October 03, 2013

Cooking | Vegetarian Spaghetti With Cannellini Bean “Meatballs” And Tomato Sauce

I have recently realized that before becoming a vegetarian, beans were never a big part of my diet. It is not because I did not like them, but because my parents, just like the average "carnivores", were so busy focusing on meat that they never really served us meals with beans, except for the traditional eggs, bacon, maple syrup beans and toasts breakfast. I can't believe I have been missing out on these versatile and protein-packed wonders all this time!

I posted a very basic vegetarian spaghetti recipe on Gaby's Beauty Blog some times ago, but the truth is that I have never been a huge fan of tofu, so I am always researching alternatives. I was really excited when I came across this recipe on Pinterest - of course, where else? - because I have been researching a quick and simple vegetarian "meatballs" recipe for so long! OK, it's probably not the quickest recipe, but it is really simple, and you don't need any fancy ingredients - I did not have any egg or onion on hand so I simply skipped the egg (the bread crumbs alone are enough to bind the "meatballs" together) and I used shallots instead of onions.

You will need...
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped (you can roast it but I did not)
  • ½ medium onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley (I skipped this)
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano (I used oregano leaves)
  • 1 egg (I skipped this)
  • ½ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups tomato or pasta sauce
  • grated or Parmesan cheese
  • spaghetti

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans and red peppers. Pulse until chopped, but not smoothly pureed.

Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and stir in grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg (if using any) breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until well combined.

Using a rounded 2 tablespoon portion of the bean mixture, form “meatballs” by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.

Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and have developed a light golden brown coating, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the "meatballs" are baking, prepare spaghetti and grated cheese.

In a large saucepan, heat you favorite tomato or pasta sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add “meatballs” and stir gently to coat - I was a bit rough and some "meatballs" crumbled! Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti, top with greated cheese or Parmesan and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cookin' Canuck


  1. Tu peux essayer le tofu général tao si t'aimes pas le tofu c'est tellement bon et ont goute pas le tofu du tout.

  2. GAby, this looks too good to be true. I'll have to remember this recipe.

  3. Yuumm! Looks fantastic :) x

  4. Quelle bonne idée pour les boulettes de "viande" !!

  5. Oh yummy, been a while since I've made beanballs <3

  6. @ilovemakeup: Je L'ai justement essayé récemment, TROP BON! J'ai changé d'avis à propos du tofu il y a un moment de toutes façons (:

  7. This looks delicious! I've been cutting meat out of my diet so healthy alternatives are much appreciated.