These festive vegan meatballs and burgers are created from the same easy recipe.
A while ago, I made an incredibly easy vegan burger. With the holidays coming up, I wanted to make a cozier version of that burger, something for people who liked side dishes well enough, but needed a heartier meal. These meatballs (and burgers!) are filling and protein packed and absolutely delicious.
When I was thinking about what to put in these, I was inspired by the traditional poultry-rub herbs that are used at Thanksgiving: thyme, sage, tarragon. Soon the air was filled with nostalgia. Our home smelled precisely like Thanksgiving dinner at my Auntie Maryl’s house. Food is truly a time machine. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was always held and Auntie Maryl and Uncle Eddie’s house. Auntie Maryl had a talent for holiday decorating, her vast family room bright and inviting. She passed four years ago, and I can’t think of Thanksgiving without also thinking of her. The sharp, clean scent of every towel in her home. The way she always insisted that everyone congregate in the family room, post dinner, to hate-watch White Christmas. The way she made folks feel understood.
And even though she was a big meat eater, I feel she would have appreciated this dish. Especially because of how simple it is. Yes, the toppings take a little work, but the burgers and meatballs themselves are rather effortless. All you need to do is chop up some herbs, and the blender does the rest of the work.
I topped these burgers with sweet potato noodles, but if you don’t have a spiralizer, thinly chopped sweet potatoes are just fine.
This recipe yields 20 meatballs or 8 burgers, whichever strikes your fancy. The ingredients include nutritional yeast, which is quite salty itself. However, I strongly recommend tasting the mix before you bake it and add more salt to taste.
This recipe freezes very well, so you can make them well in advance.
- 2 cans of chickpeas
- 2 cups of tightly packed kale
- 1 big shallot
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 heaping tbsp flaxmeal
- 1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon
- 1 tbsp fresh sage
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- hearty dash of salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- cranberry sauce (recipe below)
- sweet potato noodles (recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Blend all burger ingredients in a food processor or blender until you get a coarse paste. Depending on your blender, you may need to do this in batches (I did).
- Form mixture into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment-lined pan and bake for 8.5 minutes. Yields 20. Serve aside sweet potato noodles and cranberry sauce. They also taste good with ketchup, no shame.
- Form the mixture into 1/2 inch thick, 3 inch wide burgers. Place on parchment lined pan and bake for 12 minutes. Flip and bake for another five minutes. Yields 8. Top with cranberry sauce and sweet potato noodles.
cranberry sauce: Place 2 cups of cranberries, 1/2 cup of water, and 4 tbsp of brown sugar in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil, and the reduce heat. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until thickened.
sweet potato noodles: spiralize a 1 lb sweet potato on medium width. Nuke in microwave until desired texture is reached (anywhere between 2 - 8 minutes). Frozen noodles will only need 3 minutes to reach a pleasant, al dente texture.
you can also try these with cranberry tahini sauce