Chickpea Meatballs with Pesto Sauce

🙅🏻‍♀️ Don’t let these “meatless” balls fool you. They are packed with flavor and deserve a “TEN” 🏅 on the plant-based food scale.


🔑 With a little planning and prep, you can enjoy a well-balanced 🌈 and healthy pasta dish any night of the week!


And to top ’em off, I’ve got an easier pesto sauce 💚 that can actually be used as a topping for multiple dishes.





Serving Size: 6 meatballs
  • Protein - 10 g
  • Carbs - 28 g
  • Fat - 5 g


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (sub for parmesan)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons water +,  as needed
  • flax egg: 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs or gluten free oats
  • 1 tablespoon Italian blend seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

Cooking Utensils

  • food processor
  • non-stick skillet
  • baking sheet


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Make pesto: add 2 cups basil, 2 tablespoons cashews, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 3-4 tablespoons to a food processor. Pulse until smooth.  Add more water if necessary and add salt to taste.
  3. Make flax egg: 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal and 1/4 cup water. Whisk and set aside.
  4. Onion mixture: Heat 1/2 tsp avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
  5. Chickpea mixture: Pulse 1/4 cup nuts in a food processor until a coarse meal. Then add the flax egg, onion mixture, 1 tablespoon pesto and the remaining ingredients. Pulse to combine.  You can use the same food processor that you used for pesto. Transfer chickpea mixture to a bowl and chill for 10 minutes.
  6. Make balls of the mixture or use an ice cream scoop and place on parchment lined sheet. 1 to 1.5 inch balls (16 to 18 balls). Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash!


⏰ Time-Saving Tip – Make the pesto the night before.

Additional Information

Approximately 200 calories (pesto sauce not included)

~1/2 palm protein, 1 fist carbs

Approximately 285 calories (with 1/3 serving pesto sauce)

~ 3/4 palm protein, 1 fist carbs, 1 thumb fat

Calories may vary depending on brand of ingredients, substitutions and serving size.

Vegan, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free


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