Nov 1
2011

Cannellini Bean Vegetarian “Meatballs” with Tomato Sauce Recipe

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Why should you have to miss out on “meatballs” if you don’t eat meat? This vegetarian version is satisfying & easy to make.
Cannellini Bean Vegetarian

Before I met my husband, I wasn’t much of a bean eater. It wasn’t that they didn’t appeal to me, but rather that I didn’t grow up eating a lot of Mexican food or other cuisines that might include the protein- and fiber-packed morsels. Everything changed when my husband ordered some black bean soup at a restaurant just a few blocks away from our New York City apartment. This wasn’t just any black bean soup – nope, this one was garnished with crispy chorizo sausage. I was a goner. You couldn’t stop me – cannellini beans in salads, kidney beans in chili, black beans in veggie burgers. You name it, I cooked it. As a result, my kids loved beans right from the get-go and we incorporate the healthy legumes into many of our meals.

When I heard that this round of Kitchen Play’s SideCar series was to feature Bush’s Beans in a meal that would satisfy the whole family, I knew I had this one in the bag. The hardest part was choosing which type of beans I would use. I started thinking of comfort foods, dishes that my family likes to eat as the thermostat drops and the days grow shorter. Spaghetti and meatballs popped to mind immediately and, as we are trying to work more meatless meals into our weekly menu, it seemed fitting to make a vegetarian version.

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When I think of oregano, garlic and parsley, I turn right to cannellini beans. In this recipe, I pureed the cannellini beans with roasted red peppers and then combined them with all of the regular meatballs ingredients, such as breadcrumbs and an egg. Baked in the oven and then simmered in tomato sauce, these bean “meatballs” are as healthy as they are tasty.

I throw everything into my Cuisinart Everyday Pan and let it simmer until done. I truly use this pan at least 4 times per week.

Now, don’t expect the “meatballs” to have the same texture as versions made with ground beef or turkey. These ones have a soft texture, with a golden brown coating. They are substantial and hearty, and made me fall in love with the versatility of beans all over again.

The recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans and roasted red peppers. Pulse until chopped, but not smoothly pureed.

(I use my KitchenAid 16-c. Pro Line Food Processor. This thing is amazing!

NOTE: Take care not to overprocess the “meatballs”. This could cause them to fall apart later.

BeanMeatballsCollage

Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and stir in grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until well combined.

The amount of breadcrumbs required can change depending on the climate (dry vs. humid). If you find that the “meatballs” are not holding together firmly as you are shaping the first few, add more breadcrumbs, then reshape.

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Using a rounded 2 tablespoon portion of the bean mixture, form “meatballs” by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.

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Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and have developed a light golden brown coating, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat your favorite marinara sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add “meatballs” and stir to coat.

BeanMeatballs6

Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti.

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Other family-friendly cannellini bean recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Vegetarian Mushroom & Cannellini Bean Ragout
Cookin’ Canuck’s Mediterranean Chicken, Bean & Pasta Soup
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Cannellini Bean & Sausage Stew with Tomatoes & Basil
Andrea Meyers’ White Chili with Turkey & Cannellini Beans
Jersey Bites’ Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Sage, Rosemary & Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Bean Vegetarian “Meatballs” with Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Cannellini Bean Vegetarian “Meatballs” with Tomato Sauce

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cans (15 oz. each) Bush’s Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (2 halves), roughly chopped
  • ½ medium yellow onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dried breadcrumbs (see note)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (your favorite kind)
  • Parmesan cheese for grating
  • Cooked spaghetti

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans and roasted red peppers. Pulse until chopped, but not smoothly pureed.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and stir in grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until well combined.
  4. Using a rounded 2 tablespoon portion of the bean mixture, form “meatballs” by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.
  5. Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and have developed a light golden brown coating, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. In a large saucepan, heat you favorite marinara sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add “meatballs” and stir to coat. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

The amount of breadcrumbs required can change depending on the climate (dry vs. humid). If you find that the "meatballs" are not holding together firmly as you are shaping the first few, add more breadcrumbs, then reshape.

