Veggie meatballs

Veggie meatballs with tomatoes, olives and caper sauce

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Make your own meat-free meatballs from quinoa, black beans, breadcrumbs and smoked paprika, then serve them with a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce


Try our veggie meatballs then check out our veggie fajitas and our meatballs recipes.



  • plum tomatoes 2 x 400g tins
  • dried chilli flakes a large pinch
  • caster sugar a pinch
  • basmati and wild rice 240g
  • roasted red peppers from a jar 3, thickly sliced
  • capers 2 tbsp
  • pitted green olives a handful, chopped
  • red wine vinegar 2 tsp
  • flat-leaf parsley a handful, chopped (optional)


  • quinoa 75g
  • spray oil
  • onion ½, finely chopped
  • garlic 3 cloves, finely chopped
  • sweet smoked paprika 2 tsp
  • black beans 400g tin, drained and rinsed
  • egg 1
  • dried breadcrumbs 30g


  • Step 1

    To make the meatballs, cook the quinoa in a large pan of boiling water until just cooked, then drain really well and cool. Spray the base of a deep, non-stick frying pan with oil then cook the onion with a splash of water and a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until the water has evaporated and the onion has softened. Add the garlic and paprika, and cook for few more minutes, then cool.

  • Step 2

    Tip the quinoa, onion mixture, beans, egg and breadcrumbs into a food processor with a little seasoning and whizz until smooth-ish.  Use clean, wet hands to form into 20 balls, each about the size of a walnut, put onto a tray and chill for 15 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Heat more spray oil in the frying pan and cook the meatballs, in batches, until browned all over, then scoop out onto a plate. Tip the tomatoes into the pan with 200ml of water, the chilli flakes and sugar, and use a masher to crush into small pieces. Season and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced.

  • Step 4

    Cook the rice in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water following pack instructions, then drain well.

  • Step 5

    Add the meatballs into the sauce along with the peppers, capers and olives. Simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes until the meatballs are piping hot. Add the vinegar, plus a splash of water if it is getting a little dry.

  • Step 6

    Divide the rice between bowls and top with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle over the parsley, if using, to serve.

Head here for more veggie ideas

Veggie fajitas

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 488
  • Fat 5.2g
  • Saturates 1g
  • Carbs 81.9g
  • Sugars 10.6g
  • Fibre 12.2g
  • Protein 22.2g
  • Salt 0.7g