Black Bean “Meatballs”

  • Yield : 14-18
  • Servings : 3-4
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 25m

Talk about flavor! This combo of fresh veggie-based “pasta” & lightly fried bean balls is truly a winner! The second I bit into this dish I was in love and it’s now a go-to staple of mine for quick and easy eating on a budget that won’t break the bank. You can even make these in bulk, omit the breadcrumbs and freeze a batch for future meals!


  • 15 oz. Black Beans (1 can)
  • 1 cup Oat Flour (oats ground up)
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • Bread Crumbs (optional)
  • Oil (optional, if you fry them)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Flax Seeds (ground)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder


Step 1

Heat a medium-sized skillet to medium-high heat or preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (options for frying or baking, your choice).

Step 2

In a food processor pulse oats & flax seeds (if whole, not ground) till slightly chunky powder. Set aside in a medium bowl.

Step 3

Drain your black beans and rinse till water runs clear, fill your can back up with water (with the beans still in the can) and pour it all into your food processor. Pulse till smooth.

Step 4

Combine your rolled oats (blended and regular), bean purรฉe and seasonings till fully incorporated, let rest for 5 minutes to thicken.

Step 5

Portion out 1 in. scoop balls and roll in bread crumbs for an even coat. Fry about 2-3 minutes on each side, rotating/flipping every couple minutes till dark golden brown all over. Or bake for 6-8 minutes, flip and repeat.

Step 6

Serve with warm marinara and/or over veggie pasta, enjoy!

Recipe Type: Tags: , , , , , , , , , Ingredients: ,
Average Member Rating

(4.3 / 5)

4.3 5 75

You have already Rated.

75 people rated this recipe

Related Recipes:
  • Overnight Oats

  • Roasted Vegetable Couscous Bowl

  • Sweet Potato and Bean Tacos

  • ‘Cheesy’ Roasted Tahini Brussel Sprouts

  • Easy Cheesy Vegan Mac

Comments (47)

  1. posted by Roxanne on October 19, 2013

    Hi! This looks amazing! But what do you do with the oat flour and flax seeds set aside?

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 20, 2013

      Hi Roxanne, you let this mixture set aside, as a whole (when everything is combined) for a few minutes because the ground flax acts as an egg like binder and thickens/sticks together when you let it absorb. So it’s just a step to ensure everything holds up the best it can ๐Ÿ™‚ hopefully that makes more sense.

      • posted by Roxanne on November 4, 2013

        Hi! I just tried the recipe and it was a failure ๐Ÿ™ It tastes nothing and the texture is as if the balls hadn’t baked properly in the oven (we respected the amount of time though). Is it really supposed to be 2 cups of oats flour (when you include rolled oats and oat flour) , it seems a lot to me… And I have to say we did pour a little less water with the beans in the food processor… maybe that was it… but still, big deception ๐Ÿ™

        • posted by Michele on December 9, 2015

          The same thing happened to me. I followed the recipe exactly, and the only flavor they had was that of flour. The texture seemed fine, but tasted horrible, like they were completely uncooked. I can’t imagine what I’m tasting is what is spawning replies that these are delicious. Waste of time and money ๐Ÿ™

          • posted by Julie on August 7, 2017

            This would be a bit of a concern when there is no reply to the ones who asked for assistance on the recipe that turned out to be a “failure. Guess won’t return to look for more recipes.

  2. posted by KristinaB on October 19, 2013

    These sound great. Do you know how well they would freeze? I was thinking about pre-cooking, then freezing some. I could then thaw and warm up in the oven before serving. Does that sound reasonable?

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 20, 2013

      These hold up great in the freezer! I recommend not doing the breadcrumbs though because they might get a bit soggy in texture when reheating. You honestly don’t need to cook them, I like to just make a batch and portion it out but freeze that as is. Then cook it later on when needed. But both methods would work just fine.

