Vegan Spaghetti and White Bean Balls
May 14, 2015

This spaghetti and white bean balls is an awesome #vegan spin on traditional spaghetti and meatballs! The meatballs can be made in advance, and you can also serve them on a bowl or in a sandwich! #vegan #vegetarian #veganmealprep

Vegan Spaghetti and White Bean Balls | The Full Helping

I love and adore whole grains. I’m hard pressed to think of a food group I’d crave more if I were stuck on a desert island (well, perhaps I’d choose veggies first—but it would be a tough call!). There are few whole grains I don’t like, and I try to use lots of them (especially ancient grains) in my cooking.

As someone who loves all things grainy, I find a lot of whole grain pasta to be tough and pasty—not how I love my pasta to be. Fortunately, I was introduced to rice pasta some years ago, and it’s now a favorite for when I’m looking for an alternative to regular pasta. Rice pasta has both whole grain goodness and a tender, authentic texture—the best of both worlds. It can be confidently served to vegans, gluten free eaters, and pasta lovers alike, which makes it a perfect dinner party or potluck food. It’s great, and I’m always on the lookout for standout new brands. My latest find is brown rice pasta from Jovial Foods.

I’m so glad that I found this brand. Jovial Foods was founded by a husband and wife team, Carla and Rodolfo. The company is known for its commitment to gluten free and Einkorn-based grain products, as well as organic tomatoes and high quality, extra virgin olive oil. I recently received a sampling of the brand’s specialty Italian foods, and I used them to create an authentic, comforting, crowd pleasing dish. What could be better than spaghetti and meatballs, veganized?

This recipe was a pleasure to make and eat, and Steven enjoyed it as much as I did. The base is simple: cooked brown rice spaghetti and a simple, 15-minute marinara sauce. The white bean balls, which are made with cannellini beans, quinoa, and walnuts, are what make it a little special.

To save time and the recipe easy for busy nights, try prepping the marinara or the bean balls in advance. I love the fact that the balls require no sautéing–just whip them up in the food processor and get started. An additional shortcut for the dish is to use your favorite store-bought brand of marinara sauce, which will save you the time of preparing your own (even though this particular marinara is nice and quick).

Vegan Spaghetti and White Bean Balls | The Full Helping

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Spaghetti and White Bean Balls (Gluten Free)

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounces chopped peeled, or crushed tomatoes (this is 1 1/2 jars Jovial Foods crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

For the White Bean Balls:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 large clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large sun-dried tomato halves about 1/2 cup, packed, soaked in hot water for about 20-30 minutes and chopped
  • 1 cup cannellini Great White Northern, or navy beans
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano or two teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

For the Pasta Dish:

Instructions

  • To make the white bean balls, preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the walnuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until the walnuts have been ground up.
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes, beans, 1/2 cup of the quinoa, oregano, black pepper, and vinegar to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is uniform and well mixed, but the beans retain some texture. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the remaining 1/4 cup cooked quinoa. Mix everything together with your hands. Shape the mixture into sixteen 1-inch balls. Place the balls onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the balls are golden brown and crispy, stirring once halfway through. Set the cooked balls aside.
  • To make the marinara sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and cook for one or two minutes, or until the garlic has become fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, and thyme. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.
  • To prepare the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Divide the pasta into four bowls. Top each with about 1/2 cup of sauce, 4 bean balls, and a sprinkle of basil. Serve. Leftover bean balls (if you have any) will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

What a wonderful, homey meal. And if you happen to prepare it for one or two people, you can use leftover bean balls in salads.

Vegan Spaghetti and White Bean Balls | The Full Helping

In order to give CR readers a chance to sample Jovial foods directly, the Jovial company has generously offered one luck reader a package of Jovial products, including gluten free pasta, jarred tomatoes, and olive oil. The same foods that I’ve been lucky enough to try!

The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Enter below to win this taste of Italy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s it for today, friends. I’ll be back tomorrow with a wonderful new green recovery story.

xo

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    88 Comments
    • Do you happen to have roasted red peppers in a jar in your pantry? You could drain those of their liquid, chop them, and use them instead!

  1. These are wonderful! I have made them twice, double batches each time. The second round, I used garbanzo beans since I was out of navy/cannellini. I added about 1/2 cup chopped parsley to mine as well. Super tasty as a salad topper when cold! Thanks for the lovely recipe!

  2. Your bean balls look amazing! I made something similar the other day but pureed it a bit too long, then it became (a very delicious) bean dip. Can’t wait to try this one.

  3. I just this week purchased my first box of Jovial brown rice pasta to try. Since I bought their lasagna noodles, I’ll say lasagna!

  4. Oh my goodness Gena! I LOVE the sound of these little bean balls. They are just jam packed full of protein and would make a fantastic addition to pasta. I have seen jovial products before, I buy their diced tomatoes, but haven’t seen their rice pasta. I’ll take a look for it though as I’m gluten free and so far the only brand I have really found is Tinkyada. As much as I love that brand, it’s always nice to switch it up. I’m SO making these bean balls soon!

  5. What pasta dish are you most excited to make with Jovial brown rice pasta?

    I LOVE pasta and can not eat wheat anymore, I’m very excited to bring this into my home and make all of the foods I used to adore!

    Oops did not mean to post without a name!

  6. What pasta dish are you most excited to make with Jovial brown rice pasta?

    I LOVE pasta and can not eat wheat anymore, I’m very excited to bring this into my home and make all of the foods I used to adore!

