Our Favourite Recipes
Chickpea Balls in Tomato Pesto Sauce

Chickpea Balls in Tomato Pesto Sauce

This vegan alternative to meatballs is full of flavour and a great source of plant protein and nutty goodness. It’s quick and fun to make, so get the kids involved! Our Vegan Tomato Pesto makes the easiest tomato sauce for all types of pasta, especially for tagliatelle.
Profile Serves: 4
Icon/Time On the table in: 45 mins
Contains nuts
Dairy Free
Gluten Free
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Buon Appetito


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil plus extra for oiling baking tray
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100g skin on almonds or walnut halves
  • ¼ jar Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • For the sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ jar Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes or use passata
  • GF linguine or pasta of your choice


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. To prepare the balls, heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the red onion, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for a couple of mins to soften. Stir through the garlic and cook for a few seconds more. Put to one side.
2. Add the chickpeas, nuts, Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto and nutritional yeast to a food processor, then add the onion mixture and season well. Whiz until combined into a thick paste, but it still retains a little texture.
3. With wet hands, roll into 12 even balls. Sit them on an oiled baking sheet and put in the oven for 20-30 mins until firm and golden.
4. While they are cooking, make the sauce. Heat the oil in the frying pan, add the onion, season and cook for 2 mins until softened, then stir in the Sacla’ Vegan Tomato Pesto and add the tomatoes or passata. Cook gently, stirring occasionally for about 10 mins, loosen with a little hot water if needed.
5. Cook the linguine or pasta as per pack instructions, drain, then toss with some of the sauce. Sit the balls in the remaining sauce and turn gently to coat (be careful as they may fall apart easily).
6. Transfer the coated pasta to serving dishes and top with the balls and sauce. Garnish with basil leaves to serve.
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