Vegan Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

It is world vegan day today and it go me thinking about delicious vegan recipe ideas!  Even if your not a vegan, these are so yummy and even my kids surprisingly loved these wholesome bowls.  I really believe we all could benefit from eating at least 2-3 plant based meals during the week and dishes like this are a fun way to do it.  They are super versatile as you can add whatever sauté veggies or roasted veggies you love.  I made vegan rice bowls and piled it high with sautéed purple cabbage, mushrooms and kale along with some sliced avocado but there are endless options.  You could serve these meatballs over pasta or with sweet potatoes, squash, regular roasted potatoes or make falafel sandwiches or pita sandwiches and then pile high with these meatballs.  This fantastic red pepper sauce can also be used in a variety of ways.  It is lovely as a dressing for just about any veggie, salad or even over tofu.

Vegan Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


Measuring Spoons

Measuring Cups

Food Processor

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheet

Large Sauté Pan


For Meatballs:

2 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 onions peeled and sliced

4 cloves garlic peeled and minced

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano 

2 tbs fresh cilantro washed and minced 

1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed 

Reserve 1/4 cup of the onion, garlic mixture once cooked for red pepper sauce 

For Red Pepper Sauce:

Juice of one lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

2 tbs Fresh cilantro washed 

1/4 cup of the remaining sautéed onions and garlic 

2/3 cup avocado mayonnaise 

2 large roasted red peppers 

2 tbs tahini 

1 small ripe avocado with pit removed and flesh scooped out 


Preheat oven to 375

Take a large sauté pan and add olive oil then place heat on your stove top to medium.  Then add onions, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and fresh cilantro.  Sauté approximately 10 minutes till onions are translucent and all of the flavors come together.  Set aside briefly.  Empty the cannellini beans and garbanzo beans into your food processor.  Now add the onion and garlic mixture into the food processor along with the beans.  Pulse continually till it forms a thick paste.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper then use an ice cream scoop or large spoon and form individual meatballs.  This recipe will make approximately one dozen.   Chef’s note:  the c0nsistency of the meatballs will be sticky.  Bake in the oven at 375 for 30-35 minutes till the meatballs are golden brown.  Turn the oven off and let meatballs rest the oven to stay warm while you make the red pepper sauce.

Using your food processor, add lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, fresh cilantro, remaining sautéed onions and garlic, avocado mayo, roasted red peppers, tahini and avocado.  Pulse until the sauce runs smooth and all of the ingredients come together.  I like to leave it in the food processor and pulse it one last time before I serve it over my vegan bowls.

Assemble the bowls whatever way you like over cooked rice, roasted potatoes, etc. and along with whatever your favorite veggies are then drizzle with this fabulous red pepper sauce.  Super delicious and makes fabulous leftovers and meal preparation for the week!

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Organic Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

There is a reason why the saying “April showers brings May flowers” exists and we have definitely been experiencing that except I don’t think Mother Nature meant snow ha!  It has been cold and dreary so I’ve been taking to heart Mick Jagger’s “you can’t always get what you want” as I hold tightly to the promise of spring in our not too distant future.

This leads me to my turkey meatball recipe as I’m still in comfort mood mode as a result of all this cooler weather.  Trust me know one is complaining in our house either as this is one of my husband’s and daughter’s absolute favorite meals of all time.  I love it too as it is incredibly versatile as the meat can be adjusted to pork or beef and this can be served over spaghetti squash to make it grain free or paleo as well as served over pasta or even used to make meatball subs!  My family especially loves it over spaghetti!  Regardless, I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is about time I share with you all.  This can be a made a day ahead too and it will just get better and better with time.  You can make your marinara from scratch if you have the time but to be honest on busy days with the kiddos, I use a jar of Rao’s marinara.  It honestly is so delicious and no body will ever know!


Ground Turkey Meatballs

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion peeled and minced

3 cloves fresh garlic peeled and minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 lb ground organic turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (optional)

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 tbs grated parmesan reggiano

1 additional tsp dried oregano

2 additional tbs extra virgin olive oil

2  jar Rao’s marinara

Take a large skillet with a lid and add olive oil, then place the heat of your stove top to medium.  Once hot, add minced onion and cook approx. 7-8 minutes till translucent then add garlic and dried oregano and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest to cool.

Take a medium size bowl and add ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, sea salt, black pepper, parmesan reggiano, dried oregano.  Now add the cooled cooked onion, garlic and oregano mixture to the ground turkey.  Using your clean hands, combine all the ingredients fully.  Then, proceed to roll the ground turkey mixture into individual meatballs.  Once you have rolled all of your meatballs, take your skillet and add the last 2 tbs of olive oil.  Bring your heat to medium and once hot, add the meatballs.  Cook approx. 5 minutes then using a spatula or tongs, flip the meatballs to the other side and cook an additional 5 minutes (meatballs should be golden brown on each side).  Now add both jars of marinara sauce (make sure to add a little water (approx. 1/2 cup) to the jars to get all the sauce out and add to the pot as well.  Bring the heat of your stove top up to high heat very briefly till the sauce comes to a quick boil, then immediately reduce to low and place the top on your pot.  Cook approx. 20-25 minutes on low to finish cooking the meatballs and allow all the flavors to come together.  Serve the meatballs over pasta, over spaghetti squash or I have made meatball subs with this recipe as well.  The options are endless and don’t forget to add copious amounts of sprinkled parmesan reggiano.  Any way you serve this, it’s absolutely delicious and your family will thank you.

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag me @chef_emery on Instagram! Oxoxox

All my love from my kitchen to yours!

Chef Emery