the bulgur and the roasted fennel seeds. Taste the meatball mixture and season if necessary. We want to have the bulgur whole. So don’t blend too much. Use the pulse function of your food processor.
Prepare a sheet pan. I put parchment paper on it. Now form smaller meatballs out of the bean mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the meatless meatballs for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven. After 15 minutes I recommend turning the veggie balls over. Let the cooked meatballs cool for about 10 minutes. This way they become firmer.
Prepare your favorite marinara sauce and cook your pasta according to package directions.
Right before serving, add the vegan meatballs and enjoy the meatless spaghetti.
Make this vegan spaghetti and meatballs, check out my Alfredo Pasta, All Arrabiata Pasta and my other vegan pasta recipes.
- Black Beans: You can substitute the black beans for kidney beans, cannellini beans to make these veggie meatballs.
- Bulgur: Bulgur adds a great texture to those black bean balls, you can also use Freekah or couscous.
- Almond Butter: Instead of Almond Butter, you can also use sunflower seeds. Use what you have as pantry staples.
- Pasta: Use classic spaghetti noodles or zucchini noodles. You can also use gluten-free pasta.
- Gluten-free: To make these vegetarian meatballs gluten-free, we will need to substitute the gluten flour and the bulgur. The gluten flour you can substitute with some potato flakes or potato starch. The bulgur I would add use quinoa or cooked rice. Make sure you use gluten-free oats. For the soy sauce, you can use coconut aminos.
- Spicy Meatballs: Add some red pepper flakes to make hot Italian meatballs.
- Italian Seasoning: You can always add some Italian seasoning to these vegan black bean meatballs.
Some kitchen tools that will help you make this amazing vegan meatball recipe.
- Meatball Sub: Make a big sandwich with these meatballs.
- Buddha Bowl: Load up with plant-based protein
- Pizza: Crumble this black bean meatball recipe and top your next pizza with it.
Wait I'll show you how to store them.
- Refrigerate - You can store the meatballs in the fridge very well. Put them in an airtight container and they will keep for 3-4 days. We haven't had them in the fridge for a long time. If they last longer with you, I would appreciate feedback in the comments below, so I can note it here in the post.
- Reheat - Take out the meatballs and fry them briefly in a pan on each side. They are warm and crispy on the outside. I recommend you only put as many meatballs in the sauce as you want to eat. And then simply add it to the sauce again later when it is warmed up.
- Freeze - Yes, these meatballs can even be frozen very well. I recommend that you first freeze the meatballs side by side. And when they are frozen, put them in portions in containers. They last there for about 3 months.
- Reheat Frozen Meatballs - Let the meatballs thaw in the fridge overnight and fry them in the pan. You can also fry frozen meatballs, but it takes longer to thaw and be completely warm. I recommend putting them in the fridge the night before. It is done quickly and not a lot of work. 😉
Here I give you a big fat YES, YES, YES.
They can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. To do this, follow the instructions above and you will get super tasty meatballs.
You can of course also prepare them on the same day, here you can let them cool a little so that they become a little firmer.
As mentioned above, we use gluten powder here. This holds the balls together and even leaves the balls whole in the sauce.
Have you ever made vegan meatballs and they were soft and absolutely didn't stick together? Here is the solution.
And wait a minute, you know what we noticed about the meatballs, the next day they even have a better consistency and were firmer.
These look great. Do you think that they could be air-fried instead of baked?
Hi Jen, I did not try it. But I think you could air fry these vegan meatballs.