Vegan Beanballs from Veganomicon

I’ve been craving some good meatballs, but the frozen substitutes are so expensive!  So I decided to try a recipe for “beanballs” from Veganomicon, a book I highly recommend to vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike.  Full of delicious and healthy recipes!  Anyway, these beanballs are positively divine.  I couldn’t stop eating the mixture off of my hands while I was rolling them into balls.  I just ate them with spaghetti and decided I’d rather eat them by themselves as some pop-in-your-mouth protein treat.  They’re bursting with flavour!  First I’ll type out the recipe as it is in the book, then make some notes of some changes I made:


  • 1 20-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and rained (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp steak sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 vital wheat gluten (this makes them chewier, but you can substitute whole-wheat or all-purpose flour…I used flour)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme


Preheat oven to 375F.  Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left.  (Start with a potato masher, then use a fork to get any rogue beans). You don’t want them to be completely smooth; you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans.  Add the soy sauce, steak sauce, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and herbs and use a fork to mix everything together.  Use your hands to knead the mixtre for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm.

Roll the bean mixture into walnut-sized balls [here they said you should have 12-15 but I got about twice that…guess I made mine tiny] but don’t make them too big; smaller makes for the best texture.

Grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.  Place the balls on the sheet and drizzles them with a little more oil to coat [I sprayed Pam].  Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes.

Pan-frying Option:

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Pour about 1/4 in of olive oil in the pan, then add your beanballs.  Cook for about 15 minutes, tossing them often, until browned on all sides.

Nutrition info per baked beanball if you get 24:

Calories: 48; Fat: 1.2 g; Protein: 2 g; Carbohydrates: 7,3 g

Some changes that I made: I used Italian-seasoned bread crumbs since that’s all I had.  That may be one reason these suckers are bursting with flavour.  I’m also not a huge garlic fan and don’t like the idea of biting into a chunk of garlic, so I used 1/8 tsp of garlic powder instead.  I left out the lemon zest since it wasn’t worth me buying one lemon for such a small amount of zest.  As for the thyme and oregano, I had this Tuscan Sunset spice mix sitting in my cabinet, so I used a teaspoon of that instead.  Yummm!  These definitely make the list of recipes I will make again and again!  They were quick and easy.  I even made the mixture the night before and rolled them into balls out of the fridge.  I think having them cold may have helped the mixture stick to itself a little more easily.



Filed under Cooking, New Recipes

2 responses to “Vegan Beanballs from Veganomicon

  1. Nancy M

    they sound so yummy! my husband is toying with eating less meat (it’s a start!) and loves meatballs–I will try these. Thanks T !
    ps how are you feeling this week? finally over the crud? It’s been 4 weeks for me and I finally have kicked the cough.

    • Nancy. I’m over the crud but I haven’t been feeling up to par for a few weeks. At this point I’m just worried about surviving the rest of my last week here without being completely and utter exhausted (which is what I am at this point). I’m not going to worry about getting back into running until I’ve at least had a week or two to catch up with myself over track out, then I’ll start back in. I have been on some pretty good walks though. I stopped at RRO yesterday and will be buying myself a new pair of shoes to hopefully give myself that kick to get back in, but I have a feeling it’ll be like starting from scratch.

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