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Spaghetti and Beanballs Recipe

by Sonia on April 27, 2011

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That meatballs and spaghetti always fascinating me. Some years ago, I used to sigh and say I so wish there is any good alternative of meat. Later, I found there are plenty of alternatives available out for vegan and vegetarian and you can have any dish on your table without sacrificing the original taste and flavour.

This delicious recipe is from Veganomicon, this book covers more than 250 recipes with some of innovative recipe ideas of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Collecting vegan cookbooks is my new-found love! The reason behind to collect vegan cookbooks is nothing but pretty simple. I would have more recipe ideas for day-to-day meals. I count it as a new dimensions in my recipe collection.

Veganomicon covers everything about vegan cooking. Isa and Terry has shared awesome tips along with recipes with great care and concern. There are lots of recipes to try and I will share eventually. One fine evening, I tried Spaghetti and Beanballs for us. Believe me, it turned out just fabulous. I was little skeptical and I’d backup dinner plan if my ravenous hubby might reject this dish. I kept my finger crossed and it turned out SO good that he literally licked his plate. My fingers were relived and turned into big thumbs up! :D So, it’s time to share this recipe with you guys!

Spaghetti and Beanballs Recipe [serves 3-4]



  • 4 C marinara sauce
  • ½ pound whole wheat spaghetti (I used durum wheat pasta)


  • 1 can (20 ounce) about 3 cups red kidney beans/rajma, rinsed and drained (I used 1.5 cup raw kidney beans, 6-7 hours soaked and pressure cooked till soft)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ¼ tsp grated lemon zest (I omitted)
  • ½ C plain breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C vital wheat gluten
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme


If you’re baking your beanballs, preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C.

Beanballs mixture:

1. Mash finely the kidney beans in a big mixing bowl with potato masher. You don’t want them to be completely smooth; you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans.

2. Add the soya sauce, tomato paste, 2 tbsp olive oil, grated garlic, lemon zest (if using), wheat gluten, and the herbs and use a fork to mix everything together. With your hands to knead the mixture about a minute and you’ll have your mixture ready like soft pliable dough yet firm.

3. Roll into walnut-size balls. I had about 19 balls. Don’t make them too big; smaller makes for the best texture.

4. If you prefer shallow fry your beanballs: Preheat a large over medium heat. Add couple of tbsp of oil into the pan, and then put beanballs. Don’t overcrowd them. You can fry them in two batches. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, tossing and cook all sides, until they have nice crunchy texture and golden color. Keep an eye not to burn your beanballs. Add ⅓ cup of marinara sauce to the meatballs. Coat each ball with sauce, add some more if you prefer. Remove from the heat and keep covered until needed.

5. If you prefer baking your beanballs: Grease a baking sheet, with olive oil. Place the balls on the sheet and drizzle some more oil over them, to coat. Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom then flip them and bake another 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and pour ⅓ cup marinara sauce onto them, flipping them around to coat. Bake for an additional 5 minutes more.

6. Cook your spaghetti as per package instructions. Drain and keep aside.

To assemble:

Take your spaghetti in big bowl and pour your remaining marinara sauce over the pasta and mix. Use a pasta spoon to transfer the spaghetti to plates, then top with 2-3 beanballs and their sauce.

inspired from Veganomicon

P.S.: I know my pictures are not much appealing. But..but…don’t judge this recipe just by my poor images. Try and you’ll know the reason I’ve posted this recipe despite bad quality images. Hmph!

  • finally! i was waiting for this recipe!! gonna try this out soon… thanks looks sooper.

  • s

    ooooh this looks fantastic really..am def gonna try this soon…will let u know how itturns out

  • Lovely, I really have to bookmark this..

  • I really like the sound of those beanballs! Definitely something I would consider making.

  • I LOVE the bean balls ideas! Vegetarian “meat” balls are so much fun! I have a spaghetti and spinach balls recipe :)

    • Sonia

      Yes Sala, I’ve bookmarked your version too! :)

  • whats d alternative for wheat gluten??….its looking really yummy

    • Sonia

      Pratibha, sorry for late reply. I don’t know if there is a replacement for VWG. Perhaps, you could use other ingredients that are high in protein, like ground nuts, or even mashed potatoes. Or you could also use egg.

  • Looks yummy!! This is my all time favourite!

  • What a great recipe Sonia! I am sure meat eaters would be fooled by these delicious little beanballs. Yum!

  • I have to tell you that I have been having Italian recently and I quite love it, reminds me of home. I don’t think I could go vegetarian on the balls though, but it still sounds very delish to me.

  • just made these and they were fantastic, and i changed it to be GF too! as a substitute for VWG i used ground raw hemp seeds (1/2 cup) and a heaping teaspoon of nutritional yeast powder. and a teaspoon of flax seeds for a little added fiber and to soak up the extra liquid. i used less bread crums, because it was GF bread and super pricy, and added whole hemps seeds instead (could have used ground sunflower too maybe). a little dried and fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary made this dish. just fantastic!!!

    • Sonia

      Hi Nicole, I’m glad they turned out nice for you. It’s keeper recipe and it become frequent in my kitchen. Didn’t know about that hemp seeds can be substituted. Your version seems quite good too. I’ll try a little rosemary next time. Thank you for letting me know your feedback. :-)

  • Colleen

    Can the Beanballs be frozen?

    • Sonia

      Colleen, yes. I do and there are some beanballs in my freezer right now.

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