tomato basil beanballs

by Kristina Sloggett

in appetizers, baking, Dinner, Gluten Free, Happy Hour at Home, recipes, snacks, Vegan

 

Chickpea balls are back, and wow are they good!

After I made Christin’s cookie dough balls and subsequently went crazy making all kinds of flavors, it was only natural I’d eventually go savory.

I think it was after using the fresh mint that I thought of my favorite, fresh basil. The thought snowballed into a basil tomato and onion ball, dipped into Jason’s marinara. Oh, mama.


tomato basil beanballs

 

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and peeled
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 red onion, diced

15-20 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour (brown rice)
pinch sea salt

Rinse and peel chickpeas, add to food processor. Process alone until crumbly/creamy, add sun dried tomatoes, continue to blend. Add basil and onion, blend. Add olive oil and flour one tablespoon at a time, until dough is formed. Form into one inch balls and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. 

I served these as an appetizer / snack, with marinara dipping sauce. I have also served them over pasta with marinara, as a salad topper, and sneaked from the fridge very late at night.

I rarely say this, but you need to make these now.

As soon as I can finagle Jason’s marinara recipe, I will share it. Perhaps another guest post is in order?

 

{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen August 18, 2011 at 6:15 am

Oh. My. Goll. I want these NOW.

But…you may have instead just inspired a variation based on a flavor combo I’ve had stuck in my head for awhile now…

PS. Guess what arrived last night and I am terrified to open?!?!?!

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2 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

squee! have you opened it yet?! today is a bad day for a phone call for me, or I’d be calling you RIGHT NOW to make you open it with me on the phone!! :D

I can’t wait to see what variation you have…

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3 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} August 18, 2011 at 6:17 am

Oooh I am imagining these flavors right now–I’m sure these are amazing! These look so simple, too. Great recipe!

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4 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

thanks, Maryea! yes, I love a short ingredient list, and these have such great flavor you wouldn’t think it was that easy! :)

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5 Heather (Where's the Beach) August 18, 2011 at 6:19 am

Um, hello awesomeness! LOVE this idea. What a fantastic appetizer or even a sub for meatballs – maybe even a meatball sub ;-)

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6 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

haa – Heather I LOVE that you said this!! :D the first time I made these I told Jason we were having a meat ball sub for dinner. since he’s never seen me eat a meat ball, let alone handle whatever meat they would come from, he knew something was up. ;)

and YES… these are so flippin good.

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7 Victoria (District Chocoholic) August 18, 2011 at 6:19 am

Yes! Now I can have the “balls only” dinner party with ball appetizers, ball main course, and ball dessert.

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8 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

haaa – YES. just perfect. these really do taste awesome.

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9 katie @KatieDid August 18, 2011 at 6:27 am

genius idea, seriously! First off, everything is cuter and yummier in ball form and on a stick, and secondly that ingredient combination is perfection. I bet a little cheese in there would also be delicious!

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10 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:42 am

I agree, Katie – so much fun to eat bite size food, and on a stick! :) the flavors – I think I have to say I like these better than all the cookie flavors I’ve made!

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11 Assistantdoc August 18, 2011 at 7:05 am

Now my mind is reeling with all of the Bean ball possibilites! I need to make a batch of cookie balls right now to help me think…..Nom nom nom

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12 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

oh, girl I know it! I took a break from the chick pea balls, but these brought back the endless possibilities! :D

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13 Caitlin August 18, 2011 at 7:09 am

wow- these look great! and i love the toothpick for easy dipping! i’m gonna have to make these ;)

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14 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

thank you, Caitlin! it’s our latest favorite thing!

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15 Allie August 18, 2011 at 8:15 am

Oh my gosh, I WILL be making these right now, your directive has been accepted! I even have all the ingredients on hand, it’s a sign!

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16 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:38 am

YAY Allie! let me know how you like them!

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17 Cathy @What Would Cathy Eat? August 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

I will follow your orders and make these now! Well, this weekend, at least.

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18 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:38 am

oh, good – I hope you love them as much as we do, Cathy! have a great weekend!

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19 Anne@A Gluten-Less Foodie August 18, 2011 at 9:19 am

Oh heavens – these look so fabulous! And a great way to use my endless supply of basil! Cannot wait to try!!

