The Best Vegan Meatballs

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Skillet filled with gluten-free vegan homemade "meatballs" in marinara sauce

Friends, this feels big. Vegan meatballs made with real food that are full of flavor, don’t fall apart, aren’t mushy, and are easy to make! Let’s do this!

Ingredients for making quinoa black bean vegan meatballs

Origin of Meatballs

These days, meatballs are enjoyed all over the world and come in many different forms. But it’s believed that the idea originated from Persian meatballs known as kofta.

Our plant-based take on meatballs most closely resembles the flavors of Italian-American meatballs which are made with breadcrumbs and herbs. The story of Italian-American meatballs says that Italian immigrants served them with spaghetti and tomato sauce to make the dish more filling without much additional cost.

How to Make Vegan Meatballs

This 10-ingredient recipe starts with black beans that have been baked to dry them out – this is important, as it helps prevent the meatballs from becoming mushy.

The beans are then blended with herbs, spices, and sautéed garlic and shallot for layers of flavor.

Blender filled with ingredients for making perfect vegan meatballs

Next comes the cooked and cooled quinoa, more herbs, tomato paste, and vegan Worcestershire (which is optional, but it adds more depth of flavor). Pulse a few more times and you’re ready to form your meatballs! After a quick chill in the refrigerator, it’s time to cook (and eat)!

Food processor with ingredients for making our vegan meatballs recipe
Browning vegan meatballs in a cast-iron skillet

To cook the meatballs, we went for a stovetop-oven combo. A quick sauté in the skillet you used to cook the onions and garlic in provides a crusty outer texture, while a bake in the oven dries them out a bit and ensures they’re cooked through the center.

At the end, for even more flavor, you can add your favorite marinara sauce and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until bubbly. Swoon. Then it’s meal time!

Using a spoon to grab a vegan meatball and marinara sauce

We hope you LOVE these meatballs! They’re:

Firm but tender
Not mushy
Packed with flavor
Made with wholesome ingredients
Protein- + Fiber-packed
& Incredibly delicious

These meatballs are delicious on their own, but they would also pair well with just about any pasta, like our Simple Chickpea Bolognese or 30-Minute Cashew Alfredo or Chili Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower. I could also see them working well on things like pizza and even sub sandwiches! Melt a little Vegan Mozzarella on top and you’re in business!

If you try this recipe, leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you cook up. Cheers, friends!

Dinner plate filled with delicious homemade vegan meatballs

The Best Vegan Meatballs

Tender, flavorful, 10-ingredient vegan meatballs made with quinoa and black beans! Infused with fresh herbs, tomato paste, and spices for big flavor. The perfect meatless meatball for pasta, sandwiches, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Plate of our delicious Vegan Meatballs in marinara sauce topped with parsley
4.81 from 276 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 (meatballs)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa* (ensure it’s cooked + completely cooled before using)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans* (rinsed, drained, dried)
  • 2 Tbsp water (or sub olive or avocado oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup diced shallot
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2 1/2 tsp fresh oregano (or sub half the amount in dried)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (reduce for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or parsley (we mixed both // plus more for serving)
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce (optional // adds depth of flavor // ensure gluten-free for GF eaters)

FOR SERVING (optional)

Instructions

  • If you haven’t prepared your quinoa yet, do so now (make sure it’s cooked and cooled completely before use). 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa will yield ~1 cup cooked. *Prep/cook time does not include preparing quinoa.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Add rinsed, dried black beans to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until beans appear cracked and feel dry to the touch (see beans in food processor photo). Remove beans from the oven and then increase oven heat to 375 degrees F (190C).
  • Heat a large (oven-safe) skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add water (or oil), garlic, and shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat (and reserve pan for later use).
  • Add black beans to a food processor along with garlic, shallot, sea salt, oregano, red pepper flake, and fennel (optional) and pulse into a loose meal (DON’T overmix). Then add cooked/cooled quinoa, vegan parmesan cheese, tomato paste, fresh basil or parsley, and Worcestershire (optional). Pulse to combine until a textured dough forms (you’re not looking for a purée, but it should be semi-tacky).
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness/depth of flavor, red pepper flake for heat, herbs for earthiness, or Worcestershire (optional) for more depth of flavor. If it’s too tacky or wet, add more vegan parmesan cheese and pulse to combine (we added a bit more).
  • Scoop out heaping 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts (using this scoop or a Tablespoon) and gently form into small balls using your hands. Add to a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Heat an oven-safe metal or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a small amount of oil to prevent sticking, then add the meatballs. Sauté for a few minutes, gently turning the meatballs to get a slight crust on either side. Then transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and slightly dry to the touch. 
  • These meatballs are delicious as is, or you can add some marinara to the pan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes (or until bubbling / hot) to infuse more flavor.
  • Serve with marinara and additional vegan parmesan cheese (optional)! These are also delicious atop any pasta. Leftover meatballs keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave or in a 375-degree F (190 C) oven until warmed through.

Video

Notes

*1 15-ounce (425 g) can black beans yields ~1 1/4 cup beans (after draining excess liquid).
*Prep/cook time does not include preparing quinoa.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 12 meatballs calculated without optional or serving ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 Meatballs Calories: 67.4 Carbohydrates: 10 g Protein: 3.3 g Fat: 1.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.3 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 184.5 mg Potassium: 172 mg Fiber: 2.7 g Sugar: 1.1 g Vitamin A: 70 IU Vitamin C: 2 mg Calcium: 23 mg Iron: 1.1 mg

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My Rating:




  1. Sara says

    Made this and loved it. Left out worcestershire sauce, used onion instead of shallot and used real cheese (am vegetarian, not vegan). Otherwise followed the recipe and they were amazing. My hyper-critical family loved them. Said they didn’t taste like meat but the texture was very close and they were delicious. They held together beautifully (put the sauce on them when serving and did not heat them in the sauce). I also froze one to see how that would turn out and it froze beautifully. A great recipe. Worth the work. THANKS

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Sara. We’re so glad everyone enjoyed!

  2. Carol says

    These are super delicious! I had leftover quinoa “taco meat” so I used that. I didn’t have vegan parmesan, so I used nutritional yeast. The flavours are so good… highly recommend!

  3. Peter says

    The flavor was amazing. Really great. But I was disappointed with the texture, which was rather mushy. Suggestions for making them a bit more firm…breadcrumbs or chunks of torn bread, maybe?

    Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Peter, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the texture. Lentil meatballs will be more tender than traditional meatballs, but yes, breadcrumbs would help them be a bit more firm.

  4. Huola says

    There has to be a better way of ensuring the texture is firm enough. All this drying out of beans and frying-then-baking is too much hassle. Also many people don’t know how to cook quinoa so that it becomes dry. Sloppy quinoa would ruin this recipe. Lastly, do you really think your recipes are more popular because you scatter cliches throughout them? Let’s do this! etc. It puts me off. All said, however, the meatballs are excellent so thank you.

  5. JeniFav says

    So, my son’s girlfriend (both 21) is vegan so I made these as a vegan option and they were delicious! I had to use some dried herbs because my Kroger was out of fresh but it still came out great!

    I also made traditional meet and pork meatballs for the carnivores at dinner and I used the same herb and spice blend with egg and breadcrumbs (gluten-free, since I and another guest can’t have wheat/gluten). Adjusted a bit to account for the flavor meat adds. They tasted amazing, too.

