These vegan "meatballs" are deliciously packed with plenty of savory umami flavor even though they're completely free from meat, egg, dairy, and gluten! They're made from a base of chickpeas and sunflower seeds. Plus, they're completely nut-free, which is a good thing if you have small kids or nut-allergies in the family!
Italian Sunflower Seed and Chickpea ‘Meatballs’ [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons chia flour and 6 tablespoons aquafaba (the water in the canned chickpeas)
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoons miso paste
- 1 tablespoons dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 1 handful fresh basil
- Coconut oil, for frying
- Process the sunflower seeds in a food processor. Set aside.
- Prepare the chia egg by combining the chia flour and aquafaba (or just plain water) in a small bowl.
- Process the onion, garlic, and chickpeas in a food processor.
- Toss all the processed ingredients in a big bowl and add all the other ingredients. Use your hands to combine everything thoroughly.
- Roll the mixture into approximately 15 balls.
- 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.