  3. posted by Christine on October 20, 2013

    I made these last night over rice with marinara sauce. I used oat bran instead of oat flour, I also added a little dried parsley! They were soooo gooood!!! Thank you for this recipe! So simple and easy and just wonderful!

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 20, 2013

      Wonderful adjustments! That sounds so delicious ๐Ÿ˜€ So happy you enjoyed! <3

  4. posted by Joan on October 20, 2013

    Just pulled these out of the oven. Easy to make, smelled good mixing it all up. Texture is great and they are really tasty!! I tried brown rice lentil meatballs before, these are MUCH MUCH better!!

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 20, 2013

      So happy these were a hit! ๐Ÿ˜€ You can truly get so creative with these, I plan on using a taco seasoning blend next time! Thanks so much for your positive feedback<3

  5. posted by Toni on October 21, 2013

    Hey Margaret,

    How much of the bread crumbs would you suggest? I’m thinking of having this for dinner.

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 21, 2013

      Honestly, I’d say it really only takes about 1/2 cup. Depends on if you pack it on rolling them or just lightly coat them. I’d also recommend adding a little seasoning to your breadcrumbs too! For extra flavor ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you enjoy<3

  6. posted by Jennifer on October 21, 2013

    OMG. This is so simple I love it! I must give it a try, thank you!

  7. posted by Toni on October 21, 2013

    Holy crap, these are good. I baked them without bread crumbs and used fresh garlic instead of powdered (I didn’t have any). Thanks Margaret.

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 22, 2013

      ๐Ÿ˜€ yay! So happy you like these girl! I tried them with some taco seasoning and they rocked dipped in salsa! Thanks for the positive feedback<3

  8. posted by Hadas on October 27, 2013

    I’d love to try these but can you provide a conversion for beans and water if not using canned beans?

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on October 27, 2013

      Of course ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d have to say about 14 oz. of black beans and 1/3 cup water, give or take. You could always add more or counter it by adding more oats to get a texture that sticks together adequately. Hope this helps!

      • posted by Hadas on November 2, 2013

        Thanks! I only had 1 cup of black beans left by the time I got to making this and I used about 3 Tbsp of the bean cooking liquid. These were super tasty (and cheap!) but were a little dry, I’ll try more liquid next time.

        • posted by Margaret Chapman on November 2, 2013

          Thanks for the update! Yeah mine came out pretty moist, but I used a bit more water. So that may be the issue for you. Glad you liked them though! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. posted by Donna Smith on October 28, 2013

    I’, just researching veganisim, I want to be healthier and not kill aniamals thanks for this recipe it
    sounds good! can’t wait to try it

  10. posted by Yodamom on November 2, 2013

    Really enjoyed these, we added fresh finely minced onions and used Panko bread crumbs

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on November 2, 2013

      Awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€ That’s a great addition too! I love using the Japanese style Panko and the last batch I did I threw in some taco seasoning. You can really get creative with these, so happy you enjoyed ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. posted by Kelli on November 6, 2013

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these!! Just made them for the first time and they were fantastic!! I added fresh garlic, parsley and a tiny drop of liquid smoke. My daughter’s friend was over for dinner (who is not vegan at all) and she LOVED them as well. Thank you for this amazing website!!!

    • posted by Margaret Chapman on November 9, 2013

      Yay, that’s so great to hear! They’re truly so versatile you can go crazy and do any flavor combo ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy you enjoyed these!

  12. posted by saplingvegan on February 19, 2014

    Mine did NOT come out as pretty as yours. But they sure tasted good! My mom is all about them and is currently in the kitchen taking pictures of them haha!

  13. posted by Allie May on March 22, 2014

    how many calories would you say these had?

  14. posted by Louise on August 7, 2014

    These were great!! my 17 month old ate them plain with no marinara sauce! Ate them for dinner and leftovers the next day!! Thanks!