    Both served with a vegan marinara I made from scratch using, of course tomatoes, but also bell peppers and seasoned with tamari and Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) and a bunch of other things. Oh, and jalapenos, so it’s a spicy marinara!

    Anyway, this is a great vegan recipe and the herbs and spices work well with meat, too!

  6. Joan says

    Wow, these were great – so much flavor packed into these! I used 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano and 2 tsp. dried basil (could have used 3). I also omitted the pepper flakes as I am not a fan. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to a T. Next time, I will use a non-stick pan as they did stick a bit when frying, even with the oil.
    I wonder about your serving size. It says it makes 12 meatballs, but I ended up with almost double that. That is fine with me as I prefer smaller meatballs for better portion control.
    So glad I found this recipe. I bet it will make a great veggie burger too!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah, a blender could work, but you will likely need to stop it and stir to keep things moving. Otherwise, you could try finely chopping/mashing, but it might be quite a bit of effort. Hope that helps!

  7. Brooke says

    I don’t like black beans, basil or quinoa, but I love every minimalist baker baker recipe, so I made these on faith!
    These are AMAZING meatballs – easy to make and I followed the recipe exactly. I didn’t use the optional fennel, but did use the Worcestershire sauce. I tasted the raw mix to see if it needed more heat or salt; it was perfect. Searing first added great flavor. I checked at the oven at 24 minutes & they were perfect. I ate two right away, and they were delicious. I’ll be making your sauce & miso risotto this weekend. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe.

  8. Julie L says

    Of all the bean based “meatballs” I have tried this one was definitely the best. They held together, flavor was good, and outside was crispy. I ended up just oiling my pan really well, rolling them in the oil, and then baking them vs pan toasting them first as that step just seemed unnecessary if you oil all sides. All that said I still would not make these as “meatballs” and in my recipe app I relabled as a veggie burger recipe because I definitely prefer these with mayo and mustard as a burger vs with tomato sauce as meatballs, and veggie bugers will also be less work to make.

  9. AMy says

    Hi – just wanted to double check – the quinoa weight is that the dry weight or weight once cooked and cooled? Can’t wait to try these!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Good question, Amy! It’s the cooked and cooled weight. Let us know what you think if you give them a try!

  10. Jane says

    I had to comment because we just had these for dinner and my daughter told me, “these are the best meatballs you’ve ever made!” I made them small, and her and my son ate a BUNCH. So thank you! Also I didn’t have time to make the park so I subbed 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1/4 cup ground flax. And i used garlic and onion powder instead of sautéing garlic and shallot (which I’d love to try next time), and baked right away, and it still was delicious!

  11. Amanda says

    I’ve made this several times now and it’s always a huge hit in my house! I put them on some hoagie rolls and do meatball sub sandwiches. By far, the best vegan meatball recipe out there. Thank you!

      • Joanna says

        They are very tasty and a hit at my work Christmas party… everyone wanted the recipe. They did however fall apart. Not sure what I did wrong. I froze the extra ones and just had them with spaghetti but they made more of a “meat sauce”… still tasty and would make them again

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Joanna, we’re so glad you enjoyed the flavor! Is it possible you added them to a sauce? These get a little tender in liquid so it’s best to pour a sauce over them when serving instead. Hope that helps!

          • Joanna says

            Definitely the issue. Both times we used them I put them in sauce. The first time was an alternative for swedish meatballs. Will put sauce on after next time.

  12. Stacey B says

    I’m curious how I might add more protein to these without changing the consistency too much. Protein powder, vital wheat gluten, flax? I don’t need them to be gluten or soy free. Any suggestions? I

  13. Ronnie says

    Making these meatballs was a lot of work but the end result was worth it. I really enjoyed the flavor. I read somewhere that coconut liquid aminos was a good substitute for worcestershire sauce. I went with the aminos because my local grocery store didn’t have sugar free worcestershire sauce. I will say that my meatballs didn’t hold the shape. However, I do not blame the recipe, I blame myself

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ronnie, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! These meatballs are a little tender, but if you pour sauce over them vs. putting them in sauce, they hold up better. Hope that helps!

  14. Laura says

    I made these for a family I chef for & both my husband & myself wish we could keep them all. Absolutely delicious. I avoid recipes that use fake cheeses, though will occasionally use a little Violife parmesan for others.
    I would like to eliminate the parmesan next time I make these. I can’t imagine it changing the flavor much. I’d just add a little more beans/quinoa to make up the bulk.
    Have you made these both w/ & w/o the parm & thought they are better with it?
    I did one batch w/ cooking on stove first, then realized it was a step I didn’t need so the 2nd & 3rd batches went straight from fridge to oven.
    Using my melon scooper, I got 18 balls per batch. WINNER!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Becky, our DIY vegan parmesan is made with cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and garlic powder. You could maybe try breadcrumbs in place of the cashews? Hope that helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad it was a hit with the whole family! Thank you for the lovely review, Cammy! xo

  15. Katie says

    Took a chance on this for a cozy at home vegan New Year’s Eve dinner – OMG. Sooo good. Automatic addition to ‘regular’ rotation meals. They’re a bit of work so if you have time through the day I’d suggest prepping the quinoa and black beans so you’re ready to go.
    And next time I’ll try someone elses tip to add a bit of flour. Thank you so much for this recipe, I hadn’t had spaghetti and meat balls since going plant based

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Katie. So glad you enjoyed!

  16. Hanneke van veghel says

    I made this recipe for 10 meateaters (all men) and they thought they were eating meat! Even the Italian guy absolutely loved the Italian style meatballs. This is delicious and I love that the ‘meatballs’ are really firm. I did add one big tablespoon of flour to make it a bit more firm. Cooling it in the fridge is key. Thanks for the delicious recipe! ♥️

  17. Halya says

    Hi I have made 2 batches of these and the flavour is great but I find that they don’t hold a round shape once I put them in the oven. Is it because they are so soft? What can I do differently? I followed the recipe completely

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that’s happening, Halya! Hmm, are you making any modifications to the ingredients? It almost sounds like they need more moisture. They will be tender and fall apart if added to a sauce, but should hold their shape well on their own in the oven or if a sauce is just poured over the top.

  18. Lily says

    So delicious! I subbed the shallot for an onion and I omitted the Worcestershire sauce. I ended with 26 meatballs so I stuck the leftovers in the freezer. I also let it sit in the fridge overnight and cooked them up the next day. Tastes like the real deal! Thank you!

  19. Laurel says

    I just made these and they are delicious – I wouldn’t change a thing! I’ll definitely be making them again. Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenna! That should work! We’d suggest increasing the quinoa or adding some breadcrumbs in place of the parm for the right texture, or if you can have them, just using some plain cashews instead! For the garlic and shallot, you can omit them and simply increase the other spices to your liking. Let us know how it goes!

  20. Jessica Mueller says

    Ok, these are ABSOLUTLEY AMAZING. I added actual fennel(about 1/2 cup, sautéed with onions and garlic). I also subbed out the tomato paste for sundried tomato’s and the flavour is unreal. TRY THESE!

  21. lyn says

    I have made these several times now for my vegetarian daughters. There is one huge problem with them…they love them so much and so do their family. I must admit that I also find them very tasty. Do yourself a favour and make them. Don’t tell your family they are vegetarian and trust me they will be begging you to make them again as mine do. Best wishes

  22. Anne says

    Delicious recipe! Thank you for posting this and the vegan Parmesan recipes. I doubled the recipe at the start because knew if they were good, I’d want leftovers to enjoy for a few more meals. And they were and glad I made a double batch.