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20 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

hi Anne, I hope you do try – they are one of my favorite things now! and yes, an endless supply of basil is another... :D

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21 Kris @Krazy_Kris August 18, 2011 at 9:39 am

YES!
But what’s a “chiffonaded”?
This is like my cooking wiki – LOVE the idea of having them with non dessertish meals.
I WILL make these…. this weekend :)

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22 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

YAY – I hope you do… you will LOVE them. chiffonaded – you stack the basil leaves, roll them, then chop – they end up in these curly strips. you may not even need to do this, as everything goes into the food processor, but since I LOVE BASIL so much, I actually like to do this step… makes my kitchen smell so good. and my fingers. :D

cooking wiki?? I’ll take it! :D

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23 lindsay August 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

I love your balls (can I say that?). haha, so perfect in nutrition and flavor!

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24 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm

heee! you sure can… the blog world is immune to ball jokes by now! ;) these are such awesome flavor – and yep, the stats are good too… Jason keeps asking for them!

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25 Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh August 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

Oh my goodness these sound RIGHT up my alley! I love this! I could go crazy with a bunch of different flavors! :) yum!! Nice job!

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26 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

thank you, Ari!! they are so SO good… I hope you try them. and yep, I know what you mean – when I first made the cookie balls months ago, I was hooked, and started coming up with all kinds of flavors! :)

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27 Dorry August 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

oooooh, Kris! After almost 3 days of not being able to eat food with any spice or seasoning, I’m CRAVING marinara sauce with lots of basil! mmm. These puppies look delicious.

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28 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 10:42 am

they really are amazing, Dorry. one of those things I cannot adequately explain – Jason declared them one of the best things he’s ever eaten. :D hope you’re back to normal – that’s the worst. XO

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29 Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers August 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

Ahhh – those are adorable! They’re almost too cute to eat. (almost = key word)

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30 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

haa – yes, ALMOST. ;)

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31 christina August 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

omg i really do need to make these now. so cute!! :) bookmarking!

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32 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

make these now! and they’re gluten free, so Margaret can have them too! :D

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33 Jen@foodfamilyfitness August 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Oh my balls of heaven!!! These look amazing!

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34 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm

ha, Jen that is a perfect name for these. ;) they are really tasty.

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35 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com August 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

That’s one delicious finger food. We use chickpeas a lot in Indian appetizers and entrees. I can so relate to how delicious this would taste :)

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36 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I love chickpeas… so versatile! these are one of our favorites right now… Jason keeps asking for them! :D

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37 Stephanie @ extremebalance.net/blog August 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I’m trying to avoid temptation at the moment and *focus* through a craving… and what do I do but go and look at these little beauties? Agony! Another Spabettie win!

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38 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

aww, girl! sorry ;) you know what, I can make some and bring them to you if we are able to meet up next month!! :D

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39 Stephanie @ extremebalance.net/blog August 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm

TOO EXCITING TO CONTEMPLATE!!!

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40 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

right?! :D let me know…

and I hope you have water again, and NO cockroaches! :D

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41 Alyse @ Fit Approach August 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Oh yum! Fancified falafel, made into a pretty party appetizer! Fresh basil is my favorite flavor of all time. Get in my belly!

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42 spabettie August 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

exactly Alyse – basil falafel on a stick! :D we are LOVING these.

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43 Richa@HobbyandMore August 18, 2011 at 5:57 pm

omg.. these probably taste super fantastic.. sundried tomatoes.. basil and chickpeas.. amazing!
Thanks for posting the recipe! love it.

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44 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

you are welcome! they are SO good – I hope you try them!

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45 Lisa August 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Oh, mama……love the balls! Really, I have not made chickpea balls (I’m ashamed!)…but I will. Soon. And mine will most likely have basil in them :)

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46 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

yep, Lisa B, you may as well have these be your first chickpea ball. SO good.

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47 Shirley @ gfe August 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Does it sound bad if I tell you that you are the queen with balls? LOL Sorry … had to say it. ;-) Love all your bite-sized ball concoctions. I mean who can resist them? And you already know that you’ve hit on some very favorite ingredients of mine. :-) The marinara seals the deal!

xo,
Shirley

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48 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

ha – you can call me anything, Shirley! :D chickpeas are so versatile, and once I start I just cannot stop! basil is my favorite, and dipping in marinara just completes it!

happy weekend, Shirley!

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49 Baking Serendipity August 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm

These sound so amazing! I am always on the hunt for creative new appetizer ideas and these totally fit the bill :)

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50 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm

hi Sarah! I think they’d be well liked as an appetizer – very easy to make and SO delicious!

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51 Eden August 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm

They look like boobs.
But I’m sure they’re delicous!

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52 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

boobs, balls, whatever. they were SO good.

