White beans, mushrooms, nuts, Italian herbs and spices, and a creamy spinach pesto are what make these delicious vegan meatballs. They're dense and meaty, and so customizable because they taste amazing no matter what herbs you add. These meat-free meatballs are a perfect weeknight dinner. Serve them over spaghetti, any kind of pasta, or zucchini noodles.

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Pesto, Mushroom, and White Bean Meatballs [Vegan]

Serves

4

Cooking Time

25

Ingredients

For the Spinach Pesto:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, or any nuts except peanuts)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 box spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15.5-ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly group black pepper
  • 2 flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, plus 3 tablespoons water per "egg")
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

For the Red Sauce:

  • 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
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Preparation

To Make the Red Sauce:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the tomatoes top with olive oil, sea salt, and red pepper. Cut ends off garlic, coat with olive oil and sea salt, and wrap in aluminum foil. Place everything in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes. Tomatoes should have crispy burnt pieces, as it adds more flavor. Tomatoes are done when they shrivel and stick to the pan. Place in a food processor, blend, and set aside.

To Make the Spinach Pesto:

  1. Throw everything in a food processor and blend. If you need a lighter consistency, simply add more olive oil.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

To Make the Meatballs:

  1. Make the flax eggs and set aside. Throw nuts in a food processor and process until small bits remain. Add the beans, pulse until smooth, then add in the pesto and blend again until smooth. You may have to do it in batches, depending on the size of your food processor. Place in a large bowl and add the other ingredients (cooked garlic/onion, oregano, parsley, panko, red pepper, salt, and pepper). Mix with your hands to combine. Now add in the flax egg. Mix again and form balls.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat and cook the meatballs, making sure to cook the entire ball 5-7 minutes. The more meatballs on the pan the longer it takes to cook. Serve over spaghetti or zucchini noodles and top with homemade red sauce. Top with vegan cheese shreds, if desired.


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