One thing that I really miss now as a vegetarian is my mom’s meatballs. For me, meatballs and spaghetti are meant to go together, so I was on a mission to find some sort of substitute for myself. I never really came across something that seemed worthwhile for me to try, so I decided to try to come up with a meatless meatball on my own! Here is my creation…
My meatless meatballs have a creamy, smooth texture, but are also very hearty and filling. I used great northern white beans as my base, although I have read that cannellini beans also work really well.
1. I first rinsed my beans to dispose of the salty liquid that they sit in. To the beans I added 2 egg whites (equivalent to 1 egg) and 1 cup of unseasoned breadcrumbs.
2. I seasoned this mixture with dried oregano, basil, black pepper, and garlic powder. I did not measure the herbs or spices. Use what you like and season to your preferred taste!
3. In a large bowl, I mashed the beans with a fork and incorporated the rest of the ingredients. You should get a smooth, dense ball that is similar in texture to cookie batter. I finished off this mixture by stirring in 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
4. Preheat your oven to 350. Begin to form small meatballs, mine were about the size of a ping-pong ball, and place them on a lightly greased baking pan. You should get about 18-20 balls if you make them this size.
5. Place your meatballs in the oven for about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, shake the pan or flip them over so the other side can brown.
6. While your meatballs are in the oven, add about 1 1/2 cups of your favorite sauce into a saucepan and begin to heat through. I added 2 cloves of minced garlic and a handful of grape tomatoes to my sauce, as well as black pepper and garlic powder.
7. Once your meatballs have been cooking for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and add them to your sauce. Let cook for another 5-10 minutes.