I linked this up to TidyMom’s weekly I’m Lovin’ It post.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bush’s Beans. All opinions are my own. This post includes Amazon Affiliate links. A portion of your purchases help to support this blog. Thank you!

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{ 167 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet November 1, 2011 at 6:10 am

love the sound of this because i love beans!

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

Thanks, Jessica. We love beans, too and try to incorporate them into meals several times each week.

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3 Bev Weidner November 1, 2011 at 6:12 am

This is right up my alley! My bean-ball alley.

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks, Bev. The “bean-balls” were a hit with my family.

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5 Heather (Heather's Dish) November 1, 2011 at 6:13 am

i made beanballs (my name for them) once and my hubby laughed at me…till he tried them :)

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

I know…surprisingly good, huh?

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7 Winnie November 1, 2011 at 6:22 am

These sound so good. I love white beans but I’ve never made anything like this …can’t wait to give these a try!

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks, Winnie. I hope you have a chance to try it!

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9 Katie November 1, 2011 at 6:47 am

Beans are a staple in my grad student budget. I love this idea!

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

Thanks, Katie. You really can’t beat the price of beans. You certainly get a nutritional bang for your buck.

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11 Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray November 1, 2011 at 6:57 am

These look delicious, think I can fool my husband into thinking they have meat in them? Probably not–but I’m saving this one for next time he is gone!

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

It might be a stretch, but maybe he’ll be surprised and enjoy them.

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13 Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook November 1, 2011 at 7:16 am

Like you I was never into beans because I never ate them growing up. Rachel introduced me to them in Mexican food and chili and I’ve slowly come around. These look good. I would try them!

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14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thanks, Chris. It’s always nice to have some non-meat options for healthy family meals.

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15 d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo November 1, 2011 at 7:22 am

I love this one! I want to make it for my vegetarian friends!!

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16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thank you! I hope you and your friends enjoy it.

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17 Jenny Flake November 1, 2011 at 7:24 am

LOVE how you did beans for meatballs! My husband is going to love this as he is trying to stay away from red meat! Thanks for the recipe, will be trying it on my family soon :) xoxo

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

Thanks, Jenny. While they don’t have the same texture or taste as regular meatballs, they are very heart and satisfying.

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19 Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) November 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

What a fantastic idea…never thought of this! Can’t wait to try it.

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20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

Thank you, Brandie. I hope you have a chance to try it.

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21 bellini November 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

I find myself drawn to more and more vegetarian dishes as time goes on, so these are right up my alley.

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22 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

I’m with you – vegetarian recipes are starting to fill up our menus and it’s nice to have some variety.

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23 Belinda @zomppa November 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

Great tip! I have had trouble getting bean/grains to stick together like this, so going to follow this one.

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24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

Thanks, Belinda. I hope they work out well for you!

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25 Kelley November 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

My least favorite part of New York is their lack of great Mexican food. I will admit though that the black bean soup with chorizo sounds amazing. I do live the creativeness of these meatballs! Another great healthy recipe!!

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26 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

So true, Kelley. We found a couple of good spots while we were living there, but we had to search.

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27 DessertForTwo November 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’m a big fan of ‘bean’ balls. I use lentils and lots of Italian herb mix and I’ve fooled many meat-eaters!

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28 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

Lentils would be great in “bean balls”. I’ll have to give that a try.

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29 carolinaheartstrings November 1, 2011 at 9:23 am

That looks so fantastic. We love love love black beans at our house. Not always, but hey better late than never right!

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30 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thank you! Black beans are a big hit here, too and my kids are coming to appreciate other types, too.

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31 Lauren November 1, 2011 at 9:36 am

This idea is brilliant! And that top photo is gorgeous!

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32 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thanks so much, Lauren. I had fun shooting these and was happy to see how much they looked like regular meatballs.

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33 Erin November 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

How awesome are these!?

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34 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

Thanks, Erin!

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35 Carolyn November 1, 2011 at 10:10 am

Oh wow! Kept seeing stuff on twitter about these so I had to come over and check them out. What a creative way of using the baked beans!

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36 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

Thank you, Carolyn. I had fun coming up with this one.

