Italian Bean Balls & Spaghetti Squash Noodles

196 comments

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I’m on this weird veggie burger/ball lucky testing streak. After months of testing veggie burger and ball recipes to no end, everything is finally clicking into place and the ingredients are binding and syncing and dancing on my taste buds. I would shed a tear of joy if I weren’t too busy stuffing my face in veggie goodness!

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I’ve had many requests for a vegan “meat” ball recipe and I thought it was time make some magic happen! It’s actually something I’ve been working on here and there over the past year or two, never quite getting it right, but determined to keep trying. Initially, I was working on a mushroom lentil combo, but I had issues with the lentils drying out too much, producing a stiff and cranky end result. I’m not going to give up on it though; I just had to switch it up for a while lest I go completely mad.

In the meantime, I came up with these Italian bean balls. Considering that we polished them off in less than 2 days, I’d say they were a hit on all fronts. I don’t want to pretend that these taste like traditional meat balls, but they are magnificent in their own right with a great flavour and texture. And to me, that’s what vegan cooking is all about – creating alternatives to traditional fare that taste so damn good who cares that they don’t have meat. That’s always my goal with recipe creation. Options. Enticing veggie-based alternatives.

The hardest part was choosing which bean to use. Navy? Kidney? Pinto? Black? Chickpea? Adzuki? etc. Kidney beans won (so far, anyway). Not to mention, the purple/red skins are quite beautiful all mashed up among the speckled orange and green bits. Have you ever seen such a vibrant batter?

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To infuse some Italian flavours into the mix, I added plenty of fresh basil, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, dried oregano, and fresh parsley. For some depth of flavour, toasted walnuts really took it all to the next level. I just love the combo of walnuts and tomato (such as in my pesto), they were just made to go together in the same mouthful!

To keep with the light and fresh theme, I served it over a bed of spaghetti squash. It’s #2 on my squash favorite’s list with delicata reigning supreme and butternut claiming third place. This list seems to change every week, but for now those three are in steady rotation in my kitchen. With a sprinkle of pink salt and freshly ground black pepper, the crunchy strands of spaghetti squash are ready to form a fiber-filled base for all your pasta dreams. We felt so energized and light after eating this meal- always appreciated this time of the year when it’s easy to crawl under a blanket and hibernate. Well, we still do that too, but at least we can feel a bit better in the process.

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veganmeatballs-2457

Italian Bean Balls and Spaghetti Squash Noodles

Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

4.5 from 13 reviews
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Delightful Italian bean balls filled with basil, oregano, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes round out this fresh & light meal of spaghetti squash "pasta" and tomato sauce. I bake the bean balls for a good amount of time until golden and quite firm, so they stand up better to the tomato sauce. I suggest roasting the spaghetti squash in advance (and preparing tomato sauce in advance too, if making homemade) and simply reheating it just before serving. I heat the tomato sauce in a pot and once it's hot enough I gently fold in the bean balls to cover in the sauce and then serve it immediately. The bean balls will soften with time, so it's best not to leave them in the sauce for too long. While they don't taste like traditional meat balls, I can assure you these are a flavourful plant-based option with a great texture! Feel free to shape the mixture into burger patties, if that floats your boat. This recipe is adapted from my Thai Sweet Potato Burgers.

Yield
18-20 bean balls
Prep Time
Cook time
Total Time

Ingredients:

For the bean balls:
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, processed into a coarse flour
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 large)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tbsp water, mixed
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast the walnuts for 7-9 minutes until fragrant and golden.
  2. Meanwhile, add the oats into the food processor and process until finely chopped. You want the texture to be like a coarse flour.
  3. Add the grated carrot, chopped parsley, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, and oat flour into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed beans into the food processor and process until finely chopped. You want the mixture to be a coarse paste with some beans still intact, but don't completely puree the mixture. Stir the processed beans into the bowl with the vegetables and oat flour.
  5. In a mug, whisk together the ground flax and water. Let it sit for only 15-20 seconds, any longer and it will get too thick. Stir into the vegetable bean mixture until fully combined.
  6. Stir the oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) into the bowl, adjusting amounts to taste if necessary.
  7. Shape the mixture into 18-20 balls (the size of golf-balls), packing each ball tightly between your hands so it holds together well. Place each ball onto the prepared baking sheet an inch or two apart.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip the balls and and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden on both sides.
  9. After baking, place balls on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
  10. Serve with spaghetti squash or pasta and tomato sauce (either homemade or store-bought). I also sprinkled some of my vegan Parmesan on top.

Tips:

Notes: 1) To make this recipe nut-free, omit the walnuts and use sunflower seeds instead (or omit entirely - but keep in mind they add a great crunch!). 2) For how to roast a spaghetti squash, see this post.

beanballsandspaghetti

Stay tuned tomorrow for a special reveal of the Canadian cover of my cookbook!

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{ 196 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy October 30, 2013

Yum! The photographs are beautiful! What a delicious looking meal! I like the spaghetti and beanballs from Veganomicon, but I love the use of spaghetti squash here (have been hooked on it ever since I tried your recent Tex Mex spaghetti squash recipe), and I think the sundried tomatoes probably add so much goodness. Can’t wait to try this recipe out. How do you come up with this stuff?? You are amazing!

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2 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

lots of testing and trials (oh and lots of eating! my fav part) =) Thanks for your kind words Kathy!

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3 Tara November 24, 2013

Hi! Do you know how to make this recipe with soaked oats? I keep reading how beneficial it is to soak oats (especially) and beans before consuming. Thanks!

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4 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2013

Hey Tara, I’m sorry I don’t know how to make it with soaked oats. Maybe someone else has an idea though!

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5 Lindsay Eddleblute January 4, 2014

I made this tonight along with your Kale salad topped with pecan parmesan and oh my gosh!!! They were both amazing. I have made tons of homemade veggie burgers, but not meatballs and these came with perfect texture and flavor…great job on them and I can’t wait to try more recipes from your site! :) I know it’s not part of this recipe but the pecan parmesan is wonderful and I am already making extra to have for salads and entrees..love it!