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53 Tres Delicious August 18, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Oh my Golf! looks like a golf ball ready to strike for lunch anytime. I will certainly prepare this over the next weekend.

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54 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm

hee – I like the golf reference. ;) glad you’re going to make them – enjoy!!

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55 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food August 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

My mom just gave me a big bag of fresh basil leaves! I am definitely using some to make these! Love them! :-)

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56 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Mmm, fresh basil. I just brought some in and it’s sitting on my counter, the whole kitchen smells SO good. and YAY – glad you’re going to try these – let me know how you like them! :D

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57 hihorosie August 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I love you! These look awesome and I want some! Will be making soon. Let you know how it goes. :)

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58 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

oh, yay! I hope you love them as much as we do (we’re having them again tonight!!) have a great weekend!

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59 lindsay August 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm

ohhhh yumm these lil bean balls look delish! like lil falafels on a stick, but BAKED and not fried, so much healthier! I love the idea of marinara dipping sauce, since traditionally it’s a cucumber yogurt dip. But tomatoes and bean balls sound OH SO YUMMY. Perfect party food too ;)

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60 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I know – I felt the basil and tomato kinda took away from a traditional falafel, and the marinara too. an Italian falafel, perhaps! :D they were SO good, and we’re having them again tonight!

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61 Pure2raw twins August 19, 2011 at 6:06 am

yum! love basil and you know we love chickpeas ;)

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62 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I know – we’re having these again tonight!! doing something FUN with them! :D

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63 natalie (the sweets life) August 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

LOVE the sound of this recipe—includes a few of my very favorite ingredients!

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64 spabettie August 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm

thanks, Natalie! I was happy how it turned out. :D

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65 Kath (My Funny Little Life) August 22, 2011 at 4:04 am

Whee, lovely! :D

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66 spabettie August 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm

they really are – and one of Jason’s new favorites, we’ve had them THREE times in a week!

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67 sarah August 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Did you use regular sun dried tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes packed in oil? I just made these had had some problems with the consistency at the dough ball phase. (Ended up using a ton more flour.)

Thanks!

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68 spabettie August 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I used the ones in oil. the first time I made them, I patted them dry pretty good, but the second time I added them straight from the jar, so they were oily. sorry it didn’t work too well – did you process the beans by themselves first, before adding the rest of the ingredients? that makes a HUGE difference – one time I didn’t do that, and I ended up having to add so much more flour, and the dough was the consistency of refried beans.

I hope they eventually turned out?

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69 sarah August 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I did! (Although I was a little lazy and didn’t shell the chickpeas. I usually only do that when I’m working a smooth hummus.)

The taste was good (honestly, I could have stopped before the flour-oil part and just eaten it as a pizza hummus), but a little floury because of my work to make it more dough like. I’m going to give them another spin again later in the week and see what I maybe did wrong.

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70 spabettie August 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

peeling them or not shouldn’t make much of a difference, I don’t know? :( I was hoping that was it.) I hope it works better next time, glad you liked the flavor! and YES, I eat some of the dough every time… :)

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71 spabettie August 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm

also, the time I did have to add more flour, I rolled them when they were VERY wet, they still held shape and I just cooked them a little longer, about another 5-7 minutes.

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72 sarah August 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I think what I might try is letting the dough rest in the refrigerator for a bit like you do when making falafel. (And also maybe adding a little baking powder like falafel too, just so they’re not as dense.)

I’ll let you know how they come out!

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73 Bryan September 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

these are so unique, almost like a falafel, but Italian? another spabettie recipe I know I will love – you should have a DONATE button so I could pay you like buying a cookbook!

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74 Jenny September 6, 2011 at 5:22 am

we made these this weekend for dinner, and again for lunch two days later – we love them!! well done, thanks

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75 spabettie September 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

thank you, Jenny! I am so happy you like them!

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76 Dan October 25, 2011 at 4:02 am

sounds amazing! definitely making these soon, thanks!

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77 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 10:27 am

thank you, Dan! hope you enjoy!

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78 Val October 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

WE LOVE THESE!! made them three times now, really great recipe (and one I can make very quickly on a weeknight). kids love them too, easy to please when it is a food you can DIP! :D

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79 spabettie November 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

hi Val!! so happy you like them, and the kids do too – we LOVE them here, and honestly, I love to dip too! ;)

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80 Raine November 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm

just wanted to tell you we love these! a new favorite around here, too, so flavorful, easy and versatile! they never make it to a salad wrap, though I do want to try that soon. cheers Kristina!