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37 Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies November 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

Great recipe! We love beans too…especially the 2 little ones (age 4 and 21 months). Going to bookmark this one and will try with cilantro instead of parsley since that is what I always have on hand!

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38 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

Thanks, Asiya. Cilantro would be great in these, too. I hope you and your little ones enjoy them.

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39 Diane {Created by Diane} November 1, 2011 at 10:38 am

Yummy! Set another place I’ll be right over :)

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40 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 11:54 am

I wish you could! We need to live closer.

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41 brandi November 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

What a great way to use cannellini beans, Dara! They’re one of my favorite type of beans – I bet they’re delicious in these “meatballs”

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42 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

Thanks, Brandi. I love your Chili Beans & Cornbread Casserole submission for the Kitchen Play event. http://www.branappetit.com/2011/11/01/chili-beans-and-cornbread-casserole/

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43 Sarah @ The Cyclist's Wife November 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

Wow! Super creative!

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44 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

Thanks, Sarah. It was a fun one to dream up.

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45 Cassie @ Bake Your Day November 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

This sounds wonderful, Dara! I’ve never been a big fan of beans either…lately, though, I’ve been eating a lot of burgers made from beans and I love them. I’m sure these would be great too and I know my meat-loving husband would go for these flavors!

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46 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Cassie, we eat a lot of bean-based burgers and patties too. The flavor is great and they are often so satisfying and filling.

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47 Sarah November 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I LOVE the idea of meatless balls! These look so good too. I wonder how they’d be in a meatball sub.

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48 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Sarah, I think these would work really well. I’m actually tempted to try them in a lettuce wrap with some sort of fruit-based relish.

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49 Maria November 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

These are awesome! Can’t wait to make them!

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50 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Maria. They make a wonderful vegetarian meal.

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51 Nichol November 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Wow these sound interesting. They look incredible and I do believe I need to give them a try. Never made a meatball out of beans!

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52 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Nichol, it was a first for me too and I was very pleasantly surprised.

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53 Liren November 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Brilliant! I KNOW my kids would gobble this right up, and I can’t wait to try it with them! So glad to do my first Kitchen PLAY with you, Dara :)

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54 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Thank you, Liren. Your Crispy Cannellini Bean Cakes with Pancetta sounds fantastic! http://kitchenconfidante.com/cannellini-bean-cakes-with-pancetta-recipe

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55 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

What a fantastic way to use those canellini beans, Dara! I’m giving this one a go very soon and betting that everyone at the table will love it.

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56 Katrina November 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

LOVE this! Thanks for making a veggie friendly dish Dara. These are my favorite kind of the posts that you do.

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57 Jeanette November 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Love the idea of bean “meatballs.” I wouldn’t think they would hold together in a sauce, but they look like they are very firm. Lovely photos!

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58 Kristen November 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

This is such a creative use of cannellini beans. You are brilliant!

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59 Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious.com November 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Fantastic! I am definitely making these! I might use Bush’s Great Northern Beans, or even…..even…..how about garbanzos?

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60 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. November 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

fantastico! These are awesome Dara

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61 Sally November 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

THANK YOU for this recipe! I always try to incorporate one vegetarian meal a week, which is hard to pawn off on my meat-loving husband. These creative little “meat” balls may be just the trick.

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62 Megan Pence @CountryCleaver November 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

My hunny has been slowly transitioning me into the wonderful world of beans – these would definitely be on the Make it Now list! ~Megan

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63 Katrina November 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I LOVE meatless food. I’m going to have to make these, too. Love those black bean burgers and now this. Maybe even try to “trick” the fam and see if they can even tell. ;)

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64 Nutmeg Nanny November 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

These sound amazing! I’m always amazed at how much vegetarian food can look like meat. Also, I had no idea that Bush made canned beans…besides the baked beans. I gotta keep my eyes peeled for them :)

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65 KalynsKitchen November 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Love the sound of this recipe!

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66 CouponClippingCook November 2, 2011 at 12:25 am

Love how you made the meatless meatballs….or maybe beanballs…the consistency is just perfect. Looks delicious.

