Traditional Italian Bean ‘Meatballs’

Feb 11, 2020

By Audrey Dunham

Jazz up your average bowl of pasta or switch up your snacking routine with these protein-packed Italian bean balls. With just a few pantry staples and a quick prep, these ‘meatballs’ come together in no time. We’ve enjoyed them with pasta and marinara sauce, dipped them into our favorite condiment for a hearty snack, and even served them as appetizers at parties. Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers so you’ll always have a few on hand.


Makes 12 ‘meatballs’

1-15 oz. can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder or 1 tablespoon diced white onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry quick oats
3/4 cup cooked and cooled quinoa


1. Combine the water and ground flaxseed in a small bowl and set it aside.
2. Mash the beans in a mixing bowl using a potato masher or fork.
3. Add the spices, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and the flax/water mixture to the beans and mix until well combined.
4. Add the cooled quinoa and the oats to the mixture and mix again.
5. Form the mixture into 12 equal-sized balls. Working in batches of 4-6, place the balls in a lightly oiled pan over medium-high heat and allow them to cook for five minutes or until browned on each side. Alternatively, place the balls on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
6. Allow the balls to cool slightly before serving. They’re great atop marinara and spaghetti or simply dipped into ketchup and mustard!

Recipe reposted with permission of Audrey Dunham, a Switch4Good team member and founder of Peanut’s Bake Shop.  If you’re a recipe developer, athlete, or just proud to be dairy-free, sign up to be a part of our growing team of go-getter individuals!

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