    I skipped pan frying the meatballs and instead popped them directly into a 400 degree oven. It worked like a charms and the meatballs were perfectly roasted and stayed whole. I then heated up some pasta sauce and added the meatballs to the pan for a few minutes and had no problems with them falling apart at all. Will definitely be making these again, on a regular basis! Thank you again!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your experience, Anne!

  23. Laura says

    Is there something I could use to substitute for the vegan Parmesan cheese? I have an aversion to artificial foods.

      • Terri says

        I’m new to the plant based community. I made this with your marinara recipe… DELICIOUS!! I have always said nothing beats our family recipe..but darn it! This makes a great meatless substitute! Thank you!

  24. Miranda B says

    Well worth the time it takes to make this recipe. I tripled batched today to have some to freeze 💫 delicious. Thanks Dana!

  25. Jenna says

    I’ve made this recent multiple times now and it’s a huge hit in our family! A few things I’ve done differently as as follows: 1. I blend all the spices before adding in the black beans with everything minus the quinoa. 2. I grind the black beans into nearly a paste so that when I add the quinoa the mixture is sticky and holds together nicely. This way, I omit the vegan cheese (I’m not a fan of cheese substitutes and find it unnecessary) 3. I air fry the meatballs (they turn out super crispy), but I have also baked them and they turn out amazing! Thank you for the great recipe!! It’s one of my new favorite dinners and will be on repeat until further notice :)

  26. Amanda says

    10/10 would recommend!!!! I made this for my family as a vegan option for me to enjoy alongside everyone else eating regular meatballs. To my surprise some family members completely skipped the beef, and opted for the vegan ones and enjoyed them! This recipe was super easy to make and as long as you prep the quinoa in advance (or even use leftovers!) It comes together fairly quickly!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan, we’re so sorry to hear that was your experience! Did you cook them in a sauce? These do best if a sauce is poured over them vs. cooking them in it.

  27. Mir Delisle Oldham says

    Make sure and begin with cooking the quinoa – which does add a bit of time to the recipe. This being said, I let it cook while I drained and dried then oven dried the black beans, and it worked pretty well. Another point is – oven should not be “on” until you put the balls in the fridge – wasted energy otherwise. I used vegan cheese I had, I had no parmesan, and cilantro for the herb. Turned out great!

      • Shelly NP says

        This is a winning recipe. I’ve made several minimalist baker recipes over the years. Most are delicious but the prep time or number of sequential steps isn’t practical for me/my lifestyle. I make them once, dirty every pan and use 1/2 of a precious day off from the hospital making a “minimalist” dinner (this has become a running joke in my house). I end up cranky and frustrated, frankly. However, this recipe was straight-forward with basic pantry ingredients (no trip to store needed). It was delicious and simple(ish)! I followed the recipe, with few changes (necessity). I baked the beans for 25 minutes to dry them out. I also used an onion (didn’t have a shallot. Who keeps shallots in their house?! :-)). Texture was great. Held together beautifully. As a final step, we put the cooked balls in a pan with marina sauce and then into hoagie rolls with “cheese”. Broiled in oven to toast. Next time, I’ll try cooking the meatballs in a pan with sauce and skip the oven. Less dishes and hoping this will allow the sauce to absorb. I’ve bookmarked this recipe, which says a lot! Plan to make this again soon! Ps – fennel was brilliant addition. Almost omitted it. Glad I didn’t!

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Shelly! So glad you enjoy the meatballs!

  28. Shawn Jensen says

    This is the first ‘meatball’ I have made plant based. They turned out very well. I subbed canned navy beans for the black beans and millet for the quinoa. I forgot to add the water and think they turned out really well. Baked as directed without putting them in the fridge. I made 16 balls from the mixture and they held together very well.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Shawn! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  29. K says

    These are really tasty and flavorful, they also have a great texture that is like a meat sauce as they break apart in pasta. I added an egg to bind and subbed vegan parm for regular. I skipped pan-frying because they were crumbling in the pan! So I just baked the rest for 20 mins and they held together OK. I tried to cook a few in the sauce too but those completely fell apart. I have no idea how these stay together without egg as mine were still pretty delicate, I can only assume the vegan parm is key.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for the lovely review and sharing your modifications!

  30. Rita says

    Hello! The taste was incredible but they turned out to be too tender without forming a hard layer. You think it’s because I did them on the stove and not the oven?
    I made sure to add oil

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lesley, we haven’t tried it with bulgar, but other readers have reported doing so with success! Let us know if you try it!

  31. Leah says

    Hi, could I sub the worchestershire sauce for tamari?
    Also, can I leave out the vegan parmesan as I can’t buy that locally
    Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leah! We haven’t tried this with tamari but it should work, it just might not have as much depth of flavor. As for the vegan parmesan cheese, the meatballs use our vegan parm recipe which you can find here. If you don’t want to make it, you could just substitute 1/2 cup finely chopped cashews or other mild nuts, but we wouldn’t recommend omitting completely as it does help the texture hold together. Let us know what you think if you give it a try! xo

  32. Amy says

    These are so amazing! I made these for myself and toddler and we both loved them. We are pescatarian, so we just used the non-vegan options (cheese and worcestershire sauce). Also, I just baked mine (convection) the whole way (instead of sauteeing) and they were perfect.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo – sounds delish! Thanks for the lovely review, Amy, we’re so glad you both enjoyed! xo

  33. Celia says

    The meatballs sound so delicious, I am making them for dinner tonight. Wondering if I can cook them in the Air Fryer?

    I am going to make extra to freeze. Should I freeze them before or after cooking?

    Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Celia, We would recommend freezing before cooking. We haven’t experimented with an air fryer, but other readers have done so with success. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words (such as “air fryer”) in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

  34. Zippy says

    Thank you for this great versatile recipe!
    I made it with baked white and black soybeans instead of black beans ’cause my husband is on a low fodmap diet.
    Also added some roasted red peppers and miso and tamari to replace the worcestershire sauce, was delicious, will definitely make it again.

  35. Tami says

    These truly are the best vegan meatballs that ever have existed. Made them for the first time today and am I already planning to make them again next week!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Tami. Thank you so much for the lovely review! xo

  36. Kristine says

    We doubled the recipe thinking we’d have leftovers but it was delicious . (We also made the marinara sauce.) My husband and I ate this double batch in one sitting! Am I embarrassed? Slightly, but mostly pleased that we found this.

    I added double to triple the garlic, and made sure there was enough oil and heat to get the crisp around the meatball before putting in the over. Next time I might squish the meatball into a patty so more surface area is crispy.

  37. Ellen says

    This was incredibly tasty, I can’t believe how well they turned out. So satisfying and so much flavour. I roasted them for ten minutes (of the recommended time) but then added arabiatta sauce and vegan cheese and roasted them for another 15 or so to make a bake. I think I will use the recipe to make some « meat » for kebabs, changing out the herbs for spices. Really loved this and it is definitely now in the rotation. Doubled it to have leftovers. Thank you so much!

  38. Lyn says

    Greeting from Australia. oh what flavour. The only problem was converting your ox to our mls. A truely delicious recipe. Thank you so much

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lyn, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! You can click “metric” beneath the ingredients header next time to access gram and ml measurements. Hope that helps!

