Black Bean Meatballs (aka Bean Balls)

I have an obsession with beans. They’re quick, easy, tasty, healthy and full of protein and fiber. Love the little buggers – we eat them ALL THE TIME in my house. In fact, we eat them so often that I sometimes feel that they’re under represented on this blog. Why am I not posting one bean recipe a week?

Anywho, one meal I make a lot of is bean burgers. Basically I just smush up some beans with a potato masher and mix in bread crumbs, seasonings and some times an egg. One day, as I was mashing away, I thought, you can make burgers and meat balls with ground meat, why can’t you do the same with beans? Boom – I’m a genius. Ok, not really, but I am pumped that I came to this conclusion.

Now, you won’t eat your bean balls with the illusion that you’re blissfully eating a big bowl of ground meat. They aren’t identical. However, they are a wholesome, vegetarian swap out that doesn’t involve a ton of processed ingredients. If you are going truly vegetarian make sure you use vegan worcestershire sauce (the normal kind has anchovies) but don’t leave it out. It adds a lot of savory flavor that gives this dish a meaty kick (gross description?). Don’t forgo the cumin either – it adds an earthy, smoky quality that I love.

Plus you get to say BEAN BALLS through out dinner, which for some reason is funny to me.

* Don’t mind the rogue piece of broccoli in the photo. Can you tell I boiled some broc with the spaghetti?

Black Bean Meatballs (aka Bean Balls)
Makes about 12 bean balls

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 egg
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
cooking spray

1.) Preheat the oven 350*F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2.) Pour your beans into a mixing bowl and mash until almost totally smooth with a potato masher.
3.) Mix in all the other ingredients with a fork.
4.) Use a tablespoon measure or spoon to scoop out meatball sized pieces of the mixture. Use your hands to roll them into ball shapes.
5.) Arrange on the cooking sheet and spray with some more cooking spray (this helps them get a little crisp).
6.) Bake for 20 minutes, until slightly golden and crisp on the outside (the inside will be soft).

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About sweetersalt

Salt = sodium = bad. Sweet = calories = bad. Well, isn't that just a bleak outlook. I firmly believe that without salt and without sweet we all just live in a world of lettuce. Plain lettuce. Fun? No. This blog is about life. Namely, my life. But, not that specific. I myself am simply not that interesting. I live an ordinary life, work an ordinary job and do ordinary things. But... life is all about experiencing that feeling you get when you really, really like something. If you don't feel a little warm in your heart when you walk into a farmer's market or try on a piece of beautiful clothing that fits you perfectly (that just so happens to be a great deal!) then you should probably keep on a' movin' from my little plot of internet. Sweeter salt is my metaphor for the good things in life, sprinkled over everything in moderation. Banana? Kinda boring. Banana smoothie - yum! White tank top? Yawn. Statement necklace layered over said tank - now we're talking! I live in Portland, Maine. I love cooking, eating out, riding my bike and approachable fashion. This blog does not chronicle my every waking moment. This is because you will probably not be entertained by the 10th day in a row that I eat the exact same salad for lunch. It does chronicle a healthy, active, fun-filled, colorful lifestyle, in Portland and beyond. It also covers dogs. Cute ones mostly.
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15 Responses to Black Bean Meatballs (aka Bean Balls)

  1. Morgan_Lua says:

    These seem pretty easy and tasty to tackle. I hate handling raw meat (which is why I usually only eat meat when I’m at my parents), so this would be a good substitute for some comfort food I can make myself.
    Good idea!

  2. paige says:

    mmmmmmm…i’m totally making these! i also love blackbean burgers. do you have a good recipe??

    • sweetersalt says:

      I basically do the same recipe, but maybe add some chili powder, etc. Just mush it all up, shape it into a patty and cook in a skillet. So easy and pretty darn tasty.

  3. Shannon says:

    I love black beans too… in burritos, chili, burgers, salads… you name it. I recently made something similar but with lentils and quinoa. I’m going to try these!

  4. chickster says:

    ooo I just saw a recipe for lentil meatballs, but I’m a sucker for black and pinto beans so I’ll be trying this recipe first – yum!

  5. Sues says:

    Wow, I love this idea! They totally look like “real” meatballs. Yum!!

  6. I LOVE this idea–totally want to experiment with different seasonings and whatnot!

  7. Pingback: My Top 18 Recipes | sweeter salt

  8. Emily says:

    Just wanted to say that these are an amazingly delightful change to most bland vegetarian “meats”. While trying to find something to do vegetarian with some left over black beans I stumbled across your site. Fantastic! We tweaked it a bit, using fresh chopped garlic and onion as well as some Italian seasoning. Fried them on the stove top then popped them in the oven for a nice heat through.
    Absolutely delicious!

  9. Kelsey says:

    I was looking for a quick black bean meatball recipe for our spaghetti tonight. This one looked simple enough and it was really easy and quite delicious! Thanks for the recipe! I thought it needed to be shared so I added it to my Pinterest board for all my friends to try.

  10. Tracey says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I had the exact same thought of black bean meatballs while I was mixing up some black bean burgers and you have saved me the trouble of trying to figure out how to fix them!

  11. I love bean buns, and now you made me love bean balls :)

  12. Dodi says:

    This has become my go-to healthy, whole food, vegetarian main course/protein dish. Thank you!!!

    I’ve had a hard time finding recipes for veggie burgers/balls that my family likes and that are relatively easy to make. Desperately trying to wean us from processed veg meat substitutes.

    Can u point me to any other tried and truevegetarian recipes like this one? I’d be so grateful!

  13. Kelsey says:

    Thank you so very much for this recipe! I’m so excited to try it, and I have all of the ingredients on hand. I make black bean burgers once or twice weekly, and I’ve been making lentil meatless balls a lot too. The lentil balls are not difficult, but are time consuming and don’t hold together too well despite some of my modifications to the recipe. In short, I hope this will be a good recipe to try!

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