  15. posted by linda on November 13, 2014

    i wonder how well these would hold up to make a cabbage roll with

  16. posted by Molly on March 28, 2015

    I just made these. I accidentally added a full can of water instead of putting the beans back in the can and then adding water. So I doubled the recipe and added an extra cup of oat flour and half of a diced onion. Then I threw in a splash of red wine, some sriracha, and a bit of worchestershire sauce. They still turned out great!

  17. posted by carolina on June 4, 2015

    I tried to make them in the oven but they came up like cookies a little hard, and not very flavory

  18. posted by monnalu on September 4, 2015

    Have you done these with pinto beans, or Anasazi? My family does not like black beans (I do, but want them to eat the meatballs too).

  19. posted by Linda Oliver on October 3, 2015

    Just had these tonight with whole wheat spaghetti and homemade marinara sauce! We loved them! We are new to a plant-based diet and will add them our rotating menu.

  20. posted by Barbara on November 22, 2015

    Your ingredients say 1 1/2 tbsp Flax Seeds (ground)

    You directions say In a food processor pulse oats & flax seeds (if whole, not ground) till slightly chunky powder.

    Should I get grounded or whole flax seeds. Do I only put the whole flax seeds in the food processor?

    I want to serve these for Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. posted by case on December 17, 2015

    Hello, can I use anything other than oat flour. Is it essential?

  22. posted by kate on April 7, 2016

    I made these last night, but with chickpeas instead of black beans. They are deilcious!! So happy I discovered this recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. posted by Jeremy McCleese on May 30, 2016

    I’ve just made these for the first time and added a bit of Basil and Oregano to them… Wow! They put Gardein’s meatballs to shame! Amazing!

  24. posted by Emily on January 25, 2017

    Baked them. Didn’t roll in breadcrumbs. Added Italian seasoning. Nice texture but a little bland. With marinara (and sprinkled with nutritional yeast), the flavor was quite good. Not too doughy either.
    Crumbled the leftovers in a warm skillet and put them in egg breakfast burritos the next day. Yum.

  25. posted by Nilgรผn Erรถztรผrk on January 31, 2017

    Mmm.. I just had a wonderful dinner. I wanted to eat beanballs tonight, and as soon as I read this recipe, I decided to give it a try. I made many modification though. Because I like spices like cumin and a little onion. Meatballs are a specialty of my country Turquia, and we do it in this way. So I added cumin, blackpepper, sweet red pepper and red chili pepper flakes, a little garlic and onion powder. And I added a good amount of parsley like a half of bunch. It is a must in a good meatball -or beanball, the same.
    I boiled my black beans so it took one hour to put them all together but at the end, it was worth. I put water one spoonful at a time and I crushed half of the beans with a fork because I like them chunky. This makes them chewable. By the way, I didn’t boil the beans too much for the same reason. I could easily put them in shape and I bake them. I fried potatoes, made a nice little salad meanwhile. Within ten minutes, everything was set and I even drank a beer to make this dinner even more , something I didn’t drink for ages.
    I recommend everyone to add some spice to their taste because meatballs or beanballs require spices more than anything. Thank you for this recipe Margaret!

  26. posted by Kitty Metz on March 18, 2017

    I was so excited to see this recipe! I have afraid to spend my time and money on meat substitute recipes. My husband is a diabetic and we’re both WFPB- no sugar-salt-oil—for the most part. (An occasional low sodium salsa is dumped into large pots of soups, and hummus is a staple) Anyway, I did the recipe, subbing the pat flour for almond flour, and rolling them in almond flour. I also added tons of Italian and other spices. He ate it, swearing there was meat in it. It was so good! When I took them out of the oven, I timidly tasted one, and immediately ate 3 more! I agree with the tweet of adding water as needed and no bread crumbs. We both felt like we were cheating!!! This will be a definite staple in our home. Thanks so very much!

  27. posted by Michelle Giroux on May 8, 2017

    Can regular onions and garlic be used?

  28. posted by Zara on August 31, 2017

    I did this exactly to recipe and fried them….PERFECT….thanks


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *