April 27, 2011

Bean and beet way-better-than meat balls

Bean and beet balls way-better-than meat balls
Bean beet balls on top of some pasta

Beets are lovely eh?

Mashed bean and beet mixture
Prepping the beans and beets

Bean and beet-balls

These bean balls are made out of mashed kidney beans and a small shredded beet. They come together quickly needing minimal kitchen tools. Omit the beets if you don't have them, they aren't necessary, I just liked the idea of how the beets give them a nice color and nutritional boost. If using a food processor, process very lightly; a potato masher and 10 minutes is fine if you want to do it the lazy way. Just add ingredients one-by-one and mash in a large bowl. Chilling the filling allows it to set, but if pressed for time can be omitted. Be liberal with the spices - thyme, basil, marjoram, or any mixture can easily replace oregano. 

Yield: ~20 balls
1-2 tbsp garlic chopped
about 1 and ½ cups cooked kidney beans, or 1, 14 oz can kidney beans rinsed and drained
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
pinch cayenne
1 egg, beaten
1 small beet shredded
¾ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup oats
1 tsp water
olive oil to fry

  1. Add chopped garlic and kidney beans to a bowl. Begin to mash together lightly add in shredded beet and continue to mash until the mixture begins to come together. This should take 5 minutes. Add in salt, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Continue to mash together. Stir in beaten egg and 1 tsp water and combine. The mixture will be sticky. Add in 2 tbsp of bread crumbs and oats and continue to mix together until the bean mixture can hold together well enough (without crumbling).
  2. Place the bean mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  3. When done, roll the bean mixture into small balls. Place them on a tray or plate and allow to chill for 15 minutes.
  4. When ready to cook, add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to a wide non-stick skillet. Heat over medium heat until hot. Add in half the balls and cook until golden 5-7 minutes. Carefully turn balls over so that each side gets cooked. Remove cooked bean balls and add the second batch to the pan. You might need to add additional 1 tbsp of olive oil. The bean balls tend to soak up oil, so cook them on medium heat until golden 15-20 minutes total for all of them. I leave them in the pan on low-heat so they are warm when the rest of the meal is ready.
  5. Serve on top of pasta or in anything.   


  1. Yum! My H. is a bit obsessed with meat (enough to put meatballs in vegetable stir-fry -- bleh), but he also never complains, whatever I cook.

    Maybe I'll give these a whirl.

    Hope I'll see you soon, Neeli!

  2. You could always do half meat and half beans too.