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67 Curt November 2, 2011 at 5:43 am

That’s my kind of meal. I love just abut any kind of beans also. Especially black beans and cannellini beans.

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68 Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired November 2, 2011 at 7:16 am

This looks amazing. I’ve never had cannellini beans before but would love to give them a try in this recipe.

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69 HeatherChristo November 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

YUM!!!! and what a show stopping photo!!

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70 Marla November 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

It is certain that I am making these for my family tonight! Great recipe Dara :) xxoo

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71 Liz November 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Beautiful photos, Dara! Truly a meat substitute I could go for…love canellini beans :)

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72 Courtney November 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

This sounds like a great “meatball”! Thanks for sharing!! Always looking for healthier options :-)

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73 Priyanka November 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Beautiful plating and a perfect dish :)

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74 Megan's Cookin' November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm

What a great dish. I bet my family wouldn’t even miss the meat. I could get tricky here and try to fool them. LOL

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75 Barbara November 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

These sound great! In an effort to incorporate more veg and beans in our meals I have tried making black bean burgers but they didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. Can’t wait to try your bean balls now. I don’t own a food processor or blender but surely I could just mash the beans with a fork and chop the peppers really fine?

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76 Kim Beaulieu November 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Omgoodness these look so good. I must try these out. We just started doing more meatless meals. It’s fun to see what you can do without it. These look so much like the real thing I can’t even tell they are meatless. Great recipe.

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77 Monet November 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm

OH MY. Sweet Ryan is going to be in heaven when I make these for him. I wish I hadn’t already started dinner. I can’t wait to make and share this with him. Thank you for this lovely post. It was a nice way to end my day. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

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78 Roxana GreenGirl November 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I LOVE LOVE these meatballs. We eat beans once a week and always looking for new ideas. Can’t wait to make these! Thanks Dara

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79 baobabs November 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm

YUM! this looks amazing, thanks for sharing this recipe, now I have more vegetarian recipes to pull out when cooking for vegetarian friends!! great photos btw!

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80 Jess November 2, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Wow! This looks absolutely delicious. I love how you plated it with the meatballs on the sides and the noodles all curled in the middle.

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81 Carol Egbert November 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

What a great option – vegetarian meatballs. Thanks for the good idea.

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82 Lauren at Keep It Sweet November 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

These look fantastic, I can’t wait to try them!

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83 Island Vittles November 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

wow — these sound fantastic, but it’s your beautiful pics that have my mouth watering! These will be a big hit around here too. Theresa

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84 Claudia November 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I came to beans later in life. My father didn’t like them so my mother didn’t make them. Now I am a bean fiend! I love this – especially with the roasted red pepper. Just perfect!

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85 shanny November 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I just tried out this recipe and because my fiance does not eat any eggs I omitted them in my process. I knew it would happen but most the “meatballs” that simmered in the sauce fell apart so I only put half thankfully. That aside they turned out great! Need to find an egg substitute though…

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86 Brian December 6, 2012 at 6:33 am

Flax seeds and water or Chia seeds and water work amazing as an egg substitute when you need a binder!

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87 Pat February 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Thanks Shanny and Brian for the question and answer on the egg substitute I was scrolling through the comments to see if anyone else asked about that and there you both were. And of course, thank you Dara for this recipe. It looks delish! Can’t wait to try it!

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88 Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 12:23 am

I really love beans now too. And goodness — this looks amazingly delicious!!

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89 lalaine November 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

wow! this recipe will definitely be on dinner table…thanks

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90 Connie November 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I have all of the ingredients in my cupboard – I wonder if I printed this before and that’s why. Either way, this time I’m making them!

Thanks!

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91 Laura November 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm

My 4 year old recently went vegetarian (her choice; we are supportive), so she was a bit sad to say goodbye to spaghetti with meatballs. these will be a huge hit with her I am sure (and me too!). She loves all sorts of beans and she loves balls. I’ve made lentil balls previously, but I think the lighter flavour of the canelli beans will be nice.

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92 Sukaina November 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Bean balls……I like Dara. The look of these would fool any meat lover! Great twist on a classic.

