Vegan Spaghetti and Beetballs!  A beautiful twist on the comforting familiar classic.  Beets, black beans, walnuts, and basil make these plant-based meatballs scrumptious and so satisfying.  

Looking for more? Check out our 20+ Easy, Delicious Beet Recipes.

Vegan Spaghetti and Beetballs!  A beautiful twist on the comforting familiar classic.  Beets, black beans, walnuts and basil make these plant-based meatballs scrumptious and so satisfying.  Top with an easy rustic tomato sauce for a meal the whole family will love! #vegan #veganmeatballs #beetballs #spaghetti #veganspaghetti

May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

John O’Donohue

We are getting serious with comfort food here folks!  Sitting down to dinner with a plate of this before you will have you celebrating the little pleasures of life.  And the fact that it is vegan and gluten-free takes it to a whole new level of goodness.

The best thing about these Vegan Beetballs is that they are completely bursting with flavor.  Black beans give depth, toasted walnuts give richness and texture, and fresh basil enlivens everything.  Additionally, these Beetballs are jam-packed with nutrients, plant protein, and they are gluten-free!  Deliciousness + healthy = a perfect meal!

Rustic tomato sauce consists of classic ingredients providing just the right balance- little tang, a bit of spice, and lots of savory flavor creating a perfect complement to the beet-balls.  With minimal effort, the sauce comes together quickly with a few pantry staples.

Vegan meatballs are baked in the oven while you prepare the tomato sauce.  Serve over pasta or in a roll (they make a delicious meatball sandwich), or for a lighter version try them with zucchini noodles.  Both the sauce and beetballs can be prepared ahead of time.  

Spaghetti and Beetballs | 60-second Video

ingredients in beetballs

We are honoring the beautiful beet in this vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe.  

Why Beets?

  • Beets work so well here giving succulent earthy flavor and gorgeous color!  
  • Beets are high in phytonutrients making them rich in antioxidants that help to fight inflammation and repair cell damage.  
  • Beets are shown to improve cognitive health and brain function.  Um…. yes please!!!
making the beet balls

While walnuts are toasting and cooling, chop onions, garlic, beets and carrots.

saute the onion for beet balls

Lightly caramelizing onions with add tons of flavor.

pulse the ingredients in a food processor

Pulse walnuts and basil together.  Set aside once the texture is like coarse sand.

pulse the ingredients

Next pulse everything but the beans.  Pulsing ingredients in separate sessions helps to achieve a meatier texture to the finished beet-ball.  

psyllium powder

We use psyllium fiber for a binder.  It has a very neutral flavor and it also adds nutrition.  Yay!

vegan Worcestershire sauce

We like this vegan Worcestershire for a great flavor booster.  

beet balls

Here is the texture we are going for.  Pulse a few times, stopping to check consistency and to scrap down the sides if needed.  Add beans and pulse a few more times.  It is ok if beans are not completely broken down.

making the beet balls

Add nuts back in.  Pulse 2-3 times until just mixed.

 make this ahead

At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture for up to a day.

beet balls

Scoop balls onto a parchment-lined tray.  A cookie scooper is helpful here.  The mixture is quite moist.

baked beet balls

Baking for 40 minutes at 335 allows time for the beet-balls to firm up and cook through.  Let them cool on the tray as they will firm up more.

beet balls
tomato sauce ingredients

With the Beetballs in the oven, start on the sauce.

It begins with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes (optional of course!)

Whole tomatoes are preferred here as they break down beautifully, give vibrant flavor and perfect texture for the sauce.

tomato sauce

Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes and it’s ready!

Make the optional “Cheezy Sprinkles”.

walnut hempseed crumb topping

Toast up ground walnuts, hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast for a quick vegan cheesy topping for your spaghetti and vegan meatballs!  

Toss the sauce with cooked spaghetti, zucchini noodles or even spaghetti quash. Top with the Beetballs and “Cheezy” Sprinkles. 

Vegan Spaghetti and Beetballs!  A beautiful twist on the comforting familiar classic.  Beets, black beans, walnuts and basil make these plant-based meatballs scrumptious and so satisfying.  Top with an easy rustic tomato sauce for a meal the whole family will love! #vegan #veganmeatballs #beetballs #spaghetti #veganspaghetti

A healthy delicious plant-powered meal. 

Enjoy!

