Pesto Pasta with Baked Veggie Meatballs
- 3-4 cups pasta, cooked (sub spiralized zucchini or use a combo!)
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- 1½ cup basil leaves
- 1 cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
Baked Veggie Meatballs
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 cups broccoli florlets
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup white beans, divided
- 1/2 walnuts
- 1/3 cup flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon thyme, fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add carrots and broccoli to the pan and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
- After another 5 minutes, add in 1/3 cup water to the skillet and cover again. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the carrots and broccoli are soft, take the skillet off the heat. Transfer the content to a blender or food processor.
- Add 1/2 cup of your white beans, 1/2 cup of walnuts, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to the blender. Blend until well combined and semi smooth.
- Transfer the contents of the blender or food processor to a bowl, and add the flaxseed meal and extra 1/2 cup white beans. Mix well.
- Roll your batter into meatball shaped balls and transfer them to a greased baking sheet. (It should make 16-20 veggie meatballs.)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- While the veggie meatballs are baking, make your pesto sauce by adding basil leaves, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, garlic, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- With 10-15 minutes left on the veggie meatballs, cook your pasta according to the package.
- Once the pasta is cooked, add it back to a sauce pan, along with spiralized zucchini (if using). Add in 1/2 cup of pesto sauce and heat over low heat - tossing until it's coated well.
- Top your pesto pasta with veggie meatballs and EAT UP.
I don’t remember ever being very into the whole spaghetti and meatballs thing when I was a kid. Balls of meat on top of slimy noodles just aren’t quite my thing. (Sorry that was a gross description.) Anywhoo… I figured that if I could reinvent the meatball into a basically just a delicious ball of veggies, I’d like the idea much more. So that’s exactly what happened. WOO. VEGGIES. kewl.
Basically you’ve got some noodles or zoodles as your base (or even a combo!) Then you add some health-ified pesto sauce (aka. it’s vegan). Then you add some baked veggie meatballs made of beans and carrots and broccoli and onions and fresh herbs and garlic and stuff. YUM. And after that you can choose to throw on some feta cheese (or not.) BOOM. It’s pasta time!
This is my favorite pasta dish I’ve made in a long time. I’m normally not a pesto person, but I developed my own (clean) recipe and – obviously – I love it. I also used the pesto on my Polenta Pesto Pizza Bites (which make great appetizers or snacks!) The pesto is super fresh tasting, and pairs so well with the warm, crispy, and gooey veggie meatballs. It’s like, KA-BLAM, in your mouth.