Vegan Beet and Black Bean “Meatballs” Recipe: A Delicious Plant-Based Alternative
Are you looking for a delicious and nutritious plant-based alternative to traditional meatballs? Look no further! This vegan beet and black bean “meatballs” recipe will satisfy your cravings while providing a burst of flavors and health benefits. Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or simply want to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, these meatballs are a great option. With the earthy taste of beets combined with the protein-rich black beans, you’ll be amazed at how these vegan meatballs can rival their traditional counterparts. Let’s dive into the recipe and enjoy a guilt-free delight!
Before we start, gather the following ingredients:
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 1 small boiled beet, grated
- ½ cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if desired)
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Preparing the Mixture
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, mash the black beans using a fork or potato masher until most of them are broken down. Leaving some whole beans adds texture to the meatballs. Add the grated beet, bread crumbs, rolled oats, chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce or tamari, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together until well combined.
Step 2: Shaping the Meatballs
Take small handfuls of the mixture and shape them into meatball-sized balls, roughly 1.5 inches in diameter. Place the formed meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure to leave a little space between each one. The mixture should yield around 20 meatballs.
Step 3: Baking the Meatballs
Once your meatballs are shaped and ready, slide the baking sheet into the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the meatballs are firm on the outside. You can also give them a gentle squeeze to check if they hold their shape. The baking time may vary slightly depending on your oven’s temperature, so keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking.
Step 4: Serving Options
These delightful vegan beet and black bean “meatballs” can be served in various ways. They are delicious on their own as an appetizer or snack, but they also make a fantastic addition to pasta dishes, sandwiches, or as a topping for a nourishing grain bowl. For a classic spaghetti and meatball meal, cook your favorite pasta and simmer it in a marinara sauce. Finally, top the pasta with the baked meatballs, and sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top to enhance the flavors.
Step 5: Storage Tips
If you happen to have leftovers, these meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. They can also be frozen for longer storage. Simply place the cooled meatballs in a freezer-safe container or bag, separating them with parchment paper to prevent sticking. When you’re ready to enjoy them, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in the oven until warmed through.
Step 6: Why Choose Vegan Meatballs?
Choosing vegan beet and black bean “meatballs” over traditional meat-based ones has numerous benefits. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, thanks to the black beans and beets. They are also lower in saturated fat and free from cholesterol, making them heart-healthy options. By opting for plant-based alternatives, you reduce the environmental impact associated with animal agriculture, contributing to a more sustainable future.
These vegan beet and black bean “meatballs” are not only delicious and easy to make but also a fantastic way to introduce more vegan options into your diet. The combination of beets and black beans creates a savory and satisfying meatball alternative that even the most die-hard meat lovers will enjoy. Whether you serve them in pasta dishes, on sandwiches, or as a standalone appetizer, these vegan meatballs will add a burst of flavor and nutrition to your meals. Give them a try and experience the joy of plant-based eating!