Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines collide in these flavourful, healthy spanakopita-inspired white bean meatball bowls with lemon olive quinoa and tahini sauce. Vegetarian meatballs made with white beans, spinach, herbs, and feta are a delicious riff on spanakopita!
Spanakopita White Bean Meatballs
- 3 cups cooked white beans (such as navy or great northern), or 2 14-oz cans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 4 loosely packed cups spinach
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon Olive Herb Quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
- Handful of finely chopped fresh parsley or basil
Lemon Tahini Sauce (Makes extra)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 medium cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends broken off
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Make the spanakopita-style white bean spinach feta meatballs: Place the white beans in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and pulse several times, until broken down and crumbly, but not yet a paste. Transfer into a large bowl. Next, place the pepitas in the food processor and process into a coarse meal. Add to the bowl with the white beans. Finally, place the spinach in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the spinach to the bowl and stir in the ground flax and feta.
- Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, and chili flakes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl containing the white bean mixture. Lastly, add the oat flour, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly to combine; I always use my hands to ensure that everything is combined as well as possible.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, if desired. Form the mixture into about 28 balls and place them on the baking sheet with a little bit of space in between each so that they cook properly. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, while the white bean balls are in the oven, make the quinoa: Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa and salt. Turn down heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it rest for five minutes. Then lightly fluff with a fork and add the lemon zest, juice, olives, and herbs.
- Make the lemon tahini sauce: In an upright blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more water to thin out, if desired. Transfer into a jar or container.
- Roast the asparagus: Once the meatballs come out of the oven, increase the oven temperature to 400 F. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 8-10 minutes.
- Put it all together: Serve up the meatballs in bowls with desired amounts of lemon olive quinoa, lemon tahini sauce, and asparagus.
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: spanakopita white bean meatballs