If you grew up in an Italian household, chances are that meatballs were a staple food. Although they might be delicious to some people, others want a more fiber-filled and plant-based option. I tried to make these black bean & quinoa meatballs and found that they were a great alternative to traditional meatball recipes! 

The black beans in this recipe act as a binder for the meatballs while the quinoa adds a unique crunch. And for our gluten-free folks, these meatballs are safe to eat! 

I served these meatballs to my parents with pasta and grilled asparagus. Although the red sauce didn't entirely match the flavor profile of the meatballs (I would recommend a cream sauce instead), it provided a hearty option for our plates. 

Vegan Black Bean & Quinoa Meatballs

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:1 hr 20 mins
  • Servings:3
  • Medium


  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa made according to package directions
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Olive oil for sautéing
Sara Klimek
  • Step 1

    Heat oven to 350° F. Place rinsed black beans on parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until beans appear dry.

    Sara Klimek
  • Step 2

    In food processor, combine shallot, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, and liquid aminos. Add black beans and pulse until mealy textured.

    Sara Klimek
  • Step 3

    Add cooked quinoa and continue to pulse.

    Sara Klimek
  • Step 4

    Once mixture is sticky, shape into golf-ball sized balls. Chill for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375° F.

    Sara Klimek
  • Step 5

    Heat oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once heated, add the meatballs, searing the sides and rotating often. Cook until all sides are seared.

    Sara Klimek
  • Step 6

    Remove from heat and place into oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned.

    Sara Klimek