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Hearty Meatless Meatballs

Hearty Meatless Meatballs

Hearty Meatless Meatballs

Makes about 12 (1 ½-inch) meatballs

Gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free

35 minutes

This recipe demonstrates just how simple and delicious plant-based eating can be. These hearty meatless meatballs are made with foods that nourish your body, they stand up to your favorite marinara without falling apart, and most importantly, taste great!

Oats, act as a binder and provide texture. Canned beans provide density, flavor, fiber, and lots of protein. Animal protein has no fiber so it’s just another great reason to turn to plants for your protein needs. Serve them over pasta, polenta, or on a hoagie roll. Extras freeze beautifully so you might want to make a double batch!


3/4 cup old-fashioned oats, divided

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

4 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 (15.5-ounce) can of beans (black, pinto, kidney work well), drained

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons GF tamari or soy sauce

2 teaspoons dried oregano, basil, or Italian seasoning

Oil for brushing parchment, optional


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spray or brush oil, if desired, on the parchment and set aside.

Put the ½ cup of the oats into the food processor and pulse until finely ground.

Add the onion and garlic and pulse until everything is finely chopped.

Add the beans, tomato paste, soy sauce, dried herbs, and remaining ¼ cup of oats. Pulse only 2 or 3 times until the ingredients are blended but not puréed together. Be careful not to purée the mixture–it should be thick and have some chunky texture.

Shape mixture into 1½-inch balls using a portion scoop or tablespoon–use about 2 tablespoons per ball. Arrange on the baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes, turning once or twice during baking to brown evenly.

Meatballs can be served immediately with sauce on top or better yet, add them to a pot with marinara sauce and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.


  • Food processor

  • Cutting board

  • Chef's knife

  • Can opener

  • Baking tray

  • Parchment paper

  • Measuring cups & spoons

  • 1 ½-inch portion scoop or tablespoon

Nutrition Notes

Oats are one of the healthiest, gluten-free, whole grains on earth. They contain a type of soluble fiber, called beta-glucan, which lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Beta-glucan also promotes healthy gut bacteria and intestinal health. They're also a source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. (Mayo Clinic, Healthline)

Beans are a strong, plant-based source of protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins that offer many health benefits. Unfortunately, most Americans don't get the recommended 25 to 38 grams each day. Fiber helps keep you regular and protects against heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and digestive illnesses. (Medical News Today)

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