Easy Cauliflower Chickpea meatballs (Vegan)

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These Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatballs or should I say vegan Meatless Meatballs are so deliciously flavourful, tender on the inside and crispy on the outside – and they’re loaded with Mediterranean flavours. It doesn’t get any better than that. I might just go as far as to claim these could be some of the best vegan meatballs ever.

Made with cauliflower, chickpeas, fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes they taste like a small slice of Italy – a delicious, mouthwatering and irresistible Mediterranean slice that is. 

I wanted to create a simple to make, healthy and delicious meatball recipe that included all my favourite Mediterranean flavours. Since I can’t travel to Italy right now, I’m bringing Italy to me in the best way I can think of. 

What’s great about these Vegan Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatballs

  • Super easy to make and the oven does most of the work
  • Delicious, tasty and loaded with Mediterranean flavours
  • Low calorie
  • Meal prep friendly – you can make these vegan meatballs and freeze them for later
  • A crowdpleaser – everyone loves these meatballs
  • Goes with anything – serve with pasta, in meatballs sandwiches or with a side of salad
  • Vegan, dairy free, soy free
  • Gluten free option – just switch out the panko bread crumbs with almond flour and you’re good 

Quick cheat hack 

If you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like cooking the cauliflower, you can just buy frozen ready to use cauliflower from the grocery store. It saves about 15 minutes of time and the meatballs turn out just as amazing. 

Meal Prep

We all have those days where we don’t have the time or energy to slave away in the kitchen…and that’s where meal prep comes in handy. With meal prep you can reheat a healthy prepared dinner in less time than it takes for the pizza delivery guy to get to your house (yes, I’m talking from a lot of personal experience with pizza deliveries).

But my favourite part of meal prep is that I know exactly what I’m eating. There’s no surprising ingredients or food additives and I can eat as healthy as I want with very little fuss. 

These Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatless Meatballs are probably one of my favourite quick and healthy dinners. The meatballs are easy to prepare in advance, because the food processor and oven does most of the work for me.

And when it comes time to reheat later, I just grab these out of the freezer and let the oven or microwave do the work…and in no time I’m ready to eat. 

When making these Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatballs for meal prep, I suggest making a double batch (because you’re going to want to eat the first batch right away…the smell is irresistible) and freeze the second batch to be reheated later. 

Gluten free vegan meatballs

Because I know so many people need a gluten free alternative to recipes, I always think about how I can make my recipes gluten free. The truth is, although I don’t have problems with gluten, I still prefer to keep make most of my meals gluten free. For these Easy Cauliflower Chickpea my favourite option is just to use gluten free panko…but for these Meatballs you can also switch out the panko bread crumbs with almond flour and because of the added health benefits of the healthy fatty acids and nutrients you get in the almonds that switch gets you extra health benefits . 

Another great alternative is to replace the panko with gluten free oatmeal. The oatmeal works really well as a binder and gives the meatballs a great meat like texture. 

How are these Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatballs made? It’s so easy. Just:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cook the cauliflower in a pot covered with water for 12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender (test by poking it with a knife)
  • Heat a skillet with olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and bell pepper at medium heat for 3 minutes or until the onions are soft.Once the onions have softened, add the minced garlic and stir together. Let everything cook for one more minute.
  • Next, add the cooked and drained cauliflower to a food processor along with the chickpeas, onion/pepper mix and all the rest of the ingredients and process until everything is combined (be careful not to process too much as the chickpeas should still have a little texture).The mixture should be wet but come together in a ball without falling apart. 
  • Next, use two spoons or your hands to shape the mixture into meatballs and place the meatballs on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top (optional).
  • Bake the meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes, before flipping them over and baking for 15-20 minutes on the other side or until the meatballs are golden and slightly crispy on the outside. Serve with your favourite side dish and enjoy. 

Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatballs

These Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Meatballs or should I say vegan Meatless Meatballs are so deliciously flavourful, tender on the inside and crispy on the outside – and they’re loaded with Mediterranean flavours. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Made with cauliflower, chickpeas, fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes they taste like a small slice of Italy – a delicious, mouthwatering and irresistible Mediterranean slice that is. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 head Cauliflower Broken into florets
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 15 – ounce can Chickpeas Drained and drained
  • 1 Red Onion Chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 tbsp Sun-dried Tomatoes Chopped
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil Chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cook the cauliflower in a pot covered with water for 12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender (test by poking it with a knife)
  • Heat a skillet with olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and bell pepper at medium heat for 3 minutes or until the onions are soft.
    Once the onions have softened, add the minced garlic and stir together. Let everything cook for one more minute.
  • Next, add the cooked and drained cauliflower to a food processor along with the chickpeas, onion/pepper mix and all the rest of the ingredients and process until everything is combined (be careful not to process too much as the chickpeas should still have a little texture).
    The mixture should be wet but come together in a ball without falling apart. 
  • Next, use two spoons or your hands to shape the mixture into meatballs and place the meatballs on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top (optional).
  • Bake the meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes, before flipping them over and baking for 15-20 minutes on the other side or until the meatballs are golden and slightly crispy on the outside. 
    Serve with your favourite side dish and enjoy. 

Notes

Freezer friendly. 

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