Newer Tastier Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs
Vegetarian meatballs packed with protein-rich
legumes that still give a meaty taste? Try my newer
version of my Vegetarian Chickpea Meatballs!
Tastes like chicken!
After multiple attempts to achieve a meaty texture for vegetarian meatballs, I finally found the secret ingredient. In an older post, I created vegetarian chickpea meatball using, yes chickpeas, and the addition of bread crumbs to try to achieve the same texture as real meat . Still tasty, but not quite what I was looking for!
A friend of mine in Seattle (who happens to be excellent at vegetarian cooking) introduced me to Vital Wheat Gluten. It may sound very scientific, but it is basically the protein component of gluten flour. This is the main ingredient in the popular meat alternative, seitan. Adding this flour into the mixture added elasticity and chewiness to the meatball. To get the same version I use from Bob’s Red Mill click here.
To get the best consistency I used my absolutely favorite kitchen gadget, the Cuisinart food processor. This device has changed my way of cooking in the kitchen! Whether it is combining the mixture for these meatballs, chopping onions, or even making a pie dough, this device does it all.
Personally, I flex from my mainly pescatarian diet to meat once in a while. I can honestly tell you, this newer version of these vegetarian chickpea meatballs with vital wheat gluten tasted more like the real thing!
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, low sodium, drained and rinsed
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup hot water or broth
- 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit if you prefer to bake the meatballs. This mixture can also be sauteed in a saucepan.
- In a large food processor combine the beans, garlic, egg, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Pulse until well blended and chickpeas are mashed. If you do not have a food processor, a masher works just as well and make sure to thoroughly mix all ingredients. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Using a cookie dough scooper (or wet hands) roll the mixture into 1" meatballs.
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for baking. Bake for up to 35 minutes or until cooked through the middle. Flip over halfway.
- If you prefer sauteeing in a pan, coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil on medium heat. Sautee and keep covered until cooked in the middle. Flip them over halfway, about 15 minutes.
- For softer meatballs, toss in your favorite sauce, like pesto or tomato sauce.