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6 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } October 30, 2013

This may be the most delicious looking recipe I’ve ever seen on here! I’m thinking I need to go to the store after work so I can make this tonight!

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7 Virtually Vegan Mama October 30, 2013

These look fresh and delicious and I love how they are baked…this is something I would definitely enjoy making!

Looks beautiful too!

xoxo

Jen

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8 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 30, 2013

Mm these sound awesome Ange! You always have an amazing way of making meals that would normally be very messy look so perfect and beautiful! I love experimenting with new veggie ‘meat’ recipes as well, but they often mean eating lots of leftover/failed attempts and lots of beans for a few days following! I totally trust ya on this one – can’t wait to give it a try!

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9 Chelsea @ BigBitesLittleBudget October 30, 2013

I have all of the ingredients on hand, carrots in the garden waiting to be picked and a perfect spaghetti squash ready to be cooked. I will definitely be making this tonight!

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10 Elyse @myveganp October 30, 2013

Love the bright colors – and love spaghetti squash for skinny pasta!

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11 Jennifer B.T. October 30, 2013

So excited to try these tonight. Looks delicious.
Many blessings.

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12 Abby @ The Frosted Vegan October 30, 2013

Seriously you read my mind with these! I love spaghetti squash but have been overdoing it a bit latley, buuut these could coax me back into jumping back on the train.

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13 janae @ bring joy October 30, 2013

I have a lentil meatball recipe–but it’s super basic because my kids kinda freak out if I start adding a ton of a veggies in their “meat’balls or veggie burgers.

These look so flavorful–I will have to try on my kids–if it passes with them, it’s for SURE a winner in my house.

(can’t wait to see your cookbook cover–exciting!)

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14 Mari @ Living with Purpose October 30, 2013

These look great! Would they work with pecans instead of walnuts?

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15 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

I can’t see why not :)

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16 Kate October 30, 2013

Do you think that these could be frozen and then reheated without getting weird in texture or taste?

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17 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Hey Kate, Yes I do! Bake them first and cool completely before freezing. Then to reheat, thaw first (if possible, but I wouldnt microwave them) them and bake them in the oven until heated throughout. Hope this helps!

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18 Christine @ Gotta Eat Green October 30, 2013

Finding a good vegan ball recipe is not easy. I’ve gone through so many test runs and trials to find one that sticks together..I have hope for this one! Looks delicious!

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19 Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate October 30, 2013

I’ve made veggie burgers but never meatless “meat” balls. These look like you have hit the jackpot!

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20 Cassie October 30, 2013

I just found your website a few days ago, but I am absolutely salivating over your creations! I cannot wait to try one!

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21 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Thank you Cassie! Hope you enjoy the recipes :)

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22 Nancy K October 30, 2013

Mmm, looks yummy! Any sub suggestions for the walnuts to make it completely nut-free? (allergic household)

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23 Shundara@SavyNaturalista October 30, 2013

All those spices and veggies in the “meat” balls look good enough to eat without the spaghetti!! Yummy..

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24 ana October 30, 2013

What a coincidence! Just two weeks ago I posted a recipe with vegan bean “meatballs”! I used different spices and real spaghetti and it tasted quite good!
Love your recipes!

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25 Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog October 30, 2013

I was planning a little something like this for Halloween – eyeballs, blood and worms (zucchini spaghetti). Cool!

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26 Kat October 30, 2013

I’m constantly looking for new ways to eat beans as they are by far my main source of protein but I always wind up defaulting to a squeeze of lemon or adding them to soup. Thank you for doing all of the leg work for me! :)

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27 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh October 30, 2013

Okay, I have been such a dork in my not giving spaghetti squash a try but this recipe may have finally push me over the edge. This looks AWESOME!

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28 Margo October 30, 2013

Love this and your blog!! How about freezing them? Would you do it before or after baking them?

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29 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Hey Margo, I think they should freeze just fine (because my veggie burgers do and these are similar). Bake them first though, then cool completely, before freezing. Thaw and then reheat in the oven until warmed throughout. Hope this helps!

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30 Beth October 30, 2013

This looks so good! I never liked meat (haven’t eaten red meat or ground meat of any kind in over 20 years) so the replacements never piqued my interest… until now! Can’t wait to try it!

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31 Averie @ Averie Cooks October 30, 2013

Those bean balls are just loaded up with great texture, which I love! And spaghetti squash – I havent made one in ages. Must change that! Such a pretty meal you made, Angela!

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32 Maria October 30, 2013

This recipe looks amazing! I can not wait to try it out. I have tried other recipes for bean balls that just weren’t right. I seriously love your recipes and am patiently waiting for your cookbook to come out! I always look to your blog first for recipes because I have been so happy with the results. In fact, I have been eating your lentil walnut loaf all week!

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33 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Thank you Maria, you are so sweet! :)

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34 Juliana October 30, 2013

Thank you for this masterpiece Angie :) can’t wait to try it!
Do you think they will freeze well like the bean burgers?

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35 Veronica @ Wrapped in Newspaper October 30, 2013

These look delcious. I always struggle with the consistency of burgers/’meat’balls i’ll have to give these a try!

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36 Laura October 30, 2013

I cannot wait to make this except once concern. I am living abroad right now and I do not have a food processor. I do have a Vitamix – could I use that instead here? It seems so but wonder what you think. Thanks!

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37 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Hey Laura, Yes I do think you could use the Vitamix for the oats. I would mash the beans by hand though. enjoy!

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38 christine October 30, 2013

Can I leave the walnuts out?

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39 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Yes you can – see my note in the recipe.

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40 sarah October 30, 2013

This looks Delish!! Do you have any ideas for an alternative to oats in the recipe?

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41 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

hmm maybe breadcrumbs? or is it a sensitivity issue? The oats help bind, so you would need another binder in there most likely. Mind you, I haven’t tried them without the oats…maybe the flax egg is enough, but it would be very sticky without the oat flour. I would try a bit of gluten free flour but I wouldnt use much. Maybe 1/4 cup max?

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42 sarah October 31, 2013

Thanks and yes it is due to a sensitivity. I am sensitive to almost all GF grains and gluten containing grains. Maybe I could use a little almond flour?

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43 Kim January 11, 2015

Hi
I omitted the oats as I didn’t have any and used nutritional yeast. They were cheesey and yummy. My 5 year old grandson didn’t like them but he and my husband ike their meat meatballs. I loved these. Put them atop shredded, steamed butternut squash.

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44 Jenn October 30, 2013

This looks so great! Have you tried to freeze the bean balls?

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45 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2013

Hey Jenn, Not yet, but I would expect they freeze well since they are similar to my veggie burgers. Just cook them and cool completely before freezing. Enjoy!

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46 Lillian @ Seize the Latte October 30, 2013

Oh, yay! I’m really excited for this recipe; I’ve been trying to cut way back on my meat consumption, but since I have Celiac all the wheat-based meat alternatives have been total non-starters for me. I’ve tried coming up with my own alternatives, but they’re usually an epic fail — so I must say, this is a big accomplishment. :) Huzzah!

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47 Maria Tadic October 30, 2013

These look so good! I love making vegetarian burgers and meatballs too – and it is definitely hard to get the texture just right. Will be trying these out soon! Thanks!

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48 allie October 30, 2013

i spent a whole afternoon making a similar recipe then into the crockpot with my sauce…huge mistake…it all fell apart! ha but so very delicious. I will try again!

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49 kelli October 30, 2013

I am making these now!! They smell so good! I didn’t have plain oats so I used an oat, barley, quinoa, rye, wheat blend. Thanks for all your great recipes :)

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50 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog October 30, 2013

This sounds like a wonderful alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs. I agree that you probably can’t completely replace the taste of meatballs, but I think this perfect for lightening up a comfort meal. I could totally imagine enjoying this on a cold winter evening.

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51 molly October 30, 2013

Fabulous. I love recipes that have flax in them. It’s so healthy. I found a delicious roasted golden flax seed and chia seed blend on amazon called FitFlax. I’m adding it to a lot of my recipes.

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52 Michelle October 30, 2013

Hi: Can I substitute almond meal for the ground oats in this recipe. Thanks.

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53 Jeana October 30, 2013

These look awesome, thanks for sharing! One question – it looks like there is something purple (maybe red onion) in the balls but I didn’t see it in the recipe — is that just funny color on my computer? Or did I miss an ingredient?

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54 Magic and Mayhem November 1, 2013

I thought it was red onions at first, too, but I think that’s the kidney beans. :)

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55 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 1, 2013

Yes it’s the beans! :)

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56 Alex @ Kenzie Life October 30, 2013

I was really excited for your thai sweet potato veggie burgers and now I’m doubly excited about these bean balls!! When I was a kid, meatballs were one of the only types of meat I’d eat and now I just miss having something to eat with marinara sauce :)

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57 Alexandra Aimee October 30, 2013

This looks delicious!

I have an unrelated/nosy question… Your skin always looks amazing, and I’m curious what foundation you use! Over on my blog (www.herfixationmedia.com) I am testing the top eight cult favorite foundations in what I’ve dubbed The Great Winter Foundation Face Off, and I would like to test whatever you’re using!

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58 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 31, 2013

Hi Alexandra, Aw thank you! I use mineral powder mostly – Bare Minerals or other similar brands. It isn’t the best in the dry winter months though, so I’m on the hunt for a good liquid foundation that’s cruelty-free.

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59 Melissa Coyle May 7, 2014

Check out RMS Beauty’s un-coverup. Has raw, organic ingredients and cruelty free. Gives you a nice dewy look and the ingredients are amazing including coconut oil, jojoba oil, seed oils, etc. It melts into your skin. Changed my complexion… have a look :)

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60 Haley June 23, 2014

I am currently looking for a new skin care line, so I checked out RMS Beauty and their foundations and mascaras all have beeswax. Something to be aware of if you’re a vigilant vegan. I will personally continue searching for a product that is 100% vegan.

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61 CM December 22, 2014

Be aware of dry mineral’s, It has silica crystalline (basic component of soil, sand, granite, …) which can cause irreversible respiratory problem. I used it for 18 months and had a sore throat all that time, it stopped when I switch back to liquid based foundation. Noticed the dust it leave on furniture where you apply it? The veil is even worst since the particles are so fine they float in the air … You can mix the dry mineral with water to prevent breathing it :) Lots of you tube on this. I found I still worked great. did not try with the veil. Found that out in a uni research a few years back. It is also present in the kitty box litter if you use dry clay.
cheers
CM

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62 Lorraine October 30, 2013

Oh no…..I just licked my monitor. Such gorgeous photos!

My daughter and I have had so much success with your recipes – this will definitely be one we try. I wasn’t so crazy about spaghetti squash (pre-Vegan days), but I’m going to give it another go. I find my tastes have changed drastically and I just crave all the veggie goodness.

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63 Burcu October 30, 2013

Pulling these out of the oven right now!! I am super excited to eat them, they look and smell fantastic!

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64 kelli October 30, 2013

looks delicious! as a squash lover, you must try kabocha and sweet dumpling! (i’m only assuming you haven’t because you didn’t mention them in your top faves.=)

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65 Katie H October 30, 2013

Could you use oat bran instead of putting the rolled oats into the food processor? I can’t wait to try these…I’m even hoping my picky three year old will gobble them up!

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66 Meg @ Sweet Twist October 30, 2013

Awesome. I tried a meatless meatloaf the other day, these will definitely be my next try.

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67 Stephanie October 30, 2013

Oh good gosh this looks DELICIOUS!! I’ll have to try them.

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68 Kristen October 30, 2013

Yum! Was planning on having spaghetti squash this weekend-need to try it with these bean balls!

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69 Ting October 30, 2013

One of the things I find hardest to cook since becoming vegan is “meat” balls! I have a hard time getting an actual ball to form and stay that way, it always falls apart the minute I fry it or drop it into a soup. Thank you for this recipe! I am learning so much from your site and will try your recipe this weekend ;)

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70 Serena October 30, 2013

Hi, I am wondering what food processor you use as I’m out to buy a new one! this recipe looks gorgeous, can’t wait to try it :)

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71 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen October 31, 2013

I can’t wait to make these! These look fantastic! I think I might serve them over some soba noodles! Can’t wait for the release of your cookbook!

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72 Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen October 31, 2013

I love spaghetti squash, but I haven’t even made any yet this fall – I’ve been too focused on butternut and kabocha. This recipe is the perfect reason to go out and buy one at the market this weekend!

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73 Kelli October 31, 2013

These look awesome! I have made bean balls using kidney beans & oats before, but they always tasted a little bit too much like…. kidney beans. But I think adding the walnuts would really help with that, as well as with the texture.

Do you think I could sub chia seeds for the flax seeds? I find flax seeds are kind of hit or miss for me; they don’t always work that well… but I’m kind of new to the chia seeds as well, so I haven’t really used them much.

Thanks for the recipe!

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74 Di October 31, 2013

I cannot wait to make this recipe! Big fan of your blog!! Your lentil loaf is a huge hit in my house!!

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75 Rachel October 31, 2013

As soon as I read this post I knew that was what I wanted for dinner! I made it last night and followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! My guy (meat lover) absolutely adored them. He made room in his top three for this recipe. Great Job!

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76 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 31, 2013

yay! This makes me so happy.

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77 Jocelyne October 31, 2013

Hello Angela,

I really enjoy your blog ! As your pictures are always very inspiring, is it possible when we choose to print them to also have the image in the printout ? How ?

Thanks and Happy Halloween !!!

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78 Pam erdy October 31, 2013

I made your beanball recipe today and they are great! They taste wonderful, even the dough, and so easy to roll them into perfect balls. This recipe is a keeper – lots of great ingredients.

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79 Angela (Oh She Glows) October 31, 2013

Hey Pam, That’s great, thanks so much for letting me know! I agree about the batter. It’s hard to keep my paws off it! Enjoy the rest.

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80 Nora October 31, 2013

Angela! I just made this for dinner and it’s soooo yummy! You continue to amaze me with your plant-powered recipes. Keep it up! I didn’t change a thing in this recipe :)

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81 Rachel November 1, 2013

Looks AMAZING!!!! I have some spaghetti squash in the oven right now…thanks for the inspiration!

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82 Sarah November 2, 2013

My daughter loves meatballs despite the fact that I don’t make meat for her at home (to give you an idea of her obsession: she calls Ikea the “meatball store”). The meatless ones from the grocery store are eh, so I will definitely be trying this!

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83 Nina November 2, 2013

Angela, My daughter loved these as always!! We have tried mushroom “meatballs” in the past and she wasn’t a fan. These were amazing but we knew they would be. I know I can make almost any subs w/your recipes and will still turn out brilliantly. Had leftover lentils that we used, cilantro instead of parsley, didn’t toast the walnuts, rice breadcrumbs instead of oats, and s. dried tomatoes soaked in water rather than oil. They were great! Thanks Angela for another keeper!! Nina

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84 Cate @ Chez CateyLou November 2, 2013

These look better than real meatballs! I can’t wait to try out this recipe

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85 Erin November 2, 2013

Hi Angela!
These look fabulous! I don’t have a food processor, but do you think they could be made with just mashed (with a fork or such)beans or something else? I have a Vitamix, so I know I can grind the oats coarsely in that, but processing the beans is holding me back :( Let me know! Thanks!

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86 Sara November 3, 2013

What a lovely recipe as I’m getting more into squash as ‘noodles.’ The veggie balls look super flavorful and perfectly textured. I love that you can see the colorful bits of vegetables in each one! Can’t wait to try these!

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87 Steph November 4, 2013

This was a great recipe Angela! I haven’t had meatballs in probably three years or so. I made this with gluten free pasta and it was so nice to have that familiar ‘meatball’ on my plate, but without the cruelty! I thought this had great flavor too. The basil, sun dried tomatoes, and garlic were delicious. My husband even tried a bite and said ‘not bad’! That’s about as big of a compliment you can get from a carnivore. My mom, who is vegetarian, says the one thing she misses are meatballs. I can’t wait to make these for her and to pass the recipe along.

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88 kelly November 4, 2013

cant wait to make these

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89 Rose November 4, 2013

OMG!!!!!!! These were the best bean balls. They were delicious. I’d rather have it without the tomato sauce and spaghetti squash.

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90 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 5, 2013

So glad you enjoyed them Rose!

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91 kimmythevegan November 4, 2013

Oh yum! These look & sound awesome. I love the idea of eating them with spaghetti squash =)

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92 Lynn November 5, 2013

Angela, I have made so many of your recipes and they’ve always been amazing! But seriously – this one takes the cake. My meat-and-potatoes-loving husband went back for seconds and thirds and said: “When are you making these again?” :) Thank you thank you!

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93 Kathryn K November 5, 2013

these look great!

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94 Fiona November 5, 2013

Holy shit this was insanely delicious!!! I actually thought the dough was better raw so next time I will just cook the spaghetti squash and top with raw balls! I used a little extra parsley and a little less basil. I used about 1 cup of adzuki beans because that was what I had in hand. Kind of a lot of work for a weeknight meal but soooo worth it! Thanks for a great recipe! Can’t wait for the cookbook! Too bad this one can’t make it!

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95 Karen November 5, 2013

These look so good Angela!
Do you think the beanballs would be okay to make ahead and then bake as needed?
Thanks!

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96 Amanda November 6, 2013

I made this for dinner tonight and oh my goodness, it was fantastic! I did use real parmesan on top and a couple dashes of worcestershire in the bean ball mix because I’m not vegan myself (and incapable of just leaving a recipe alone haha), but this really was a wonderful, hearty, and comforting meal. The bean balls were delicious, full of flavor, and had a great texture! Thank you so much for sharing, we will be making it again!

