Made of beans, oatmeal (or quinoa flakes) and walnuts, there’s nothing “fake meat” about these beanballs. They’re super easy to make, too — basically you just throw everything into the food processor. While they’re baking, cook up your favorite kind of pasta. Once it’s done, add the kind of marinara sauce you like best — homemade Classic Marinara Sauce, or or your favorite natural purchased brand. Serve with a colorful salad, and, if you’d like, roast some broccoli and/or cauliflower in the oven at the same time that the beanballs are baking. Tip: set aside some of the marinara to spoon over the beanballs, once you arrange them atop the pasta.
Makes about 20
- 1 ½ cups cooked or one 15-to 16-ounce can
(drained and rinsed) pink or small red beans
- ½ cup quick-cooking oats or quinoa flakes
- ½ cup walnuts
- Parsley leaves from a couple of sprigs
- ¼ cup tomato sauce or organic ketchup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or water
- 2 scallions, green parts only, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, mesquite, or other smoky seasoning like mesquite
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Salt (taste first, you may not need any if using canned beans) to taste
Preheat the oven to 375º F.
Combine all the ingredients except the salt in a food processor and pulse on and off until the mixture starts holding together. Stop the machine from time to time to stir the mixture around so that it gets chopped up evenly. Or, if you don't have a food processor, no worries! Mash the beans well with a fork, and find a way to grind the walnuts into a coarse powder; chop the scallions and parsley finely by hand; then mix in the rest.
Either way, you want it to get fairly smooth, but with some texture — not totally pureed. Taste first to see if you’d like more salt. Err on the side of caution, as your marinara sauce will add salt to the dish as well.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Form the bean mixture into 1-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom, then carefully turn over (using a tablespoon works) and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the underside is lightly browned as well.
Serve at once over the pasta with marinara sauce that you’ve presumably prepared while these were baking.
- Here are more hearty vegan pasta recipes and more easy bean main dishes.
This sounds good! Might this work as veggie burger patties as well?
Oh yes, good idea — I haven't tried pan-frying, but baking almost exactly as directed would work. Check the bottom after 10 minutes to make sure it doesn't get overly browned; if it's good to go, flip it carefully. If not, give it another 4-5 minutes and then flip.
Can another nut be used as a sub for walnuts, b/c I cannot eat them or pinenuts. Thanks.
Sure, use whatever kind of nut suits you, Di.
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Made these last night - delicious and hearty! Love the texture and bumbed up spices. Def. a keeper recipe
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laura mccolgan says
I love these reciped..but I wish the nutritional value was included
I agree with one of the other posters, check these after 10 minutes in the oven. For my first batch the bottoms burned. I also needed to up the spices a bit for my taste, but they were delicious.
Nava, could you use this as a crumbles recipe?
Kathy, this would probably work. I would say that when you process, leave a bit more texture. Then cook at medium-high heat in a non-stick (but non-toxic!) pan lined with just a touch of oil. Stir often so that the mixture browns here and there. If you do this, please let me know how it works!
Would white beans work? I have lots of white beans in the freezer.....
Allison, the white beans would work, though they may come out more of a pinkish color. No matter, just douse them with more tomato sauce and they'll look and taste good!
Are nuts necessary for this? Could I just exclude them?
Also, for people who wanted nutritional info, I quickly calculated the calories to be about 50 (for a 20 bean ball recipe) per ball with walnuts and using water not oil, and tomato sauce not ketchup.
Without nuts, it's 30 per ball.
Felicia, you can omit the walnuts, but you need to replace them with something. So you can use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra oats, or some hempseeds or wheat germ. And thanks for the calorie analysis! We're working on getting all the recipe analyzed.
Walter McGerry says
Could these be simmered in the marinara sauce?