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Beanballs With Marinara Sauce


This dish delivers the comforting, classic flavors of traditional Italian meatballs, while replacing meat with kidney beans for protein. Serve over pasta, or garlic-sautéed baby spinach or zucchini. This dish is ready in 30 minutes from start to finish.

This recipe is provided by Michelle Dudash, Registered Dietitian, Cordon Bleu-certified chef and creator of CleanEatingCookingSchool.com.


  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 Ounces package crimini or button mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic (2 minced and 1 smashed)
  • 14 Ounces can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 Cup rolled oats, use gluten-free, if desired
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast seasoning, or use grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 28 Ounces can whole tomatoes, reserving juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F convection. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté until liquid releases and evaporates and mushrooms are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Mash the kidney beans in a medium bowl and add oats, flaxseed, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the tomato juice. Add the cooked mushrooms and stir well. Scoop into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes.

While the beanballs bake, squeeze the tomatoes into the skillet, using a clean hand. Add 1/4 cup of the tomato juice, 1 smashed garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the beanballs with the sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, basil or chives, if you have on hand.