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97 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 7, 2013

Hey Amanda, So glad you enjoyed them!! You reminded me I have some vegan worcestershire in the fridge that would go wonderfully in these. Thanks for trying them out!

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98 Brooke November 6, 2013

Made these tonight and they are SOOOO good!! Lots of flavor with a slightly crispy outside. Definitely on the must make again list!! Great “meat”ball recipe!

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99 Kelli November 6, 2013

I made these bean balls tonight for supper, and they were great! A couple notes: I didn’t have the fresh herbs, so I used basil paste & some dried herbs, & it worked out well. Also, I intended to use a chia egg mixture, but completely forgot to add it, and the balls still held together beautifully!

Instead of spaghetti squash, I used my spiralizer to spiralize some butternut squash, which turned out really well! Then I sauteed it in oil, garlic, pepper & salt and served the bean balls & sauce on top. Super tasty.

Thanks Angela!

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100 Debbie November 7, 2013

Any thoughts on what grain free flour you think would work instead of the oat flour?

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101 Susan November 7, 2013

Made this last night, but replaced the carrots with 1 c finely chopped mushrooms due to a grocery store snafu – worked out wonderfully, just FYI!

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102 Kathleen November 9, 2013

I made these bean balls last night, with the spaghetti squash, and my husband thought these were actual ground beef meat balls. The recipe made 25 golf ball sized balls, and I froze some for another meal later. They were delicious. Thank you for making vegan recipes doable and extremely tasty. Really looking forward to your cookbook!!

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103 Tracey November 9, 2013

I come from a large Italian family and meatballs are “our thing”. I made these tonight in an effort to single-handedly drag some of my family into healthier eating and I have to say, SO Ridiculously Good!!!! This isn’t the first of your recipes I’ve tried and loved. I’m sure it won’t be the last. Thanks for your hard work and commitment!!

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104 Judy November 11, 2013

What a great, delicious, easy dish! My husband eyed these beans balls suspiciously and said “just two, please”. After eating the entire plate, his second serving was a full one! Thanks, Angela for an easy, yummy, healthy recipe :-)

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105 Betsy November 11, 2013

Some of my family members have started living vegan this year. It’s been interesting trying new foods and many of them especially meatballs have been terrible. I made these this week and they were wonderful. Thank you for recipes my entire family can still enjoy.

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106 Milla November 13, 2013

This was spectacular! I just finished it up for dinner tonight with my husband! What a great combo of flavors :)

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107 Daraya November 15, 2013

Mmmm, looks delicious! I would love to try out this recipe this weekend but I don’t have any ground flax. Do you have any suggestions on a substitution? Thank you! :)

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108 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 15, 2013

ground chia seed?

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109 Kathy Roach November 18, 2013

Hubby and I are not total vegetarians but close to it, and I must say these were absolutely fantastic!! I made two red sauces the night we had this–one with meat for my son and the other for our vegan daughter and hubby and I. Well, much to our surprise, hubby and I actually enjoyed these more than the meat marinara sauce with pasta. Thanks! And we’re looking forward to trying your Thai sweet potato burgers and basically all your other recipes like this! Thanks for all your sharing.

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110 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 19, 2013

Hey Kathy, So happy to hear this! Thanks for letting me know :)

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111 Cindy November 21, 2013

Hi Angela,
This looks great. I have a spaghetti squash I want to use up. I have a question. Do you think I would be able to substitute walnut for another kind of nut. My boyfriend has a walnut allergy. I usually replace walnuts with almonds in dessert recipes, but I am not sure if it would work with a savory recipe. What about pine nuts? What do you think? thanks.

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112 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2013

Hey Cindy, I think pecans would work nicely if that’s an option. Enjoy!

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113 Eva November 21, 2013

I haven’t made this yet, but I think I will grind all the meatball ingredients together, because it looks like they will fall apart in the sauce. Just a thought. If someone that has made it says different, I would like to know before I try this.

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114 Cathryn January 25, 2014

When I took mine out of the oven I kept them out of the sauce until they were on my plate and the texture held up wonderfully!.

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115 Cheryl November 22, 2013

Simply amazing combo! Where do you come up with them? So satisfying without the bloat of pasta.

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116 Amy November 26, 2013

I am looking through these comments and it looks like no one else had the problem I had so I am wondering what I did wrong. These tasted amazing but they were very mushy for us- we baked them even longer in the oven and ended up pan frying them and they just never firmed up- the center was total mush! It’s just a texture thing but mush is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to veggie burgers/balls. I don’t know what we did wrong?

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117 Erwin December 10, 2013

Aside from being a beautiful host, your recipe is very timely. The proliferation of junk foods cause our fellows different sickness and I realize, it’s time to put-up a unique business. Wish me good luck.

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118 George December 10, 2013

Why did mine come out so dry, do you think? I followed the recipe to a T. Thanks for any insight!

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119 Jill December 13, 2013

Just finished making these, they are very tasty. They will be going into my favorites folder for sure.
Thanks

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120 Vildan December 30, 2013

Oh My God! Angela,
This was by far the best plant based dish I have ever made (I have been cooking a lot for the last 2-3 months). Can you believe my meat eating husband was really impressed with the “meat” balls!! He usually comes up with something to complain about but not with this one:) This one is definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for your recipes and can’t wait for your new book to come out. Happy New Year and Wish you the BEST!!!!!!

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121 katie December 31, 2013

These worked out perfectly! The only thing I changed from the recipe was that I food processed everything a little bit right before forming into balls, because I don’t think I chopped everything well enough. So tasty, and I’ll definitely be making these balls and spaghetti again!

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122 Jennifer January 1, 2014

Anyone try putting these into muffin tins to make individual meatloaf servings as opposed to rolling into balls? If so, how did it work and how long and at what temp did you cook them for?

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123 Catarina January 1, 2014

Hi! I’m beginning my way into the vegetatian and vegan food/world, and since I found your blog, it has helped me a lot with new recipes.

I have a blog myself, I hope you find some time to look into it! (thebigvictus.blogspot.com/) :)

Keep up with the great work you do, it is amazing and inspiring.

