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?
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.
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)
- 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
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.
- 1 can organic cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- optional – chopped spinach leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mash beans in a bowl.
- Add nutritional yeast, tomato paste and spices, mixing well until combined.
- If mixture seems too wet, add another tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
- Fill lightly greased mini muffin pan with mixture or roll into small balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool completely.
- If using mini muffin pan, remove meatballs from pan and roll into balls to set the shape.
- Serve with pasta or spaghetti squash and smother in your favorite sauce.
- Store left over meatballs in airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.
Favorite type of pasta (spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni….)?
Do you make your own tomato sauce?
What was for dinner last night?