  39. Kelley says

    Hello! What would you replace the tomato sauce with ? Not having tomatoes in my diet but really want vegan meat balls!

  40. Denise says

    Delicious but they were mushy and didn’t stay in the shape of a ball. Not sure what I did wrong, but will make them again. Perhaps will add some chickpea flour.
    What do you suggest?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Denise, sorry to hear that! It sounds like there may have been too much liquid. Did you make sure to cook the beans to remove moisture? And was the quinoa cooled before using? Or were there any other modifications?

  41. Dana says

    so thankful for this recipe! this is the only good vegan bean balls. the secret is to bake the beans so it doesn’t end up mushy. will do that to all future beans/lentil balls. this is the only recipe that i found that has this important step. it turned out so good! I never leave comments but I was so excited to finally find a good recipe for this. thank you so much!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe, Dana! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! xoxo

  42. Sharon mozzi says

    How long do they need to be reheated for from cold? Also from frozen do they have to be defrosted and how long reheated for?
    Just making them. Will let you know how i get on but so far looking really appetizing.

  43. Cylia says

    Amazing recipe, I replaced the tomato paste by a spoon of organic ketchup (I didn’t have any at home). And use fresh garlic for the vegan parmesan.
    So tasty!

  44. Angela says

    I made these one night and they were amazing! I do think the fresh basil, fresh parsley, and the fennel help to make the flavor more authentic. I also made the vegan parmesan recipe (without ‘nutritional’ yeast’), and I think it helped using something homemade vs from the store. My 9 year old who is used to beef meatballs took some convincing – I think the burst of flavor and salt can be too much for young kids who normally eat single foods (e.g., apple, blueberries, bread, pasta…). I cooked them in a cast iron skillet and they only stuck when I was trying to move them too soon. Sometimes things need to form a crusty layer before moving it in the pan. I also like that these can become a vegan bolognese when they are crumbled. I’m about to make another batch or two to freeze. Have you tried that? My plan is to freeze fully cooked vs freezing them pre-cooked.

  45. Roshanna Jenev says

    Not done making these, but im obsessed with the raw batter! Right now they’re still in the fridge but i think my family will love them. I used dried/dehydrated oregano, basil, and parsley instead of fresh, 1 cup quinoa and 0.5 cup brown rice (for 20 meatballs), yellow onion instead of shallot, and seasoned Italian breadcrumbs instead of vegan Parmesan cheese. I really recommend this recipe to meat-eaters and non-meat eaters, this meatballs would taste amazing with pasta or in a sandwich.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience and modifications, Roshanna! We hope you enjoy the finished product even more! xo

  46. CFR says

    Drying the beans in oven, genius. Still a little soft and crumbly but very flavorful. Frying them in a bit more oil wold have made a crispier exterior but trying to cut back. Thank you!

  47. Bobbi says

    Delicious! Best meatless meatball recipe that I’ve tried so far for sure. My only modifications were using an onion in place of the shallot, basil paste (no parsley) and dried oregano instead of fresh, used non-vegan worcestershire sauce and parmesan, and I did use the fennel seeds which I definitely think gave it a more authentic flavor. We used ours to make subs and, although the meatballs were still soft and slightly crumbly, they were awesome.

    Question- our meatballs were still soft and squishy, so do you think that maybe we just didn’t cook them long enough? I suspect that my husband may have been too impatient to properly saute them before putting them in the oven so maybe that was it? Thanks for any feedback :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Bobbi! The meatballs won’t be as firm as a traditional meatball, but should be cooked until golden brown for best texture. xo

  48. Michele says

    I made the meatballs today, they turned out great for my first try, and they taste delicious. I just need to make a sauce. Thankyou for your recipe 🥰

  49. Tatiana says

    This looks absolutely delicious. Where I live it’s quite hard to find black beans, would you reckon it would also work with kidney beans?

  50. Susan says

    I made these tonight for the first time along with homemade marinara sauce and they were amazing! I did not have an issue with them sticking to the pan like other reviewers mentioned. I transferred them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet to finish them off in the oven. The texture and flavor were outstanding. I’ve been on a bit of a Minimalist Baker cooking streak lately (sweet potato brownies, vegan moussaka…) and I so appreciate all of your wonderful plant based recipes. Thank you!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you’ve been enjoying our recipes, Susan. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  51. The Vegan Goddess says

    I made the vegan “meatballs” with marinara sauce and “Parmesan cheese” today and loved it. It took a long time to prepare with all of the different steps but, luckily, it was worth the effort. All of the processes add dimension and depth. It’s savory and tasty.

    I love that it has quinoa and black beans in it and no flour or eggs.

    I left out the nutritional yeast because I don’t have it and heard that it’s not really that good for us.

    Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes and tips.

  52. Debbie says

    I made this for dinner yesterday with pasta and marinara sauce and it was amazing! I’m not vegetarian but trying to cook more vegetarian meals. Honestly I didn’t miss the meat! It’s probably one of the most filling meals I’ve had. Though, I agree with a few of the comments in that there are a lot of steps and it took longer than what I would’ve normally liked for a dinner. Things I did differently were I used a vegetarian substitute for the Worcestershire sauce, omitted the parsley (used just basil because I love basil), and after pulsing the black bean mixture, I put that in a bowl to mix the quinoa, herbs etc together as it was easier without over mixing and it came out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  53. Bri says

    I don’t have an oven-safe or cast iron skillet, just a cookie sheet. Do you think that would work, and if so, should I line with parchment paper? Also do you think real park would work? If not I will use nutritional yeast flakes. Thank you!

      • Kristen says

        I just made these vegan meatballs for dinner with zucchini noodles and Rao’s marinara sauce – sooooo good!!

        I know people are giving it less stars for the mixture sticking to the pan, but the flavor is really good and even my meat-eating boyfriend loved it. The balls did stick to the pan a little when frying, so I stopped panfrying and just put them in the oven and let them crisp up in there. I followed the directions and recipe as listed, except I used real Parmesan cheese. Thank you !! Will be adding this to my rotation

  54. Sam says

    Followed recipe to a tee, used more than enough oil when frying – still stuck from being too sticky, and then used baking paper to bake – still didn’t firm up nice and then fell apart in the sauce.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Sharon! Sounds like they needed just a bit more blending to help them form together!

  55. Nikki says

    My meatballs looked like thin patties. What did I do wrong?
    Willing to try again but the frying didn’t work well so we went straight to baking for some. Those didn’t fall as flat but still looked more like a patty.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nikki, did you form them into balls? Is it possible you pressed down on them while they were cooking? Or perhaps they had too much moisture.

  56. Christina says

    These are a favorite for us so we double or triple the recipe to get more bang for our time. I don’t make any major subs but I don’t pan fry bc my family isn’t too picky and I am lazy. I am sure that would add a nice textural element. We have used both nutritional yeast and regular parm with the exact same results so we just do what’s on hand. We pair them with Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce or Arabiatta. My brother and dad LOVE them so it’s nice to have a meal that satisfies my meat eaters and vegetarians!