Catarina, xoxo

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124 Sara January 3, 2014

Hi!! I tried this recipe last night and LOVED it! Eating a few of the bean balls for a snack now! I am currently transitioning to vegan. I am still eating some goat cheese from a local farm my friend owns, but I plan to taper that off as well. All these recipes are SO HELPFUL and make me fee hopeful that I can take control of my health and happiness by feeding myself the right foods! Thank you!

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125 Stephanie January 6, 2014

I made this 2 days ago and used a pan with openings in the bottom because I don’t have a large baking pan. The bean balls came out a little overcooked but they were still tasty with the tomato sauce and vegan parmesan! I also learned how to cook spaghetti squash from your Tex Mex spaghetti squash recipe. Everything turned out delicious!

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126 Jenn January 7, 2014

Wow this is amazing! I made this yesterday and I will definitely be making it again soon. Then I had leftover spaghetti squash so I made your black bean guacamole to go with it. All delicious!

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127 Lorissa January 8, 2014

Made these last night and they are amazing! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE! I’ve never eaten spaghetti squash (it’s a sin, really!) and it was so perfect and amazing! Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

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128 Laurie January 13, 2014

I made these bean balls last week and loved them. Even my husband loved them and did not miss the meat in our dinner at all. Thank you for this recipe!

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129 michali January 16, 2014

You are such an amazing inspiration to me, I read you blog every day!!
Thank you

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130 Cathryn January 25, 2014

After eyeing these bean balls for a while I finally had the time to make them. One thing I love about them is that I had all the ingredients already! The only thing I changed while making was substituting 1/4 of out flour for vegan italian bread crumbs because I could not imagine making any meatless meatball without italian bread crumbs lol! I would have to say hands down this is now on my list of must have foods. They came out delicious!! Great recipe Angela :)

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131 Erin January 26, 2014

These are great- do you have the nutritional facts on this dish?

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132 Kirsten K January 26, 2014

I have been using your recipes often since discovering your website this past summer – and I just wanted you to know that so many of your creations have made me so happy! I just tried this recipe, and already I want more – this was delicious. I just used what I had on hand and subbed or omitted what I didn’t, and it still turned out fantastic – yumm!!! Thank you so much for sharing your talents.

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133 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2014

I’m so happy to hear that Kirsten! :) Thanks for trying out so many recipes.

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134 Faygie January 30, 2014

I made these for dinner tonight, and they were fantastic! I served them as you did, with your homemade marinara and vegan parmesan on spaghetti squash! This was a HUGE hit, even with my kids!

(And, by the way, your creamy avocado pasta is one of my kids’ most requested dinners! :) )

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135 Kari February 2, 2014

I very recently started eating mostly vegan meals. Trying to find recipes and ideas, I found your blog and made these. I used pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts and left out the oil.
They are amazing. I couldn’t believe how delicious they were! I will definitely try more recipes.

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136 Claire February 4, 2014

Dear Angela,

I’m coming a bit late to the game but I made these tonight – along with tomato sauce and your vegan parmesan – and they were great: the perfect texture and so tasty. (I didn’t have nuts or seeds on hand so I substituted roasted edamame – extra protein, which helps as I’m breastfeeding – as do the oats.) Thank you!

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137 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 5, 2014

Hi Claire, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! :)

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138 Ramona February 22, 2014

We just made the Italian Bean Balls and they were FANTASTIC! My husband took a photo for our blog and will reference your website for the recipe. They were so flavorful that we will probably make them as patties next. Thanks!

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139 Lindsay March 2, 2014

I just made this recipe and I am quite happy with the result. It was delicious! Thank you!

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140 Ashley B March 9, 2014

I made this dish last night. They are delicious! Your recipes never fail me! Can’t wait to try all the recipes in the cookbook too!

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141 Lucy March 10, 2014

Did anyone make these with aduki beans or cannelini beans? If so, I’m curious to know how they came out.

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142 Shane March 13, 2014

cant wait to make this tonight only need to buy 2 ingredients looks so delicious thanks for the recipe :D

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143 Erin March 24, 2014

I made this tonight & it blew my mind!! I used zucchini noodles since squash is out of season. I wasn’t expecting such flavor! The texture of the bean balls were perfect & the crunch on the outside helped them hold up in the sauce! Talk about satisfying a comfort food craving!! I’m new to vegan cooking & your website is my new bible! Go girl :)

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144 Stephanie March 30, 2014

Rather than ground flax and water, could Chia be substituted with same amount of water to function like an egg since it turns gel-like?

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145 Stephanie March 30, 2014

Ok, so I tried the substitution. It was amazing. Consistency was just like meatballs – but better! So easy & delicious! So moist!

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146 Lizzie April 14, 2014

Made these last night but swapped the walnuts for pine nuts and added a little onion too, came out perfectly! my hunt for a meat free meatball is finally over.

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147 Jen April 21, 2014

i’m excited to try this recipe! i’m not a vegan, so do you have a suggested number of eggs to use to substitute the ground flax + water mixture? thanks!

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148 Stacie-Anne May 6, 2014

I made these last night and they are amazing! Thank you so much!

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149 Nicole June 6, 2014

This came out really well. I had to substitute white cannelini beans and it was delicious. One trick I found really helped was to wet my hands a bit before making the balls, they stuck together much better.

I LOVE your new cookbook too! Thank you!

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150 Becca June 25, 2014

I made these last night for my omnivore fiancé (though I turned them into “meat”ball sandwiches instead of eating them with spaghetti squash) and he gave them an A++ and said I might just convert him to vegetarian after all :) I thought you’d also love to know that I have your cookbook, and the other day we were looking for something to make for dinner and when I pulled out your cookbook he said I could make him anything from that cookbook because everything we’ve tried has been amazing. Thanks so much for all your recipes!!

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151 Meredith Smith June 26, 2014

I am going to try these again. Total user error. I used gf all purpose flour instead of gf oats….I now know there is a difference. lol Thanks for making my switch easier!

