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


  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.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 2633 | Total Carbs: 209 g | Total Fat: 166 g | Total Protein: 92 g | Total Sodium: 4034 g | Total Sugar: 36 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.