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Veggie Balls with Tomato Sauce

Veggie Balls with Tomato Sauce

Who needs meatballs when you could have this healthier, meat-free version? Made with mushrooms, black beans and plenty of herbs, these veggie balls are full of flavour.Created for The Oat Project by Healthy Twists.

Cooking Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Skill Level Medium
Serves 5


Veggie Black Bean Balls

250g mushrooms

1 x 400g tin black beans, drained

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

120g medium oatmeal

2 tbsp tomato puree

½ tsp mixed herbs

1 tbsp of Worcester sauce (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Salt & pepper

Rapeseed oil

Tomato Sauce

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 carrots

1 red pepper

Rapeseed oil

400 ml vegetable stock

1 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp apple balsamic vinegar

80g tomato puree

2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes

Fresh basil


Pre heat oven to 180C fan.

To make the sauce, peel and finely chop the onions and garlic.  Add some oil to a large saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Whilst the onions are cooking, peel and finely dice the carrots and pepper, before adding to the pan.

Add the tomato puree and stir for 1 minute. Add the oregano, bay leaf and stock. Stir well, tip in the tomatoes, stir and add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer whilst stirring, then reduce to a low heat and place the lid over the pan. Cook for a minimum of 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, the longer you can cook the sauce for the better the flavour.

To make the veggie black bean balls, roughly slice the onion and garlic and add to a food processor – pulse until finely minced.  Place a small frying pan on the hob, add a glug of oil and heat, add the onion and garlic mix and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Add the mushrooms, black beans, tomato puree, mixed herbs along with the Worcestershire sauce to the food processor and roughly pulse. Add the cooled onion and garlic back to the food processor and pulse until minced. Spoon the mix into a mixing bowl, then tip in the oatmeal and season with salt and pepper, stir until combined.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.  Take a small handful of the mix and roll gently in your hands then place on the baking tray, repeat until you have used all the mix, it should make around 25 balls.

Heat a medium frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and carefully place the balls (you’ll have to do this in batches) in the frying pan, cooking for 3 minutes on each side, then return to the baking tray.

Once all the veggie black bean balls have been pan-fried, place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then turn the balls and cook for a further 5 minutes.