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Chickpea Turnip Meatballs [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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These gluten-free turnip chickpea meatballs put the boring ol' turnip to good use! They are high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of protein. Not to mention, they are loaded with flavor! Not only are they packed with garlic, cumin, and coriander, they're served in a delicious herbed tomato sauce. Yum!

Chickpea Turnip Meatballs [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


For the Chickpea Turnip Meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 small yellow onion, small diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups grated turnip (approximately 1 small-medium turnip)
  • 1 cup chickpeas (cooked or canned)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Herbed Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 small onion, small diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, small diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • Pepper, to taste


To Make the Chickpea Turnip Meatballs:

  1. Add the buckwheat to a small pot with 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, once boiling, reduce to a simmer (keeping covered) for 12-13 minutes. The buckwheat is cooked when all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large sauté pan add the onion and garlic and sauté in 2-3 tablespoons of water for 5 minutes. Add water as needed to prevent burning.
  4. Add the turnip, cumin, and coriander and sauté for another 5 minutes, again, adding water as needed to prevent burning. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the turnip is tender. This will take about 20 minutes.
  5. When the turnip mixture is cooked transfer to a large bowl. Make sure to drain and discard any additional liquid in the pan. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mash well. Mash enough so that only a handful of chickpeas remain whole.
  6. Using a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon scoop out a heaping spoonful of the mixture and form into a ball using your hands. Place on the baking sheet and repeat. You will get between 18-20 meatballs.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The turnip meatballs are done when they are golden brown and firm to touch. Serve with Herbed Tomato Sauce.

To Make the Herbed Tomato Sauce:

  1. Sauté onion in a few tablespoons of water until soft and translucent (5-7 minutes).
  2. Add garlic, carrot, celery, and herbs and cook on medium heat for another 7-10 minutes (adding water as is needed to prevent burning).
  3. Add the whole tomatoes (including the juice), squishing them in your hand or mash with a potato masher to break them apart. Add the tomato puree as well and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Keep the pot partially covered to prevent splashing.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. The sauce is ready when it has reduced to a thicker consistency. Add pepper to taste.


Recipe makes 18-20 meatballs and about 3 cups of sauce.

Also worth noting that these vegan and gluten free turnip meatballs freeze well! Let them cool to room temperature then lay them in a freezer safe container, using wax or parchment paper to separate each layer.





Plant-based, gluten-free, and oil-free recipes that don't skimp on flavor. Pharmacist turned holistic nutritionist and plant-based chef, Ashley Madden is adamant that health starts in the kitchen! After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her twenties, she revamped her diet and lifestyle. Ashley specializes in plant-based, gluten-free, and oil-free recipes, which can be found on her blog, RiseShineCook.ca. Here she also shares her expertise on everything food and health as well as some tidbits of inspiration she picks up along the way.



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