Vegan Chickpea Meatballs in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Packed with flavor and plant-based protein, these meatless chickpea balls in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce are my absolute top choice to make when I crave something comforting and filling.

Recipe adopted from The Curious Chickpea


Vegan Chickpea Meatballs In Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Vegan Chickpea Meatballs In Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or other grain, cold or room temperature
  • 1 cup pecans (or mixed nuts/seeds)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 30oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup oats, ground
  • 2 roasted red peppers (~1 1/2 cups)
  • 15oz can coconut milk
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • basil or parsley to garnish


  1. In a food processor add the pecans, and garlic and pulse until finely ground. Add most of the chickpeas (reserve ~1/2 cup), nutritional yeast, tomato paste, olive oil, oregano, basil, salt, and black pepper. Process until ground into a thick mixture that holds can be pressed into a meatball and hold its shape. Add the oats if the mixture is soft and needs help holding together. Add the rest of the chickpeas and cooked quinoa and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 ºF, and shape the mixture into balls using about 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp per ball. A cookie scoop makes quick work of this. Press the mixture together as you roll them to help them hold together.
  3. Grease a baking tray and place the meatballs on the tray. Spray or drizzle with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through for more even baking. Let cool slightly before using, or make in advance and refrigerate.
  4. In a blender combine all of the ingredients for the roasted red pepper sauce. Blend until smooth.
  5. Heat the sauce over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the chickpea meatballs and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes (~10 minutes if cold from the refrigerator). Garnish with fresh herbs, black pepper, and some vegan parmesan (optional) and serve warm.

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