Vegetarian Italian “Meatballs”

Healthy eating during the Holiday Season is not an easy task, beginning with Thanksgiving and continuous munching to the New Year. Celebrating, enjoying food with family and friends is an essential facet of the season for me. To not become unhealthy and pack on the weight, I’ve created vegetarian options for our everyday meals that are flavorful and healthy. I make my vegetarian meatball Italian style to add to homemade tomato sauce. I make a large batch of marinara and freeze to have available for a quick meal. You can purchase a good quality sauce if you prefer. The link to my sauce is below.

Vegetarian Meatballs

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 ounces) package mushrooms, I used portabella.
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
4 teaspoons Italian Herbs
1/4 teaspoons crushed red
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 cup plain bread crumbs or cooked Arborio rice
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450F.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions, mushroom, Italian herbs, and red pepper. Saute until onions are soft. Add minced garlic a saute a few minutes longer. Do not let garlic brown.

Transfer to a food processer. Add beans and tomato paste. Pulse until combined, not pureed.

Add parmesan cheese, pulse to combine. Next, add bread crumbs and pulse.

Transfer to a bowl and add beaten egg. The egg binds the mixture together. Once the mixture binds together, make the meatballs. I like my balls’ smalls. They can easily be made large, like big meatballs.

Place meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake for 12-14 minutes until browned.

Add to tomato sauce for meatless spaghetti and meatballs.

Marinara Sauce



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