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93 Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) November 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

As good as it gets Dara…these are just awesome. That first picture is calling my name. Wonderful!!

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94 Erica November 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

Great idea for a meatless dinner!

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95 Lora @cakeduchess November 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Love beans and can’t wait to try your veggie “meatballs”. looks amazing!!

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96 Jill November 16, 2011 at 6:58 am

Can these be frozen? In the sauce or on their own?

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97 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

Jill, I haven’t tried freezing these, so I can’t tell you for certain one way or another. That being said, I have had success freezing black bean burgers, so these will probably behave similarly.

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98 Chiara November 17, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Hey- I saw a photo of your food here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4588814 without a link back to you! I thought your stuff was All Rights Reserved? Or it is Creative Commons?

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99 Martha November 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm

oh this looks interesting, and yummy besides! Love the way you dished it up! Looks so pretty!

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100 Emma December 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I’m not sure what I did wrong. . I left the bean-balls in the oven for 20 minutes, but they fell apart when I simmered them in the sauce.

They did, however, smell delicious.

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101 Amber April 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Mine partially fell apart as well

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102 Anon August 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

A few of mine started to fall apart but I quickly realized I was cooking them on too high a temp. As soon as I turned the temp down……pretty low (the temp at which I simmer rice) the problem was fixed.

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103 Natalie January 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Happy New Year! Thank you for this recipe. I made it for some friends at a NYE dinner both vegetarian and omnivore alike and they all loved it! I didn’t have cannelloni beans on hand so I used black beans and chick peas together. Everything else I kept the same and I cannot wait to try the recipe as written. Thank you for this wonderful recipe (again).

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104 A Canadian Foodie January 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

The photo was stunning. I can’t eat meat – so here I am! I cannot wait to make these. You didn’t say in the post whether you liked them or not. They sounded like they might be dry reading how you baked them until brown… but, then one of your comments said they were a family hit. They are certainly easy enough to make – so, I am IN!
Thank you, Dara!
:)
Valerie

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105 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm

HI Valerie, I don’t put anything on my blog that I don’t like (I don’t want anyone else to waste their time reading about/making something that didn’t work for me. :) So yes, I am a fan of these vegetarian meatballs. I hope you enjoy them, too.

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106 Shasta January 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hi Dara!

Tried these and LOVED them. LOVED.

Better yet, they received an A+ from the Suspicious-Of-Vegetarian-Food-Carnivore here, so I’ll definitely be making these again, thank you!

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107 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Shasta, I’m so glad! It’s always a tough job to convince a carnivore that meals without meat can be satisfying too, but it sounds as though you did it. I’m glad I could help.

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108 Michael Miller January 26, 2012 at 7:40 am

The first time I made these, I followed the recipe exactly and really liked them. But the second time I made them, I used half black beans and half cannellini beans. I also added sundried tomatoes and some sauteed shitaki mushrooms which helped make these taste a little more “meaty”. I put a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese mixed in to the meatball mixture as well. DEEELISH!

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109 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Michael, I love that you added more ingredients to suit your taste buds. Shiitake mushrooms and sundried tomatoes? That sounds like heaven to me!

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110 Michael Miller January 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

It really, really was good! I had them for dinner Wednesday night when I made them, then for lunch on Thursday, and for dinner again last night! YUM!

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111 Aunt LoLo April 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Now I know – I shouldn’t troll Pinterest when I’m hungry. These look AMAZING!! Thanks for posting! I wonder how they’d be with other beans…maybe black beans and cilantro?

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112 Lyndsey April 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Just got done making and eating this! It turned out so well! My husband is a meat person and was hesitant, but loves it too! This is definitely a recipe I will be making again!

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113 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Lyndsey, I’m so glad! I always love when a meat-lover ends up really enjoying a meatless meal.

