This simple plant-based dish is the perfect healthy swap for creamy meatballs! 

healthy vegan recipe chickpea quinoa balls

Chickpea And Quinoa Balls With Cashew Tomato Cream

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Serves 2-3
30 mins soaking, 20 minute prep, 40 mins cooking.


Sauce (makes about 3 cups)

  • 400g tinned (or fresh) tomato
  • 100g minced brown onion
  • 100g diced Japanese pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 60g raw cashews* (soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and rinsed)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or your choice of dried or fresh herbs)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast*
  • Red pepper, salt*, and olive oil*

Chickpea & Quinoa Balls

  • 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas* (mashed with a potato masher)
  • 100g cooked quinoa*
  • 3 Tbsp. tapioca flour* or potato starch
  • 1 garlic (grated)
  • 1 tsp pink salt*, and black pepper*

*Available at Naked Foods



  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté onion and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil for a few minutes. Add a pinch of pink salt and continue to sauté until they become tender.
  2. Add pumpkin with 1 tbsp olive oil, red & black pepper, and 1 tsp pink salt. Continue to heat for a few more minutes.
  3. Add tomato and thyme and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and cover with a lid. Simmer it 30 mins over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chickpea & Quinoa Balls

  1. Mix all ball ingredients in a large bowl with your hands.
  2. Make 20-25 balls and pan fry with 2 Tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes or until lightly brown, making sure to flip them from time to time.

    Have you made any of our recipes? Share your creations with us by tagging @nakedfoods or leaving a comment below! And don’t forget to check out @365cleaneats for more stunning food photos and recipes. 

    Minako Umehara – @365cleaneats

    Health-conscious Recipe Creator / Food Stylist & Photographer/ Food Instructor
    Minako has lived in 8 cities across 3 countries since 2003. Despite the varying environments around her, her realisation that food is universal has led to her desire to connect with people through food. After moving to Melbourne, she picked up vegan cooking. She now spends time creating innovative vegan recipes and running cooking classes.