Whoa! Two posts in one week? (is what I know you’re thinking) And yes. I don’t know if it’s the cooler temps, but I’m feeling a lot more motivated to cook and such. Mostly I’m feeling motivated to make super filling autumnal dishes like my Best Fall Casserole and Butternut Kale Lasagna, but I’m also trying to focus on some more transitional recipes. Recipes that are good for all types of weather. Food you can feel good about eating even when you can’t hide a food baby under a bulky sweater! These Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs (or Beanballs if you prefer) fit the bill perfectly.
They’re made with a black bean base but also have veggies and tons of seasoning in there. And cheese too! I used Daiya jack cheese, which melted perfectly, as you can see…
So what would one do with these cheese-stuffed beauties? Well, the possibilities are endless. ENDLESS! Serve them atop saucy pasta, or in a meatball sub topped with sautéed onions and peppers.
Ooh, how about with toothpicks and a bubbling bowl of hot n’ spicy marinara sauce? That’ll get your party lit.
I really don’t think there’s a wrong way to enjoy them. Actually, that’s not true. Don’t eat them with guilt or shame. These gooey little beanballs are guilt free and it would be wrong to feel badly about eating as many of them as you can stuff into your pretty little face. You have my word!
- 3-4 oz block or wedge of vegan cheese (I used Daiya Jack, but any flavor would work)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ bell pepper, cut into large chunks
- ¼ red onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 can no-salt black beans, rinsed and well-drained
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup panko, separated
- S&P to taste
- Preheat your oven to 420 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop the cheese into small cubes, about the size of the tip of your thumb and set aside, at room temperature.
- Mix the chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Drop the bell pepper and onion chunks into the food processor. Blend for just a few moments, until the pieces are smallish but not minced. Pour in the beans and blend until everything is mixed together (just a few seconds, really). You don’t want the beans completely broken down, otherwise your mixture will be too moist and wont cook well.
- Pour the bean mixture into a medium bowl and add the chia mix, seasonings and about ½ the panko crumbs. Mix with your hands until everything is completely blended, adding the additional panko as needed. You want this mixture to be sticky so you can form meatballs that will hold together. Taste the mix and add S&P as needed.
- Using approximately 4-6 tablespoons of mix each, shape your meatballs into flat, round patties. Place one cube of cheese on each and wrap the bean mix around the cheese, forming a round meatball.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and brown the meatballs for about 10 minutes, rolling them over every 1-2 minutes so they get a little color on each side.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then flip. Bake for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately (or add to the dish you’re using them in).