Striving Bean

Vegetarian Meatballs (and Frugality)

Vegetarian Meatballs

Vegetarian Meatballs - Ready to Eat

I’ve been reading a books about frugality lately and enjoying them thoroughly.  I’ve got a lot of admiration for people who consistently live below their means and thrive.

My latest reads in progress:

OK, before I give you a false impression of my commitment to frugality, I dropped some cash at the The Bead Monkey today.  My daughter and I have a new (non-frugal?) hobby in bloom.

Perhaps these vegetarian meatballs make up for being lured by the siren song of shiny colorful beads. Black beans are used to stretch one of my favorite soy-based faux-meats, Gimme Lean “Sausage”.  Fresh herbs were from my garden. The vegetarian meatballs turned out great.

I haven’t tried these ingredients, but here are my thoughts on variation. Try adding one or more:

  • parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes
  • finely chopped mushrooms
  • ground walnuts
Meatballs Frying

Vegetarian goodness, frying in a pan

Vegetarian Meatballs

recipe by Striving Bean

Makes 36 meatballs


  • 1 – 14oz. pack Gimme Lean “Sausage” (a vegetarian soy-based sausage substitute)
  • 1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained [or  1 2/3 cup (1.66 cup) cooked black beans]
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 (1.5) Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 (1.5) Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 (1.5) Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup (0.75 cup) olive oil


  1. Puree black beans
  2. Combine pureed black beans and Gimme Lean Sausage in a bowl
  3. Add garlic, egg, basil, oregano, and rosemary
  4. Add salt and pepper
  5. Combine again
  6. Add bread crumbs.  As you are combining, add 1/4 cup water at a time.  You may not need the full 3/4 cup of water.
  7. Once well combined, form into meatballs.
  8. Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Be careful to not overheat olive oil or it will smoke (this is bad)
  9. Fry and brown meatballs in olive oil about 15 – 17 minutes.  With tongs turn meatballs every 5 minutes or so.

Our family weighs in:

  • Husband said they were good. On a scale of 1 – 10 for tasting like meat, they were a “5.5″.  Well, that’s not the point…
  • Daughter said they were yummy but “a little dry”
  • Son ate it, said they were yummy
  • I liked it too – it’s a keeper


Vegetarian Meatballs


Do you have a favorite meat replacement?  They’re fun to play with.

This post submitted to Eat From Your Pantry – Make it Yourself Monday

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2 thoughts on “Vegetarian Meatballs (and Frugality)

  1. Mary Beth Castaneda

    Do you think, for allergy purposes, the egg could be dismissed from this recipe? Would love to try for my son. Thanks! Mary Beth

    1. strivingbean

      HI Mary Beth – I think it’s worth a try to remove the egg. You could also try using Ener-G egg replacer (I have never tried it, but heard it’s good stuff):

      Here are some other possible alternatives (I would skip the banana idea for this recipe!)


      Let me know if you give it a try!

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