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Vegetarian Meatless "Meatballs" with Spaghetti

Chickpea Meatballs (Vegetarian)

Chickpea Meatballs are freezer-friendly, kid-approved, and come together in just 20 minutes. Enjoy these vegetarian "meatballs" with pasta, in a sandwich, or over a salad for a healthy vegetarian meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 217kcal


  • Food processor
  • Large skillet


  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs sub almond meal if making gluten-free
  • 2 large eggs sub flax eggs if making vegan
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • To serve: pasta and sauce, hoagie rolls and condiments of choice to make a sub, or your sides/dipping sauce of choice.


  • Combine first 10 ingredients (chickpeas through salt) in a food processor. Blend until mixture is cohesive and mostly smooth.
  • Use a small cookie dough scoop or measuring spoon to gather one heaping Tablespoon amounts and roll into balls. You should have 14 golfball-sized meatballs. (If the mixture feels too wet to form, add 1 to 2 more Tbsp breadcrumbs.)
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add chickpea meatballs and cook 6 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until golden.
  • Serve with pasta and sauce, in a sandwich, over a salad, or with your sides and dipping sauce of choice.



To freeze: let meatballs cool to room temperature before placing in a zip-top freezer bag. Press down to release as much excess air as possible before sealing. Label and date the bag, if desired, and freeze up to 3 months.
To reheat, place them in the oven (or toaster oven) and bake at 325°F for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. 


Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 430mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g