  57. Patti says

    I’m sad about this one. I wanted to love them, as the ingredients sounded so great together. And they were! However, it’s certainly not a minimalist recipe by any means. 13 ingredients (if you include all the optional ones), verrrry time consuming, and many, many steps. I didn’t change a thing in this recipe and stuck to the instructions to the letter, since I’d not made them before. I couldn’t get that nice, crusty outer layer from their time in the skillet, as they stuck to it. Every time I turned them over, it left the crust behind. They did fine in the oven, but again, some stuck. While they certainly have delicious flavor, they started to break apart in the sauce, which was a disappointment. Honestly, for me, it was too much effort for the end result.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Patti, we’re sorry to hear they didn’t turn out as expected. The simple factor on these is 10 ingredients (since we don’t include optional ingredients in the count). For sticking to the skillet, it sounds like it needed more oil. The type of pan may have also made a difference- we recommend a well-seasoned cast-iron for best results. For baking in the oven, you could try transferring to a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking. These are more tender and benefit from pouring sauce over them versus cooking in a sauce.

      • Patti says

        Thanks for the tips. Those might be very helpful to include on the original recipe. For instance, it doesn’t say to add any oil to the meatball skillet. I did use oil, as I was afraid they would stick, but obviously not enough. It also says to place the oven-proof skillet in the oven, and nothing about a parchment-lined baking sheet. If I go for these again, I’ll give those tips a try.

  58. christal says

    total winner! preparing this i thought.. “all this effort better be worth it”. and it was.
    I used only a quarter of the “vegan parmesan”.
    the were sticky all the way through and we cooked them in the marinara sauce and served with spaghetti!
    wondering though, how to get them more “lighter” and not so “compact”?
    also the measurements of can of beans is a tad wrong :) 15oz is basically one can, however the recipe says 1200g =5 cans :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Christal! More vegan parmesan and/or breadcrumbs would help with the texture. We’ll take a look at the metric measurements. Thanks for letting us know!

  59. Aanisah says

    Recipe was just delicious. My partner said it was his meal of the year and top 5 all time. Our little boy munch it down too!

    I scaled up a bit because we’re greedy in my house. Going for about 1.5 the amounts given in the recipe. Worked fine.

    Others may probably have guessed but I didn’t grate the parmesan before adding to the food processor and my machine didn’t get it fine with everything else in there too. Could have been the machine (which is old). Anyway we actually liked having little chunks of parm in the meatballs.

    Served our with a cheat marinara I made from passata and spaghetti.

    Fabulous!

  60. vittoria liguori says

    These are incredible! Honestly, even just the smell exceeded every expectation. So good, planning on making these as soon as dinner parties are a thing again (damn you covid). Thanks again!

  61. Theresa Dextrase says

    Delicious , what a treat. I will need a lot of practice to be able to complete them in 30 min though!! I love Christina’s suggestion for nutritional yeast, would make more affordable. Due to family preference, I decided to go with sage and thyme rather than fennel.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for sharing your experience and feedback, Theresa! xo

  62. Jai-Leigh says

    These tasted so amazing.
    I added some additional things to the receipe: fresh coriander and rosemary, a teaspoon of Italian herb mix. I also added some dried shallots, two anchovy’s, and instead of salt I used vegeta real stock powder. I only had half a can of black beans so I added in half a can of cannellini beans.
    Very impressed. I will definitely be making these again. Thank you for the recipe.

  63. Sarah says

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it a couple of times and my husband (who is not easily convinced) has asked me to make a recipe card so we’ll have it in our repertoire and hopefully eat it every week. Last time I made them I had no basil or parsley so I used frozen spinach, and it was all right (not as delicious though).

  64. Jiana says

    These vegan meatballs were delicious! I was really impressed with the flavor, pre-cooked texture and that they did not fall apart during cooking. However Im surprised more people didn’t share that they are not firm all the way through like you’d expect from a regular meatball or even like a vegan sausage. They kind of crumbled in my roll. Therefore I think they’re best served alone with sauce vs in a roll or over pasta for that reason.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Jiana! These are a bit more tender than a traditional meatball. If serving with sauce, it works to pour the warm sauce over them rather than cooking them in the sauce. Hope that helps!

  65. Christina says

    The only sub I made was to use plain old nutritional yeast instead of ‘vegan parm! I opted to use Worcestershire sauce because we like the flavor and opted out for the fennel seeds because we didn’t have them. I also didn’t sear them I just baked them for 20 mins flipping halfway through because I was getting hungry! Well worth the time just wish I doubled the recipe – they were that good!

  66. Leah says

    This was great! I used regular parmesan cheese and marmite instead of worcestershire sauce since they were out at the store. Best vegetarian meatballs. I want to try the full vegan version at some point, but for those not strictly vegan, this was a winner! My 14 month old loved them too!

  67. Jsnap00 says

    These “meatballs” were absolutely amazing! I made them on Thanksgiving 2020, just to change it up. Wow, wow, wow! So impressed. I followed the recipe to a T, except for I used regular parm. I will make these on a regular- and I had so many left overs! As a new vegan, your recipes inspire me all the time! Thanks a bunch!

  68. Emma Borho says

    These meatballs were awesome! Most people in my house are meat-eaters, but everyone complimented them. We didn’t have vegan parm, and no one is a strict vegan, so we used regular parm and they worked perfectly. We were also using crushed San Marzano tomatoes for another component of the meal, so we used that rather than tomato paste. They still tasted wonderful! Thank you for the great recipe.

  69. Kianna says

    These are great! I was a bit worried about them tasting strongly like black beans or quinoa but I was pleasantly surprised by the mild taste. The fennel seeds really made these stand out – they tasted kind of like an italian sausage which I’m sure is what was intended. After baking them I found them a tad dry so next time I plan on simmering them in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Kianna! Simmering in sauce can cause them to fall apart, so we’d suggest baking slightly next time and then pouring the sauce over the top. Hope that helps!

  70. fiona says

    these are amaaazing! would love to see an asian teriyaki/ginger style sticky meatball recipe – something like a vegan gf version of half baked harvest’s “weeknight sticky ginger sesame chicken meatballs”. also would love gf vegan swedish meatballs! thank you for all that you do!

  71. Jessie says

    The name says it all – these really are the best vegan meatballs. They formed together perfectly and tasted so delicious in the Easy 1-Pot marinara from this site (our go-to now) with a noodle/zoodle combo. I used dried basil and parsley, since that’s what I had on hand, and really thought the fennel seeds were a good add. I didn’t have shallots so sub’d with red onions. My ‘meatballs’ started sticking when I was frying them in the pan, so I just transferred them to a parchment lined baking sheet and threw them in the oven. Absolutely delicious – this is a keeper!

    • Sarah says

      The taste of these meatballs were AMAZING although they did come out a bit mushy. Where do you think I went wrong?

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Sarah, we’re thinking they were either processed in the food processor a little long or had too much moisture. Hope that helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sabrina, it’s best to pour the warmed sauce over the meatballs as they can fall apart if cooked in sauce. Hope that helps!

  72. Eileen Nolan says

    These ‘meatballs’ were really flavourful. I like how they were lightly browned in a pan & then finished off in the oven. They are delicate. I was worried about a strong black bean flavour but they just added body to a marinara sauce and pasta. I didn’t have fresh herbs so just used dry. Nice! Thanks!

  73. Danielle says

    These are absolutely amazing. By far the best vegan meatballs I’ve made. Will add in to regular rotation. I used nutritional yeast instead of vegan Parmesan. Thank you.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Danielle. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  74. Madeline says

    I screwed up so many steps in this recipe (not the recipe’s fault, but my own, as I wasn’t reading closely), and it still turned out absolutely delicious. Made it with red sauce and the carrot noodles. Huge hit with my husband, also.

