Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Meatballs

3 minutes, 27 seconds Read

I have a thing about Italian food. It’s like my thing for Thai and margaritas.

This meatball recipe (minus the eggs, cheese, and meat) is a classic Italian dish that will satisfy you every time.

These meatballs were inspired by my Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pinwheels and adapted from Simple Vegan Meatballs.

After trying a tempeh vegan meatball, I wanted something more accessible for everyone. I chose chickpeas. Spoiler alert! They are even better!

As always, the recipe is easy to make. It only requires ten simple ingredients and simple techniques, and it takes under 1 hour.

After forming the meatballs, you can coat, sauté, and finish them in the oven while you prepare your desired side dishes, such as pasta, red sauce, or salad. This is as easy as it gets.

These are great as an appetizer or paired with pasta. I like mine on top of spaghetti noodles with a classic red pasta sauce and all the vegan Parmesan cheese.



  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax eggs)
  • Use 2 1/2 tbsp of water to make flax egg
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil (divided/plus more for sautéing)
  • Three cloves garlic, minced
  • Panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free for GF eaters).
  • Fresh basil, 1/3 cup (chopped).
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, dry (not with oil).
  • 13 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
  • Add more salt or red pepper flakes to taste.
  • For every 1 Tbsp of dried oregano, use 2 Tbsp of freshly chopped oregano.
  • Can chickpeas (15 oz)* (drained and rinsed)


  • 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free for GF eaters).


  • Prepare flax eggs using your food processor or high-speed blender.
  • A large cast-iron or metal skillet should be heated on medium heat. Add half the olive oil (the original recipe calls for 15 ml or 1 Tbsp) once it is hot. Stirring often, sauté until lightly browned – approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and then add flax eggs to a food processor or blender.
  • Add the panko breadcrumbs, basil leaves, sun-dried tomato, vegan parmesan, salt, red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Then add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil. Blend/pulse until only small bits are left, scraping the sides if necessary.
  • Add the rinsed/dried drained chickpeas. (See notes for tempeh.) Blend/pulse, scraping sides as necessary. The chickpeas should not be turned into a paste. However, you don’t need to leave any hole.
  • Seasonings can be adjusted according to taste. I added more salt, panko breadcrumbs, and basil.
  • The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of dough. I used the 1.5 Tbsp scoop on Amazon. Scoop out and roll into 15 balls (amounts as written in the recipe // adjust the batch size if you change it). Roll in more vegan parmesan-panko mixture to coat.
  • The same skillet that you used before should be heated to medium heat. 30 ml), then add meatballs in two batches so as not to crowd the pan. Add more oil if needed.
  • Shake the pan and turn them to brown on all sides. If browning is happening too fast, turn down the heat a little.
  • Add the sauteed meatballs on a baking sheet that is not covered. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven.
  • This is the time to prepare any pasta that you would like to serve along with your meatballs. Also, warm up your favorite marinara (I really love this sauce ).
  • Remove meatballs from the oven when they are golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. The longer they cool, the more better they will become.
  • Top cooked pasta with the desired number of meatballs and marinara sauce. Add a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and a second layer of pasta.
  • Meatballs can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. However, they are best eaten fresh. Reheat meatballs in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through or in the microwave.
  • To freeze meatballs, saute them as directed, then transfer them onto a baking tray and freeze until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container, and then store in the freezer for up to one month. Reheat the dish in a 350° F (176° C) oven until it is completely warm.

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