Easy Wholesome Vegan Meatballs


Don’t meatballs and spaghetti bring wonderful childhood memories? This version that I bring you is vegan, wholesome and delicious. They are refined flour free and packed with protein, fiber and micronutrients. For this recipe I chose two legumes full of protein – chickpeas and lentils, but I’m sure black beans, quinoa or butter beans would also work pretty well. As soon I try to make them with other grains or legumes, I will update you on how well it went!

YIELDS: 6 servings (you can freeze the meatballs before adding the sauce)
CHARACTERISTICS: Vegan, possibly Gluten Free, Sugar Free


200g dry chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 400g of canned chickpeas)
200g dry lentils
1/2 cup oat flour
2 small onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups (400g) of tomato paste
1/2 tsp oreganos
4 fresh basil leaves + more to garnish
1/4 tsp pepper + 1/4 for the tomato sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 for the tomato sauce
Chia Egg: 2 tbsp chia seeds + 4 tbsp water


  1. Start by preparing two chia “eggs” – mix the chia seeds and water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic and sauté them in a hot olive oil. Cook until golden.
  3. Cook the lentils and dry chickpeas (or wash the canned chickpeas under running water).
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC or 360F.
  5. Add half of the onion and garlic to a shredder. Add chickpeas, cooked lentils, spices, oat flour and chia egg to the shredder and grind to form a thick dough, but still leaving a few chunks.
  6. Roll the dough into balls. Distribute them on a tray and place it in the oven. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and slightly dry to the touch.
  7. Add the tomato pulp to the pan with the onion and garlic. Season to taste with pepper, basil, oregano and salt to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. When ready, add the meatballs to the pan with the tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with spaghetti (give preference to wholegrain spaghetti) or cauliflower mashed potatoes.
  10. Decorate with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!

If you try this recipe, leave a comment, take a picture and tag @zest.andthecity on Instagram or use the hashtag #zestandthecity. I will love to see your cookings.

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