This recipe for Black Bean and Mushroom Meatballs is a hearty dish that gets served onto a bed of perfectly cooked zucchini noodles. This dish feels like decadent pasta night but is secretly healthy, gluten free, and vegan!
We are serving up one health pasta situation today. Twirly noodles, hearty meatballs, sweet red sauce… all 100% healthy and nutritious.
It all starts with the meatballs. Except for one teeny, tiny thing… these meatballs are more like meatless balls. They are made with vegetables! Think of these tasty spheres as yet another way to sneak health inducing veggies into our (and our kids!) diets.
These bites are uncanny when topped in red sauce and served over noodles. They look like regular meatballs, they taste amazing thanks to herbs and spices, and they are tender and juicy enough to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
But what is a meatball, or meatless ball, without something to serve it on. For this recipe, we pack in even more veggies and opt for celeriac noodles. These sweet spirals are another nutrition swap, but if you are feeling like pasta night isn’t complete without, well, pasta, you can always swap the cleric noodles out for the real thing. Or if celeriac, also called celery root, can’t be found at your local grocery store, you can swap the celeriac noodles out for some zucchini noodles.
Then the whole thing gets smothered in a rich tomato sauce. If you are doing the math here, we have vegetables, on vegetables, on vegetables. Think of all that nutrition, and think of all that flavor. Each layer is expertly seasoned to make sure you feel all the comfort of eating a big bowl of pasta, but gain extra nutrition along the way. Could pasta night get any better?
Black beans and mushrooms serve as the base of our meatballs, and they each bring flavor, texture, and loads of health benefits.
Black beans are the most nutritious of all beans, and in this recipe, they hold our meatballs together. But, with digestive tract benefits, cardiovascular benefits, blood sugar regulation abilities, and essential vitamins and minerals, they also hold our health together.
Mushrooms contain nutrients that no other plant species can offer, which is why these fungi deserve a lasting place in our diets. Mushrooms can have immune boosting effects, which can keep us fending off a cold or the flu. They also have the power to reduce our risk of cancer, improve our heart health, and may actually help to balance our sometimes outta each hormones.
Twirl and swirl your way to good health.
A tip for making an easy weeknight dinner, is to make a big batch of these Black Bean and Mushroom Meatballs and then store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them. When pasta night calls, just reheat the Black Bean and Mushroom Meatballs in the microwave or a low oven, then serve as usual.
- 1/4 cup flaxseeds meal + 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
- 4 oz crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil, separated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos OR gluten free soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free quick oats
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 celeriac, peeled
- 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and water. Set aside to thicken.
2. In a food processor, pulse the onions and mushrooms until they are finely chopped.
3. Heat the avocado oil in a medium skillet. Add in the chopped mushroom and onion mixture and cook until softened. Add in the garlic, soy sauce, and white pepper. Continue to cook until all the water has evaporated.
4. Add this mixture back into the food processor along with the black beans, oats, and Italian seasoning. Process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
5. While the meatball mixture is chilling, use a spiralizer to create noodles from the celeriac. Set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Once the meatballs are chilled, line a baking tray with nonstick foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Using a tablespoon measure, form them into balls. I like to use a tablespoon cookie dough scoop and just drop the meatballs onto a sheet pan like drop cookies, then gently form them into balls. If the mixture is sticking to your hands, wet them with cold water before handling the meatballs.
7. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and tender.
8. While the meatballs are cooking, heat up your favorite sauce.
9. Once the meatballs are cooked, heat a small amount of oil in a large saucepan and cook the celeriac noodles until al dente, and immediately remove them from the heat to prevent them from getting mushy.
10. Serve the celeriac noodles with sauce and meatballs.
And just like that, by following these quick and easy steps, (healthy) pasta night is any night of the week.