Made with black beans and walnuts, these (no)meat-balls are a great plant based substitute for the real deal – a plant based source of protein and omega 3, plus packed full of fibre!
You can serve them immediately for dinner or pack up in a lunchbox for work (or working from home al-desko lunches). We’ve served them up here with pasta but reckon they’d also be great sandwiched into a meatball sub!
- FOR THE "MEATBALLS"
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- 85g walnuts
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
- 85g mushrooms
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseeds + 4 tbsp water left to sit for 5 minutes)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 20g oats
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- TO SERVE
- 360g whole wheat pasta
- 250g tenderstem broccoli
- fresh basil leaves
- handful grated parmesan (or dairy-free alternative)
- chilli flakes, to serve (optional)
1) Begin by heating a saucepan on a medium heat and adding 1 tbsp of olive oil along with the crushed garlic and diced onion. Cook for a few minutes stirring frequently to ensure the onion doesn’t burn.
2) Meanwhile add the walnuts and mushrooms to a blender and blitz until crumbs form.
3) Add the black beans, tomato puree, soy sauce, flax eggs, paprika, italian seasoning and salt to the blender along with the garlic and onion from the pan.
4) Blend for a few seconds until combined. Try not to over blend, you want some black bean chunks remaining.
5) Next, empty the mixture into a bowl and combine with the flour and oats. This will make the mixture less sticky.
6) Line a baking tray with parchment paper and then roll the mixture into 12 balls. If the mixture seems too sticky coat your hands in flour and then roll. Place the tray in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. (You can prepare them the night before and leave the in the fridge overnight too!)
7) Preheat the oven to 180c and whilst it’s warming up prepare the sauce by simply adding all of the ingredients to a saucepan on a medium heat and heating through.
8) In another large saucepan on a medium heat add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and add the “meatballs. Cook them for around 6-8 minutes turning them frequently so they brown on all sides. Then place them in the oven for 10 minutes.
9) Cook the pasta and tenderstem broccoli as per packet instructions. Drain the pasta and stir through a couple of tbsp of the sauce.
10) Plate the pasta and broccoli and add more sauce on top of the pasta. Coat the meatballs in the remaining sauce and serve on top.
11) Add grated parmesan and some fresh basil, sprinkling chilli flakes on the broccoli to finish, if you like.