This is our favorite meatless meatball recipe which also happens to be Vegan. It is hearty enough for a cold winters pasta dinner and also can be paired with our favorite zoodle plate! You can even just have them by themselves with a spicy mayo dip! This time however, we had them with some egg noodles and fresh pesto! It was unbelievable delicious and making your from scratch is honestly SOOOOO worth the effort.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a food processor mix this all together. You can slowly add in the olive oil and pulse the mixture. Set aside for now! We could literally drink this stuff.
We love to make these, freeze them, and then heat them up later. To do this we simply heat a skillet with oil to medium heat and place the balls into it. Cover and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes. Check every so often and shake them around to make sure they are cooked evenly.
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 22 meatballs
- 1/2 cup white onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons of aquafaba (egg replacement) from chick peas
- 1 heaping cup rinsed and drained chickpeas
- 1/3 cup vegan parmesan cheese or regular
- 2 tsp Italian seasonings (or 1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano)
- Optional: 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup vegan bread crumbs (gluten-free for GF eaters | or sub almond meal)
- 2 Tbsp your favorite marinara or tomato sauce
- Olive oil for sautéing + salt and pepper to taste
• 1/3 cup vegan bread crumbs (gluten-free for GF eaters )
• 1/3 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and prepare aquafaba in a small dish. If you are wondering how to make this weird sounding word refer to this article by the minimalist baker.
- In a large skillet heat ½ tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent and then add garlic in until you can smell it (yes this is a test to check if it's ready. That should take about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Add chickpeas to food processor and pulse to break down (do not over process). Then add sautéd onion, garlic, and aquafaba, parsley, bread crumbs and tomato sauce and mix, scraping down sides as needed. You want it to form into a moldable “dough.”
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The chickpeas will come across as a little bland, but once seasoned, coated, baked and served with marinara it's not nearly as apparent.
- Depending on how salty your vegan parmesan cheese is, you may need to add a little salt and pepper at this point.
- Scoop out 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and roll into balls. At this time, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat.
- Mix remaining bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together in a shallow dish. Add chickpea balls one or two at a time and roll to coat.
- Add enough olive oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of your hot skillet, and then add your coated chickpea balls in two batches, as to not crowd the pan. Brown on all sides (shaking the pan around to brown the meatball on all sides).
- Place browned meatballs to a baking sheet and add to the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or longer if desired for a crispier result.
- At this time, prep any pasta or zoodle your want to serve with your meatballs, as well as your favorite red sauce.
- Once meatballs are deep golden brown and fairly firm to the touch, remove from oven.
- To serve, top cooked pasta with meatballs and pour over pasta sauce. Top with another sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Leftovers, if there are any, will keep in the fridge for up to a few days, though best when fresh. They would make a great meatball hero sandwich for lunch in a day or two!