This recipe has shattered my perception of vegan food.  Simply put, this is the recipe to share with your meat-loving friends and family.  It is a simple recipe to follow and yields a firm meatball that will be perfect for your favorite tomato-based sauce.

Vegan Meatballs
Serves 4
Vegan meatballs using cooked pasta and red kidney beans. Delicious and firm meatball that can be used alone or as part of a meatball sub.
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
27 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
27 min
  1. 1 cup dried pasta (macaroni works great)
  2. 1 can red kidney beans
  3. 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
  4. 1/2 medium onion, diced
  5. 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  6. 1 teaspoon oregano
  7. 1 teaspoon basil
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon pepper
  10. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Cook the pasta in salted water until the noodles are soft.  In the meantime, drain the kidney beans and smash them in a bowl (use your hands or blitz them with a hand blender).  Dice the garlic and onion and saute them in a non-stick frying pan.  Once the garlic and onions are lightly browned, add them to the bean mixture.
  2. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the bowl with the smashed beans.  Use the hand blender to blend the bean mixture and pasta, along with the spices.  Work the mixture until it it has blended all the ingredients together, it should look like ground meat at this point.
  3. Hand mix the breadcrumbs and begin to form into small meatball shapes.  Add the formed balls to a preheated skillet with the olive oil.  Make sure to move the vegan meatballs around so they cook on all sides.  You will notice a nice crust forming on the outside of the meatball.  That's where the flavor comes in!
  4. When the meatballs are cooked, add your favorite marinara sauce and serve.  Our favorite meal uses these meatballs with some Italian bread or French baguettes.


  1. I found you on Facebook with your copycat recipe for a orange chicken recipe. I clicked on the link to hear for your blog and found your meatball recipe. I made it this evening it’s an extremely easy recipe to make which is nice. I added a vegan was worchestrshire because I liked that in my meatballs when I ate the real thing. The balls were nice, but my carnivore husband was not fooled. He thought they were terrible LOL anyways I like them 🙂

  2. I would also like to add just because my husband was a stick in the mud. Everyone else thought they were extremely tasty. They do not have a texture that you could compare to me in anyway shape or form. Although that I like because I don’t like The texture of hamburger even when I was a meat eater. So for me I will definitely make this recipe again and again thank you so much for sharing. I never would’ve thought of mixing elbow macaroni with kidney beans would be so tasty 😊

    • Keep trying! I was that stick in the mud for years as well, so I understand. Play around with the recipe and spice mixtures and you just may find the right combo. In my experience, cooking them longer than your expect adds a good crispy exterior and don’t make the meatball too big. If you end up with a good variation, please share…

  3. I made it today exactly like you have it listed with the exception of using black beans instead of kidney beans. (None of my family likes kidney beans). I figured I will update seasonings next time based on how these tasted.
    These were great! Even my meat loving Dad said they were good – not fooling him but good enough to eat and he cleaned the plate.


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