chickpea walnut meatballs
Gluten Free Main Dish Recipe Vegan

Chickpea Walnut Meatballs

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is just one week away. Can you believe it? November, much like the rest of this year, has flown by. I honestly keep forgetting about the holiday, as I’m longing for Christmas.

It’s also pretty tough to celebrate Thanksgiving aka “Turkey Day.” No one else in my family is vegan or even vegetarian. So, it is a pretty meat-filled day. This is honestly quite hard for me to be around. I just can’t help but think of everything the turkey or other animals went through to be the food on the table. And I feel pretty left out too.

My boyfriend, Patrick, and I decided to have our own pre-Thanksgiving next Wednesday. We have a yummy feast of mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie planned. But I was a bit at a loss for the main “meat” dish. Being gluten free, it is a bit harder to find a tasty roast or nut loaf to make. I usually end up disappointed with these recipes.

chickpea walnut meatballs

Our Thanksgiving Solution

I decided to take things in a different direction this Thanksgiving. We will be making Chickpea Walnut Meatballs! These veggie meatballs are full of protein and healthy fats. They are also super flavorful thanks to onion, garlic, basil, and spices. The meatballs also have an authentic “meaty” texture. Seriously, you cut into a meatball and it looks just like meat inside!

The meatballs are so delicious and versatile. It couldn’t be simpler to make them too! All it takes is a food processor, an oven, and less than an hour. The meatballs go so well with mashed potatoes, so they fit right in on the Thanksgiving table. They are also fantastic with pasta or even on a salad or rice bowl. I hope you’ll give them a try for Thanksgiving or just a regular delicious vegan meal!

Chickpea Walnut Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Mix the flax and water in a small bowl to make a flax egg. Set the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes so the egg thickens up.

  3. Chop the onion, garlic, and basil.

  4. Add all the ingredients to a food processor with the S blade. Pulse until the ingredients are well-combined. I prefer to keep mine a little chunky, with some visible chickpea and nut pieces.

  5. Form equally-sized meatballs with your hands and space them apart on a baking sheet. This made about 15 meatballs for me. 

  6. Bake the meatballs for about 30 minutes or until browned and crispy, flipping halfway through. 

  7. Enjoy your meatballs with a holiday meal or with pasta, salads, and more! Leftover meatballs will last in the fridge for one week.

How do you cope with holiday meal stress? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you make these Chickpea Walnut meatballs, or what else you’re making for Thanksgiving!


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