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152 Steph K July 17, 2014

I’m new to a vegan diet and I am loving your website! I made your Bean Balls last night and even my husband loved them (he’s been skeptical about going without meat). I made them with black beans instead of kidney and cashews instead of walnuts because that’s what I had on hand – but they came out perfectly. Thank you so much for your help as I navigate this new world of not eating animal products!

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153 RITA August 7, 2014

I can’t wait to get your book. I have been trying to find recipes with gluten free and soy free together. I have looked at your reviews and hope I can get my husband to eat more vegan. Thank you for all your work to help us.

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154 Ruxie August 12, 2014

I made this recipe tonight… It had me at first bite… these are the most delicious meatless “meat” balls I’ve ever had. I could have these every day :-). Another successful recipe. Thanks Angela! I have not found a recipe that was not delicious and really easy to make!! I wish you published a book with all these recioes :-) I would pre-order it now!! :-)

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155 melissa August 31, 2014

This recipe sounds delicious! Could you recommend any other beans, besides kidney, that might work well in this recipe?

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156 Jen September 9, 2014

Great recipe, everyone in this picky family loved it! Thank you so much!

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157 Sheri September 30, 2014

Can you substitute anything for the sun-dried tomatoes (or leave them out)? We have a nut AND tomato allergy in our household.

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158 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 30, 2014

Hi Sheri,

You can leave them out, but they offer a lot of flavour to the recipe. You may need to boost the spices and possibly the garlic.

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159 Mel October 12, 2014

Hello there! I’m wondering if it’s okay to replace the flax egg with regular egg? Ground flax and I don’t mix well!

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160 Dale October 21, 2014
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It was very good! My kids who already eat very well and are used to my always trying new things, loved them. I made my own sauce while roasting the spaghetti squash, and then made the meatless balls. I can’t use walnuts b/c my son has an allergic reaction but, I used blended up raw unshelled pumpkin seeds. You can also use sunflower seeds blended up, too. I also put nutritional yeast on when I served it.

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161 Melissa November 1, 2014

Hi Angela!! First I must tell you my latest obsession is you and your cookbook. I started dabbling with vegan cooking just out of a passion for healthy eating and the
second cookbook I bought early this summer was yours.What an amazing choice I made!! I’m totally addicted. AS a result, my sister and Mom are too! We just keep saying to one another “I tried page XX and it was so good! I can’t believe they are all so good!” Also, my husband knows your Dad (we’re from Shediac, NB) so you may soon hear a story about my obsession from him ;) I actually bought the book before we made that connection. SMALL WORLD!!

I just stumbled upon this recipe and I have to make it this minute. I think I have every bean BUT kidney. You mentioned you tested a lot of beans. If I had to use a different bean, which one should it be if any at all?

Thanks a bunch. :)

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162 Cecilie November 2, 2014
Recipe Rating:

Really great recipe! I looked at a lot of different vegan meatball recipes but a lot of them had lentils in them, and I do not like the taste of lentils very much. This recipe was really yummy. I had to add two ingredients though – 1 small onion and some finely chopped celery. I also put more carrots and walnuts than the recipe called for. The consistency was perfect! I prefer my meatballs to not have quite so much texture so all the ingredients went into the food processor at some point. :) All in all, this is a favorite than I plan to keep around!

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163 Alesha November 13, 2014

I can’t do nuts…can I omit??

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164 Nina Vrolijk November 18, 2014

So I was wondering if I could make these with chickpeas. I read that you have tried it with chickpeas? Can you maybe remember how that turned out?

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165 Esther November 21, 2014

Hi, I was just wondering if you could use gluten free bread? Since my daughter is sensitive to oat. Will it still hold the bean balls together?

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166 Roxy December 31, 2014
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I made these a while ago and enjoyed them quite a bit! Great texture :)

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167 Katy G. January 8, 2015

Going to make this for dinner tonight, along with your Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad. I made the balls last Sunday and have them in the freezer, so they will be easy to pull out and warm in some homemade tomato sauce. I started prepping the salad and wow, the dressing is amazing! It is going to be fantastic! I am loving the new year, how health becomes the focus. So far, I have your Moroccan Yam Burgers, the Italian Bean Balls, the Crispy Quinoa Cakes and your Thai Sweet Potato Burgers made and in my freezer to pull out for lunches or dinner. Just yesterday my husband and I took the Big Vegan Bowl for lunch and topped it with some leftover Creamy Hemp Seed Dressing…it was so filling and nutrient dense. Thank you for all the great recipes and inspiration.

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168 TinaStone January 14, 2015
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It’s like every one of your recipes that I try is a hit. These balls are no exception, glorious! They hold together perfectly, the texture and flavour are great. You are such a talent! Just bought your first cookbook and I can’t wait for the next :)

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169 Wendy January 17, 2015

I’ve tried more recipes than I can count from your site and this is one of the BEST! My three boys even gave their seal of approval. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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170 Joyce February 2, 2015

Hey, Angela, this recipe is great. It inspired me. I used black beans and quick oats and made some black bean meatless balls. They turned out very good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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171 Laura March 25, 2015
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I had been drooling to try this recipe for awhile now for my vegan 2 yr old son. It did not go as expected. I roasted my little spaghetti squashes as instructed. I scraped the strands out, then realized, to my intense dismay, they were crispy hard. I googled it and read some sites where it said to roast the squashes flesh side down in the pan for 1.5 hrs. I always roast butternut squash and acorn squash with cut side face down in the pan with a little water for about an hr, and they always turn out great. Anyway, I know from past experience spaghetti squash does cook tender, so from now on I will cook it the way I have always cooked squash. Regarding the bean balls…So I did puree those babies, only because they were for my son. So my son helped scoop the dough and I rolled them, and then he started dipping his fingers into the balls and enthusiastically exclaimed, “Yummy!! Sweet!!” I had to stop him from eating all the balls uncooked, as there were already funny, yet cute, finger marks in all of them where dough was now missing. So, long story short, I cooked them as directed, and now my son doesn’t like them. Neither do I. A complete bust and day’s worth of wasted cooking effort. I also did make the sauce to go with this, and the sauce in my opinion was okay. I had made a marinara 2 days before I liked better from a different book. I think I will try and salvage the bean balls sitting in my freezer and try crumbling them into pasta sauce for my son. He’s pretty keen on taste, however, so I may just toss the balls out this time. My dog will likely eat them, however, since she has lately been a little garbage picker at night from my garbage can in the kitchen. However, although some recipes are a miss, I have already tried some incredibly delicious and fabulous recipes from this site and the book, so I’m excited to make the veggie burgers today and also am making the apple chia pudding parfait again. I also tried a yogi juice yesterday and it was delic!

