Since we stopped eating meat in November, I’ve been looking for creative ways to eat the things I used to love like taco meat, bolognese sauce and especially meatballs! I was a vegetarian before I met my husband a million years ago, so going back to that lifestyle isn’t really a chore for me. I was mostly there anyway, but now I’m fully committed to the change. Like it or not, my boys have to eat what I make. That’s kinda how things roll around here. When I first served this to my husband, he tasted one bite and said aloud, “These are the best meatballs!” I laughed and said “there’s no MEAT in them.” Even my 5 year old (who isn’t a big meat fan anyway) wolfed them down! They are tender, fluffy, and cheesy with a slight hint of onion. Whether or not you’re a vegetarian or not, I’m pretty convinced you are going to love these! They hold together beautifully and are freezer friendly too! I froze half a batch the first time I made them and then just popped them into some tomato sauce over the stove to reheat them. Easy, peasy! I have served them over rice, spaghetti, with some store bought pesto, and even zoodles!
The first time I made these with quinoa and the second time I used brown rice. The quinoa holds together a wee bit better but whichever you choose, they’ll still be delicious!
Makes roughly 34 small meatballs or 18 big ones
1 small head cauliflower
1/3 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice (you can use store bought pre-cooked frozen quinoa or brown rice-no need to thaw or cook)
1 cup almond flour or breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Italian cheese blend
1 cup garbanzo beans
2 T onion soup mix (or sub 1 T onion powder and 1 T garlic powder)
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut cauliflower into florets, place on a baking tray and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, cook quinoa or rice if you don’t have this ready.
Once the cauliflower is done let cool for 10 minutes. Then place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Don’t over mix. It will be a wet mixture, so don’t be concerned. Place the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes or up to an hour. The longer you let it sit the in the fridge, the easier it will be to form into meatballs.
Heat oven to 375F. Use a tablespoon, melon baller, or ice cream scoop to form into balls. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve over rice, zoodles, spaghetti with your favorite pesto or tomato sauce!
Recipe inspired by A Pinch of Yum’s Spicy Cauliflower Burgers.