Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread


Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks


I can chill.

Like, there’s not even parmesan in them. Only on top of the sauce, so if you left that out, they’re even vegan! (minus the egg. forgot about the egg.) Not that I’m turning vegan. Dairy is like a left leg for me. I’ll never quit it.


These are guuuud, guys. Ril good. (<–hate that I just said ril.)

Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

It’s as simple as it gets. And you know what, you can totally add spices to these if you want! I’d love your take on veggie meatballs. AND if you have top-secret James Bond secrets on how to get them to stay together. Mine do, but not as well as I’d hoped.

I’m still a good person.

Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

So everything goes in a food processor. Actually, pulse up the carrots and chickpeas first. Give those carrots a chance to really really break down and grind up. Which I feel like should be a James Brown song. “Break down and grind up! Ow! Break down and grind up! Oh!”

Never mind.

Then add the kale, herbs, panko, garlic, EGG (that’s your binder, boo), lemon zest and a good pinch of salt. Pulse it good and scrape down the sides until it looks like this.

Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

Okay. It looks like cat food.


Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

This is better.

Ball ’em with with your hands and carefully sear them in an oiled skillet. You have to be gentle about the flippage, dudes. These pups are delicate. Not like actual meat. But you can do it. I have confidence in sunshine. I have confidence in rain. I have confidence that you can flip you some dern vegetaBALLS. Hahahahah!


Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

You’ve poured marinara in. Something bright and tangy. Or use my sauce from Tuesday! Look at you go!

Then you’ll just dust an ish-load of cheese rain (that’s what I call parm. I have five year olds.) over the finished dish, and serve it with grilled bread!

And for that, I just bought a mound of bread, sliced it and brushed the slices with a mix of olive oil, garlic powder and salt. (rub a cut garlic clove over the bread if y’awnt!) Grilled it on an indoor pan (while the balls simmer), and served it like a cot for the balls. I don’t like how any of that sounded.

And it’s fab! The veggie balls DID start to break up as I ate them, so I ended up sort of spreading the mix over the bread and eating it like that. And I’ll never regret it. But listen, if you have tips on how to keep that mess SUPER stuck, dude, tell me. We’d all love to know.

The flavors are OUTSTANDING. Super herby, bright, but with a garlic undertone. Flipping good, man.

Do it.

Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

See? And the leftovers make the perfect light vegetarian lunch if you’re trying to do that more. Which I bet you are. But I’m not being bossy.

Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread
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  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups chopped kale
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 4 -5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. lemon zest
  • About a cup of fresh herbs (anything works here - I used parsley, basil, thyme and oregano)
  • 2 cups favorite marinara (something bright and tangy)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Crusty bread slices (brushed with olive oil, garlic powder and salt), grilled or toasted


  1. In a large food processor, pulse the carrots and chickpeas together. Then add the kale, garlic, herbs, panko, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Keep pulsing (and scraping down the sides when needed) until smooth and combined. Using your fingers, roll the mix into smallish veggie balls.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet, and gently place the veggie balls in to sear. Let sit about two minutes, on medium-high heat, then carefully flip to sear the other side. Pour the marinara into the skillet and let the veggie balls simmer about 10-15 minutes, while you grill or toast your bread slices.
  3. They’ll definitely soften and begin to fall apart after a few stabs, but you’re (I’m?) still a good person. Smear it on the grilled bread and devour.
  4. Serves 4!

Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread / Bev Cooks

I mean . . .

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10 Responses to Vegetarian Meatballs with Grilled Bread

  1. Deanna May 9, 2019 at 11:14 am #
    Uh I hate to be the one to be the bearer of bad news, but these aren’t vegan even without the parm. Egg is kind of a persona non grata in veganism. ( Luckily, I’m not vegan and these look fab. Maybe cook the carrots before adding them? Then they’ll be a bit more of a binder?
    • Bev Weidner May 9, 2019 at 11:54 am #
      Oh yeah, the egg! Ha! This is how non-vegan I am. :)
  2. Sabrina May 9, 2019 at 4:37 pm #
    I am curious, do your children eat all this delicious looking food you show us? I have given up hoping my child's palette will mature with age. God forbid I put a kale and chickpea "meatball" in front of her. :-) Looks delish!
  3. Laura May 10, 2019 at 11:59 am #
    since this is sort of falafel-ish I've seen those recipes with a bit of flour- maybe that would help? also chilling the balls before pan frying? who knows, they look delish and I'll be trying regardless!
  4. Caroline June 7, 2019 at 3:12 am #
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