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How Do You Make Vegetarian Meatballs?

Vegetarian meatballs can be made with a wide range of ingredients that do not include meat. This means vegetarians and vegans can still enjoy a good, old-fashioned plate of spaghetti and “meatballs”. You can make meatballs with many binding ingredients, such as:

● Beans

● Lentils

● Tofu

● Seitan

● Mushrooms

● Oats

● Rice

● Peas

● Flax meal

With any of these ingredients, you will need a binding agent to keep everything together. Beans, lentils, oats, rice, and flax meal are all binding, so you may not need an egg or additional binder to keep the balls together.

Keep the same idea of making vegetarian meatballs as you do when you make traditional

meatballs. You need moisture, a binding agent, and a meat replacement for the perfect

meatballs. In these Chakalaka “Meatballs”, the binding agent is not only the beans, but you can also find eggs and breadcrumbs inside keeping everything perfectly round.

Serving Chakalaka “Meatballs”

Once you master this recipe, you can serve them in any way that meatballs are served! Feel

free to make a meatballs sub using this recipe. Simply make the “meatballs”, dunk them in your favorite sauce, and then line a sub roll with the balls and some melty mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven to get the bread super crispy!

You can also serve these balls with your favorite pasta shape, as an Italian grandma would

make. Load up your plate with noodles, top with tomato sauce, followed by meatballs and

cheese. The explosive flavors will open up a whole new world of dinner recipe possibilities!

Can These Be Made Vegan?

Yes! The Chakalaka used is inherently vegan and gluten-free, so you can make your meatballs either totally vegan or completely gluten-free. Replace the egg in the recipe for a flax egg, use vegan Parmesan for topping and plant milk for mixing, and you have vegan meatballs!

You can also make this dish gluten-free by using GF breadcrumbs in your mix. This is perfect for people with celiac or gluten intolerance. Also, if you plan on making a meatball sub, use

gluten-free bread for an amazingly simple, yet delicious meal.


Chakalaka “Meatballs” Recipe

Vegetarian meatballs are made using mild Chakalaka, pinto beans, breadcrumbs, and eggs.

Serve these delicious baked balls with your favorite marinara sauce and top with vegan or dairy Parmesan cheese for an excellent meatless meal!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Recipe Yield: 20 meatballs

Servings: 4-5 servings


1 package prepared mild Chakalaka, cooled

2 eggs

1 cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free or regular

1 can of pinto beans, mashed lightly

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large pinch of dried basil

¼ cup milk, dairy or plant-based

1 jar marinara sauce

½ cup grated parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Add the prepared Chakalaka, eggs, breadcrumbs, mashed beans, garlic, basil, and milk to a large bowl. Mix until a homogenous mixture forms. It should be not too sticky, but not dry.

  3. Using an ⅛ cup measuring spoon, scoop equal-sized meatballs and roll them between your hands for a perfectly round shape. Add the balls to a greased baking dish. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.

  4. Place the meatballs into a preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until browned on the outside and hot on the inside.

  5. Warm your marinara in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. Serve some “meatballs” alongside the sauce and top with grated parmesan.