Thank you Modern Table for sponsoring this post. This delicious, complete protein pasta is made from just three plant-based ingredients — eat clean with Modern Table pasta today!
Rotini Pasta with roasted red pepper sauce and homemade from scratch vegan meatballs is bound to be your new favorite plant based weeknight dinner. Hearty, delicious and packed full of protein thanks to Modern Table Rotini Lentil pasta!
I love challenging myself in the kitchen to turn meat filled classics into plant based recipes. Take these vegan meatballs here. Normally meatballs by definition would be packed full of meat, but who says we can’t make a vegan version instead?
I have made mock style ground meat in the past and loved how it turned out so I knew vegan meatballs were within reach too. Naturally vegan meatballs are best served over pasta so that’s what I’m cooking up today.
Not just any old pasta though. These vegan meatballs are served over Modern Table pasta. If you’re not familiar with Modern Table, all pastas are lentil-based and contain complete proteins – meaning they have the 9 essential amino acids our bodies need for strong energy, good digestion, and muscle health.
Kind of amazing right? I mean for years, (my entire childhood) all I knew was regular pasta made from nutrient lacking all purpose flour. Once I started seeing lentil based pasta in grocery stores I knew I had to try it out.
With the Modern Table line of pastas you can now enjoy a full serving of pasta and protein at the same time. One serving of the Rotini pasta has 11 grams of protein of 14% of what is required daily. With only three plant-based ingredients, the plain pastas are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. A win win if you ask me. Time to toss out all your regular standard pasta and replace it with complete protein pasta instead. It’s just brilliant if you ask me.
Back to the recipe though.
For the vegan meatballs the base is made with brown rice, chickpeas, and slivered almonds. You’ll want to make sure the brown rice is cooked and cooled completely before starting this recipe. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt this with hot or warm rice – it will not work.
You add those ingredients into the food processor with a medley of your favorite spices; I used smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin and salt. Process until the almonds are broken down but the mixture should not be completely pureed or mashed up.
Form into small round meatballs with your hands and pan fry in olive oil on all sides.
Time to make the sauce now.
In a pot pan fry diced red onions with garlic for a few minutes. Next add in a full jar of roasted red peppers, smoked paprika and salt. Cook for a few more minutes before adding in coconut milk and some reserved pasta water. Puree in a regular blender or immersion blender and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
To assemble these pasta bowls toss the pasta with the roasted red pepper sauce, plate and top with a few vegan meatballs per plate. Garnish with a sprinkling of diced parsley and toasted sliced almonds.
These pasta bowls were a huge hit and I loved how the vegan meatballs turned out. They were crispy on the outside yet soft inside and full of flavor. The lentil pasta itself is firm yet flavorful perfectly soaking up the rich and creamy roasted red pepper sauce. A new favorite easy weeknight dinner that makes for perfect leftovers for days.
My vegan meatballs were firm enough and were easy to pan fry without falling apart.
- Make sure the brown rice is completely cooled – place on a plate and pop into the freezer if you want to speed up the cooling process, but do not use hot rice to make the vegan meatballs
- You can use any of the different Modern Table pastas instead of Rotini such as Penne, Elbows or Spirals.
- To add more flavor to the vegan meatballs add in different spices, fresh herbs, garlic, diced veggies, etc.
Can you bake the vegan meatballs instead?
Yes, you absolutely can bake them at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes instead, though they will not have as crispy of a crust as when they are pan fried. Or you could do a mix of pan frying for a few minutes and then baking for the rest of the time.
Can you freeze the vegan meatballs?
Yes, freeze the uncooked formed meatballs and then bake or pan fry directly from the freezer.
What to do if the vegan meatballs aren’t sticking together or to make them firmer?
To make the mixture a bit more sticky add a flax “egg” to the food processor; essentially one tablespoon ground flax mixed with three tablespoons water.
Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below!
Pasta with roasted red pepper sauce and homemade from scratch vegan meatballs is bound to be your new favorite plant based weeknight dinner. Hearty, delicious and packed full of protein
- 1 cup brown rice cooked and cooled
- 1 cup chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 cup almonds slivered
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
In a food processor combine the vegan meatballs ingredients: brown rice, chickpeas, slivered almonds, and spices. Pulse until slivered almonds are chopped up and mixture is broken down but not completely pureed/smooth.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan over medium/high heat. Add meatballs in single layer and cook until browned on all sides. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot/pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes.
Add roasted red peppers, smoked paprika and salt. Cook for a few minutes.
Add coconut milk, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple minutes. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Add nutritional yeast and mix. Add more reserved pasta water if needed until desired consistency is reached.
Mix the pasta with the roasted red pepper sauce. Divide among 4 bowls and top with a few vegan meatballs. Garnish with parsley and sliced almonds.