Made of black beans and oats with a savoury bbq sauce, these are The Best Vegan Meatballs! Sprinkle with fresh mint and serve with a side of rice or a salad.
These vegan meatballs are super healthy and also gluten-free so they can be devoured by all.
They’re perfect for family dinners and are very kid-friendly (though feel free to replace the mint with your herb of choice if desired).
Black Beans for the Best Vegan Meatballs
I use black beans in this recipe for several reasons. They give a nice dark colour resembling meat, they have a neutral taste that can be spiced to any flavour, and they’re full of protein and nutrients!
Black beans are a nutritional powerhouses rich in plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants that help manage blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels.
So, these black bean vegan meatballs are a wholesome meat replacement that you can feel good about.
Ingredients in Your Meatballs
This recipe for The Best Vegan Meatballs is made up of:
• One can of black beans (or you can use cooked dried black beans if you prefer
• Rolled oats which when blended are ground to a flour-like consistency to hold the meatballs together
• Tomato puree to give the meatballs juiciness
• Herbs and spices such as fresh finely chopped cilantro and dried savoury and spicy spices
• Ground flax which acts as an additional (super healthy) binder to hold the meatballs together
• Hot sauce for heat, flavour and moisture (I use Cholula Original Hot Sauce because it’s flavourful, has no sugar and is vegan)
The recipe for the Bbq Sauce is made up of:
• Crushed tomatoes
• White vinegar to add a tanginess to your sauce
• Onion and garlic of course!
• Hot sauce and mustard for heat and complexity of flavour
•Liquid smoke to get that earthy smoky flavour
•Sugar and of course molasses for that deep sweet flavour and slightly thick yet silky texture
•Fresh mint to garnish, as its cool flavour contrasts with the spiciness so nicely
Tips for Making The Best Vegan Meatballs
Be sure to use a hand blender or food processor for this recipe. The rolled oats need to be ground into a meal, as they act as the flour on this recipe. If you happen to have oat flour on hand, then you can just combine the remainder of the ingredients and mix well with a fork, without using a food processor.
Don’t skip on the hot sauce. The hot sauce acts as an additional liquid in your meatballs so don’t simply skip it if you don’t like heat. If you don’t want hot sauce, replace the hot sauce in your meatball portion of the recipe with the same amount (1 tsp) of tomato puree. This will avoid having dry meatballs.
Don’t make your meatballs too large. Your vegan meatballs will cook differently according to their size. Keep your meatballs at about an inch and a half around. This will ensure they cook all the way through.
Only keep your meatballs simmering in the sauce for the recommended time of 5-6 minutes. If you keep them in too long the texture may change, causing them to loose their firmness and become mushy and fall apart.
Try them with the mint garnish! Fresh mint gives such a lovely combination to the dish.
The Best Vegan Meatballs
- Food processor or hand blender
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 can black bean 400 ml, drained and rinsed
- extra virgin olive oil plus some for cooking
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup white onion chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 Tbsp ground flax
- 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp hot sauce such as Cholula Original Hot Sauce
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium medium white onion chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic chopped finely
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce such as Cholula Original Hot Sauce
- 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 oz
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp vegan sugar such as coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 Tbsp molsasses
- fresh mint
The Best Vegan Meatballs
- Add the ingredients for your meatballs into a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend until well combined.
- Begin rolling the mixture into meatballs. (You may want to use a small ice cream scoop to grab the mixture portions). Your balls will cook differently depending on the size you roll them. Aim for about 1 1/2 inch round meatballs.
- Once your meatballs are rolled, set them into the fridge while you prepare your BBQ sauce.
- Into a medium-sized pot add your oil and heat on low for a 1 minute.
- Add your onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add your garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the remainder of your ingredients and simmer on medium for 10 minutes, stirring often. Taste and flavour according to taste (more salt or spice if desired). Remove from heat.
- Once slightly cooled enough to handle, use a hand blender to thicken and blend. (Optional). Set aside.
- In a large non-stick pan heat your olive oil for 1 minute then add your meatballs and cook for around 1 minute on each side.
- Add your desired amount of BBQ sauce to the pot and cook for around 5-6 minutes on medium with lid on, until your meatballs are cooked throughout.
- Serve hot with a side or rice or salad.
Looking for more healthy, wholesome and homeade meat replacements? Try my Vegan Crab Cakes with Dill Sauce recipe!