Vegan Walnut Meatballs

If you’re anything like me, then Italian food is always welcome at your table. For me and my family, a tasty pasta dinner is enjoyed all throughout the year. A simple penne with pesto or tomato sauce for a weeknight dinner, homemade pasta for special celebrations or comforting lasagna for chilly, Sunday nights.

As a longtime vegetarian, I’m always looking for healthy ways to serve family favorites that everyone will enjoy. These walnut meatballs are meaty without the meat, a delicious way to dress up your favorite pasta dinner. The combination of both white beans and walnuts means that these vegetarian balls are a great source of fiber, plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

They are also the perfect pantry meal, as they get plenty of Italian flavor from the freeze dried herbs from Green Garden. I’m a huge fan of freeze dried herbs in my house as I don’t have to worry about fresh herbs going bad before I’m able to use them all. This cuts down on grocery expenses without having to sacrifice flavor.

Once you start cooking with freeze dried herbs, you see how easy they are to use in your favorite recipes! These meatballs feature Italian classics like basil, garlic, oregano and parsley. I’m using 1/2 teaspoon of each in this recipe, but feel free to up to 1 teaspoon of each herb for more potent Italian flavor.

After mixing everything in the food processor, allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will let the flavors blend together and allow for easier shaping. To get the same crispy crust that’s on traditional meatballs, I recommend drizzling the prepared meatballs with olive oil or an olive-oil spray before cooking.

Enjoy these walnut meatballs on their own, or tucked into your favorite pasta and sauce. I highly recommend penne and a simple marinara sauce with extra vegan parmesan on top. Buon appetito!

Vegan Walnut Meatballs

SERVES 4-6 | FINISH IN 60 Minutes


Ingredients

15-oz. Can White Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c. Walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. Red Onion, chopped
1/4 c. Vegan Parmesan Cheese
1/3 c. Bread Crumbs
1/2 tsp. Green Garden Organic Freeze Dried Basil
1/2 tsp. Green Garden Organic Freeze Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Green Garden Organic Freeze Dried Parsley
1/2 tsp. Green Garden Organic Freeze Dried Garlic
1 Flax Egg
1/2 tsp. Salt

Directions
  1. Place the cannelloni beans, walnuts and onion in the base of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add in the cheese, bread crumbs, herbs, flax egg and salt and pulse together until combined; the mixture should be fairly smooth with some walnut texture. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes; this will make it easier to shape.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° F. Shape into balls and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray with olive oil, or drizzle with more olive oil on top of the shaped balls.

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