~Tonia

More beet recipes you may like: 

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Vegan Spaghetti and Beetballs!  A beautiful twist on the comforting familiar classic.  Beets, black beans, walnuts and basil make these plant-based meatballs scrumptious and so satisfying.  Top with an easy rustic tomato sauce for a meal the whole family will love! #vegan #veganmeatballs #beetballs #spaghetti #veganspaghetti

Vegan Spaghetti and Beetballs

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 21 reviews
  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: vegan, pasta recipes,
  • Method: Oven and Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A comforting plant-based version of a classic!  Flavorful and tender vegan gluten-free beet balls pair perfectly with pasta.  Topped with easy delicious rustic tomato basil sauce.   Serves 6.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Beetballs (makes 24)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium beet, chopped in roughly 1/2 inch chunks (5oz or roughly 1 cup full)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped in roughly 1/2 inch chunks ( 2 1/2 oz or roughly 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire
  • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground psyllium (see notes)
  • 1 cup or 3 oz walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup or 1 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained

Tomato Sauce (makes 3 1/2 cups) 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons minced
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional (see notes)
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes and juices
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • a small handful of fresh basil leaves torn

Vegan Cheesy Sprinkle 

16 ounces dry spaghetti, or linguini


Instructions

Make the Beetballs

  1. Heat oven to 335 degrees.
  2. Toast raw walnuts for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, saute’ onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, until soft and lightly caramelized.  Let cool a few minutes.
  4. In food processor, add cooled walnuts and basil leaves.  Gently pulse, until the texture resembles coarse sand.  Remove walnut mix from the processor and set aside.
  5. In the same food processor add the cooled caramelized onion/garlic mixture, raw beet chunks, raw carrot chunks, oregano, salt, pepper, tomato paste, Worcestershire, nutritional yeast and psyllium, pulse until mixture is just finely chopped- allowing for a bit of texture.  
  6.  Add black beans to the beet mix.  Pulse 3-4 times.  
  7. Then add the walnuts.  Pulse a time or two.  Just enough to incorporate everything.  The mixture will be quite moist.  Refrigerating for 30 minutes can help firm them up but is not necessary.  
  8. Scoop onto a baking tray.  Bake 40 minutes at 335.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan.  
  9. Set pasta to boil, cook according to package directions. 

Make the Tomato Sauce

  1. Add olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat.  Throw in minced garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring until lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, smashing in with a fork to break them up.  Add oregano and salt.
  3. Keep at a low simmer for 20 minutes, stirring and mashing the tomatoes every 4 minutes or so.  The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
  4. Add fresh basil leaves a few minutes before removing from heat.  

Make the “Cheesy” Sprinkle

  1. In food processor pulse together walnuts, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and salt.
  2.  Toast in a skillet over medium-low heat.  
  3. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until you start to smell the toasty aroma. This sprinkle will keep for a few weeks.  It freezes well.  

Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, top with a few beetballs and sprinkle with “cheesy sprinkle”. 


Notes

Salt for the beet balls will depend on the salt content of the black beans.  Adjust accordingly.

Psyllium husk works as a binder and is very mild in flavor.  Ground flax seeds can be substituted.  The beet balls will work without this addition.  They will just be softer in texture.  

The sauce has a bit of a kick!  Adjust red pepper flakes in the sauce to your taste and spice tolerance.

The beet ball mixture can be made ahead of time but are best baked just before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 Beet Balls, 1/2 cup sauce
  • Calories: 668
  • Sugar: 7.3 g
  • Sodium: 1019.8 mg
  • Fat: 29.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.4 g
  • Fiber: 12 g
  • Protein: 22.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. I haven’t made this yet, but based on all the comments I am ready to dive in. I would like to make a large batch and therefore would like to know if they freeze well. Thanks for any input.






  2. Absolutely loved this recipe! Made it with canned beetroots since that was all I had at home. The beetballs were a bit softer/ creamier from the inside than probably if made with fresh beets, but everyone loved it anyways and the flavours were great.






    1. Great to hear James- glad everyone enjoyed and you were able to make it work with the canned beets!

  3. Why did my beet balls come out mushy? I followed your recipe and used extra flaxseed. Did I blend the ingredients to much?






    1. Oh shoot, sorry about this Beverly! It could be the extra flax seeds affected the texture as flax does create mucilage. Maybe over blending too? Making them a little flatter could yield a less mushy texture.

