Meatfree Fava Bean Meatballs

These savory and delicious vegan meatballs are easy to make and special to serve. Firm fava beans and short grain brown rice create a wonderful texture and go great on gluten-free or whole wheat pasta or as a healthy appetizer.

Makes about 2 dozen meatballs 1-2 inches in diameter

Use leftover fava beans from the freezer, canned fava beans, or cook them fresh. These are the big ones. Broad beans. Use leftover rice from another meal or cook it fresh. I always cook too much rice and leave it covered out of the fridge for a day to keep enjoying it at room temperature.


  • 3 cups of cooked fava beans or other firm fleshy bean
  • 3 cups of cooked short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 a large carrot grated
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 6 oz of water
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 + 1/2 Tbsp olive oil (1/2 Tbsp for frying onions and garlic)
  • juice from 1 fresh lemon
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast + 1/4 cup for rolling
  • Optional: add 1 cup of spinach or arugula to the mix before blending or chop and add after blending

How to make gluten-free vegan meatballs:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and get 2 nonstick cookie sheets out
  2. Set the cooked brown rice aside. You will add it at the end after blending the other ingredients
  3. Heat 1/2 Tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the carrot along with the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent
  4. In a food processor or vitamix, combine all of the ingredients except the brown rice and the 1/4 cup nutritional yeast that will be used for coating the meatballs.
  5. On a smaller plate, sprinkle enough nutritional yeast to cover the surface of the plate. Have the rest of the 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast ready to keep adding to the plate as you roll.
  6. After ingredients are combined to an almost tomato sauce texture, remove the mix from the food processor and put it into a bowl big enough to add 3 cups of rice. Mix the rice and the sauce together with your hands until you can roll a soft meatball that is at least 1 inch in diameter.
  7. Roll each soft meatball individually in nutritional yeast until it is coated and put it on the cookie sheet. They will not expand, so you can space them about a meatball size apart. Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes. Serve immediately on pasta or as appetizers or store them in an airtight container in the fridge after they cool.