Spaghetti without meatballs is like trying to play baseball without a ball! These healthy, no-oil meatballs are a little bit spicy with just the right texture to satisfy those “meaty” cravings.
- 1 small onion, finely minced
- 1 1/4 cup cremini mushrooms (4–5 large), finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- generous splash dry red wine
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/4 vital wheat gluten
- 1 Tbsp. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- pinch sea salt
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or spray lightly with oil (this will yield a browner crust) and preheat the oven to 375-degrees F.
- In a medium-sized skillet, saute the onion and mushrooms in a splash of vegetable broth or water until softened. Stir in the garlic, herbs and spices, and a generous glug of red wine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, scrape into a large bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add all of the “food processor” ingredients and pulse until fairly smooth. Add the mixture to the onion-mushroom mixture in the bowl. Get in there with clean hands and mix thoroughly to moisten the breadcrumbs and combine all of the ingredients.
- If you like, let the mixture chill to firm up a bit before forming into meatballs. When ready, roll into golfball-sized balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes then gently and carefully turn and bake for another 20 minutes. You’re looking for a bit of browning on both sides of the meatball, so bake until browned and set.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use, or serve right away over pasta and sauce.
- It helps the mixture to sit/chill for a few hours before rolling into balls, but they can be formed immediately, too.