These plant-based meatballs are packed with umami and are simple to make. They’re designed to top the pasta of your choice but also make a delicious snack paired with your favorite sauce.
1 pound portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil or preferred cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs
1 medium spaghetti squash
24 oz. jar of tomato basil sauce or red sauce of choice
3 tablespoons chopped parsley to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook until browned, about 9 minutes.
3. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Turn off heat and set the pan aside.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine mushroom mixture, beans, and panko. This will serve as the “meat” of the balls. Together, it should resemble the consistency of ground meat, with small chunks that aren’t too tiny (you may need to break the beans up with a fork slightly). Form one-inch balls and arrange them one inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until slightly darkened and firm to the touch.
6. While the balls are baking, slice squash lengthwise, and remove seeds with a fork.
7. Place halves skin side up on a separate parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until tender.
8. Allow squash to cool enough to comfortably “pull apart” the strands using a fork so that they resemble spaghetti-like pieces. Once the strands are removed, use a spoon to scoop out the remainder of the flesh from the skin. Transfer squash to an oven-safe serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
9. Return the saucepan to stove, and bring to medium-low heat. Add the jar of sauce and bring to a simmer, then gently place the veggie balls in the sauce. Carefully roll pieces to coat in sauce.
10. Plate the squash and delicately spoon the sauce and mushroom balls over top. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.