These veggie meatballs are a great way to get more veggies into your family and serve up a vegetarian meal. Gluten-free and dairy-free. Halsanutrition.comPin

Cannellini Bean Veggie Meatballs

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These cannellini bean veggie meatballs are a fun way to get some more veggies into your family. Serve them with some pesto and a salad, the classic way with spaghetti and sauce, or any other way you like!

These veggie meatballs are a great way to get more veggies into your family and serve up a vegetarian meal. Gluten-free and dairy-free. Halsanutrition.comPin

Kitchen Clean Out

This month’s Recipe Redux theme was to spring clean our kitchens by using at least 3 ingredients that we already had on hand to create our recipes. It was a chance to search the back of our cupboards and refrigerators for ingredients long forgotten or perhaps stocked in surplus.

Stocked up on Beans!

Well, in my pantry I have a lot of beans. Dried beans (both bought at the grocery store and through my farm share) plus canned beans of all sorts. Now, it isn’t that I don’t eat beans, but aside from a few go-to recipes such as my veggie chili, slow cooker veggie chili, and homemade hummus, I admit to not using them as often I should.

These veggie meatballs are a great way to get more veggies into your family and serve up a vegetarian meal. Gluten-free and dairy-free. Halsanutrition.comPin

Fortunately, I’m currently (as of last week!) on a serious bean kick, adding them to everything from salads, to burritos, to these veggie meatballs! I think part of the reason I haven’t cooked bean dishes more often is because my kids don’t like them. But obviously, I know this is the opposite of what you are supposed to do! How are they ever going to learn to like them if they don’t have a chance to see them and taste them in different ways?

Sundried Tomatoes

Another pantry ingredient that needed some love was sundried tomatoes–I somehow had 2 unopened jars. I love them but my husband is not a fan so I rarely use them. (Of course, I didn’t tell him they were in these meatballs!) Another one of my favorite ways to use them is tossed with pasta.

Farm Share Staples

And in my refrigerator, I had parsley, basil, and extra carrots because I recently got some through my farm share. In my original version of this recipe, I used all of these ingredients, but for simplicity’s sake, I have updated it to include just the basil.

These veggie meatballs are a great way to get more veggies into your family and serve up a vegetarian meal. Gluten-free and dairy-free. Halsanutrition.comPin

Cannellini Bean Veggie Meatballs

I had been wanting to make veggie meatballs for a while. I finally tried a few weeks ago and it was a major flop. I added a zucchini and they were too watery. Then I added more oats and they were too oaty.

So after some more research and trial and error, I arrived at this recipe. I used this handy Food and Wine article and these recipes to guide and inspire me: Italian Bean Balls and Spaghetti Squash Noodles (Oh She Glows), Spaghetti Squash and Chickpea Meatballs (Nutrition Stripped), and Veggie Meatballs (from the Weelicious cookbook).

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Hälsa Kids

I first served these veggie meatballs with classic spaghetti and marinara sauce for dinner. My 10-year old gobbled them down happily. My less adventurous 8-year old wasn’t ready to try them, but maybe next time…or the time after that…he will be ready to taste them. I have definitely noticed a growth in his willingness to try new foods since I cut the nagging and even the “you have to try it” rule and instead just focused on making mealtimes joyful.

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Hälsa Mom

These meatballs also make for a great lunch. I enjoyed leftover veggie meatballs as part of my lunch today with cooked sorghum, greens, cherry tomatoes, and homemade parsley pesto. Yum!

So give these meatballs a go and let me know what you think. As for me, I’m off to try and start making use of all those dried beans I still have on hand!

These cannellini bean meatballs are a great way to get more veggies into your family! Click To Tweet

Recipe updated January 2021.

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Cannellini Bean Veggie Meatballs

These cannellini bean veggie meatballs are a great way to expose your family to more plant-based foods. Serve them up for meatless Monday or pasta night. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine Nut-free, Plant-Based
Servings 25 meatballs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion or shallots
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • cup old-fashioned oats certified gluten-free if needed
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sundried tomatoes
  • ½ cup shredded carrot optional; this was included in the original recipe but can be skipped to save time
  • ½ cup fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (use ½ t if you have salted sunflower seeds)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg, whisked

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick mat or parchment paper.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned. Remove from heat.
  • To a food processor, add the sauteed onion through beans. Pulse to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then mix in the whisked egg either with a wooden spoon or by pulsing a few times.
  • Transfer into a large bowl or a cutting board lined with parchment for easier clean-up. Use spoons or a mini scooper to form about 25 small veggie balls. (They can be a bit free-form and rustic or you can use wet hands to form them into more perfectly round balls).
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze.

Notes

Serve with marinara or pesto sauce and classic spaghetti, zoodles, or spaghetti squash.
Keyword vegetarian, veggie meatballs

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