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:
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Sauté onion in a few tablespoons of water until soft and translucent (5-7 minutes).
- Add garlic, carrot, celery, and herbs and cook on medium heat for another 7-10 minutes (adding water as is needed to prevent burning).
- 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.
- 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.