Festive Black Bean Meatballs with Cranberry | Vegan & Gluten Free
Right, so during the holidays we all crave for rich and creamy food. Can you relate?
We’ve all been there.
Weither it’s due to the cold weather or we are just in need of a warm and delicious comfort food, these vegan black bean meatballs are the answer of your cravings!
Enriched with bitter-sweet festive jewels – aka cranberries – these healthy gluten free meatballs are finished in a rich, cosy, creamy and fuss free gravy.
They definitely tick all the boxes and they’re also very easy to make!
I’ve semplified the steps and the sauce in order to have a recipe that’s both pretty relaxing to make (I do find making meatballs quite relaxing, don’t you think?) and perfect for those that cannot spend too much time in the kitchen.
In our household we absolutely love these vegan meatballs, especially with that magic touch of cranberries, that really gives the dish a nice festive feel.
How to make these Festive Black Bean Meatballs with Cranberries
All we need to do is to grab the beans, herbs and spices and blend them in a food processor.
As you might know we need a binding agent to make our vegan meatballs come together nicely.
I’m using linseed and tapioca starch for this recipe, but you can also use flaxseeds, chickpea flour or an egg substitute powder.
Both binding agents will absorbe the extra moisture and form a dense structure that will allow our meatballs to stay together during cooking.
After blending the meatballs ingredients togethere, you’ll end up with a paste-like consistency.
This is when we will add the starch and the cranberries (previously soaked) and hand mix until all the tapioca has assorbed.
Step 3 – Form the balls
The size of your meatballs is completely up to you. With this mixture you will end up with 15 walnut size balls or 30-ish mini balls.
Pick your size according to how you are planning to serve these meatballs for.
For appetizers or entrées I’d suggest to go for small one-bite meatballs, and if you’re serving them as a main go with a bigger size.
Once you decided the size you want these cranberry meatballs to be like, grab some of the mixture and roll it into a ball in the palm of your hands.
Arrange the meatballs onto a tray ready to be baked for 10 to 20 minutes (again, according to their size) at 200°C.
Can I freeze these vegan cranberry meatballs?
I always prepare these meatballs in batches ready to be frozen and enjoyed when I don’t have much time to cook.
These black bean cranberry meatballs make a very good idea for meal prep.
All you need to do is to cook the meatballs in the oven, cool them down completely and place them in a safe container to be stored in the freezer.
Alternatively, if you’re planning to use up the meatballs in the next couple of days, you can store them into the fridge for maximum 5 days.
Step 4 – The Sauce
While our meatballs are cooking in the oven we can prepare the easy peasy sauce to go with them.
This sauce is only made out of 3 ingredients:
- plantbased milk
- corn starch
- gravy granules.
I do love using unsweetened soy milk for this sauce as if found it creamier than the other plantbased milk. Alternatively you can also use oat (if you’re not gluten free) or rice milk.
Both the corn starch and the gravy granules (make sure you’re using a vegan mix!) will thicken the sauce and the gravy will also add up a cosy and warm flavour to it.
Feel free to use more spices and herbs to flavour this creamy and easy sauce.
I’ve just added to the previous ingredients a tad of nutmeg and salt and pepper, then finished with fresh parsley.
The inside is so magic: crunchy on the outside and soft and gorgeous on the inside, with warm notes of cinnamon cut with the freshness of parsley and the sweetness of the cranberries. You have to try these vegan meatballs to fully understand!
If you’d like other Christmasy ideas check out this Butternut Squash, Brussels and Cranberries Lasagna, this Homemade Vegan Wellington or this Pull Apart Brioche Bread!
Why not also try these Gluten Free Lentil Meatballs? It’s a perfect alternative to these if you don’t like beans 🙂
Do you want to make this recipe soon? Then PIN the following image for later!
Festive Black Bean Meatballs with Cranberries| Vegan & Gluten Free Recipe
…for the meatballs…
1 1/2 cup cooked Black Beans (300 g)
1/4 cup dried Cranberries (25 g)
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley (10 g)
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp Tapioca Starch
1 1/2 tsp Sage
1 tsp Linseeds (grounded)
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
…for the sauce…
1 1/4 cup Plantbased Milk (300ml)
2 tbsp Vegan Gravy Granules
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Corn Starch
1 pinch Nutmeg
Fresh Parsley to garnish
1. Soak the cranberries in the milk for 20-30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven at 200°C (390°F).
3. In a blender combine: black beans, garlic, parsley, linseeds (previously grounded), nutmeg, salt and pepper. Blend to a paste (you might need to push down the mixture a few times to properly blend – do not add any liquid, or they won’t come up together).
4. Add tapioca starch and the soaked cranberries (do not discard the milk, we are going to used it soon for the sauce!) to the mixture and mix it with your hands until all the starch assorbes.
5. Roll the meatballs into the desired size, arrange on a baking tray and bake for 10 to 20 minutes (the bigger the balls, the more time in the oven).
6. In the meantime let’s make the sauce. In a saucepan combine corn flour with vegetable oil. Turn on the heat and gently stir into the plantbased milk. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the gravy granules, the spices and adjust the saltiness. Cook for another 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat until the sauce starts to thicken.
7. Once the meatballs are ready add them into the pan, and coat them with the sauce.
8. Serve with some freshly ground pepper and parsley.