Vegan BBQ Black Bean Meatballs

Holy meatballs! I mean, veggie balls! This recipe isn’t your traditional meatball because it’s completely plant-based and perfect for any vegetarian or vegan in your family. However, you may just be able to trick those meat-lovers in your family with these as well.

These meatballs really speak for themselves. They are savoury, sweet, almost-too-much-life-meat, delicious and seriously addicting. I bet you can’t just eat one! What’s great about this recipe is that these balls are so versatile and you can make them with any sauce you like. This recipe uses a BBQ sauce, however, you can throw these balls into a pasta dish using my Grandma’s Pasta Sauce. These balls are perfect for a family dinner, an appetizer or for meal-prep. You can even freeze them in a tight sealed container and thaw them out when you’re in need.

So what did I use to make these meatless meatballs taste so damn good? The secret is Bob’s Red Mill’s rolled oats. These are gluten free, and super versatile so I love having them in my cupboard when I want to whip up a recipe like this one. What I did was combined these oats with black beans to make a meat-like consistency. Plus, black beans are super healthy for you! They are loaded with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 + more. They also support your heart health and lower your cholesterol.

All you really do with this recipe is throw all the ingredients together, and fry them up. Super simple, delicious, and versatile. What more could you need right?

What are your favourite ways to make or eat meatballs? Share below in the comments!


Vegan BBQ Black Bean Meatballs

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12-14
  • Category: Mains
  • Cuisine: Vegan


1 cup oat flour, process rolled oats for 30 seconds in food processor

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats

1 400ml can of black beans, strained and drained

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil – plus some for cooking

1 heaped tbsp. tomato paste

season to taste

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup white onion, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tbsp flax seeds

1 1/2 tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. hot sauce

BBQ Sauce:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium white onion, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

season to taste

1 tbsp. hot sauce

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp mustard powder

1 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce

1/2 – 1 tsp liquid smoke

2 tbsp. molasses (optional)

Garnish with fresh Mint


Pulse your one cup rolled oats in the food processor until a flour forms. Then add the rest of your ingredients into the processor and blend till everything is well combined.  You want to ensure there is no loose flour, this is how you know you’re done blending.

Begin rolling into “meat balls” I like using a tbsp. to measure or even a small ice cream scoop.  Please note, you’re balls will cook differently depending on the size you roll them. Once your balls are rolled, set them into the fridge while you prepare your BBQ sauce.

Into a medium sized pot add your oil and heat on low for a 1 minute.  Add your onions and cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant and translucent.  Add your garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the remainder of your ingredients and simmer on medium for around 10-15 minutes, stir often to avoid sticking or burning.  Taste and ensure it has the flavours you desire.  If it’s perfect then remove from heat, once cooled enough to handle use a hand blender to thicken and blend. Set aside.

Into a large non stick pan heat  your olive oil for 1 minute or so.  Add your balls and cook for around 1 minute on each side.  Add your desired amount of BBQ sauce to the pot and cook for around 5-6 minutes, on medium, with lid on, until your balls are cooked throughout.  A way to test this is to cut into one and check if it’s hot in the middle and steaming. That’s when you know you’re ready to eat all this deliciousness!

Serve hot with Rice, on their own or with salad!


Balls will last in the fridge, in a tight sealed container for up to one week.

BBQ Sauce will last for around one week or so in a tight sealed jar in the fridge.

Get creative with your Balls and BBQ Sauce, if you know your family likes a certain cuisine or flavour then add it to the mix! Have fun in the kitchen!

  • Laura incognito
    Posted at 08:52h, 08 July Reply

    These are so legit! Can’t wait to make them again!

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  • S P
    Posted at 17:33h, 01 November Reply

    Is there 1 or 2 cups of flour in this recipe?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 15:08h, 03 November Reply

      Hello! 1 cup. 1 cup oat flour and one cup rolled oats 🙂 Enjoy, theyre great!

  • stephanie
    Posted at 15:16h, 10 November Reply

    Do you think you could bake these balls vs. fry?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 18:05h, 10 November Reply

      I can’t remember if I tested them to bake but I am sure it will be ok! Let me know please xxx

      • Stephanie
        Posted at 15:27h, 11 November Reply

        So I made them today and baked at 350 for about 15 mins. Turned out great. Thanks!

        • Maria Koutsogiannis
          Posted at 15:50h, 11 November Reply

          Hey hey hey!! Amazing, so happy to hear that. Did you eat them with BBQ sauce?!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:45h, 12 November Reply

    Milled or Whole flax seeds?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 11:11h, 13 November Reply

      Doesn’t matter, they end up in the processor either way 🙂

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  • Virginia Santos
    Posted at 12:59h, 22 November Reply

    I can’t wait to make these for friendsgiving on sat. I didn’t see ho.e many this actually makes. I’m having a party of 15 should I double or triple the ingredients? Thank you in advance!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 13:06h, 22 November Reply

      Hey Hun!

      This is amazing. Oh it should say! I would triple the recipe. THEYRE SERIOUSLY SOOO GOOD!

  • Jimmy Wong
    Posted at 21:23h, 20 December Reply

    I don’t see how this recipe can work. Way too little liquid for the mix of 1 cup of oat floor AND 1 cup of rolled oats added to the remaining “meat” ball ingredients to form them into balls.

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 21:55h, 20 December Reply

      Hi Jimmy! This recipe works perfectly fine. Let me know what you think after you make them please 🙂

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  • Brenda
    Posted at 11:33h, 31 December Reply

    Hi! I just made these and they are delicious! Can you tell me if the balls hold together well if left in a crockpot with the sauce? I’d like to make them again as an appetizer to take to a party.

