Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Veganball Marinara

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Veganball marinara, crafted with a flavourful marinara sauce and delectable vegan balls, offers a plethora of health benefits. Firstly, the marinara sauce is packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Garlic and onions are renowned for their immune-boosting properties, aiding in the prevention of various illnesses. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and protect against heart disease. Additionally, the inclusion of fresh basil leaves provides essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and manganese, which support bone health and regulate blood sugar levels.

The vegan balls in this dish offer another layer of health benefits. Made primarily from black beans, they are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Black beans are also high in fibre, promoting digestive health and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes not only enhances the flavour but also contributes to the dish’s nutritional profile by providing vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants. Furthermore, using breadcrumbs adds texture without excess fat, making this dish a heart-healthy option for those watching their cholesterol levels.

Lastly, serving this veganball marinara over pasta completes a well-rounded meal. Opting for whole-grain pasta increases the dish’s fibre content, aiding digestion and promoting satiety. Moreover, the low-salt variety of BBQ sauce ensures that sodium levels remain in check, supporting healthy blood pressure levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues. Altogether, this dish not only delights the taste buds but also nourishes the body, making it a wholesome choice for those seeking a nutritious and satisfying meal.

Veganball Marinara

Nicole MorganNicole Morgan
A Flavorful Twist on Traditional Meatballs!, you just have to try this savoury goodness, a plant-based delight that satisfies your cravings for classic Italian flavours.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


Marinara Sauce

  • 1 marinara stock cube 'beef'
  • 2 lrg brown onions diced finely
  • 5 garlic cloves minced or finely diced
  • 1 tin chopped tomato
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 70 grams pitted kalamata olives
  • 15 grams fresh basil leaves reserve some for serving


  • 250 grams pasta I chose San Remo red lentils
  • 1 tin blacked beans drained and rinsed
  • 35 grams oil-free sun-dried tomato
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp BBQ Sauce low salt variety
  • 100 grams breadcrumbs I selected, woolworths brand 'free from gluten' 350gram packet


  • Dissolve marinara stock cube in 2 cups of boiled water, use one cup for sauteing the onions and garlic and the other cup, reserve for the marinara sauce.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) fan bake. Heat a large frying pan and cook the onions for about 5 minutes using small amounts of marinara stock, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, (take out half the onions and garlic and reserve for the veganballs). Stir in the marinara herbs and cook for a minute, then add one tin of chopped tomatoes and the maple syrup and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and thickened. Now add the tomato paste, the other tin of chopped tomatoes, the Kalamata olives and the remaining stock.
  • Tear the basil leaves into the pan and stir to combine. Put the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (the longer you leave it, the richer the sauce). Uncover and simmer for a further few minutes to thicken the sauce. When it's ready, the sauce should be rich, luscious and thick. Season to taste.
  • Meanwhile, whilst the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, and rinse it under cold water to bring it to room temperature.
  • Now make your veganballs! Blitz the cooked pasta, black beans, veganball sachet, reserved onion and garlic, BBQ sauce, 2-4 tbsp water (try 2 tbsp to start and go from there, you want a thick paste texture) in a food processor. Place mixture into a large bowl.
  • Using wet hands, roll the mixture into 3-4cm balls, making 16-18. Place the breadcrumbs into a bowl and roll the balls to coat in the breadcrumbs. Now transfer them to a lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
  • In a small pot bring an inch of water to the boil and cook the kale for a few minutes to soften, and drain. Pop some whole-grain bread into the toaster.
  • Time to serve! Ladle portions of the marinara sauce into serving bowls and top each with veganballs. Garnish with a few basil leaves and serve with a side of nutritious kale and toast to soak up the rich marinara sauce.
Keyword plant-based, vegan meatballs, wfpb
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