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81 Sara November 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination, but this seemed like something I could do so I gave it a shot for a pot luck tomorrow. What are they supposed to be like on the inside? The consistency of the dough seemed pretty good but after baking for 19 min, the insides were very wet still. I was hoping they’d “cook” more as they cooled off, but doesn’t seem like they are. They taste wonderful, even super moist (I did add one clove of garlic, warmed up in water in the microwave first). Definitely will be making them again.

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82 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

hi Sara! I just updated the baking time; since this first posting I know I have had batches cook longer, although I don’t think I’ve ever gone over 20 minutes?

I have had batches result in different consistencies (although that is usually me forgetting to process beans alone first!) and I know the size are not always the same as I made them the first time. I don’t want to just say “ovens are different” – I will make these again soon and I will pay attention to how long they cook.

sorry that happened, I hope you were able to salvage them? glad you liked the flavor, and adding garlic is a great idea! I will make again as soon as I can! thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! – Kris

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83 sara November 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

I made them for a pot luck today, so I plan on eating them anyway LOL I figure, it’s not like it’s meat where it’ll make you sick undercooked. And I’ll probably throw them back into an oven to warm them up so maybe they’ll firm up a bit more. :)

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84 spabettie November 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm

oh, good – I was going to say the same thing – nothing in them that will make anyone sick (I love to eat the dough…) and I was thinking a trip back to the oven would work? I hope it did and I hope they were a hit!

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85 Raj December 4, 2011 at 1:42 am

thank you for updating; the recipe works much better and these continue to be a favorite flavor. what’s the next one? lol

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86 Jenny December 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

these look so good, you are very creative.

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87 Lauren @ www.cravingsgoneclean.com January 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

So I am finally going to make these! How important is the chickpea peeling process? I am a little tempted to skip that to save time.

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88 spabettie January 8, 2012 at 10:57 am

I take the time to do it, but it WILL still work without peeling – it just won’t be as smooth. since you are cooking them anyway (as opposed to eating it like hummus) it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. let me know how you like them! :)

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89 Pat January 30, 2012 at 1:26 am

these were dinner tonight, I made spaghetti squash for pasta, with my homemade tomato sauce and these were great!! so easy, I will make again1!

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90 Jennifer February 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

tomato basil balls are my new favorite. we made them as a sub sandwich like a meatball parm. Mmm good!! :D

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91 Larissa February 5, 2012 at 5:47 am

very interesting! love these flavors, and I love your creativity!

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92 Hannah-lyz February 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

It’s not often I do as I’m told.. but in this case I did! I have a batch cooking away in the oven right now ^-^ Although I tweaked it a little and added garlic, dried basic (I’m out of fresh! Need a garden so I can grow my own!) , a hearty pinch of chilli flakes, and a handful of chopped nuts for a little Crunch! Sneaked one just now… mmmm.. Thanks for the inspirtation! ♥

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93 spabettie February 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

you are welcome – SO happy you like them! this is really one of my favorite recipes – adding garlic is so good, and hmm, I will have to remember chili flakes next time too! :)

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94 Elizabeth March 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

what if I don’t like chickpeas, but another bean? would that still work?

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95 Anna March 31, 2012 at 5:09 am

creative!

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96 Lynnea May 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

we put these in spaghett sauce instead of meatballs. they sometimes fall apart in there, but so good anyway LOL thanks for great recipes, where is your cookbook LOL

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97 Brittany October 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I just found this recipe and had to make them. Was especially excited that I already had all of the ingredients except red onion so I used yellow instead. My one blender was giving me a hard time. After I able to blend the chickpeas and then added the sun-dried tomato my blender decided to be stubborn and would keep sticking and I had to stop it as soon as I started. After 30+ minutes of frustration and back pain I ended up taking it out of the blender and put it on my cutting board, added the olive oil and flour and mushed it up with my hands. The onion was still chunky because it didn’t blend but I was able to roll the balls nicely. They came out really good, but a tad dry if you eat them on their own. I am thinking this would be an awesome recipe to make a veggie patty with. I love the flavors of the sun-dried tomato. I’m thinking it may taste good with a little bit of kalamata olives in the mix next time. Awesome recipe. Super happy I have something healthy to bring to work for lunch.

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98 spabettie October 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

hi Brittany!

so happy you liked them! yes, we always have them with a marinara or some sort of sauce – eating them on top of pasta, or in a sub sandwich, or even an appetizer and dipping them. Kalamata would be great in these, and yes, they do make nice patties, the cooking time is a bit longer but they work!

Cheers! Kristina

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