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FG2 Mealballs Final

Meat (less) Balls (Italian-style)

Author: Traffic Light Cook
These vegan, gluten-free, multi-purpose  meat (less) balls are packed with flavors. Use them with pasta, in subs, wraps, or on their own with your favorite sauce or dressing. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Global, Vega, gluten-free
Servings 8
Calories 92 kcal


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup regular oats (gluten-free, or sub with regular non gluten-free oats)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (can sub with melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, or cashews)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or sub with 1/2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste, no more than 3/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (freshly ground, or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or sub with equal amount red pepper flakes, or to taste)

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds*
  • 6 tbsp water (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or sub with any other type)
  • 1-3/4 cups cannellini beans (cooked, or 1, 15-oz can, rinsed and drained)
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves (or sub with 1 tbsp dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup onion (about 1/2 medium size, any variety works)
  • 4 cloves garlic


Start by making chia egg

  • Mix 2 tbsp chia seeds with 6 tbsp water in a shallow dish and stir with a whisk or fork. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before processing with wet ingredients. 

Process dry ingredients first

  • In a food processor** add oats and process into granular powder. Take out 1/4 cup for later. Add sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast*** and dry spices--salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground fennel seeds and oregano. Process till the mixture has a granular consistency. 

Add the wet ingredients

  • To the granular mixture, add chia egg, beans, fresh basil leaves, avocado oil, onion, and garlic cloves. Process till well mixed. Be sure not to over process to make a fine paste. The mixture shouldn't be very wet; should be easily formed into balls. Add the saved oat flour  1 tbsp at a time, if the mixture does not form into balls. 
  • Take the mixture out in a bowl or tray and wet your hands with water or oil. Make about 2" round balls and add them to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. leave at least 1.5" space between two balls. 
  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F (205°C). Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake meat (less) balls for about 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork in the middle of a ball. If done, the fork will come out clean. Enjoy these flavor-packed ball in pasta with your favorite sauce, in subs, over salads, and on their own. 


*to make chia eggs. You can sub 2 chia eggs with 2 flax eggs
**should work in a blender as well. I haven't made it in a blender yet, though. 
***If using soy sauce instead of nutritional yeast, process after adding wet ingredients. 


Serving: 3ballsCalories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSodium: 159mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 1.7mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 0.7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!