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overhead shot of a skillet with the meatballs and gravy and two servings in pink bowls on a blue backdrop

White Bean and Wild Rice Meatballs with Gravy

  • Author: Allison
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


White bean and wild rice meatballs with miso tahini gravy are the perfect vegetarian main dish for the holidays. Serve them as the vegetarian option at your Christmas dinner with all the fixings, or with oven fries and greens for a cozy meal.



White Bean and Wild Rice Meatballs

  • 3 cups cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 1 egg (may sub flax egg- see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (from 1/2 cup dry- see note for instructions)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup oat flour or spelt flour

Miso Tahini Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Couple pinches each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons chickpea or mellow white miso
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup light spelt or all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Make the white bean meatballs: Pulse the white beans in a food processor until coarsely ground. Stop before they turn into a paste. Transfer into a large bowl. Next, pulse the nuts until coarsely ground and add them to the bowl. Add the cooked wild rice. Whisk the egg and add it to the bowl.
  2. Warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the pepper, balsamic, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for a couple more minutes. Add this to the bowl that has the beans, nuts, and egg. Add the oat flour and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. However, the gravy is rather salty, so you probably won’t need more salt in the meatballs!
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the bean mixture into 20 balls and bake for 35 minutes.
  4. Make the miso tahini gravy: In a medium saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a bowl, whisk together the broth, miso, tahini, nutritional yeast, toasted sesame oil, flour, and maple syrup. Whisk this into the saucepan and cook, whisking often, until the mixture thickens, 10-15 minutes. If the gravy is refusing to thicken enough (this happens from time to time), dissolve a tablespoon more flour in a small amount of broth, and then whisk that into the gravy and cook for a couple more minutes, until it thickens.
  5. Transfer to an upright blender and blend until smooth. Finally, add the apple cider vinegar. This helps balance the flavours! (Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, you can blend the gravy right in the pot.) Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  6. For serving, I like to present the meatballs in a cast iron skillet with the gravy spooned over top, but this is optional. You can serve the meatballs and gravy however you please!


To make a flax egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground flax and 2.5 tablespoons of water in a small dish and wait a couple of minutes for it to thicken.

To cook the wild rice, combine the wild rice, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 hour, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. I recommend planning ahead and cooking the rice in advance so that it’s ready by the time you want to make the meatballs!

To make the gravy gluten-free, replace the flour with arrowroot. Whisk 2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch with 1/3 cup of water before adding it to the broth mixture. Don’t overheat arrowroot, because it tends to lose its thickening power when it gets too hot.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: North American

Keywords: vegetarian white bean and wild rice meatballs and gravy