Just so you know, these aren’t the kind of meatballs you serve with spaghetti. If you’re looking for those kinds of meatballs, I will direct you here and here. But if you’re looking for a different kind of meatball, pull up a chair and grab yourself a fork because I have some Spicy Black Bean Meatballs for you and they are deeeelicious!
These vegetarian meatballs are made with a black bean and oat base (this means they’re gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free oats!) and seasoned with a whole mess of spices and garlic and salsa. Yes, that’s a spicy meatball! You can use a little less cayenne or omit it altogether to make these more kid-friendly, but after experimenting with several different amounts of cayenne, I think 1/2 teaspoon is perfect—it’s spicy, but in an enjoyable way.
While it’s true that these meatballs aren’t exactly a good fit for pasta and marinara, you can put them in wraps, tacos, or burritos and even make them into meatball sliders. They’d be delicious in a taco salad or in a bowl full of rice and fajita veggies. But if you don’t want to mess with all of that, just serve ’em up as is with a little salsa, sour cream, or smoky garlic aioli. And then stick a little flag in them. Or not! I happen to like little flags, okay?
These Spicy Black Bean Meatballs are perfect served with a little salsa, but they also make great wraps, sliders, and subs!
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
- 1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons salsa (tomato-based)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salsa, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Put the oats in the small bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely ground—it shouldn't be flour-like, but there should be very few whole oats left when you're finished.
- Place the black beans in a medium bowl. Use a fork to partially mash them, then fold in the oats, corn, green onions, garlic, and salsa. Sprinkle the cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and cayenne over the top of the mixture and then stir them in too. Add salt and pepper to taste, then mix in the beaten egg.
- Spray a mini-muffin tin with oil. Form the black bean mixture into 12 balls and place each in a muffin cup. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the tops of the meatballs are dry to the touch and just beginning to brown. Let the meatballs cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the edges of the muffin cups to loosen them and pop them out of the muffin tin. Serve with salsa or in wraps, burritos, as meatball sliders or subs, etc.