If you haven’t actually made any of the recipes from my blog yet, now is the time to start! You know you’ve done it right when your husband giggles like a schoolgirl after his first bite and requests this as a weekly meal! I found this recipe on Pinterest and then adjusted it for what I wanted. You can make it as is with the link below, or follow my recipe, but this was by far the best recipe I’ve made for plant-based “meat”balls. When I tried to make them out of lentils they were mushy and fell apart, but these held together beautifully and had a great texture. They were crispy on the outside, and soft in the inside and the flavor was spot on. When rolling them, it reminded me of the chicken meatballs I used to make all of the time because the texture is similar when raw but you don’t have the nasty raw meat hands. Also, why make chicken or turkey meatballs when you can have a healthy plant based version that you know is good for you? People usually consider spaghetti and meatballs a guilty pleasure food, but with this recipe it can be as often as you want. It’s the seasonings that actually make meatballs flavorful, not the meat. No one wants to eat plain turkey balls because they’d be so bland, but chickpeas have a neutral flavor that you can add all of the same seasonings too and they taste amazing. This probably ranks in the top 5 plant based recipes I’ve tried, plus they were really easy to make and didn’t have oil or salt!
Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup rolled oats
2.5 tbsp ground flax seed + 5 tbsp water
1 tsp onion powder, garlic powder, basil, and 21 Seasoning Salute
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp vegetarian better than boullion roasted vegetable flavor
1-2 jars of Rao’s Marinara Sauce (or your favorite sauce)
1 lb Brown Rice Penne Pasta (TJ’s)
nutritional yeast for topping
I know I’ve talked about Rao’s a lot on here, but honestly it’s the BEST marinara sauce I’ve ever had, including restaurant sauces. It’s on the pricier side, so when it goes on sale I buy several jars. It can be found at any big name brand grocery store. Here’s what it looks like! It does have oil in it, so I use it only sometimes.
- Preheat oven to 450* and combine the flax seed and water and set aside to create a flax “egg”.
- Add chickpeas, oats, spices, shallot, and Worcestershire in your food processor and pulse until flaky.
- Once flax egg is gelled, add it in with the chickpea mixture and then put processor on high until combined. It will be thick and smooth. If too sticky to roll, add more oat flour.
- I used a small ice cream scooper to make all the same size, and then rolled them to make them round. It made 24 chickpea balls and then add them to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 min and flip them halfway through, until crispy on the outside.
- While cooling, boil pasta, and warm marinara in a large saucepan.
- Add chickpea balls to warm marinara and gently stir to combine.
- Top pasta with mixture and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
The finished product! The serving size is 4 chickballs for about 130 calories. Hooray!
Original Recipe- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/146718900345101537/
To increase my iron levels, I’m going to try and incorporate more dark leafy greens, beans, tofu, and Vitamin C into my diet so my after school snack today was baked kale topped with garlic powder and nutritional yeast.