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Spaghetti and Meatless Meatballs

...Or as I like to call them, beanballs!

But whatever you do, don't introduce these as beanballs to your family. Meatballs is just fine. It's just enough to get them to take that first bite. After which, they'll be so in love with them that they won't care what they're made of. Then you can be all like, there's no meat! There's no meat!

I feel like I'm a little too excited about these. I can't help it. I'm a meat lover. And a pasta lover. My thighs hate both. Do you see my problem?

Now, I wasn't ready to switch over to spaghetti squash just yet, so I went halfway and tried these meatless meatballs. Fun fact: I actually hate beans and never eat them, unless they're in cake or brownies. But you know, covering the bean taste with lots of sugar wasn't really helping.

So I went the savory route to avoid any and all sweetness. And I liked it! The texture of these isn't quite like meatballs, but I like it! I suppose I could always add more breadcrumbs or process the mixture less in the food processor.

Nonetheless, they're very flavorful and the tomato-basil sauce really takes them to the next level. 2 out of 3 nephews plus a picky younger brother approve so they're a keeper!

Spaghetti and Meatless Meatballs

Yield: Approximately 24 meatballs, depending on the size
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One and a half 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs, or as needed
One 24 oz. jar tomato-basil sauce

1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked according to package directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.

Add cannelini beans, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped onion to the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth, but not completely pureed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add minced garlic, chopped parsley, italian seasoning, oregano, salt, black pepper, egg, and breadcrumbs and mix to combine.

Using a medium cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons), scoop out equal sized portions of dough. Roll into balls, then place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake the balls for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown in color.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat tomato-basil sauce until simmering. Add meatballs and stir to coat. Simmer meatballs in sauce for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve meatballs over cooked spaghetti. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Slightly adapted from Cookin' Canuck

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