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Vegan Italian Bean “Meatballs”

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5 from 1 vote

These Vegan Italian Bean “Meatballs” are so easy and approachable thanks to their simple ingredients and minimal prep. Best of all, they’re delicious and loaded with flavor! You HAVE to try them.

Vegan Italian Bean Meatballs served over pasta on a plate

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!

Why this recipe works:

  • Using simple and easy-to-find ingredients, this is the easiest vegan meatball recipe out there!
  • The use of Italian Seasoning helps minimize the ingredient list and adds in a delicious, comforting, classic Italian flavor.
  • This recipe is great for everyday meal prep or for parties, as it can be easily doubled or tripled!

How do these bean meatballs stay together?

  • The ground flaxseed / water mixture, oatmeal and the quinoa act as binders. Bonus: ground flaxseed is one of the healthiest foods on the planet due to it’s high omega 3 content!

For more delicious and easy meatless meal recipes, try my:

How to Make Vegan Italian “Bean” Meatballs:

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 little more work due to having to rotate them every five minutes.  But the trade off is you’ll get a little extra 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. No parchment? No prob – if your baking sheet is nonstick then you’re in good shape without it.

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.

Pinto beans mashed in a bowl

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 them on a lightly oiled frying 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!

Cooked bean meatballs on a cookie sheet on parchment paper

Once they’re cooked, decide how you’d like to eat them. You can go the traditional route and pile them on top of a plate of pasta with marinara sauce, or just dip them in some ketchup.

Vegan Italian Bean Meatballs piled on a plate next to some ketchup

Of course, feel free to get creative.  I imagine any sweeter dipping sauce would do.

Enjoy!

Top Tips for Making Vegan Italian “Bean” Meatballs:

  • Excess moisture could lead to balls that fall apart, so be sure to drain your beans well, and measure the water that goes with the flaxseed very carefully. Then, pack the balls very tightly before cooking.
  • If you feel the balls are too loose and don’t hold their shape before cooking, add an extra tablespoon or two of dry oats to the mix.
  • I find these go best with slightly sweeter sauces since they are on the savory side.
  • You can use these as an easy appetizer! Fill a small shot glass or other small glass with your sauce of choice, stick toothpicks into the bean balls and place in glass – so easy, fun, and not very messy!
  • You can find flat parchment sheets HERE

Did you try this recipe? Please give it a star rating and let me know what you think in the comments below. Your feedback is very helpful! Thanks in advance.

 

Vegan Meatballs

Vegan Italian Bean "Meatballs"

These Vegan Italian Bean "Meatballs" are so easy and approachable thanks to their simple ingredients and minimal prep. Best of all, they're delicious and loaded with flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: gluten-free, plant based, vegan
Keyword: Vegan Meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time (Stovetop): 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 meatballs

Ingredients

  • One 15 oz. can Black or Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tb. Ground Flaxseed
  • 3 Tb. Water
  • 1 Tb. Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder OR 1-2 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 (10 g)
  • 3/4 cup Cooked and Cooled Quinoa (138 g) in a pinch, use the frozen type!

Instructions

  • First, decide if you'd like to bake the meatballs in the oven or cook them stovetop in a frying pan. If baking in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Next, combine the water and ground flaxseed in a small bowl and set it aside.
  • Then, mash your beans in a mixing bowl using a potato masher.
  • 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.
  • Next, add the cooled quinoa and the oatmeal to that bowl and stir well again.
  • Lastly, form this mixture into 11 to 12 equal-sized balls and either place on a lightly oiled frying 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 top of a plate of pasta with marinara sauce, or just dip them in a sweeter sauce, such as ketchup! Feel free to get creative.

Notes

  • Excess moisture could lead to balls that fall apart, so be sure to drain your beans well, and measure the water that goes with the flaxseed very carefully. Then, pack the balls very tightly before cooking. 
  • If you feel the balls are too loose and don't hold their shape before cooking, add an extra tablespoon or two of dry oats to the mix.
  • I find these go best with slightly sweeter sauces since they are on the savory side.
  • You can use these as an easy appetizer! Fill a small shot glass or other small glass with your sauce of choice, stick toothpicks into the bean balls and place in glass - so easy, fun, and not very messy!
  • You can find flat parchment sheets HERE
Tried this Recipe? Follow me Today!Mention @AudreyEDunham or tag #AudreyDunhamRecipes!

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Comments

Karen

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?

Reply

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.

Reply

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,
Vanessa

Reply

Audrey Dunham

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

Reply

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.

Reply

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.)

Reply

Susan

Is there something I can use instead of coconut sugar. My soon to be daughter in law is allergic to coconut.

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Yes – regular granulated sugar would work!

Reply

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