  75. Claudia says

    Do you think baking the cooked beans for other loaf/’meat’ball recipes would work to help make them have a firmer texture?

  76. Sarah says

    I love these meatballs, and I make them pretty often. I don’t have a food processor so I used to use my blender, but I’d have to stop and stir it a lot to get the texture right. Then one day I decided to mix them by hand using a pastry blender, and it worked great! Obviously I had to chop up the veg/herbs a little finer, but the texture was easier to control and better than the times I over-mixed it in the blender.

  77. Linda K Stremmel says

    This came out quite well. I haven’t finished the whole process but they are really tasty before finishing in the oven. I will finish this step just before dinner so they will be freshly cooked.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Linda!! So glad you enjoyed these. Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  78. Leah Stewart says

    I substituted the vegan parmesan for nutritional yeast instead because that is what I had on hand.
    This has to be the most delicious recipe ever ! I didn’t use the Worcestershire Sauce

  79. Laurie says

    I made these exactly as posted. They are very flavorful, but they still fell apart. I’m not sure what I did wrong. Next time I think I will add a flax or chia egg to the mixture hoping that will help keep them together.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laurie, Did you use 1 cup COOKED quinoa? Or dry? Did you add the meatballs to a sauce or other liquid and then they fell apart? They don’t hold together when doing that, but should hold together if warm sauce is poured over them. Hope that helps!

    • Laurie says

      I apologize. I read the directions incorrectly. I did pour sauce over mine before putting them in the oven. I will try again and serve the sauce on the side, because we did really like the flavor of the balls.

  80. Nina says

    I couldn’t agree more. These are absolutely full of flavor! We recently changed to eating plant base and my teenage son was missing his favorite meal (meatballs) so he was so excited when I made these and he absolutely loved them. I thought the size were probably too small for his and my husband’s appetite but they were both full with just three each. My tween daughter was full with 2. A total hit with the whole family. Lastly, the parmesan cheese was spot on. Thank you for these amazing recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad your family enjoyed them, Nina! Thanks so much for the lovely review =)

  81. Vic says

    I’m making these right now and have just tasted the mixture as stage 5 suggest. THEY ARE SO TASTY!!! I could eat them in this cookie dough form! Cannot wait for the end result. Salivating as they are cooking. YUMMY! Thank you so much for another great recipe!

  82. Holly says

    These are so delicious and taste just like meat! Really nice flavor and umami, and the texture is spot-on. I made these subbing pinto beans for black beans and vegan steak sauce for vegan Worcestershire sauce. I also didn’t chill the meatballs because I was rushing on time. Served them with store-bought marinara and spaghetti squash. Truly the BEST vegan meatballs :)

  83. LMH says

    After my husband was in ICU following 3 strokes from high blood pressure he was encouraged to make some dietary changes. Although we are not completely vegetarian (fish high in omega 3 was highly recommended) I’ve been trying to find recipes my carnivorous spouse likes. This one was a home run!!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lailah, we haven’t tried that, but it looks like a couple other readers have done so with success. We would suggest starting with less as the flavor is more intense.

  84. Dan says

    I just made these, and they really are pretty much perfect. Veggie balls can be challenging… sticky, crumbly, not tasty… but these were none of those. Recipe was perfect, and balls were yummo!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Dan. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  85. Oded Amir says

    I love love love these damn meatballs!!!
    I make them with the marinara sauce linked to the recipe and make them into a beautiful veg meatball sub 🤤

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Oded. We are so glad you enjoy them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  86. Ana says

    I made this yesterday and its truly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I recently turned plant based so your blog has been my GO TO for recipes. I’m just so happy with every recipe I’ve tried from you, but this one takes the cake. Thank you!!!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Ana! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes =) xo

  87. Sarah says

    I couldn’t believe how much I loved these meatballs! They were surprisingly meaty and my non-vegan husband has been asking for these ever since I made them. I also thought that they were surprisingly easy to make.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you both enjoyed them, Sarah! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  88. Chantele says

    I absolutely loved this recipe, I made last night with spaghetti squash and wanted to eat for breakfast today, they are that good!! I used nutritional yeast 2 tablespoons instead of the vegan parm and I air fried them for about 18 minutes flipping halfway through. They are a lot of work but believe me they are worth it!! 5 🌟!!

  89. Rika says

    I made this and it was delicious!! I didn’t have vegan Parmesan cheese so I substituted with nutritional yeast and it turned out great. I kind of sprinkled it over the mixture so I can’t give exact amounts. The consistency of the meatballs was a little soft, any way I can make it tougher?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So, the parmesan cheese adds cashews as well, which is likely why yours were softer. So next time add some ground cashews to the mix for better results!

  90. Molly says

    I’ve made these 3 times and they are very delicious! Served with homemade pasta and marinara. The first time they took me quite a while but the second two times went much faster. Be warned, they do come apart quite easily if you put them in a sauce, but the taste is still wonderful. A little high effort for a weekday but so worth it if you have the time!

  91. Lee says

    I made this with barley because I didn’t have quinoa on hand. these were delicious. If you’re making it with barley you probably want to put it in the refrigerator closer to 30 minutes but these stayed together and we did it less than that. If you have a quinoa allergy or just don’t have any on hand barley is a wonderful substitute. I absolutely loved them..

  92. Lee says

    I have barley, lentils, farro, everything but quinoa. Can I substitute one of them or do I need quinoa

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lee, hmm, we haven’t tried replacing the quinoa with barley or farro. Our only hesitation is that they may not hold together as well. But if you try it, let us know how it goes!

  93. Clementina Moreira says

    This recipe is just perfect! Follow the exact quantities and you will have amazingly delicious meatballs that will not fall apart! The right amount of tartness, acidity and sweetness. They have become a family favorite!

      • Jg says

        How come the meatballs fall apart so easily after baking them? I feel like they were quite robust until I added the marina sauce to them after they had baked.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          It’s due to the nature of the ingredients- they take in the moisture of the sauce which makes them tender.

  94. Domonique Grier says

    I am going to try this recipe either today or tomorrow and I would love to know, can I substitute black bean for another bean? Like red beans for an example.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Domonique, we haven’t tried that, but we think it would work! Let us know if you try it!

  95. Cheryl Mandell says

    These were amazing. I made the easy marinara source to go with it. My husband said these were even better than real meat balls….much lighter. I used non-vegan parmesan cheese but stuck to the recipe for everything else.

    Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  96. JJ says

    I don’t usually comment on recipes but this is necessary. These were perfect. I made a few adjustments according to what I had on hand (non-vegan parmesan + Worcestershire sauce, also used dried oregano, and fresh parsley + dried basil). I try to eat mostly plant-based but my husband and toddler are omnivores. Both of them loved it! I was nervous serving my unpredictable toddler but I was pleasantly surprised when he ate everything on his plate *and then* took more meatballs from his dad’s plate. This recipe is a game changer and is now our family’s favorite “meat”ball recipe.

    I wouldn’t recommend making this on a busy weeknight. It’s a little time consuming but so, so worth it.

    • Amanda says

      I too love this recipe as do my kiddos. @JJ – one way i speed this up on weeknights is having frozen already cooked quinoa on hand or making a triple batch of the meatballs and then freezing them.

