Meatless Meatballs – Vegan & Grain-Free


I really could have called these meatless meatballs three ingredient meatless meatballs  because that’s all they really need in their most basic form, aside from spices of course but who counts the spices?

meatless meatballs

So what’s the three ingredients you wonder? Cannellini beans (also known as white beans), nutritional yeast and some tomato paste.

Yup, that’s it.

It’s a new recipe I conjured up too. When I planned our dinners for the week and my son selected meatballs for Sunday night, I figured I would take some time in the kitchen to not only make his meatballs, but remake my old meatless meatball recipe since it had been forever since I had them.

Of course once I got into the kitchen, I had zero interest in looking up what my old recipe was mostly because I hate following recipes, even when the recipes are my own.

Instead, I made up a new meatless meatball recipe and I am really excited about it because it’s so easy and really good!

Grain-free and dairy-free, there’s also no processed soy which is often seen in the meatless (and chickenless) products you get at the grocery store.

meatless meatballs

I used to love those meatless meatballs from Trader Joe’s. They were a great meatless option for the freezer, easy to heat up for dinner when I felt like a real meatball.

But see, then I started to learn more about processed faux-meat products and the questionable health issues that may or may not surround soy (especially processed soy), so I slowly started to phase them out of my diet.

Would anything happen if I ate them on occasion? Highly doubtful.

However, if I can easily make my own meatless meatballs and freeze a batch for quick weeknight dinners, I solve the whole issue in question.

If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you can sub with parmesan cheese but you will be missing out on the health benefits.

Quick stats on nutritional yeast:

  • Often considered the non-dairy alternative for parmesan cheese (has a cheesy/nutty flavor)
  • Gluten-Free
  • Good source of protein (3 grams per 1 tablespoon)
  • High in B Vitamins <- big deal for vegetarians/vegans who sometimes struggle to meet the B vitamin requirements, especially vitamin B12

meatless meatballs

I like to bake my meatless meatballs in a mini muffin pan. You certainly don’t have to do so, but I find it helps them to bake into the right little shape and then when you remove them from the mini muffin pan, you can further roll them into perfect meatball.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Meatless Meatballs - Vegan & Grain-Free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These meatless meatballs are easy to make, vegan and grain-free! With just a few ingredients, they come together easily and pair well with pasta or spaghetti squash, giving you the comforting feeling of spaghetti and meatballs, without the meat.
Recipe type: vegan
Serves: 20 meatballs
  • 1 can organic cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • oregano
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • optional - chopped spinach leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mash beans in a bowl.
  3. Add nutritional yeast, tomato paste and spices, mixing well until combined.
  4. If mixture seems too wet, add another tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
  5. Fill lightly greased mini muffin pan with mixture or roll into small balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  7. If using mini muffin pan, remove meatballs from pan and roll into balls to set the shape.
  8. Serve with pasta or spaghetti squash and smother in your favorite sauce.
  9. Store left over meatballs in airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.

Meatless Meatballs with only three ingredients! #meatless #vegan #vegetarian #dinner #recipes #fitfluential #meatlessmeatballs Click To Tweet


Favorite type of pasta (spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni….)?

Do you make your own tomato sauce?

What was for dinner last night?


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  • Michele @ paleorunningmomma October 27, 2015, 8:18 am

    Love how easy these look – amazing!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Butternut Apple Salad with Maple Vinaigrette & Hemp HeartsMy Profile

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes October 27, 2015, 8:58 am

    Yum, these look so delicious, especially with the addition of nutritional yeast. I agree so much about making meatless alternatives at home – all that soy in store-bought ones is not good!

  • Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl October 27, 2015, 9:10 am

    Oh my, these look delicious and they’ll be perfect for my search for grain free, dairy free make ahead meal options. Spaghetti squash and vegan/grain free meatballs? Sounds like a plan for this weekend to me.
    Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Veggie Feta FrittataMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles October 27, 2015, 7:05 pm

      Definitely perfect for the make ahead dinner options and I stuck a bunch in the freezer too.

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 27, 2015, 9:17 am

    I would have never guessed that theses were made with beans! And love the idea of adding nutritional yeast. I think it’s a good idea to make meat alternatives at home, because that store-bought stuff can be a little shady.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. baked egg stuffed sweet potatoes .My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles October 27, 2015, 7:04 pm

      They don’t look like beans are involved, right? I impressed myself appearance-wise too.

  • Sheena @ Paws and Pavement October 27, 2015, 10:55 am

    Wow, what an easy recipe for meatballs. I had salad for dinner last night but made ground turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash last week. Love it!
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  • Molly @ Motherhood and Marathons October 27, 2015, 11:59 am

    This sounds delicious! I was worried when I read the ingredients that I would need a food process (don’t have one and need one desperately!), but I’m happy to see that one isn’t needed.
    Molly @ Motherhood and Marathons recently posted…To Run the Half or The Full – A Monumental DecisionMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles October 27, 2015, 7:03 pm

      I am happy I didn’t need one either – I like things easy, with as few ingredients and kitchen gadgets as possible!

  • Shannon October 27, 2015, 1:06 pm

    I love that you didnt use any type of grain or oat in these! They look awesome.
    Shannon recently posted…Vegan Three MusketeersMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles October 27, 2015, 7:02 pm

      I didn’t think they would need the oats, and I was right! I really liked them.

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine October 27, 2015, 8:06 pm

    These look really easy! I would have thought it would be much more complicated to make meatless meatballs. Usually penne is my favorite kind of pasta. Ive made my own tomato sauce once but I though it was too much work so now I buy store bought:)
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  • Marina @ Snackie Bird October 28, 2015, 10:25 am

    I made that meatless meatballs on lunch today! Sooo good. I use chickpeas and cheese instead, but all turned out well. Thanks for such easy and delicious recipe 😉 I freeze some leftovers too 🙂
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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles October 28, 2015, 4:52 pm

      OHHHH I am so glad you liked them! I love them and they are TERRIFIC as leftovers, great for freezing and reheating really quickly.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets October 29, 2015, 6:02 am

    Hey there are nutritional benefits to parmesan too! 😉 You know I love my cheese.

    These sound so super easy and I love that they’re made with a few simple ingredients. Great recipe.
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  • lindsay October 31, 2015, 7:58 am

    totally tryiing this! nutritional yeast makes everything better. SO GOOD