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114 Lisa April 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and made it tonight – amazing! I’m vegetarian but even my meat lover husband liked these. I’m already thinking about a toasted “meatball” sandwich with the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

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115 Shannon April 27, 2012 at 6:16 am

These meatballs were really something special. I tried them with a square of mozzarella folded into the middle of each one and the cheese explosion was awesome. The meatballs themselves were just delicious. Out of all of the vegetarian meatball recipes I’ve seen, these were the only one to incorporate the red pepper like that. It really added a depth of flavor and umami. Thanks for a great recipe.

P.S. For anyone who found that the meatballs fell apart, you may have processed the beans and red pepper a bit too finely in the food processor.

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116 Buffy May 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I used this as a base for a vegan, Italian Meatball recipe (substituted silken tofu for the egg – added pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, Spinach, Italian herbs) and it worked beautifully. Thanks!!!

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117 Pam June 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Of all the things I could find zipping around the world wide web I found this and I am so excited. We are trying new dishes out in two weeks after our little at home veggie boot camp and beans are a real tough one for my son.
I think this might work if I add something that resembles a little the spices in pizza.

thank you so much,
Pam

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118 Barbara Q ualls August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Think I must be the only person that actually MADE this, because these fell apart as soon as they hit the marinara sauce…..awful mess and only mediocre taste….sorry Cooking Canuck, but maybe I missed something? Thought I followed the recipe exactly.

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119 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) August 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Well, I can’t say that I appreciated the way that you phrased your comment. However, I am sorry that the “meatballs” didn’t meet your expectations. As you can see from the comments section, several people actually did make these and were very pleased. One reader did make an astute comment, reminding everyone to take care not to overprocess the beans, which could cause them to fall apart (I retroactively included this in the post). You may also want to try adding additional breadcrumbs. I find that different climates (dry vs. humid) can effect how many breadcrumbs are needed. If you find that the “meatballs” are not holding together firmly as you shape them, add additional breadcrumbs.

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120 Molly September 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I am making meatball subs for my Bible study group tomorrow night, but we have a vegetarian friend in our group. I found this recipe and gave it a try. I won’t know how they work in the subs until tomorrow night, but I did give one a try out of the oven. Wow – what flavor! I did make a few modifications, primarily to reflect our tastes and what I had on hand. Instead of the onion, I used onion powder. I replaced the oregano and parsley with Italian seasoning (as I did not have the others), and I also used a small amount of dried basil. My meatballs seemed very moist, so I added more breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned breadcrumbs) – I would say that I used closer to 3/4 cups of bread crumbs than the 1/2 cup called for, but they are holding together wonderfully. I did chill the mixture for approximately 45 minutes before scooping and baking since I had to pick up my daughter from school. I used a cook scoop to avoid over-handling and scooped them directly onto the prepared pan. No, they do not have a beef or sausage meatball taste or texture BUT they taste delicious. I really hope my friend likes them. They were easy to make, cost effective, and tasty. AND they are 5 year old approved ;)

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121 Molly September 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Just wanted to say that mine held up great in the crockpot and sauce. I baked them yesterday and let them cool. The I refrigerated them until this afternoon. Placed them in the crockpot with my marinara sauce on low for about 2 hours before serving. Everyone asked for the recipe because the other “bean ball” recipes they have tried wouldn’t stay firm. Maybe it was the increased breadcrumbs that helped mine, who knows. But they were definitely well received by my vegetarian and health-conscious friends…as well as a few of the kiddos!

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122 Bree October 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I just made these! Not a huge fan of roasted peppers, so I left them out & instead used 1 can of cannelini beans and 1 can of red kidney beans. The rest of the recipe I did as your described– they came out SOO good! Thanks for this!

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123 Loralyn November 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

My dad is allergic to peppers so is I was wondering if this would work without them or is there and alternative to the red peppers that I could use?

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124 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

Hi Loralyn, you could either leave them out or substitute with some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I hope you enjoy them!

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125 Carol B January 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for the fabulous recipe! Quick, easy, and tasty. My picky husband loved it.

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126 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 3, 2013 at 6:30 am

I’m so glad to hear that, Carol!

