linden and rosemary

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Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Chickpea “Meatballs”


I’m shaking with excitement. I’m so proud of this recipe. Vegetarian meatballs! Satisfying, full of protein, flavorful and gorgeous. No weird ingredients. Simple to make.

I felt like a little Italian lady with my big pot of simmering meatballs. I wanted to carry my pot from door to door, handing out meatballs to neighbors, pinching cheeks and saying wise Italian things. They’re just packed full of love. Comfort is spaghetti and meatballs.

I have some really great recipes on the way for you as well as my prolonged, promised interview with Thistles and Clover. Homemade ricotta, fresh bread, a simple French country dessert and meaningful words from a kind farmer. All near. Stay here.

P.S. My blog has been selected for feature on Foodista on February 5th! I’m excited. I hope they like veggie burgers and meatlessballs.

Makes about 18 balls

1 can chickpeas, drained and thoroughly mashed (I use a fork but food processor would be magic)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 a yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped, plus more for serving
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Lots of cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon for spicier)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (or feel free to make your own)
8 ounces (half a box) whole wheat spaghetti

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray paper with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except for olive oil, spaghetti and sauce) in a large bowl. Ingredients should be well mixed and you should not see any whole chickpeas. Roll right away or refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Roll generous tablespoons of the mixture in your hands to create balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle tops with a tiny bit of olive oil. Bake for 22-24 minutes until the meatballs are lightly browned on the outside (don’t overcook or they might dry out).
  4. While the meatballs are baking, cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions and heat the tomato sauce in a large pan, covered, on medium heat.
  5. Making sure the sauce is hot and slightly bubbling, put the meatballs into the sauce and stir them gently until well coated. Serve sauce and vegetarian meatballs over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with extra fresh basil and Parmesan.

More → Pasta , Veggie Mains


  1. Emma

    Thank you for posting this recipe, I've been wanting to make meatless spaghetti and meatballs but hadn't found a recipe I liked. Will definitely be trying these out for dinner soon!

  2. Becca

    I just made these…I am literally eating them as I type. Mmmmmmm!

    That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

    I don't even think I ever really liked meatballs, but I love chickpeas and I love protein-rich veggie pasta dishes!

    Thank you for adding this to my recipe box :)

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