Today’s Meatless Monday looks like meatballs; they taste like meatballs. But there’s not a bit of meat in them. Roasted Red Peppers and kidney beans give them that meaty look and they are filled with the flavours of meatballs, too. Baked, not fried, they have no oil added. Super with your favourite marinara sauce served with pasta, or as an appetizer, this is a super Meatless Monday addition to your menu for any time at all.
I’ve been toying with meatless meatballs for a while now. I tried them with black beans and I wasn’t happy with the colour. I tried them with white beans and wasn’t pleased, for the same reason. Then a light bulb went off and I decided to use red beans! Sometimes I just wonder why that light bulb takes so darned long to turn on!
With the addition of some roasted red peppers, the colour on these meatless meatballs was wonderful! Finally, I was happy enough to post this recipe. And the flavour…out of this world good! They have all of the elements of fabulous meatballs, with no meat! Win!
The preparation time on this recipe is a winner, too. With about ten minutes of initial prep, and about 25 minutes of baking time, these “meatballs” are ready to eat in a jiffy.
This version is not vegan, since I did use an egg and some Parmesan cheese in the mixture. Those can easily be substituted if you are seeking a vegan “meatball” recipe.
As I said, you can serve these with pasta and your favourite marinara sauce; I also think they will make super appetizers with a marinara on the side for dipping. I’ll be making these again and again. I hope you’ll try them, too!
p.s.: This recipe is a featured recipe at Meatless Monday.com.
- ½ medium red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 -15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped (about ½ cup if you're using jarred)
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning mix
- shake of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 egg
- ½ cup dried breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the onion and garlic and pulse until these two ingredients are minced. (Or mince by hand.)
- Leaving the onion and garlic in the bowl of the processor, add the kidney beans and pulse until chopped, but not puréed (or mash by hand).
- Pour this mixture into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the chopped red pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, egg, breadcrumbs,Parmesan cheese and salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
- Stir until combined.
- Scoop out about 1½ rounded tablespoons and form into a ball with your hands.
- Place the formed "meatball" onto the parchment lined baking sheet, evenly spaced. (Makes about 14.)
- Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. They will have a golden brown outside and will firm in texture.
- Remove from the oven.
- Serve as desired atop pasta and marinara sauce, or as an appetizer on a platter. (They are great hot or at room temperature.)