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Simple Vegan Black Bean "Meatballs"

Healthy, low fat, delicious black bean "meatballs" are perfect in a spicy marinara sauce.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 176kcal
Author: Linda & Alex
Cost: $8


  • 1 food processor
  • 1 skillet
  • 1 stove


  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 26 ounce 794 g crushed tomatoes ( I use Pomi brand)
  • cup 80 ml red wine (or 3 tablespoon (45 ml) balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon 2 g dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 teaspoons 15 g ground sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon 1 g red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup 20 g fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup 10 g flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 15 ounce 425 g black beans, drained (reserve ¼ cup (60 ml) of the juice) and rinsed well
  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom cap – gills removed and sliced thin
  • 1 shallot peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup 10 g flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon 2 g dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup 61 g breadcrumbs (use gluten free if desired)
  • ½ cup 86 g cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoon 6 g tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 1 lb 454 g box of spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon 30 g sea salt


  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the tomato, wine, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Add the basil and parsley when you add the bean balls and simmer for 15 more minutes.
  • Drain (reserve the juice) and rinse the beans and put them in the food processor.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushroom slices and cook until browned and soft, approximately 10 minutes. Flip occasionally. When the mushrooms are soft, add the shallots and cook until they begin to soften and brown, approximately 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Transfer the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic to the food processor with the beans. Add the reserved juice, parsley, Italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, tapioca starch, salt, and pepper to the food processor and process until it begins to turn into a ball. It should be smooth and sticky.
  • Carefully remove the blade from the food processor and scoop out ¼ cup (54 g) of batter and form into a ball. Repeat until you’ve used all of the bean batter (10-12 balls).
  • Heat the tbsp. (15 ml) of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Spread the oil evenly throughout the pan. When the oil is hot, add the bean balls and cook until the side facing down in the pan is browned. Turn and brown each side. This will take approximately 5 minutes per side. When the bean balls are browned on each side add them to the marinara (with the basil and parsley from the marinara ingredients) and roll them in the sauce to coat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • For the Spaghetti
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling add the salt and cook the spaghetti according to the instructions. Drain and top with the marinara and bean balls.


Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
Freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. 
Reheat in a pan of hot marinara sauce or in a 350F oven. 
Nutrition Disclaimer


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg
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