These gluten-free and vegan Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs make the perfect party appetizer! You can also make them into a meal by serving them over rice or quinoa! Drizzle these chickpea balls with some vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing for the ultimate flavor combination.Jump to Recipe
Rah! Rah! Rah! Sis, boom, bah!
For this year's big game, I'm cheering for the best team in town...Team Chickpea!
That's right! When you route for Team Chickpea, you're sure to score a touchdown!
Chickpeas can do it all! These babies are game for anything...
EVEN meatless meatballs...
EVEN Buffalo wing inspired meatless meatballs. 🙂
These two-bite balls of Buffalo sauce bliss are similar to my Buffalo chickpea burgers.
Of course, they both are made with chickpeas and Buffalo sauce...lol! 😉
However, one of the main differences is that the burgers are pan-fried while the chickpea balls are oven-baked.
How should these veggie balls be dressed?
The chickpea balls are also much smaller than the burgers, which them the perfect party appetizer...especially when served drizzled with some of our easy vegan ranch dressing, lower fat vegan ranch dip or vegan blue cheese. 🙂
A little heat paired with a little coolness...what’s not to love?
I topped our chickpea meatballs with vegan ranch and some chopped scallions.
What about the Buffalo sauce?
Well, I’m not going to lie...I didn’t make it myself. Instead, I opted for store-bought Buffalo sauce.
The first time I made them I used Frank’s RedHot Buffalo sauce, which in case you weren’t sure, IS vegan.
I have been assured both via email and verbally that this sauce “doesn't include animal or animal by-products” and that “the natural butter type flavor (listed within the ingredients) is made with natural ingredients derived from sources other than milk and butter.”
Furthermore, I was also told that the current formulations for Frank’s RedHot sauces in general “do not contain any animal derivatives or synthesized milk proteins.”
On subsequent occasions, I've also used Noble Made Mild Buffalo sauce by The New Primal, which is another great vegan-friendly option.
So now that your taste buds are tantalized, let’s get on with the show…
Start by making a flax egg by using a fork to whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and set aside.
Next, preheat your oven to 400°F.
Then, roughly chop 2 medium carrots and ¼ of a sweet onion, and measure 2 tablespoons of parsley leaves.
Add the carrot, onion and parsley mixture to a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed.
Next, heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Add carrot mixture and kosher salt to taste, and cook on medium for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the carrot mixture is cooking, rinse out the food processor and set aside for future use.
Also, drain and rinse your chickpeas and set aside.
When the carrot mixture is done, allow it to cool for 1-2 minutes, and then add it to the food processor along with the chickpeas.
Process on low until everything is well combined but not pureed, scraping down the sides as needed.
Transfer chickpea mixture to a mixing bowl.
Add gluten-free bread crumbs (or traditional if not avoiding gluten), nutritional yeast, flax egg (or regular egg if not vegan or egg-free), kosher salt and Buffalo sauce.
Mix thoroughly until ingredients are well-combined.
Use a small cookie scoop and scoop chickpea mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then, use your hands to roll into rounded balls.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While the chickpea balls are in the oven, melt vegan butter (or traditional butter if not vegan or dairy-free_ in a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup.
Then, use a fork to whisk in Buffalo sauce.
When the "meatballs" are done, remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on top of the stove or on a heat resistant surface or mat.
Use a silicone pastry brush to baste each ball with the Buffalo sauce and butter mixture.
Return the tray of basted chickpea meatballs back into the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve as an appetizer or as a meal over rice or quinoa.
Team Chickpea FOR THE WIN!
More chickpea recipes
- Chickpea "Chicken" Nuggets
- Vegan Ranch Chickpea Burgers
- Easy Chickpea Tacos
- Chickpea Veggie Loaf
- Chickpea and Butternut Squash Casserole
- Chickpea Salad with Olives and Walnuts
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed *see notes below
- 3 tablespoon water
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped sweet onion (approximately ¼ of a Vidalia sweet onion)
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1 (15 oz.) can no salt added chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 2 tablespoon gluten-free, vegan bread crumbs (can use traditional bread crumbs if not avoiding gluten)
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon vegan Buffalo sauce
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter
- Use a fork to whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to make the flax egg. Cover and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Blend carrots, onion and parsley in food processor on the pulse setting until finely chopped, but not pureed. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add carrot mixture and kosher salt to taste, and cook on medium for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the carrot mixture is cooking, rinse out the food processor and set aside for future use.
- When the carrot mixture is done, allow it to cool for 1-2 minutes, and then add it to the food processor along with the chickpeas. Process on low until everything is well-combined but not pureed, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Transfer chickpea mixture to a mixing bowl. Add bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, flax egg, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon Buffalo sauce. Mix thoroughly until ingredients are well-combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop and scoop chickpea mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, use your hands to roll into rounded balls. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the chickpea meatballs are in the oven, melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Then use a fork to whisk in ¼ cup Buffalo sauce.
- When the chickpea meatballs are done, remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on top of the stove or on a heat resistant surface or mat. Use a silicone pastry brush to baste each ball with the Buffalo sauce-butter mixture.
- Return the tray of basted chickpea meatballs back into the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before removing balls from the baking sheet. Serve with desired toppings such as more Buffalo sauce, scallions and vegan ranch or blue cheese.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
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What can you substitute for vegan buffalo sauce? We don't have this sauce in Australia. Thank you.
Hi Linda! Thanks for reaching out! I was able to find an Australian company that sells the sauce: (link here). However, You can try making your own vegan Buffalo sauce if you'd like. This link is for an easy recipe for homemade Buffalo sauce from a fellow food blogger I'd recommend. You can buy the hot sauce you need to make it at Woolworth's or Cole's. You can use any brand of vegan butter you'd like to make it. I hope this helps! Have a great week!
Wow, these meatballs surely look special, so delicious and flavorful. My kiddo is such a huge meatballs fan. I'm saving this recipe to give it a try. I'm sure he's gonna love it.
Thanks Natalie! Hope he loves them! 🙂
Oh I love these, especially the fact that they are baked and not fried! We are always looking for more vegan fare to add to the weekly meal plan and these sound like they would fit the bill perfectly!
Thanks Donna! Hope you enjoy! 🙂
These little bits of goodness sure sound good! I love that they are gluten free & vegan too.
Thanks so much, Sharon! 🙂
Yummy! Love that these are gluten free and vegan :). Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks Daniela! 🙂
Ahh I'm definitely team chickpea now ;D These look awesome...love the creativity behind this. Yum!
Woohoo! Team Chickpea rocks! Thank you Tammy! 🙂