  7. I would love to make a nice pasta salad to compliment the summery weather we have been having!

  8. These bean balls look delicious, nothing like pasta and “meat”balls with a beautiful, fresh tomato sauce. I originally was not a fan of whole wheat pasta myself, but I’ve come to really like it – its not for everything, but I find it really good with a sturdy sauce (not so great with tomato or cream based ones, but better with walnuts, rosemary, lentils, brussels sprouts and strong greens)

  9. I would love to try this pasta with kale and walnut pesto! I’d actually love to try this in general. The few times I’ve had rice pasta, I’ve not been thrilled with the texture so it would be great to find one I like.

  10. I would be excited to make Gena’s spaghetti and white bean balls and serve on top of Jovial’s rice noodles to prove to my husband that rice pasta is far better than whole wheat!!!

  11. I love Jovial brown rice pasta but I didn’t know they make olive oil and jarred tomatoes. I would like to try the pasta with a simple garlic and olive oil sauce with nutritional yeast or your hempesan sprinkled on top.

  12. My family and I have a favorite pasta dish that has cherry tomatoes, basil, lemon, olive oil, and whatever veggies are in season all tossed together! I would love to try it with Jovial pasta!

  13. I would love to make a veggie pasta dish with beyond meat crumbles! Thanks for this great giveaway.

  14. I would make a classic garlic, olive and and lemon pasta and serve it will grilled shrimp and grilled asparagus.

  15. I would love to try spaghetti and “sausage” – I’ve made seitan sausage and I was amazed at how good it is! I”d also like to try these “meat’ balls!! They sound good ‘n healthy!

  16. Gena these cannellini balls sound perfect! I love a comforting bowl of pasta every once in awhile, but this recipe has me planning out when I’ll get a chance to make it soon. It’s a bit chilly around here again, and this would be so perfect to warm up with!

  17. I actually enjoy whole wheat pasta, but I also really enjoy trying new things. (I just bought some farro pasta that I’m excited about!) I would like to see how the brown rice pasta does in a pasta salad since that is something I make quite a bit during the warm months. Thanks for the giveaway, and what looks like a yummy bean ball recipe!

  18. I am excited to make chicken meatball spaghetti! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    Erin

  19. Yum, I’d love to use the pasta to make a creamy cashew lemon sauce to pair with mushrooms and roasted red peppers!

  20. I assume it’s cooked quinoa in the white bean balls? They look yummy! My favorite way of serving pasta is in an old Italian pasta sauce. The pasta is cooked for only 5 minutes in salted boiling water before being drained and added to a sauce made from 3 onions halved then cut lengthwise into very thin long strips (if they are thin enough, when it’s served they will look like strings of cheese hanging off the pasta) saute lightly in olive oil with 2 tsp freshly crushed/ground fennel seeds. and salt. The salt is important here as you want the onions softened not browned, and the salt helps release their juices into the pan and prevent them from browning. After the onion is very limp, turn the heat up to high and 2 cups diced tomatoes (with their juices) are added along with 2 cups of some kind of milk. I use unsweetened almond milk. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the tomatoes are heated through. (Now is when I add the pasta to the boiling water to cook for 5 minutes and 5 minutes only.) The milk curdles a little, but it is suppose to. The drained pasta is then added to the sauce, and cooked covered on low for 10 minutes. As the pasta finishes cooking in the sauce the sauce thickens and some of it is absorbed by the pasta. Keep an eye on the pasta, more almond milk might be needed. Each time I make it is different, and each pasta is different. Penne needs more milk than spaghetti noodles. Season with salt and pepper. The fennel seeds are what really makes this dish. Fennel + tomato = Delicious!

    • I was wondering the same thing. I will try this with cooked quinoa. Often the grain is coated with saponins so I am going to assume it is cooked. Also! I like your recipe too! 🙂

  21. I love jovial ‘s other products! I would make a simple cacio e pepe with the pasta first

  22. I’d love to try using Jovial’s fusilli in a pasta salad, because I have yet to find a gluten-free pasta that retains a nice texture once cold and thus works well in a cold pasta salad. Maybe this brand is the one that’ll do it for me? That’d be great, especially now that summer’s almost here, as pasta salad is one of my favorite picnic dishes!

    Your bean balls sound awesome, too, Gena. I’m sure they turn a humble spaghetti marinara into the most amazing dinner!

  23. I would like to make a macaroni salad or a baked macaroni and cheese, the two most common pasta dishes in our home.

  24. I am actually making a kimchi lentil pasta dish tonight and reading this post as the pasta boils. I was thinking how tasty it would be if I used a brown rice pasta instead of wheat!

  25. The first thing I would make would be a fresh spring pasta with lots of lemon, asparagus, white beans, chili flakes, and nooch. I make it every year once the asparagus come out and it’s one of the best spring meals!

  26. I definitely need to seek out Jovial products — they sound awesome! I would definitely make my favorite vegan baked mac&cheese.

  27. Weirdly, I generally dislike brown rice pasta and love whole wheat! I tend to find brown rice pasta weirdly gluey. But I would definitely try jovial’s, probably with cherry tomatoes and arugula!

  28. I’d try the pasta with pesto! We almost visited Jovial foods place in Italy last fall, but it was a little too out of the way. Now I’m wishing we would have gone anyway!

  29. I’ve tried their Einkorn pasta, and I’m a fan. It has a nice bite and flavor to it. I enjoy it in mac & cashew cheese or with red wine infused mushrooms.

    BTW, your photos in this post are stunning!