Vegan Chickpea Meatballs or Burgers with Marinara Zoodles

Vegan Chickpea Meatballs or Burgers with Marinara Zoodles

The secret to great vegan meatballs and burgers!

The texture…crunchy, chewy, and nutty! More like mild falafels than ground beef. But, no one will mind if you want to snack on these, just on their own. They’re so surprisingly good! I like making them myself so I know just what’s inside them.

Make extra to freeze for later:

Although these vegan meatballs or burgers take a while to make, they’re so worth it! Just make lots of them to freeze, you can just pull out the number you need while you’re making your zucchini faux fettucine. It’s a lot faster that way!

I used these shortcuts:

That’s because I used store-bought marinara sauce. I try to buy one that’s not too sweet. This time, I used Newman’s Own and it was fine. If you’d also like to make a quick and delicious meatless spaghetti sauce; use this delicious recipe in 15 minutes using canned or fresh tomatoes. It took me awhile to make these, because I felt like creating the recipe myself for the first time. I like to make them with all kinds of variations so I know how long to cook them when I repeat the recipe. That always takes longer in the beginning.

For Valentine’s Day and other techniques:

Next time, I’ll have some spaghetti sauce stored away to reheat and use for this. But, I couldn’t help but take the time to make heart shaped burgers for fun. Those would be nice for Valentine’s Day. Cookie cutters can be used to spoon in and tamp down a bit. That makes it easy to form any simple shape. That’s how you will end up with perfectly round burgers! Speaking of cookies, I used a 2” wide cookie dough scoop for the meatballs. Press dough against side of the bowl to press it into the scoop fairly dense. I don’t mind a flat bottom and a perfectly rounded top, but, if you do, chill first, then roll the meatballs between your hands to get a beautifully rounded shape!

Chickpea Meat-less Balls or Patties with Zoodles
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
So good, you'll want more of these to snack on!
Recipe type: meatballs, burgers, vegetable
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, healthy
Serves:: 8 Makes: 4 cups, or 20-24 balls
  • 3 T warm water
  • 1 T Ground flax seeds
  • 1 t Chopped garlic
  • ½ C Coarsely Chopped Shallot
  • 1 (15oz) can (or 1 heaping cup) Chickpeas, drained, reserve liquid
  • ½ C Chopped walnuts, no larger than pea sized
  • ½ C Old fashioned oats
  • 1 T White miso paste (optional)
  • 1 t Dried Basil
  • 1 t Dried Oregano
  • ½ t Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ t Low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ t Kosher sea salt
  • 1 C Cooked and seasoned or salted brown rice
  • Zoodles:
  • Thin-cut, Spirilized zucchini noodles, cut to about 6 inches in length, 4 large zucchini
  • ½ t Garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sauce:
  • 1 bottle Store-bought Marinara sauce, heated
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside until needed.
  3. For meatballs or burgers:
  4. In a small bowl, combine warm water and ground flax seeds; set aside.
  5. Drain chickpeas, reserving cooking or water from can for another use.
  6. In a food processor, chop garlic; add shallot and continue chopping until about the size of a small dice.
  7. Add drained chickpeas, walnut pieces, oatmeal, and process until pieces are small enough to hold together.
  8. Add Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt, basil and oregano; process again to mix together
  9. In a large bowl, combine cooked brown rice with chickpea mixture from food processor and pour over flax “egg” mixture and gently fold to combine.
  10. With a 2” wide scoop, shape into as many meatballs as desired.
  11. If making round or shaped patties, use a cookie cutter.
  12. Place on baking sheet, spoon mixture into cookie cutter opening then press down gently to firm.
  13. Carefully lift cookie cutter, holding level and shaking very gently, until mixture is released onto baking sheet.
  14. Cook at 350F degrees, for 25-35 minutes, on the prepared baking sheet, depending on the size of balls or patties; remove from oven when stiffened and slightly golden browned on top and deep golden browned on bottom. (Serve browned side up)
  15. To make zoodles:
  16. Trim ends and stem off zucchini, using a spiralizer, cut into fettuccini sized “noodles”, about 6 inches long.
  17. Place in bowl with water.
  18. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper and gently toss.
  19. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  20. Reheat Marinara sauce and serve about ½ Cup on each serving plate per person.
  21. Follow with a small pile of zoodles over sauce.
  22. Top with meatballs or patties as desired.
  23. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
  24. Serve warm.
  25. Cook's note: This recipe makes 4 cups of meatball "dough", which make 20-24 balls, or 8-10½" thick burgers.FYI: I tried making 1½" burger patties but it was barely warmed inside once exterior was done, so you will have to reduce oven temperature

You might want to make extra zoodles so you can try this Creamy Lemon-garlic Cashew Sauce.  Or, try this Lentil Chili over them! So tasty and healthy! Yum!

Recipe for healthy foods

Leave a reply

Rate this recipe:  

Want a Healthy Reminder?

Easy, Healthy, & Flavorful New Recipes

Delivered Right to your Inbox…