  4. Incredible beetballs and tomato sauce. Subbed in zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash and it was one of the more delicious meals we’ve had in a while!






  5. Best “meatball” recipe I’ve ever made. I usually make them as burgers though and I substitute the Worcestershire sauce with soya sauce and balsamic vinegar. Absolutely delicious. Parsley instead of basil works fine as well! 🙂






  6. I don’t have any tomatoes.(I do have tomato sauce) Anything else I can use instead? Also out of beet.Any suggestions,or I have to make something else today?

    1. Hi Ema, Maybe give this a try when you have all the ingredients. The tomato paste and beets are pretty key for this recipes consistency & flavor.🙂

    1. I would try starting out baking at 350 for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 325 for 20 minutes.

    1. I have not tried it with canned beets. My guess is it would be fine. It will be more moist so perhaps double the psyllium powder or add ground flax meal. I don’t bother with peeling fresh beets- just scrub well.

  7. Delicious – used flaxseeds in beet balls and sunflower seeds in sprinkles – both substitutions worked well.
    The tomato sauce is simple yet very effective. Sprinkles are great. Very tasty.






  8. Beetballs came out perfect. I did not have psyllium. I also substituted oregano for basil (as I did not have fresh basil). Vegan daughter in food industry said it was better than her existing recipe and would be soon replacing it 🙂






  9. I loved the flavor of the beet balls but mine came out very mushy on the inside. I used ground flaxseed as the binder. I am wondering if adding an egg would help hold it all together?






    1. I found if I made sure to not over blend in the food processor, the meatballs firmed up more, also could try baking longer and make the balls smaller. But if not going for vegan try adding an egg! I think that would work well.

  10. This was absolutely delicious. There was a lovely nutty taste and texture to the beetballs. I will definitely make this again.






  11. I want to make this recipe for my family, but my son has a tree nut allergy. Is there a replacement you recommend?

  12. Wow, this hit the spot for my craving of spaghetti and meatballs! Made the beet ball recipe as is except used flaxseed and didn’t have nutritional yeast so used a mix of Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Came out fantastic and already plotting to make a big batch and freeze! Thanks so much!






  13. i want to try this but my husband is allergic to walnuts. do you think cashews could be subbed? or another nut? thanks!!

    1. Roasted cashews sound good! I would use unsalted if possible. I think pecans would be yummy too.

  14. This was so delicious! We made the beetballs a day in advance and thought this was a really warming and filling dish. Will definitely make again.






  15. I love this!!! Thank you, Tonia!! At first, I skipped over the recipe at because I thought vegan meatballs would probably involve some filler ingredients…but I took a look out of curiosity and was sold when I saw what was in them! I have been eating a lot of tofu lately, so I was looking for a change and was grateful that this recipe didn’t call for any 🙂 I couldn’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce at the grocery store, so I used tamari sauce with a bit of sugar and fish sauce instead. Turned out delicious!!!! I also love the sauce!!!






  16. Haven’t made this yet but looks amzing – any thoughts about using them in ways asides from tomato sauce? A local restaurant makes beet patties with sweet chilli sauce and veggies/barley, wondering if something like that could work? Or other ideas! I love tomato sauce but this seems so versatile…

    1. Definitely Lucy! These beetballs are super savory and would be good so many ways. Your suggestion sounds delicious!

    2. I am going to tweak this to make stuffed cabbage by altering the seasonings. Also will try Swedish style meatballs with golden beets.
      Recipe sounds great.






  17. I’m not commenting on the recipe yet, because I haven’t made it. But, I will! I adopted a plant-based diet 5 months ago. I rarely ate meat before starting the new adventure, but I do miss the cheese! I also need to be GF. I am finding it difficult to come up with some flavor enhancers and my heart sinks every time I read “creamy” or “tangy crumbles” etc because I know it involves nutritional yeast which gives me diarrhea. I also cannot eat soy due to thyroid disease, so no tofu. Cashews upset my stomach. Any suggestions for substitutes?

    1. For the meatballs you could try substituting a teaspoon of chickpea miso for the nutritional yeast (you may need to adjust the salt). Shiitake power is another one of my go-to’s for giving depth and umami to vegan recipes. I have not tried either of these in the beet balls but I bet they would be great!
      For the sprinkle you could double the hempseeds and add a little of either of those (or both?). I would start with 1/2 teaspoon and taste, adding more to your preference.
      Let us know how it goes!

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