to top

A while back, my mom requested that I create a tasty yet easy veggie “meatball” recipe.  She was disappointed with what was available in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, and really hoped I could provide a delicious homemade option for her.

From that point on, I was on a mission! And after a handful of hours in the kitchen, this recipe was born.  This one’s for you, mom! I hope you love it.

This is how you make these d-lish bean ball babies…

1. First, decide if you’d like to bake the meatballs in the oven or cook them stovetop in a frying pan.  Both methods will result in moist and flavorful balls, the main difference is…

When they’re cooked in a frying pan:

  • They’ll require a bit more work due to having to rotate them every five minutes.  But the trade off is you’ll get a little extra chewy/crispy texture on the outside of the balls that you wouldn’t necessarily get if they were baked in the oven.

The good part about baking them in the oven is:

  • Less labor on your part and likely more perfectly round-shaped balls in the end.

I know – decisions, decisions! If you decide to bake them, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Next, combine the water and ground flaxseed in a small bowl and set it aside.

3. Then, mash your beans in a mixing bowl using a potato masher.

I used pinto beans this time, but I usually use black beans, as they have a more neutral flavor!

4. Add the spices, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and the flax/water mixture to the bowl containing the mashed beans and stir very well until the tomato paste is evenly distributed throughout.

5. Next, add the cooled quinoa and the oatmeal to that bowl and stir well again.

6. Lastly, form this mixture into 11 to 12 equal-sized balls and either place on a lightly oiled pan over medium-high and allow them to cook for five minutes on each side until browned all over…

Or place them on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.  You can’t go wrong either way!

Once they’re cooked, decide how you’d like to eat them! You can go the traditional route and pile them on a plate of pasta with marinara sauce…

Or, just dip them in some ketchup!

Of course, feel free to get creative.  I find they go best with slightly sweeter sauces since they are on the savory side.


If you give these meatballs a try, please let me know what you think of them in the comments below!

Italian Bean “Meatballs”

Makes 11 – 12 balls


  • One 15 oz. can of Black or Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tb. Ground Flaxseed
  • 3 Tb. Water
  • 1 Tb. Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder OR 1 Tb. Fresh White Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tb. Dry Quick Oats
  • 3/4 cup Cooked and Cooled Quinoa (in a pinch, use the frozen type!)

*You can find flat parchment sheets HERE


Sharing is caring!

print recipe



I cannot wait to try these. I do have a question about ground flax seed, I bought some to make your veggie burgers (which I love), but it seems to go bad really quickly. Is there a way to store it so it doesn’t turn so fast?


Audrey Dunham

Thanks for the kind words, Karen! To answer your question -Yes, absolutely. I keep my ground flaxseed in the freezer! Keeping it in the fridge would also suffice, but placing it in the freezer should give you an extra month or so.


Vanessa Jones

Greetings from Upstate NY! I love this recipe and I would like to know if you could suggest an alternative to the bread crumbs? I am following a Keto diet plan and I have seen positive results. Any ideas would be wonderful.

Kindest regards,


Audrey Dunham

Hi Vanessa, you can probably leave them out entirely. They will probably still be delicious.


Patty Mathis

Wow… These look amazing. Love your recipes. Am an avid Peanuts bake shop cookie dough fan. And great tip about keeping the flax seed in the freezer. PS the avacado wraps are super. Thanks, so much.


Audrey Dunham

Thank you for this, Patty! I really appreciate the kind words.


Cheryle Brown

These are soooo good, and so easy to make. I’m trying to eat less meat, and I’m so tired of chicken. These hit the spot. I baked mine and like them just fine. Since my quinoa made 3 cups (cooked), I’m going to make two more batches tomorrow after church. I think I’m going to freeze them on a cookie sheet and put them in a freezer bad. That way, I’ll be able to take out and cook as many or few as I need (I cook for only myself). Thank you for this recipe! (Oh, the two young girls in my office are doing Keto. Do you have the nutritional numbers on this? I think they would love them.)


Audrey Dunham

Thank you for the kind words! I’m so happy you like the recipe. I have a bag of these in my freezer, as well! As for keto, here are my thoughts: Low fat, whole food, plant based is a much healthier way to live and is great for weight loss. Thanks, again, for the comment!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.