Healthy Recipe: Veggie Meatballs

Veggie Meatball recipe

Veggie Meatballs

Recipe by Kaley Todd, MS, RDN | Photo by Erin Kunkel

Put a healthy spin on pasta night: Made with the legume of your choice (cannellini beans, northern beans, or brown lentils work well), cremini mushrooms, and some good old fashioned-rolled oats, these veggie meatballs are so hearty, you won’t miss the meat. Mix with pesto sauce or your favorite marinara and serve over whole-wheat pasta or vegetable noodles for a perfect meatless dinner the whole family will love.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
8 oz (250 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) dry red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce, reduced sodium
1 cup (7 oz/220 g) canned beans, lentils, or a combo, no salt added, rinsed and drained
½ cup (1½ oz/45 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup (1/3 oz/10 g) finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large egg, beaten


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Return the pan to the heat and add another drizzle of oil, if necessary. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine and soy sauce and simmer until the liquid has reduced slightly, 5 minutes. Add to the food processor with the mushrooms.  

Add the beans, lentils, oats, parsley, and oregano. Pulse just to combine, until the mixture comes together in a rugged mass, but don’t let it get mushy. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and let cool slightly. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, add the egg, and using clean hands, mix gently to combine. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the veggie meatballs until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm, with marinara or pesto, if you like.

Makes 16 meatballs; 4 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 211
Protein 10 g
Total fat 6 g
Saturated fat 1 g
Carbs 27 g
Fiber 6 g
Total sugars 2 g
Added sugars 0 g
Sodium 174 mg

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