Chickpea "Meatballs" with Zucchini Noodles From The Essential Vegetable Cookbook


This recipe is another sneak peek and favorite from The Essential Vegetable Cookbook. To read more about the cookbook, check out the recipe for Veggie Fried Cauliflower Rice (also from the book!) that explains what the book is all about.

Chickpea "Meatballs" with Zucchini Noodles

These meatless chickpea "meatballs" are made almost exactly the same way as the baked falafel, but have entirely different flavors - instead of garlic and parsley, they contain basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Chickpeas work so well as a substitute for meat that you'd almost never know these meatballs contain no actual meat! Try them with the Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce (page 234) for a vegetarian version of spaghetti and meatballs.

Serves 5

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


1 (15-ounce) can low sodium-chickpeas

1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 large zucchini, ends trimmed


1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.

2. Put the chickpeas in a food processor and process until mashed, leaving a few whole chickpeas. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

3. Put the onion in the food processor and process until very finely chopped. Add the bowl with the chickpeas.

4. Add the basil, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper to the bowl and stir until the mixture is thick and cohesive.

5. Form the mixture into heaping tablespoon-size balls (you should have around 15 balls) and place on a plate.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpea balls and cook them for about 5 minutes, turning the balls until browned on all sides.

7. Transfer the "meatballs" to a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, until cooked through.

8. While "meatballs" bake, use a spiralizer to twirl the zucchini into noodles.

9. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini noodles and lightly saute until softened.

10. Top the zucchini noodles with the chickpea meatballs and serve immediately.

Per serving (3 meatballs and 1/2 cup noodles): Calories: 254; Total fat: 13 g; Total carbs: 26 g; Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 8 g; Protein: 10 g; Sodium: 399 mg

For more easy recipes like this one, check out The Essential Vegetable Cookbook on AmazonBarnes & Noble or Target (or in stores on August 14th!).