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172 Laura March 25, 2015

I also want to add after I realized the spaghetti squash strands were still crispy and hard, I tried microwaving them with water in a pan for awhile. Didn’t work. Then I dumped the strands into a pan with plenty of water and boiled them and simmered them for another hr. Didn’t work. Clearly this was a case of I fought the spaghetti squashes and the squashes won. So I may be disappointed, but never defeated. I will try another spaghetti squash down the road once the memory of these 2 squash failures fades.

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173 Angela April 9, 2015

Hi Laura,
I’m sorry to hear you had so many struggles with this one! My guess is that since you pureed the bean balls this greatly impacted the flavour. This is why I never puree any veg. burger or ball recipes (texture is also mushy when pureed) – the flavours all blend together instead of being distinct. Hope this helps!
All my best,
Angela

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174 Marie June 21, 2015

This recipe looks amazing! I have ben looking for a meatless meatball recipe. Have considered using one of your veggie burger recipes and forming them into balls, but this recipe will convince me to try this first!
Question, what would be a nut-less substitute for the walnuts?

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175 Natalie July 4, 2015

Delicious, delicious, delicious, my three year old devoured these! Filling but not heavy. Great for a winter’s night :)

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176 Allison July 6, 2015

So I just made your meatballs and I must say, I really like them. I am not Vegan but a health nut and full blown meat eater and I find them satisfying.

Definitely making these again but next time I will add Worcestershire sauce and use fresh oregano instead. Also, I am enjoying them plain as a snack but I will add a tomato sauce next time.

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177 Allison July 6, 2015
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Forgot to rate, comment above.

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178 Peter K. July 27, 2015
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Angela, these bean balls had me like YAASS!!

Served them atop wholewheat spaghetti tossed in tomato sauce – such a delicious meal.

Thanks for another outstanding recipe. Sending love from London!

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179 Gabrielle August 13, 2015

Would aia be able to substitute the oats with buckwheat flour do you think? I can’t eatoats, not even GF ones!

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180 Linda September 8, 2015
Recipe Rating:

Very tasty. They hold together well and are flavorful. I made a small change to create a crispy version. I made smaller balls, and after baking I lightly sauteed them in oil on medium heat. Thank you for the recipe.

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181 Tammie October 3, 2015
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I made this tonight and it was delicious!! This will go in my folder of fav’s.
Here is the marinara sauce I used.
http://www.veganchef.com/ezmarinara.htm

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182 Cheryl October 5, 2015

Hi -I tried the italian bean balls today at a potluck and I love them! I was wondering if I can double the ingredients to make a double sized batch? Or do I need to stick to the recipe and make 2 single batches?

Your recipes are so great and I can hardly wait for your new book to come out!
All the best,
Cheryl

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183 Alison Kang October 6, 2015

Can I replace the walnuts with almonds?

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184 Emily November 4, 2015
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Oh. My. Goodness. This recipe is so delicious. I recently bought a super nice food processor and was excited to use it for the first time with this recipe. I went all the way with it and made my own tomato sauce and used spaghetti squash. The combination is incredibly tasty and incredible filling in the best possible way. I’ve been sending pics of the meal to friends and family and they’re all impressed by the beautiful colors. I will definitely be making these lovely little bean balls on a regular basis!

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185 Courtney December 13, 2015
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This is one of my favorite recipes! I just made it this morning for today’s lunch. It takes forever to make the bean balls (took me 50 minutes), but the end result is well worth the wait. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe. Thanks, Angela!!

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186 Suzeth December 16, 2015
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OMG! I tried these yesterday and they were absolutely DELISH! Switching to a vegan conscious diet and your lovely recipes have awoken the desire to cook and enjoy cooking for myself and others :)
Thanks!

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187 Colleen January 16, 2016

I love this recipe! Do you have the nutritional information for the bean balls, exactly as described in your recipe? Thank you so much :)

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188 Cha February 21, 2016

Just discovered it and tried it yesterday evening… Amazing! I will definitely do this again. Thanks !

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189 Angela Liddon February 22, 2016

Hi Cha, I’m glad it was a hit! :)

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190 sarah February 29, 2016
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AMAZING!! far exceeded my expectations for a veggie version of a meatball- you nailed the texture and the flavors. actually even better than real meatballs :)

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191 Angela Liddon March 1, 2016

Hi Sarah, I’m glad the recipe was a hit! :)

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192 Jennifer Turnbull March 24, 2016

Made these tonight and they are amazing! I love your recipes but have a little bit of trouble trying to work out the amounts. I live in the UK and all your measurements are in ‘cups’ I have to search google to try and get the right amounts in grams but they aren’t always consistent.

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193 Michelle April 7, 2016
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Hi Angela! These taste awesome!! We love them! I was wondering if I can freeze them? Would you recommend baking them first and then freezing? I want to make a huge batch as they are so good!!! Thanks for your help!

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194 Angela Liddon April 7, 2016

Hi Michelle, I think these should freeze well for sure. I’d recommend you bake them first, then cool completely before freezing. Thaw and then reheat in the oven until warmed throughout. Hope this helps!

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195 Michelle April 7, 2016
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Thank you for getting back to me! I can’t wait to make a huge batch!! Thanks for all your awesome recipes! Can’t wait for you new book! All the best with your pregnancy!

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196 LisaRose June 11, 2016
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Yay, yay, yay! Just finished making these and I’m not sure they’ll last the weekend (it’s Saturday night…yikes!). Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I don’t even need any type of pasta or sauce.

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