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September 5, 2018

by Alyssa

Perfect Vegan Meatballs

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This is the ultimate recipe for vegan meatballs! Made with white beans and sun-dried tomatoes, these meatballs are flavorful, easy to make and also healthy!

Vegan Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Growing up in an Italian-American family, many of our holiday meals featured my grandmother's famous meatballs and gravy. It's a “recipe” that has been passed down through the generations and one that my mom taught me while I was in college. I used to make it for Matt and I on Sundays sometimes in that first year we were living together after college.

It's still a constant in our holidays, and probably the most requested meal from my brother when we're visiting my parents, but now that I'm plant-based, it's no longer a meal that I eat. That doesn't mean my holidays are ruined! By all accounts they're still amazing and my family is super accommodating, but I do still miss those meatballs!

So I finally came up with a recipe that I feel like I can use to replace that beloved meal: these perfect vegan meatballs!

How to make Vegan Meatballs

Traditional Meatballs vs. Vegan Meatballs

One thing to remember is that these are vegan. And with any vegan product, you're not going to get the exact same texture or feel that you would with a traditional meat product. These are plant-based “meatballs” – i.e. no meat and no standard meaty texture – so if you're looking for a 1:1 replacement for traditional meatballs, these aren't going to be that.

BUT they're still delicious! We're combining a ton of different ingredients to give them a deep flavor and by baking them, we're actually able to create that crispy outside and soft inside that traditional meatball have.

My mom browns her meatballs before putting them in her sauce and you still get that same browned feel with these vegan meatballs.

How to make healthy meatballs

How to make white bean meatballs

How to make Vegan Meatballs

We're going to make these meatballs in our food process which cuts down on prep time and saves you some dishes!

The base of our vegan meatballs are white beans which have a lovely texture and a somewhat bland flavor. Since they don't have a distinct flavor, we can really jazz them up, which is where some of our other ingredients come in.

We're adding…

  • Sun Dried Tomato: for some sweetness, but some tartness and a much more pronounced tomato flavor
  • Nutritional Yeast: for cheesiness
  • Tomato Paste: for more tomato flavor, a little sweetness and also moisture
  • Italian Herbs: for that classic blend of flavors
  • Garlic & Onion Powders: which just finish round it all out!

Once you have your meatball dough blended up, you just roll them into balls and bake them until crispy!

Vegan Meatballs Made from White Beans

Healthy Meatballs with White Beans

The Ultimate Plant-Based Dinner

I personally love serving these meatballs with noodles that have been tossed in a tomato sauce, but you really could go any direction here. They'd be delicious with pesto, vegan alfredo sauce or even a spicy arrabbiata sauce.

And have fun with your noodles too! I have these served with zucchini noodles because when I made the recipe and photographed it, it was 100ºF outside, but I've since enjoyed them with penne, gluten-free spaghetti and even on a sandwich.

Any which way you would enjoy classic meatballs, you can use these vegan meatballs in its place!

White Bean Meatballs with Quinoa

Easy Vegan Meal Prep Ideas

One of the final things I want to mention about these vegan meatballs before I let you dive into the recipe is that they are fabulous for meal prep!

Since this recipe makes about 20 meatballs, you can store them in the fridge or freezer and reheat them for meals all week long. I've tried both refrigerating and freezing and it works great either way!

So now you can not only enjoy a classic, vegan-style Italian Sunday feast, but you can also have those leftovers for lunches or dinners next time you don't feel like cooking!

Quinoa Meatballs with White Beans

Other Vegan Italian Recipes to try:

Perfect Vegan Meatballs

The ultimate recipe for vegan meatballs is here! Made with a base of white beans and sun-dried tomatoes, these meatballs are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside just like the classic recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 meatballs
Calories 39kcal
Print Pin
Quinoa Meatballs with White Beans
4.60 from 5 votes



  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  • Add all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until a dough comes together.
  • Using your hands, shape the dough into golf ball-sized "meatballs" and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used.
  • Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Once cooked, serve immediately with your choice of pasta and sauce!



Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Easy Vegan Meatballs

Meal Prep Vegan Meatballs

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Hi! I really want to try this recipe, looks delish! But is there a substitute for nutritional yeast? xx

  2. Hi! I am a rule follower and don’t like to veer from what a recipe calls for so, I want to ask first. Lol! I just bought a bag of Trader Joe’s Rice Crumbs could I use these in place of the quinoa flakes. Thank your for your time. Your site is lovely btw.

  3. These were great!!! I accidentally purchased a smoked sun dried tomato and it actually turned out pretty well! Oh, and I will need to also buy a food processor, as a blender does not work 🙂


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