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127 Sharon January 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I just made these for the first time, and they were great. My husband is from Italy and turned vegetarian several years ago. He loved these. I cooked them in a store bought sauce since I didn’t have time to make one from scratch, and they tasted delicious. I don’t think a meat eater could tell the difference. Maybe he/she would think they were chicken instead of meat, but I don’t think you’d ever know they were bean meatballs. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. It’s a low-calorie, healthy recipe that is also delicious.
Also, thanks for the tip about the breadcrumbs. I live in central Florida and had to use a bit more.

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128 Lindsay January 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Do you think these could be frozen? How would that be done?

Thanks. Looks amazing!

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129 Connie @ Path to Wellness January 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm

These are great! Making them tonight :) Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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130 Chanda January 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Really loved this idea! I tried this reciepe tonight while making regular meatballs for my meat-loving boyfriend. They were really delicious bt feel apart in the sauce : (. Any suggeations?!?!? Would love to try them again!

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131 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hi Chanda, I’m glad you enjoyed the flavors, but I’m sorry that they fell apart on you. I would suggest adding more breadcrumbs. Here is the note posted at the bottom of the recipe. I hope it’s helpful for you: “The amount of breadcrumbs required can change depending on the climate (dry vs. humid). If you find that the “meatballs” are not holding together firmly as you are shaping the first few, add more breadcrumbs, then reshape.”

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132 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

Chanda, one more note. Also take care not to overprocess the “meatballs” in the food processor. This could cause them to fall apart later.

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133 Maureen January 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Pinned this recipe some time ago and finally got around to making them tonight. I thought they were a little too moist when I formed them. I should have followed my gut and added some more breadcrumbs. Some of them fell apart in the sauce, but many did not. They taste very good. I will definitely make them again. I haven’t eaten beef in a year and so it is FUN to have spaghetti and meatballs again! Thanks for a keeper.

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134 Maria January 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm

These are in the oven right now! Smell wonderful….can’t wait for dinner!

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135 Janel January 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Just made these to have some meals for the week and taste tested one — amazing! SO flavorful (even without the fresh parsley) and can’t wait to pair it with pasta and sauce this week. Thanks!

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136 Veggie February 4, 2013 at 6:38 am

This looks absolutely beautiful. I love to make those “meatballs” from chickpeas but I defintely have to give your recipe a try!

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137 Adele February 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi hun. Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog today. I would love it if you could check it out :)

http://mammymade.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/mint-stuff-ive-seen-31.html

- Adele @ Mammy Made

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138 Emily February 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thanks for such a great recipe! I made it tonight and it was a big hit. We’ve been vegetarians for a year and I wasn’t able to find a good meatball recipe. Being Italian this was hard, but your recipe is perfect! Thanks!

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139 Rachelle February 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I wanted to come back and post to tell you how much I enjoyed this recipe. Unmade it vegan and did not include the egg. As a result, my meatballs fell apart when I stirred them into the sauce. But it created this sort of ground meat texture which was good, too. The seasoning was very good. Thanks for posting!

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140 merrittj1 April 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm

This was a great recipe! The Bean Balls were a little soft, but if they are browned in a little oil and then baked for about 30 minutes at 35o degrees. Added pasta sauce at the end. Very flavorful and fun.

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141 Anon August 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I just had these bean-balls for dinner and they were absolutely delicious. I haven’t been tolerating meat very well lately so we have consciously been eating mostly vegetarian dishes. My meat loving husband said he liked them a lot too but would appreciate them even better if they were slightly chewier (to give them more of a real meatball texture). Do you think this can be accomplished using old fashion oatmeal instead of bread crumbs? Or do you think they would fall apart once in the sauce?

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142 Anon August 31, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I answered my own question I guess. I added 1/2 cup quick oats in addition to the bread crumbs and they were marvelous!!! They were definitely chewier and my hubby even called them ‘PERFECT’!!!

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143 Sarah August 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

I would live to try these? What kind of breadcrumbs are used?

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144 Catherine September 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them.

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145 Michelle October 14, 2013 at 7:42 am

These look delish!
Have anyone tried freezing the leftovers?

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146 Sandy November 25, 2013 at 6:27 am

Does anyone know of a good substitute for bread crumbs? Am gluten intolerant, but really want to make these! Thanks. :-)

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147 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Sandy, you could try crushed gluten-free crackers. That should do the trick!

