Monday, June 12, 2017

Black Bean and Vegetable Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles


In my life I've met some pretty amazing homemade tomato sauce makers. But I'll admit this is an area where I'm more likely than not to get a little help from the store. Still, it's got to be good and I want to be able to pronounce all the ingredients. I also really want any sweetness to come from ripe tomatoes and not a pound of sugar. Fortunately, the selection of good store bought sauces has grown a lot over the years.


A fairly recent addition to the ready made line up is Uncle Steve's and I was eager to try it as soon as I saw the short and wonderful all organic ingredient list. I mean, here it is - Italian tomatoes, fresh onions, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt, fresh basil and black pepper. Seriously, that's what I'd put in a tomato sauce if I was actually going to make one. Notice there's no sugar but the sauce has a wonderful natural sweetness. They really nailed the flavor on this one!


I was totally tempted to take my new sauce for a spin with some lasagna or baked ziti. But, since it's currently 92 degrees in the city, something lighter seemed a better choice. Zucchini noodles have been happening a lot here lately and I decided to pair them with some veggie meatballs. I'm always experimenting and tweaking my recipe and this one is my absolute favorite. The combination of sauteed vegetables, black beans and walnuts really gives it a meaty taste. But the ultimate secret to making them soft and moist is to let them simmer a little in the tomato sauce after they're baked.


Feel free to use a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles but I actually prefer a julienne peeler. It's a small, inexpensive tool that fits in my drawer and is easy to clean. Plus it means I don't include the watery core of the zucchini in the dish which helps to keep it from getting soggy. Either way, enjoy!

Black Bean and Vegetable Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ingredients (4 Servings)
    Vegetable Meatballs:
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 Onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 Large carrot (or 2 small), peeled and diced
    • 1 Clove garlic, peeled and minced
    • 1 Cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 Egg
    • 1/4 Cup breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 Cup walnuts, course ground or finely chopped
    • 1/4 Cup chopped parsley
    • 1 Tablespoon tomato sauce
    • 1/2 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
    • 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
    Zucchini Noodles:
    To make the vegetable balls, add the olive oil to a large skillet along with the onion, carrot and garlic. Saute on medium heat for a few minutes until the vegetables soften and set aside to cool.

    Add the beans to a large bowl and mash them down with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the cooled vegetables, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, parsley, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. 

    Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.

    Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

    Scoop meatballs (I used a 1 oz. scoop) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes. Heat the tomato sauce in a pot and add the cooked meatballs. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

    To make the zucchini noodles, add the olive oil to a large skillet. Peel and julienne the zucchini and add to the pan. Using tongs, stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the meatballs and sauce.

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    This recipe was sponsored by Uncle Steve's. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

    1 comment:

    1. I just love your blog!!!!! Amazing looking recipes!!! Have to try making those so delicious looking meatballs.


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