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Cannellini Bean Vegetarian “Meatballs” with Tomato Sauce

YIELD: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cans (15 oz. each) Bush’s Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (2 halves), roughly chopped

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs (see note)

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups marinara sauce (your favorite kind)

  • Parmesan cheese for grating

  • Cooked spaghetti (regular or gluten free)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans and roasted red peppers. Pulse until chopped, but not smoothly pureed.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and stir in grated onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until well combined.

  4. Using a rounded 2 tablespoon portion of the bean mixture, form “meatballs” by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.

  5. Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and have developed a light golden brown coating, 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. In a large saucepan, heat you favorite marinara sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add “meatballs” and stir to coat. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. Serve over spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTES: The amount of breadcrumbs required can change depending on the climate (dry vs. humid). If you find that the "meatballs" are not holding together firmly as your shaping the first few, add more breadcrumbs, then reshape. You can also substitute gluten free breadcrumbs to adjust this recipe for a gluten free diet.

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