Bean meatballs? No…there isn’t any meat.
Bean globes? Globe is a synonym for ball. Weird.
Bean orbs? Another synonym for ball. Even more weird.
I suppose bean balls is going to have to do. I can’t seem to come up with different name for this recipe. It’s like a meatball sandwich, only there isn’t any meat. Where are my creatives at?
I’ve had a couple different types of bean balls before. But this recipe is truly where the flavor and texture is perfected. The recipe itself is not hard, but a little time consuming (approximately 50 minute cook time, 15 minute prep, total 65 minutes). I would compare the time it takes to that of making homemade meatballs–real meatballs made out of ground meat that is.
I decided to make these bean balls during baby girl’s nap time. It worked out perfect to make ahead of time, earlier in the afternoon, and then simply heat and assemble for dinner. We paired these bean balls with Rao’s Marinara Sauce. I have made my own homemade marinara sauce before, however, this marinara sauce is pretty incredible! When I see it at the store, I always pick up a jar because I can’t seem to find it at many places. The sauce’s ingredients are simple: Italian tomatoes, olive oil, fresh onions, salt, fresh garlic, fresh basil, black pepper, oregano.
Homemade bean balls tasty enough to win over any meat loving, turn up your nose to plant-based food recipe kind of person?
Flavorful and whole ingredient marinara sauce?
Dark leafy green side salad?
Freshly picked spinach from the winter farmers market?
I can’t wait for tomorrow’s leftovers and to make these again!
BEAN BALL SANDWICHES
1 medium onion, diced
2-4 tablespoons vegetable stock/broth
2 cloves of garlic, diced
8 oz button mushrooms, wiped cleaned with dry towel and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
a pinch – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your desired spice)
1, 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon, or about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs, divided
4 sub rolls
1 jar marinara sauce
spinach or other greens, for serving
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the diced onion. As the onion begins to sauté, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth if the onions begin to stick. Add one tablespoon at a time, as needed. Cook onions until translucent and sautéed, about 5-7 minutes.
Next, add the garlic and chopped mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the salt, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, beans, and lemon juice. Stir and cook 1-2 minutes.
Using a food processor, add your cooked mixture along with the parsley and 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Pulse until well combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes, which allows the breadcrumbs so soak up some moisture for rolling out the balls.
While the mixture sits, in a small bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Roll out the bean mixture into balls using about 2 tablespoons of mixture, roll in the breadcrumbs, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the bean balls for 30 minutes. Flip. Bake for another 20 minutes.
When the bean balls are almost done baking, warm a jar of marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When the bean balls finish baking, add them to warm sauce.
Prepare the sub roll by toasting (if desired). Add 3-4 bean balls to each roll and add fresh spinach to add a pop of color and a nutrition punch.