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Italian Meatballs [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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These chickpea-based meatballs are deliciously free of gluten, dairy, and meat! They are quick and easy to make, and even easier to eat. There is no doubt that any Italian grandma will love this plant-based edition of the Italian-American classic!

Italian Meatballs [Vegan, Gluten-Free]





Cook Time



  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chia flour
  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • Coconut oil, for frying


  1. Process the sunflower seeds in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the chia egg by combining the chia flour and aquafaba (or just plain water) in a small bowl.
  3. Process the onion, garlic and chickpeas in a food processor.
  4. Toss all the processed ingredients in a big bowl and add all the other ingredients. Use your hands to combine everything thoroughly.
  5. Roll the mixture into approximately 15 balls.
  6. To cook the meatballs, heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Cook, turning the meatballs to make sure they brown all over, 7-10 minutes per batch. Keep them warm while you coil the pasta and tomato sauce.
  7. Serve and enjoy!


The recipe makes about 15 meat balls. Something that works great is to make a bigger batch and freeze the balls before cooking them. Then you'll just have to fry them when you need a quick dinner in a couple of minutes! Yum!





Natalie Yonan is a raw chef and recipe developer, she's the blogger behind Happy Health Blog. She combines her biggest passions of healthy foods and beauty by creating delicious, stunning, healthy and easy to make dishes that inspire people to bring more plant foods into their diets. She travels the world, experiments in the kitchen, and she's started her own raw dessert company and set up workshops to share her passion for food with the world.



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One comment on “Italian Meatballs [Vegan, Gluten-Free]”

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3 Months Ago

Read your recipe for "Italian Meatballs (VEGAN, Gluten free). It is so bad it could many a vegetarian into a dedicated meat eater.

3 Months Ago

These sound great, but they\'re actually NOT soy-free if you use tamari and soy-based miso. I would probably try this with coconut aminos instead of tamari and chickpea miso, but the flavor would probably be pretty different. Just thought I should post a heads up for anyone else trying to avoid soy.

5 Months Ago

Good question, Nadia.
I have to say that in my meat eating days almost 43years ago I loved meatballs. I\'\'ll have to try these. I would rather bake them as well. It\'s worth a try.

Nadia Malik
5 Months Ago

Can you bake these instead of frying i wonder


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