We flipped when we saw this recipe for “Beetballs”; vegan, gluten-free sausage balls. This recipe comes courtesy of the Fat Free Vegan blog. With a dash of hot smoked paprika, cheesy-flavored nutritional yeast and liquid smoke, these delicious beetballs are perfect atop a plate of squash spaghetti with lovely marinara sauce.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Sausage Balls
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 medium raw beet
- 1/2 cup raw pecans, almonds, or other nuts if you prefer
- 1/2 medium red or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (mild or spicy)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hickory smoked salt or Liquid Smoke (optional)
- Place the mushrooms in a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and rinse them well and set aside. Strain the broth through a coffee filter or fine sieve and reserve it for later use. (Leftover mushroom broth can be used in any recipe that calls for vegetable broth.)
- While the mushrooms are cooking, put the nuts into a food processor and pulse to chop finely. Do not over-process – the goal is for finely chopped nuts, not nut powder. Place the nuts in a large mixing bowl.
- Peel the beet and cut it into cubes. Add it to the food processor along with the reserved mushrooms, garlic, and onion and pulse to chop coarsely. Add the chickpeas and all remaining ingredients and pulse several times to chop the chickpeas, but do not turn it into a paste. All the individual ingredients should be recognizable.
- Add the processor contents to the nuts and stir well to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon of the reserved mushroom broth. Allow the mixture to rest while you preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, measure out a heaping tablespoon of “dough.” Using damp hands, form it into a ball, squeezing lightly to compact it. If the dough seems too dry, add additional broth (this should not be necessary–you don’t want the dough to be too wet). Place the ball on the lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. You should be able to make about 18-22 balls. If you like, flatten some of the balls to use in sandwiches or on pizza.
- Bake until the balls are brown and slightly crisp on the outside, about 35 minutes. (Flattened balls will take a little less time.) Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Whether you try these with squash spaghetti, or eat them alone, these are delicious and filling! Thank you to the Fat Free Vegan for sharing this recipe!