Chickpea Veggie Balls/Loaf is one of our families favorite dishes. Full of flavor and texture this recipe is easy to whip up and comes together effortless with the use of a food processor. Our 10-year-old daughter said, “The chickpea balls remind me of the meatball subs I used to get from Subway, but these taste better!” Knocked the ball out of the park and scored a home run with the family! Yippee!!
I was inspired and adapted Vegan Richa’s Chickpea Loaf recipe by using an unusual secret ingredient that I stumbled across just by my sheer “why not” inquisitiveness in the kitchen. And the drum roll, please. RED SEEDLESS Grapes, yes you read right. What do you know, adding the grapes added just enough sweetness without adding too much liquid to the overall recipe and overpowering the taste of the herbs.
One of my favorite herb blends is McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning. If I can’t find that brand, I prefer the blend to include the following herbs: Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory, Basil, and Sage. For a quick glaze, I like to use equal amounts of Ketchup and BBQ sauce. My favorite brands are pictured below.
This recipe is so versatile. And for a family of five, we can get two meals. Yippee! So go ahead, use this recipe to make veggie balls for a sub or with your favorite marinara sauce for spaghetti. Or make a loaf topped with your favorite glaze. And be sure for lunch the next day, have a slice on a lettuce or whole grain bread with your favorite mustard. OMG, it is to “Live” for!
So go ahead, have it your way, balls or loaf. Either way, will sure to be a crowd pleaser!
“How To Video”
Chickpea Veggie Balls/Loaf
Herbal Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup Red Seedless Grapes
- 6 oz Tomato Paste, Unsalted
- 1.5 Tbsp Lemon Juice, freshle squeezed
- 2 tsp Onion Powder, unsalted
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder, unsalted
- 1/4 tsp Chipotle Pepper (add up to 1/2 tsp if you like a little more kick)
- 2 tsp Chilli Powder, Unsalted
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Allspice
- 4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (use brand with low-sodium)
- 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (I prefer McKormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 large Red Onion, Quartered
- 2 stalks Celery, Quartered
- 2 cups, packed Baby Spinach
- 1/2 cup White Button Mushrooms
- 1/2 cup Julienne Carrots
- 1 Tbsp Parley, dried
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro, dried
- 1/2 tsp Ground Sage
- 1 3/4 cup Cooked Basmati Brown Rice
- 2 15oz cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed (be sure beans are drained thoroghly)
- 1/4 cup Oats, Old Fashioned Rolled
Glaze for Loaf
- 1/2 cup Favorite BBQ Sauce/Ketchup (I used 1/4 cup Ketchup and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Glaze for Balls
- Your choice of Favorite BBQ Sauce/Ketchup, Marinara, or Gravey
- Preheat oven to 400F. If making veggie balls line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. If making a loaf, line an 8 x 5 pan with parchment paper.
- Using a food processor fitted with an "S" blade add all ingredients for the Herbal Tomato Paste and process until smooth. Set aside. Please NOTE: the paste will not mix well using a blender.
- Add the garlic cloves, quartered red onions and celery, baby spinach, mushrooms, and julienne carrots to a 14-cup food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Pulse until veggies are chopped to desired chunkiness. NOTE: Do not puree veggies.
- Transfer the chopped veggie mixture to a non-stick pan. Add dried cilantro, parsley, and sage to pan. Sautee veggies for 7 minutes on a medium/high heat. Set aside. NOTE: The natural water in mushrooms will seep out as veggies are sauteed. There is no need to add any additional liquid or oil. Be sure to sautee veggies until all water has evaporated. Too much liquid left in veggie mixture will affect balls/loaf firmness.
- Add cooked brown rice, drained chickpeas, old-fashioned rolled oats, and 1/2 of the sauteed veggie mixture to the 14-cup food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Pulse until mixture is chopped but with some texture. Do not over process.
- Transfer the bean and rice mixture, the other half remaining veggie mixture and the herbal tomato paste to the large mixing bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well blended.
- CHICKPEA VEGGIE BALLS COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Using a cookie scooper or a 1 Tbsp measurer dip out mixture and shape into balls and place onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake chickpea balls for 20 minutes. Using a spatula flip each ball over and bake for the additional 10 minutes. NOTE: If balls are difficult to flip allow to cook another 5 minutes before flipping. Then flip and allow to cook for the remaining time. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then glaze with sauce/gravy of choice. Glaze balls with desired
- CHICKPEA VEGGIE LOAF COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Transfer mixture to the parchment lined loaf pan. Using a spatula, press the mixture evenly in pan. Top with the desired glaze. Bake uncovered for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift loaf from pan and place on cooling rack or plate and allow to cool at least 30 minutes prior to slicing. NOTE: The longer the loaf cools, the firmer it gets. NEXT DAY REHEAT Tip: If loaf becomes to dry, drizzle a little veggie stock over loaf to reheat.