  97. Joey JoJo Junior Shabadoo says

    Hi, could you please emphasize in the recipe that the 1 cup of quinoa is measured *after* it’s cooked and not when it’s dry? I just made this recipe for the first time and used way too much quinoa. It still tastes good but I pretty much made quinoa balls.

    • Kirsty says

      I found when I made these into balls they just fell apart when I was making them. Is there a possibility for this?

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Kirsty, did you measure 1 cup quinoa before or after cooking? It should be 1 cup after cooking. Another idea is if you cooked them in a sauce? They do best if you pour a warm sauce over them because they can become tender in sauce.

  98. Dawne says

    Made this last night and it was delicious!! The marinara sauce along with the vegan parmesan included in the recipe are a must:) This just got added to the dinner rotation!

    Thank you!!

  99. Jane says

    I am going to make these meatballs. I cook my own beans I do not use canned beans. Do I still have to roast them in the oven first because I put my beans after cooking them in the refrigerator so they quite dry and perhaps do not need roasting?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jane, it’s possible you won’t need to dry them out more. But for best results, we’d still recommend doing so!

  100. Steph K says

    My favorite meatless meatball yet!!! The fennel and Worcestershire sauce really give these meatballs that “little something” extra, so be sure to use them if you can.
    I found this recipe to be a bit labor-intensive (cooking quinoa, drying and baking black beans, making vegan parm) – BUT these meatballs are 100% worth it. They are a staple in our house. Super super delicious.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kathy, these get a little tender in liquid, so that’s probably the issue. We’d recommend warming the sauce separately and then serving together. Hope that helps!

  101. Sonali says

    WOW these are delicious! I also love that the recipe is straightforward with simple ingredients. I am a vegetarian who eats eggs so I did add 2 egg whites based on some of the other commenters’ feedback and it made the mixture very easy to handle. Perhaps vegans can try a flax egg or aquafaba? Also my boyfriend (a voracious carnivore) said that they were a bit dry, which I suspect could be remedied by an egg yolk. For vegans maybe some vegan butter or some other type of fat? Otherwise they have a beautiful crunchy crust and are packed full of flavor. Definitely a permanent addition to my meal prep circuit! Thank you so much for sharing :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Sonali! Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  102. Ameera says

    Hi there

    I made this recipe yesterday and do have to say it is quite labour intensive but it is quite delicious! I didn’t have quinoa so i substitued it for pot barley which I found still went very well together. I had to dry out the beans in the oven longer than written here, i did mine for about 25mins at 375 degrees. I will say make sure that your food processor is a big one, as i have a 1.5 cup one and I had to do it in seperate batches just to get it blended. Honestly, I think it would have been fine to have just cooked the meatballs on the frying pan as they were browning really nicely, but I stuck to the recipe to see where it went and it came out fine- just not too sure why i had to bake it.

    In my recipe, i did also add panko instead of the vegan parmesan as I don’t normally eat this type of cheese and didn’t want to spend $4 on a bottle i may not use again. In addition, i did add vegan mozzarella cheese to give it some cheesiness and at the end it was fabulous!

    I also made this with the marinara sauce and linguine and it was a perfect serving for two! The batch of meatballs I made made about 25-30 in total, so i saved the rest to make with mashed potatoes later this week.

    I really liked this recipe, and will def. save it in my cookbook!! Thank you so much!

  103. Rebecca Jeffcoate says

    YUM
    all of your recipes are great. I wanted a winter comfort meal so made these and had them with spaghetti and your marinara sauce (with parsley). I didn’t have enough quinoa so added some sesame seeds and added 1 tsp of liquid smoke instead of worscester sauce. Super delish. Thanks

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely review, Rebecca! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! xo

  104. Lauren says

    I’ve made these 3 times. First was a bit of a disaster as they ended up quite pasty in consistency. The reason I attempted again was because they were SO flavoursome! Next times around I made sure that the beans had time to cool and were truly dry to touch. I also made sure I didn’t use too much oil when cooking the onion & garlic and finally I didn’t pulse ingredients too much. …AMAZING! My mother who is a big meat eater said they are her fave meal atm. I find them a tad time consuming to make (especially because I need to double the recipe so I need to blitz the amount twice as it won’t all fit in the food processor at the same time) but the results are so worth the effort.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Lauren! We’re so glad you were able to troubleshoot and get them just right =)

  105. Carol Romagnolli says

    If I want to make a large batch and freeze, can I freeze them as balls? Or after cooked? Many thanks :)

  106. Robert Wallace says

    Thank you for this recipe, I’ve tried vegan meatballs before but these have the best consistency and flavour, I did add smoked paprika which gave a nice smokiness, I also poured the bolognese sauce over when they came out of the oven, fantastic with spaghetti.

  107. Jo Biscoe says

    I’ve been trying to find Italian food to accommodate the taste buds of my friend who is new to a plant based diet.
    These meatballs were amazing! Good texture, great flavor!
    Not to deter but more to be aware that the prep time is a little lengthy in that you will need to cook the quinoa and dry the black beans and cool them first. You will also allow 15 mins chill time in fridge once they are formed. Opportunity for a little chill time with your favorite beverage before cooking continues :-)
    When I make them again I’ll probably double the batch and freeze some.

  108. dani says

    I made these and paired them with the Chili Garlic Noodles with roasted cauliflower. They had an amazing flavor! I browned them in a cast iron skillet before putting them in the oven. They were absolutely perfect with the noodles. I was such a delicious meal. Thank you!

  109. Melanie Mosher says

    I really liked these vegan meatballs! I was a fan of your other vegan meatball recipe with lentils, but I think I like this one better (although they’re both great). The fennel in this one really made a difference in the flavor. I added the worcestershire sauce too, but I may try it next time without it. These were also super easy. Will definitely add to my favorites list and make again!

  110. Miranda says

    I found this recipe to be very labor-intensive, as I also spent time to make the vegan Parmesan linked herein as well as her one pot marinara sauce. The dish turned out delightful and it was well worth the time, but I sure did question whether it was worth it until it was in my belly lol. Thanks Dana! I will be making it again for sure, but definitely on a weekend.

  111. Nora Herold says

    These meatballs were delicious. I made your parm first. I did not have garlic powder, so left it out. It’s still super yummy. Wondering if I could have minced up some fresh garlic instead? I made a double batch and used half walnuts and half cashews. So good. Happy to have the extra on hand now.
    The meatballs came out perfectly. Yes, they are delicate but they completely maintained their shape while pan frying and then in the oven. I served them atop spaghetti which was slathered in my homemade veggie marinara (like a bolognese, but veggies instead of meat). I am wondering if oats could be used instead of the quinoa in the meatballs? What do you think? Thank you for being so generous with your time and recipes and all of your wonderful tips and help.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nora, Thanks for sharing! Fresh garlic should work- but we would stir in gently at the end so it doesn’t make the parm clumpy. We’re not sure about subbing oats for the quinoa- let us know if you try it!

      • Katerina Svecova says

        Hi, is there a substitute for the vegan parmesan cheese? It’s not readily available where I am and I find the vegan cheeses a bit over processed for my kind of eating.

        Otherwise half way through the recipe for the first time and so far so good. The mixture smells amazing

        Thank you

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Katerina, if you click the link, you will see our recipe for homemade vegan parmesan cheese. If you aren’t able to make that, we’d suggest replacing it with a lesser amount of nutritional yeast.