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 14:47h, 01 January Reply

      Hey Brenda!! Yes, I am so glad you loved them – they are a favourite in our home. I haven’t tried that yet but I am going to say yes only based on how hearty and thick they are. I don’t see it being a problem, if anything it’ll add even MORE flavour to these bad boys. Please let me know how that goes!!

  • Amber Pitts
    Posted at 10:40h, 06 January Reply

    Can these be made without the sauce? Can I just bake them As is and toss with marinara sauce?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 11:42h, 06 January Reply

      Of course! All my recipes are honestly quite forgiving. I want you to feel comfortable and safe in the kichen. Do what works for you and your families palette. They are honestly amazing!! If you have another favourite sauce then toss them in there too! They freeze great as well 🙂

  • sophie rata
    Posted at 04:11h, 13 January Reply

    Hi looks great but it’s not clear to me wich ingredients are the sauce and which are the balls…
    maybe that’s why someone said it might be to liquid, that they thought all ingredients listed are for the the meatball mixture…

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 16:41h, 13 January Reply

      Hello there! It says right in the ingredients, for the BBQ sauce:. I hope this helps!

  • Panagiota Altanopoulou
    Posted at 01:27h, 16 January Reply

    Hello there 🙂 Can i replace oat flour with flaxseed flour or chickpea flour? Thank you !

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 14:42h, 16 January Reply

      Hello there! I didn’t text either of these but I feel like chickpea flour should be fine! I would a little bit less though as it’s a thicker flour. Let me know how it goes!! xxx

  • Lucy
    Posted at 11:14h, 19 January Reply

    Chia instead of flaxseed??? And ive added

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 15:51h, 19 January Reply

      Hello! I’m not sure what you mean hun? You’ve added chia instead of flaxseed? That shouldn’t be a problem but the flax seed add fun texture and add that more meat like crunch.

      Let me know how that worked for you!

  • Samantha Fernandes
    Posted at 23:50h, 27 January Reply

    Hi there. I don’t have a food processor. Is there an alternate way to make this? Also, could I use Bob’s steel cut oats instead of the rolled oats?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 06:49h, 28 January Reply

      Do you have a high speed blender? I would not recommend steel cut oats in this recipe. They cook at a different pace and would have an entirely different consistency which I didn’t test. Let me know if you have a blender!

  • Leanne bidwell
    Posted at 21:48h, 30 January Reply

    what size can of beans?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 09:23h, 31 January Reply

      Hey Leanne! Just updated that for you, it’s 400ml! Enjoy making them!

  • Sophie Louise
    Posted at 05:35h, 11 February Reply

    How many people should this serve? I can’t see it on there. Thanks, Sophie

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 16:04h, 11 February Reply

      Hey Sophie! This yields around 12-14 so it depends on whether you’re making it as an appetizer or main!

      • Anonymous
        Posted at 05:50h, 12 February Reply

        Okay great thank you!

  • Amy Byng
    Posted at 19:16h, 20 February Reply

    I am hesitant when it comes to cooking, but this recipe was simple and didn’t take long to make. The ingredients were easy to find and there was even room to improvise a little. I have two hungry teens at home and this meal hit all the right markers. I will be buying this cookbook in the near future and really appreciate someone who posts full recipes on their account to try. Thank You!!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 20:03h, 20 February Reply

      Yay, Amy, this is amazing!! Thanks so much. So glad you enjoyed these. They are one of my favourites!!!

  • Julie Wissmann
    Posted at 08:45h, 15 March Reply

    After reading the comments I’m confused. It’s one cup of oat flour plus the rolled oats (which get broken up a bit in the food processor) or do I add the remaking oats at the very end? I reread the recipe but I’m still confused. I’m vegan and gluten free and have been for years so I’m no stranger to oats and oat flour in recipes amd I know how adding the wrong type (oat flour vs whole oats) can change the outcome. Lol. Please clarify because I would love to try these ❤️

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  • Al
    Posted at 18:16h, 09 April Reply

    These have the potential to turn non vegans pro vegan, usually with vegan food has a stigma for sacrificed texture or flavour, but these meatballs are winning all round,

    Cooked a batch of these and got three / four portions from it, ate them for dinner leaving some for my lunch, and woke to find my boyfriend has demolished the lot!

    Delicious !

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:15h, 10 April Reply

      ahah your boyfriend is a sneaky food thief! I love it! Thanks so much for the love xx

  • Tera Walton
    Posted at 17:26h, 14 April Reply

    Taste was great but texture was not. Mine were really dense and heavy however I used chickpea flour so maybe that was the reason. Ant suggestions on what I may have done wrong?

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 07:36h, 15 April Reply

      Using the chickpea flour may have been the issue. I didn’t test it with that flour. Another thing you may have done to create a dense consistency is too over blend in the processor. I haven’t heard this comment from anyone so I am hoping it was just user error. Please let me know if you try it again! xxx much love for supporting me and my recipes!

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  • Anonymous
    Posted at 13:52h, 01 July Reply

    Is there a common substitute for the coconut sugar?

  • Ev
    Posted at 15:52h, 11 July Reply

    Amazing, made this tonight and it was fantastic and surprisingly easy. We all enjoyed it, including my 10month old son. Thank you!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 17:41h, 11 July Reply

      YESSS! So glad you loved them. They are my FAVOURITE. Thanks for the love hun x

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