Naual Hansen

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Whole foods vegan meatballs in two sauces


   Maybe this dish might seem like some kind of a complicated meal to make that is going to take an hour or more – but it’s really far away from that. 

I soaked black beans and chickpeas together in water overnight, and chopped (pulsed) them in a food processor the next day. Before chopping I added all ingredients except chia egg.

   Once the chopping was done and the texture was crumbly I added chia egg and stirred well. I started shaping small balls while I weighed them, each one had from 19 to 20 gr. The next step was to bake them, I baked them in air fryer in two batches for 25 min., and flipped them after the 12th min. It is much faster to bake all of them together in the oven in one batch.


   While vegan meatballs were baking I cooked pasta shells and made the tomato sauce. Tomato sauce was ready in just 3 min. The next step was to prepare tahini sauce, which took barely 1 min. After the meatballs were done I stabbed them with a skewer (in several places each) and put them into tomato sauce, they were cooking/simmering for 13 min.


   At the end I poured tomato sauce and vegan meatballs into a glass container, then added cooked shells and tahini sauce. I decorated it with pieces of fresh rosemary.
    This batch gave 20 vegan meatballs, and together with both sauces it gives 3 good servings. 

Shells with vegan meatballs & tahini

Shells in two sauces with vegan easy homemade meatballs
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 3 servings


  • Air fryer ( or convection oven )
  • Stove


For the vegan meatballs:

  • 100 gr of dry chickpea, should be soaked overnight in water (slightly salted);
  • 100 gr of dry black beans; should be soaked overnight in water (slightly salted);
  • 1/2 tsp. of black pepper;
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt;
  • 1 tsp. of dry basil;
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking powder;
  • for the chia egg: 1.5 tsp. of ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp. of water, stirred well.

For the pasta:

  • 230 gr pasta shells.

For the tomato sauce:

  • 420 gr of double concentrated tomato puree;
  • 6.8 dcl water (and a bit more if necessary to achieve fine sauce thickness);
  • 3 tbsp. of maple syrup, or another kind of natural sweetener;
  • 1 vegetable broth cube;
  • 1 tsp. of onion powder;
  • 1/2 tsp. of mild curry seasoning;
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper;
  • 1/3 tsp. of salt.

For the tahini sauce:

  • 6 tbsp. of tahini;
  • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice;
  • 2 tsp. of garlic powder;
  • 1.8 dcl of warm water (and a bit more if necessary, depending on tahini thickness).

For the decoration:

  • fresh rosmary.


  • Put all ingredients for meatballs (except chia egg) into a blender and chopp. After chopping place it into a container and add chia egg, then stir well. Shape small balls (19-20 gr each), put them in air fryer at 180 degrees Celsius (or in a convection oven, on baking tray covered with parchment paper). Bake for 25 min. (flip them over after the 12th min). There should be 20 balls. Stab each with a skewer on couple of places.
  • While vegan meatballs are baking, cook pasta shells by following instructions from it's package.
  • Mix together all the ingredients for tomato sauce in a pot and bring them to boil. Let simmer for 2 min, then add vegan meatballs and cook for 13 min.
  • Mix well all ingredients for tahini sauce with a spoon and set aside.
  • Combine together: put shells into a pot (or a tray) with tomato sauce, add one vegan meatball in each shell and drizzle generously with tahini sauce. Decorate with fresh rosemary. Serve warm.

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