  112. Jennifer says

    Hi! I really want to make these but don’t have the ingredients to make the vegan parmesan cheese (or have any other cheese in the house right now). Do you think they would work without that? Is there anything you would recommend as a sub? I’m not vegan, so something with eggs or nut dairy would be fine. Thank you for your advice!

  113. Grace says

    These taste just like Italian meatballs! The tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce (I used regular) make them really savory and meaty. My favorite addition is the fennel seeds. I doubled the recipe and froze them after baking for a quick meal.

  114. ellie says

    loved these meatballs!! packed with flavour and so delicious. i forgot to put them in the fridge before cooking so they fell apart a bit so it was a bit more of a vegan bolognese! my sister (massive meat-eater) loved them and is happy to have them again. thank you

  115. Leanne says

    Hi Dana
    Rather than using a tin of black be as and drying them, could you use dried beans straight from the packet?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leanne, we wouldn’t recommend that as uncooked beans would be hard and difficult to digest.

  116. Melissa Knutson says

    Do you think this would also work with cooked lentils, replacing the black beans? My two-year old son loves meatballs, but is allergic to legumes – thanks so much for website and all that you do! It has made transitioning to a mostly plant-based lifestyle SO. MUCH. FUN.

  117. Kat says

    This are VERY flavorful. My meat eating husband said they were better than regular meatballs! Mine did fall apart during the 5 minute simmering in marinara unfortunately. Next time, I will simmer the marinara separately and then just ladle the sauce over the baked meatballs and pasta.

  118. Erin says

    These were delicious! Mine were a little mushy, I may have over mixed or maybe the scallion and garlic were too warm. They were sticking on my pan so I popped them in the oven to brown.

  119. Stef says

    These were great! Planning ahead and prepping were very helpful. I will definitely be making these again. My husband is trying to eat more of a plant based diet (he’s a meat and potato kind of guy), and he enjoyed these. Thank you!

  120. Anna says

    The first time I made these, they sorta got stuck in the cast iron skillet (I did add olive oil to the skillet). Is it possible to bake them, turning halfway through to brown the other side? Thanks in advance for your quick reply, Anna

  121. Julie says

    Loved this recipe! Thank you Dana! This was very easy and I enjoyed it more than “meat” meatballs. I was lazy and hungry and did not chill the meatballs. I didn’t brown them either. I also used regular Parmesan cheese, not vegan. Added a little ground flaxseed. This recipe is a winner and I’ll repeat it often:)

  122. Kristen says

    This was delicious! I wasn’t able to find vegan Worcestershire sauce, so I instead used a little more than a tablespoon of soy sauce and a spoonful of Dijon mustard. They turned out wonderful! I will definitely make this again.

  123. Tashi says

    Great flavor mine crumbled easily but I realized I forgot to add the water I used kidney beans instead. Even with my mistake everyone loved them

  124. Annie says

    I made those meatballs but reading the reviews I was a bit scared that they fall apart in the tomato sauce, so I have added an egg and breadcrumbs to make sure that they really stay in shape. I am not vegan so it didn’t bother me, and they were great, tasty and really firm!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Annie. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  125. Lisa R. says

    I got halfway through making these and immediately went and started a second batch. The flavor is phenomenal, the texture is perfect, I had to force myself to stop snacking on them. And the protein content and health content is amazing.

    I cooked the quinoa ahead of time, I made the parmesan cheese ahead of time, and then when I had a moment I made the meatballs up until the refrigeration. My plan is to start them at dinner, and then make marinara sauce and the noodles and a salad while they’re in the oven. So not quite a weeknight dinner, but if you work from home or you’re a stay-at-home parent, it’s doable with some planning.

    Seriously, Dana. This recipe is astounding!!

  126. graciella lazar says

    really lovely! was worried about consistency before refrigerated but it all ended up working out perfectly! and delicious too

  127. Amber says

    I made these last night and WOW!!! I’ve been on the hunt for a vegan meatball recipe with texture and depth of flavor similar to a great meatball for a while, and these exceeded my expectations. I’ve made vegan meatballs with black beans before, but never would have thought to bake the beans first. I think that was the key to achieving such a marvelous texture. I added a tsp of Trader Joe’s “Vegan Chicken-less” seasoning too. These will become a cherished staple in our meal prep rotation. Thank you!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Amber. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Liz!

      (P.S. we added a 5-star rating at your “10/10” request! In the future, if you can add a rating to your review it’s super helpful to us and other readers. xo!)

  128. Meg says

    I’m excited to try this recipe. Any idea how to modify for dried beans rather than canned? Cook and then dry? Cook the dried beans for less time? Thanks!

  129. Allyson says

    First time making these and they were great! I was hopeful that they would hold together, but they started falling apart when i tried to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes. It kind of turned into a bolognese, but still tasty! Iused a little grated Romano cheese instead of vegan, (as we are not vegan and have a nut allergy in thr family), followed recipe otherwise. Flavor is good; I think the fennel makes it! Next time I’ll just pour sauce over when serving. Might try the mixture as a filling for stuffed peppers in the future…?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Allyson! These meatballs are on the more tender side and do best when the sauce is poured over them just before serving.

  130. Scott says

    Delicious legit substitute for meatballs! Substituted Braggs Nutitional Yeast for the vegan parmesan; used both basil and fresh parsley; no fennel. Will be the go to recipe for meatballs in my house.

  131. Denise says

    I made these for my Grandchildren. I made them the day before, and the next day I put them in the sauce to heat up. They completely fell apart in the sauce. I followed the recipe to a t. Now for the good part. Even though they did fall apart they made a great addition to the sauce. A meaty texture, and they loved it!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Denise, these get a little tender in liquid, so that’s probably the issue. Glad to hear it still tasted good!

  132. Ann P. says

    I want to make your recipe, but I have a question. Is the one cup of quinoa one cup after cooked or one cup dry? Sorry if that’s a stupid question, but I’ve read recipe that go either way. Thank you :)

  133. Suzanne says

    Can you make the meatballs several hours in advance? (Leave then in fridge for a few hours instead of mins before cooking?)

  134. Rachelle O'Sullivan says

    Tried to make these. I don’t know what I did wrong, but the consistency was like melted rocky road ice cream…. Put in fridge thinking the mix might firm up, but it ended up even sloppier :-(

    I ended up having to make some toasted breadcrumbs to mix in to firm the mixture enough to make into a ball shape. Tastes good, but still very soft.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, it definitely sounds like something went wrong! Did you make any modifications? Did you bake the beans until they appeared cracked and felt dry to the touch? What type of vegan parmesan did you use?

  135. Jackie says

    These are fantastic!! Very easy to make. The only change I made to the recipe was to use regular Parmesan instead of vegan. I had all the ingredients on hand except the Worcestershire sauce, so I made them on a whim. Skipped cooking them in marinara sauce and served with a side of green beans for a very healthy meal. These will be a new staple in my house!

  136. Mandy Screven says

    These were Fantastic! I dried the beans in the air fryer quite quickly- then used it to cook 1:2 of them in after browning Just to compare vs the oven and these can definitely be made in air fryer for an all over beautiful crispy brown color. I recommend everyone try this and you couldn’t tell these were made from Blackbeard. Served over angel hair pasta with Marinara with Mushrooms! Ten stars! ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

  137. Tracy says

    These are absolutely amazing! Ate them on a sub with mozzarella and sauce-perfection! We aren’t vegan so I used regular Parmesan and mozzarella…we can’t stop talking how great they were!