If you're looking for a simple vegetarian meatball recipe, here it is! Hearty black beans are the perfect base for this savory dish.

Let's face it—meatballs are kind of expensive for what they are. While it's easy to buy bags of them frozen, it's much cheaper to make your own. Why not take it a step further and play with a meatless recipe to see if you like it? 

Ingredients (makes approximately 30 meatballs)

  • 2 eggs (or vegan substitute)
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 2/3 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Brown gravy or marinara sauce to serve



In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs with the garlic powder and salt. Add the beans, breadcrumbs, and onion, stirring well to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Form the meatballs so they're a little smaller than a golf ball. You should end up with about 30 of them. Bake on a lined cookie sheet with a light misting of olive oil for 12 minutes. Finish by simmering in a pot of the brown gravy or marinara and serve with mashed potatoes, noodles, or just some rolls to get all the sauce.


You can use these in any sort of gravy or sauce you like. Once baked through, they'll hold up well, even in a crockpot recipe. Try them with a stroganoff recipe over some egg noodles, or in a barbecue sauce with some coleslaw for a zippy sandwich.

If you want to sneak in some additional veggies, raw grated carrot would work; just be sure to use the fine side of the grater. 

Whatever you do, DO NOT skip the chilling step. You need the ingredients to bind together so they don't fall apart later. 

**The photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly.

Do you have a favorite vegetarian meatball recipe? How does it differ from this one? Let us know in the comments!