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An overhead shot of vegan lemony oregano meatballs on a platter with hummus, tahini sauce, and a cucumber tomato salad.
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Vegan Lemony Oregano Meatballs

These vegan and gluten-free meatballs are super flavourful with lots of herbs, chili, and brightness from lemon. The base of walnuts, white beans, and oats makes them hearty and nourishing.
Cuisine Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Special Diets, Sugar-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, chili, dill, fall, garlic, lemon, nutritional yeast, oats, olive oil, onions, oregano, parsley, pulses, spring, summer, tamari, walnuts, white beans, winter
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 18 Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice (about ¾ cup diced onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon ground chilies or crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • ¾ cup rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked white beans, drained, rinsed, and toweled off (1 15oz can of white beans)
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flax and water. Give it a stir and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to “gel.”
  • Set a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the diced onions to the pan and stir. Sauté the onions until slightly soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano to the pan and sauté for another minute. Finally, add the nutritional yeast, chili, onion powder, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour in their lemon juice and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Take the sauté pan off the heat and set aside to cool.
  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, place the walnut halves and the oats. Pulse the walnuts and oats until you have a coarse meal. Transfer the meal to a large bowl.
  • Place the bowl of the food processor back on the motor base. Add the white beans to the food processor and pulse until they are ground up with a little bit of chunky bean bits still in the mix. Transfer the ground white beans to the large bowl with the ground walnuts and oats.
  • To the large bowl, add the flax gel mixture, sautéed onion and garlic mixture, tamari, lemon zest, parsley, dill, and big pinches of salt and pepper. Using a spatula or your hands, mix until thoroughly combined. Pinch off a bit of the mixture and give it a taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Measure out 2 tablespoons of the white bean and walnut mixture per meatball and roll it into a ball. Once you’ve rolled out all of the mixture, place the meatballs on the lined baking sheet. Lightly brush all of the meatballs with olive oil and then slide the baking sheet into the oven.
  • Bake the meatballs for 25 minutes, or until the tops have dried out a bit, the meatballs are firm, and the bottoms are browned. Serve the meatballs with pasta, on a platter with hummus and tahini sauce, or even in a grain bowl setup!

Notes

  • Make sure that your white beans are nice and dry before you pulse them up in the food processor. This helps maintain a nice, non-soggy final texture with the meatball.
  • My plating and serving here was inspired by the meatball-topped hummus recipe in Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley.