Vegan Black Bean Meatballs | FoodByMaria

Vegan Meals

BBQ Vegan Black Bean Meatballs


20 minutes


40 minutes



Holy meatballs! I mean, vegan meatballs! This recipe isn’t your traditional meatball recipe 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 easy vegan meatballs 😉 

These vegan 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.

The secret vegan meatball ingredient

So what did I use to make these vegan 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 easy, delicious, and versatile. What more could you need right?

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

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Delicious and easy Vegan Black Bean Meatballs in BBQ sauce

Vegan BBQ Black Bean Meatballs

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


These vegan black bean meatballs are perfect as an appetizer, or to freeze for when you need some balls to throw in your spaghetti sauce!



For the “Meat” Balls:

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

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

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

For the 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

1/21 tsp liquid smoke

2 tbsp. molasses (optional)

Garnish with fresh Mint


Add your “meat” ball ingredients into the processor and blend till everything is well combined.  You want to ensure there is no loose flour from the oats, this is how you know you’ve done blending.

Begin rolling into “meatballs” 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, stirring 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 the 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 tightly 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!

Keywords: Black Bean, Bob's Red Mill, Vegan, Meatballs

Laura incognito

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

Maria Koutsogiannis

So glad you enjoyed them! They’re a new favourite in our home!

Patrice Granaldi

Pleeeease. Which ingredients get processed together? Which “rest of” ingredients go into the pan with the meatballs? You amended the oats to 2 cups. One cup rolled oats, 1 cup oat flour. I’m thinking the 2 cups go into the processor with the ingredients. But I’m not sure which ingredients as they are not listed separately. I would really love to make this recipe for a non vegan party and hope to surprise everyone! The party is on the 18th but I’m a little confused how to separate the ingredients to process and which ones go into the pan. Help!

Lindsay Day

Made these last night to put on top of spaghetti with my homemade pasta sauce, and it was a hit! The flavours are just perfect, with that little kick from the hot sauce.
Might have to make another batch to stock up the freezer!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks, Lindsay! This sounds awesome!

Brittany Thompson

Can I turn this into a loaf?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey! I haven’t tried doing that but it honestly might work! Bake it for 1 hour.


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

Maria Koutsogiannis

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


If there are 1 cup oat flour AND 1 cup rolled oats for the meatballs, why is this not being updated?

Maria Koutsogiannis

This is what it used to be. The recipe has since changed! Thanks for your question 🙂


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

Maria Koutsogiannis

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


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

Maria Koutsogiannis

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


Milled or Whole flax seeds?

Maria Koutsogiannis

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

Patrice Granaldi

Hi! I see now the separation is the sauce and proper ingredients to the sauce. I’m just confused about the oats and oat flour. One recipe has in it one cup of each and both go into the processor. Correct?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Patrice, the recipe was re-tested 3 weeks ago so you should follow the one you currently see. Add all the ingredients to a processor then roll. That’s it!

Virginia Santos

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

Hey Hun!

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

Jimmy Wong

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

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


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

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

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

Maria Koutsogiannis

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 🙂

Chyna b

Would these make a good meatball sub?

Maria Koutsogiannis

100% would be perfect for that!

sophie rata

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

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

Panagiota Altanopoulou

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

Maria Koutsogiannis

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

Marta Fernandez

Hi! Can I use white beans instead of black?

Maria Koutsogiannis

I think that should be fine! Let me know how it goes!


Chia instead of flaxseed??? And ive added

Maria Koutsogiannis

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

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

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!


I tried this recipe, and although it turned out a meaty texture, I found it to be too bread like. Would it be possible to cut down the oats and make them more dense?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Stacey, we are currently trying to rework this recipe but I think our verdict will end up being so cut the oats in half completely. I hope this helps. Thanks for letting us know. How did you find the flavour?

Leanne bidwell

what size can of beans?

Maria Koutsogiannis

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

Sophie Louise

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

Maria Koutsogiannis

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


Okay great thank you!

Amy Byng

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

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

Julie Wissmann

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 ❤️

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hello! It is 1 cup of oat flour and 1 cup of oats x


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

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

Tera Walton

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

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!

Leila Hancox

Very good. I only used one lot of oats ground into flour and omitted the whole oats and it worked out fine. Will remake for my boyfriend’s daughters who are very picky. Reckon it will go down well.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes! This is great Leila! So glad you loved them! Let me know how the next round goes xx


The sauce was great, thanks! Maybe I messed up but if I were to make this again, I’d cut out the cup of flour completely, just use the oats and up the radio of black bean. Just personal preference though.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks for the feedback Chris!


Can I process the rolled oats in a regular blender?

Charla Perry

Would almond flour suffice instead of oat flour 🤔 Im so excited to make these for my husband who is in the process of converting to full veganism ❤✌🥑

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Charla, it might work! I didn’t test it that way but you should be fine! We are in the middle of reworking this recipe. I would actually just use either the rolled oats or oat flour (in your case almond flour) and let me know how it goes!

Lianna Edwards

Tried these numerous times and they are amazing. So delicious and very easy to make.

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESS!! thank you so much Lianna! So glad you enjoy them as much as we do!

Adina Beck

So delicious, even the kids liked them and they’re usually not thrilled about beans in any form.

Maria Koutsogiannis

This is such an incredible compliment! So glad the little kiddos liked this!

Ashley Gilbert

Made these tonight and they turned out so amazing! I baked the balls instead of browning them in the pan because I was lazy but otherwise followed the recipe quite closely and it turned out so incredibly! Super pumped I get to eat these for lunches all week!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSS!!! Thanks so much for the love, Ashley! These are a family favourite!


Something is missing from the recipe. I made these before and I remember that it used to say 1 cup oat flour or something like that, but this is gone. I am trying to make these now and it’s very wet and I cannot make them into balls…

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Andria! We tested the recipe and removed the extra full of oat flour (1 cup). People were finding them a bit too dense and dry. Please let me know if that helps but when I redid the recipe this worked out perfectly. I have had around 10 others reviews since too and they all turned out ok. Please let me know though so I can help adjust.

Candace Temple

Soooo yummy. I made a big batch and froze some, I cooked them in the oven to get them super crispy on the outside (personal preference) and loved them! Once they’re prepped they’re perfect to fill you up when you’re in a rush and can be eaten so many ways!! Love this recipe.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes!!! These are amazing, Candace! So glad you love them too!

bee monk

confused. instructions say to blend until there’s no loose flour, but there’s no flour on the ingredients list…….help!

Maria Koutsogiannis

I just mean from the oats, no panic! They’re are foolproof, you can do this!!


can something besides oil be used in the recipe? I will bake them, but I am asking for the recipe itself?

Maria Koutsogiannis

if you’re oil-free then just omit the oil entirely, should be fine! but let me know!

Ali Gonzalez

Can you omit the flaxseeds?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes, that should be fine but please let me know how it goes!


Is there anything you can substitute the oats with?

Maria Koutsogiannis

I haven’t tried it with anything but oats. Is this an allergy?


So, I used these meatballs in a traditional couscous and it was so delish thanks for the recipe!!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

You’re so welcome!!!

Nicole Smith

Had so many leftover soaked black beans and found this recipe to help use them up. We air-fried the meatballs instead of pan-fried, which worked perfectly! Squished them in a gooey vegan cheese filled hoagie bun topped with marinara. The meatballs truly pulled everything together!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love, Nicole!


Super simple, super tasty! It’s my go to recipe for meatballs now and that bbq sauce omg

Maria Koutsogiannis

thank you so much hun!


These meatballs were incredible. I can’t wait to make them again!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Jake!!! I just love these!


The meat balls and sauce were delicious, I made a double batch for the week. Served over smashed cauliflower, rice, and sweet potatoes. I will definitely make again.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love, Jacki! This makes us so happy!

Yota Laz.

Good evening, fellow greek! These look irresistible! Can I use beans from an already cooked bean soup for these meatballs?

Maria Koutsogiannis


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