These vegan meatballs are easy to make, delicious, and kid friendly! Simple ingredients like chickpeas, potato, and quinoa combine to make light and tasty meatballs that are great on their own or with pasta.
Sometimes in the cold winter months, I just get a bit tired of everything. By the time late winter rolls around, I’ve used the slow cooker a lot, we’ve made lots of soups and stews, but I’m getting a little tired of our usual rotation.
If you have food allergies, you know that it can be easy to get stuck making the same foods again and again.
These meatballs are super simple, family friendly, and they don’t contain any of the top 8 allergens.
Vegan meatballs often contain allergens like soy, wheat, or nuts. Even regular meatballs often contain egg or wheat in the form of breadcrumbs, but those ingredients aren’t really necessary to make a tasty meatball that holds together well.
I feel a little weird calling these meatballs – they aren’t really the same texture or flavor as meat. But they do have a nice flavor, a golden brown, crispy outside, and are a good source of protein. Plus, these go well with pasta, and they’re made with ingredients you probably have on hand.
These really don’t taste like meat, I will be honest. These are very delicious, though!
They are reminiscent of falafel, actually! I love the flavor of these vegan meatballs, and they go very well with marinara sauce. They would also be tasty with a lighter pasta sauce, like a lemon garlic sauce.
If you want a non-meat ball that really tastes and feels like meat, you may be better off using a meat alternative, like Impossible Burger.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are the main source of protein in this dish. They have a mild flavor and a good texture when they are processed with the other ingredients.
- Potato – Cooked potato helps bind these meatballs together.
- Shallots – I like the flavor of shallots in this recipe, but you could use some yellow onion or red onion if you prefer.
- I think you could make these with lentils, white beans, or even black beans. The chickpeas do have a firmer texture, and I think that’s a nice addition to this recipe, but you could use a different bean if that’s what you have on hand.
- If you can’t have garlic or onions, you could add some fresh herbs to the recipe so that the mixture has more flavor.
Step by Step Instructions
- Pulse the chickpeas, garlic, and shallots in the food processor.
- Add the quinoa, spices, and potato, and pulse for a few seconds until the mixture comes together. Don’t over process! This mixture should not be perfectly smooth.
- Roll the mixture into balls.
- Fry the meatballs in olive oil until they have a golden brown, crispy crust.
A food processor is a useful tool when making these. But you could make them without one if necessary.
Just finely chop the shallots, and place everything in a bowl. Use a potato masher to mash everything up. It will take a little more time and a little more elbow grease, but this method should work.
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Easy Vegan Meatballs (Gluten Free, Nut Free).
- Place the shallot, garlic, and garbanzo beans in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to coarsely chop.
- Add the olive oil, quinoa, potato, and spices, and pulse a few times until the ingredients come together. You don't want to over process this mixture – it should have texture.
- Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Set on a plate, and continue to roll the rest of the mixture into balls.
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Place some meatballs in the pan, leaving some space between them. Fry them until they are golden brown on the bottom, then flip them over. You will probably fry them for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Once the meatballs are golden brown and crispy on all sides, gently remove them from the pan. These are a little delicate, so a thin spatula is a good tool to use.
- Repeat steps 4-6 with the rest of the meatballs.