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Crispy vegan Black Bean and Quinoa Balls with spiralized zucchini and a delicious tomato sauce. Woohoo, summer comfort food alert! Todays recipe is quick, easy, healthy, gluten-free and oil-free, just what you need for a perfect summer weeknight dinner. These quinoa balls are crispy, hearty, and full of flavour. Plus they are simple to make, requiring just a few ingredients. These mini balls go so well with pasta or spiralized zucchini (and this sun-dried tomato pesto), and they are great simply as a snack with your favourite dip. As usual, this recipe is totally customisable. You can use kidney beans, navy beans or chickpeas instead of black beans (though I have to say they are the best with black beans). Also you can spice them however you like with fresh or dry herbs. And use ketchup or barbecue sauce instead of the tomato puree for extra flavour. These babies can be baked in the oven, but if you prefer you can also fry them in a non-stick pan (without oil), or even deep-fry them, they wont fall apart. I really like these quinoa balls with a sun-dried tomato sauce and pasta or zucchini, its like a classic Italian comfort food made a bit lighter. But they are also great with salad, in sandwiches, or just stuffed into a pita like falafel balls. The leftovers are also delicious cold, so you can take them with you the next day for lunch. Serves: 4


4 zucchinis or 350 g/12 oz pasta
For the black bean and quinoa balls
cup of quinoa
1 can of black beans
cup of sesame seeds
cup of oat flour or bread crumbs
2 tbsp tomato paste
tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (oregano, sage, rosemary, basil...)
salt, pepper
For the sun-dried tomato sauce
cup of halved cherry tomatoes
cup of sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
handful of fresh basil
1 tsp oregano
salt, pepper
To serve
fresh basil
cup of halved cherry tomatoes


Black bean and quinoa balls
Add quinoa and one cup of water to a pot and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain any excess water and let cool a bit.
Meanwhile add black beans to a bowl and mash coarsely with a potato masher or a fork. Add quinoa, sesame seeds, oat flour or bread crumbs, tomato paste, Sriracha, nutritional yeast and spices and mix well together. Use your hands to make it into a moldable dough.
Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls (about 22-25 total). Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Bake at 200C/400F for 35-40 minutes, or until crispy.
Sun-dried tomato sauce
Place sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy.
Spiralize zucchinis and place in a large bowl, or prepare your pasta according to package instructions.
Add sun-dried tomato sauce and cherry tomatoes to zucchini/pasta and mix well. To serve, top zucchini/pasta with 4-5 balls per serving and sprinkle with fresh basil. Enjoy!

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