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148 Heather K December 22, 2013 at 3:18 am

These are delicious! I make them all the time! My 3 year old always thinks they are cookies when they come out of the oven though, lol. He is not turned off by the savory cookies though – he loves his bean cookies. I even brought these to my husband’s family’s party, where they eat meat at every meal, and they all loved them too!

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149 Beth January 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm

So I went to make this recipe last night when I realized what I thought was a can of white beans was actually a can of chick peas. Since I was really gung ho on this recipe and had nothing else in the house for dinner I went ahead and made them with the chick peas anyway. They were excellent! I’ll try them with the white beans next time but thought I’d post this to let people know that chick peas work just as well. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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150 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm

That’s great to hear, Beth! Thanks so much for leaving your comment. It’s always great to know when variations work out so well.

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151 Ros January 15, 2014 at 1:35 am

Hi Dara, I am always grabbing recipes off your site from here in Suffolk, UK. Tell me, how do you think this would come out with borlotti beans? I have a surplus… Thanks!

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152 edel March 7, 2014 at 4:25 am

just want to point out this is not a vegaterian receipt as parmasen cheese is never vegaterian, other than changing that the rest looks fine

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153 J. Rogers March 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Vegetarian means you don’t eat meat or any kind of animal.

VEGAN means you don’t eat Dairy, eggs, or ANY animal/byproduct.

This dish IS vegetarian.

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154 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 7, 2014 at 4:42 pm

You are absolutely correct about the definitions of vegetarian and vegan! However, I had forgotten that most Parmesan cheese contain rennet, which is an animal product. There are substitutes that can be available. For anyone that’s interested, here is a great list of rennet-free cheeses: http://www.food.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?p=5953847&sid=541fa654c04aebe704ec825f43f87af7

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155 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 7, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Yes, you’re absolutely right! I had forgotten that Parmesan cheeses typically contain rennet, which is an animal product. Please see my response to the next comment.

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156 Nancy April 6, 2014 at 11:35 pm

These look easy and delicious, my son & daughter in-law are vegetarians, so I am going to try these out on them and hey, they won’t hurt me or his dad to eat them too, we are meat eaters, but I bet they are that good that we won’t know the difference. How many meatballs does this recipe make ? Thanks for sharing.

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157 Jeffrey April 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm

What do you think I can use instead of breadcrumbs? Do you think I could use quinoa or a nut/seed flour?

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158 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Hi Jeffrey, are you looking for a gluten-free option? If so, I recommend using crushed gluten-free crackers. I hope that helps!

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159 Anna April 26, 2014 at 7:04 am

Have you tried with other types of beans?

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160 Nina May 2, 2014 at 11:52 am

This dish looks amazing! Could you please post a recipe of the marina sauce that you made?

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161 Maggie June 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

So delicious, but the not-meat-balls fell apart a little bit on us and sort of disintegrated into the sauce. I’m not sure exactly what we did (perhaps we should’ve let them cool a little bit more before we added to marinara sauce?), but will continue to make and experiment with these.

Great meatless alternative! Yummy flavor, and easy to make.

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162 Marina August 7, 2014 at 9:15 am

The red peppers that you call for, are these the kind like in a jar or do you just roast some red peppers? I have a red bell pepper on hand, would that work? Thank you!

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163 Dara August 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

Hi Marina, I apologize for taking so long to respond. I typically roast my own red peppers because it’s pretty easy to do and I prefer the flavor. That being said, you can certainly use the jarred ones found in most supermarkets.

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164 carra d August 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for the recipe, these were delicious. I put them over zucchini ‘pasta’

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165 Dara August 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Carra! What a great idea to put them over zucchini pasta.

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166 Jenna August 27, 2014 at 1:56 am

Is there a good way to make these without egg if vegan?

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167 Dara August 27, 2014 at 9:15 am

Hi Jenna, I haven’t tried this myself, but have read many times and heard from several vegan friends that “flax eggs” are a great substitute. Mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water to equal 1 egg. I hope that works out for you!

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