After the success of my Thai Style Tofu Balls and last years experiments with burger recipes for the BBQ, I wanted to make a ‘meatier’ ball. Instead of tofu, I used my favourite bean: the black bean. I love these for salads, Mexican food and for making delicious creamy dips, and I use their stickiness to its full potential in this recipe. The black beans hold the ball shape well and won’t crumble after being cooked in the oven. They turn nice and crisp on the outside without drying out in the centre – the perfect No Meat Ball in my opinion.
I’ve kept the flavouring fairly simple: tomato puree for richness, miso paste for an umami depth of flavour and some mixed herbs for that Mediterranean style vibe. Like my burger recipe (it’s being perfected and will come this summer I am sure!), I use cooked brown rice to add heartiness and to help bind the Ballz together, as well as oats. I initially used whole oats but also fancy them ground into an oat flour for a finer and more uniform texture – both will taste delicious but whole oats produce a chunkier middle.
Baked in the oven to a crispy perfection, these No Meat Ballz are so very versatile and that’s what makes them great. Cook up a batch at the beginning of the week and you can eat them a few times without having the same meal again. They’re great stirred into your favouite tomato sauce served over pasta – like my Vegetable Ratatouille – or substitute them in my Spicy Thai Tofu Ball Bowl or enjoy them in a sandwich or Flatbread – No Meat Ballz sub anyone? I’ve also been known to throw them on top of salads like my Roasted Roots Lentil Quinoa Salad for a more filling meal.
Let me know how you choose to enjoy these No Meat Ballz – I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
Hearty, rich and flavoursome no-meat balls filled with brown rice, black beans and mixed herbs. The perfect vegan, gluten free alternative to a classic favourite.
- 75g brown rice
- 1 white onion, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- 1 tin black beans, drained (drained weight 240g)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 50g oats or oat flour
- Salt and black pepper
- Spicy Tomato Sauce
- Cook the rice according to packet instructions, drain and leave to one side.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry for 5-10 minutes until softening.
- Add the fried onion and garlic, black beans, tomato puree, miso paste, mixed herbs, oats and rice to a food processor and blend until sticky and combined. You want a few chunks to remain, so don’t over-blend. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 170Fan/190*C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Using your hands, divide the mix into 14 pieces (about 1 large tbsp) and roll them into balls, placing them onto the trays.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until crisp on the outside. Prepare the Spicy Tomato Sauce, if using.
- Serve warm with the Spicy Tomato Sauce or your preferred meal. These Ballz also taste great cold thrown into salads or warmed back through in your favourite pasta sauce or as part of a buddha bowl meal. Cooked balls can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and also frozen.
Let me know what you think of my No-Meat Ballz by leaving a comment below and tag me in your creations – I’d love to see them. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – do say hi!
With ballz of love x