These Sticky Vegan Meatballs are vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free. This simple, straightforward base recipe can be prepared with my sticky, sweet, and a little spicy dressing or smothered in your favorite sauce.
Chickpeas and quinoa provide a fluffy but mealy texture, while the flavor comes with parsley and spices. These truly are the best vegan meatballs and are one of my favorite meals. BBQ sauce is perfectly paired with these meatballs, whether you're sharing, snacking, or preparing them as a meal.
For easy dinner ideas, check out my Spicy Sriracha Tofu or Easy Vegan Taquitos (under 30 minutes).
Chickpeas - these bind the meatball together. If you are sensitive to beans, you can soak them overnight, rinse and drain them to release sugar enzymes.
Quinoa - this grain brings fluffiness and a familiar mealy texture.
Breadcrumbs - to maintain gluten-free, use a GF breadcrumb. If available, Italian breadcrumbs enhance the flavor of these traditional meatballs.
Tomato paste - a mainstay 'meatball' ingredient that melds a dense flavor.
Coconut aminos - a soy sauce replacement comprised of fermented coconut leaves turning into sap. Glutamate, an amino acid found in coconut aminos, carries a savory, umami-like flavor.
Parsley - for best results, fresh parsley is preferred, but you can substitute it with dried.
Tips for success
👍You'll need a food processor to blend all the ingredients together. Be careful not to over pulse, or the mixture will be too mushy. On the flip side, if you notice the vegan meatball mixture is too dry, add a small amount of excess water.
👍Create the "meatballs" from the mixing bowl with your hands; wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking.
👍Add the cooked meatballs to a nonstick frying pan with a little bit of oil and slather the meatballs with the prepared sticky sauce.
👍You can substitute fresh parsley by using one tablespoon of dried.
👍To maintain a gluten-free recipe, use GF breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning.
👍While you can enjoy these veggie meatballs all on their own, if you're looking to make it a complete meal, pair with a grain-like pasta, a side of creamy mashed potatoes, or my husband's favorite, a vegan meatball sub drenched in the tomato sauce!
Why you'll love this recipe
These healthy vegan meatballs are my go-to for potluck gatherings or when I'm looking for a simple dinner recipe.
This vegan meatball recipe screams comfort food but always leaves me feeling satiated without a heaviness.
Sticky Vegan Meatballs are not only easy to prepare, but leftover meatballs store well in the freezer. I typically make a double batch and freeze half for later on. Just make sure to store them in a freezer-safe container. You can reheat them in the oven or stovetop by adding your preferred sauce or a simple marinara sauce topped with vegan cheese.
Be sure to pin them later and share if you've made them in the comments section below. I'm very proud of these meatless meatballs, and I hope they serve you well!
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Sticky Vegan Meatballs
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 14 ounces of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ cup fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt + black pepper
- Prepare the quinoa and set it aside.
- In a food processor, add all ingredients and pulse until blended. Be careful not to over pulse, or the mixture will be too mushy.
- Create the "meatballs" with your hands; you can wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking. The meatballs should be 1 inch balls round and placed on a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
- While the meatballs bake, prepare the sauce - sauce recipe linked here.
Super good! I also made these vegan meatballs with marinara sauce and topped with vegan cheese! Yum