These chickpea meatballs are healthy, savory, hearty, and super tasty. Literally one of my favorite comfort foods. They’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, just like I like them.
This recipe calls for chickpeas, hemp hearts for a plant-based protein boost, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, and tons of additional flavorful ingredients. When paired with pasta and pesto, it’s the dreamiest combination.
They’re also great in sandwiches, on salads, other pastas, or on their own.
If you give these chickpea meatballs a try, let me know in the comments below or tag your photo @feedyourglow, hashtag #feedyourglow on IG. Enjoy!
To make these meatballs completely vegan, use a flax egg as the binder. Both are extremely flavorful.
Chickpeas are my favorite, because they contain tons of iron and vitamin C. Hemp hearts give it a plant-based protein boost, along with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The nutritional yeast gives it a healthy, dairy-free cheesy flavor. And the sun-dried tomatoes give it an additional nutritional boost and umami goodness.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for sautéeing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax seed meal + 2 ½ tablespoons water)
½ cup nutritional yeast
⅓ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
⅓ cup hemp hearts (hemp seeds)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for serving
¼ cup dry sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt and ground black pepper, more to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes, more to taste
1 15-ounce chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried (or 1 ½ cups sprouted chickpeas)
¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare the flax egg in a food processor or blender.
In a medium heated skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-4 minutes until it’s soft, then add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and remove from heat.
Let it cool, then add it to the food processor or blender with an egg (or flax egg) with fresh basil, dried oregano, gluten-free bread crumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and one tablespoon of olive oil.
Blend or pulse until it’s roughly incorporated.
Add the dried chickpeas and blend/pulse until the mixture becomes moldable. Avoid over-blending (it shouldn’t turn into a paste).
Adjust the seasonings and taste, as needed.
Roll them into 1 tablespoon balls, using olive oil or water to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Then roll it in the additional nutritional yeast and gluten-free bread crumbs.
Using the same skillet as earlier, heat it over medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan (around 2-3 tablespoons).
Add the meatballs and cook them until the outside is golden brown, around 5 minutes total. Gently shake the pan to roll them around to brown all sides.
Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet and bake for 15 additional minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, prep your pasta of choice — warm spiralized zucchini noodles, regular pasta, gluten-free pasta, or brown-rice pasta, etc.) and your favorite pesto or marinara sauce.
Once the meatballs are firm and golden brown, remove them from the oven and cool before serving.
To serve, top your noodles with your choice of sauce, like my favorite avocado pesto, meatballs, some vegan parmesan cheese, and fresh basil.
Store the leftover chickpea meatballs in an airtight glass container for up to 3-4 days or freeze them for up to one month.
Reheat them in oven at 350 degrees F until warm.
If you love this recipe, you’ll also love these Lentil Meatballs.