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Vegan Spinach Balls with Pesto Sauce

This was a very nice diner that we enjoyed last night.

Vegan Spinach Balls with Pesto Sauce

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:

for the spinach balls:

  • 4 slices day old bread
  • 16 ounce package fresh spinach, washed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly group black pepper
  • 2 egg replacement equivalents
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • pinch nutmeg
  • oil for frying the spinach balls

for the vegan basil walnut pesto:

  • 2 cups tightly packed basil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash Tabasco (optional)

Vegan Spinach Balls with Pesto Sauce

Directions:

to make the spinach balls:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Add the minced garlic and lightly sauté.
  3. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted.
  4. Using a food processor, pulse the bread to be bread crumbs.
  5. Add the thyme and black pepper.
  6. Add the wilted spinach with its juices and oil and pulse again to mix.
  7. Add the nutritional yeast and nutmeg, and season to taste with salt as desired.
  8. Mix the egg replacements with water, add to the mixture and pulse well to blend.
  9. At the very end, add the chopped onions and pulse again. You don’t want the onions minced too small, but well mixed with the other ingredients.
  10. Form walnut sized balls from a generous tablespoon of the mixture.
  11. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the spinach balls evenly.

to make the pesto:

  1. Place the basil, garlic, lemon juice and oil in a blender and plus to a smooth consistency.
  2. Add the walnut pieces and pulse again until it is smooth.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast and pulse.
  4. Add the salt and pepper and optional Tabasco, pulse again to mix.

We enjoyed the spinach balls with pesto served on a traditional plate of vegan spaghetti.

Notes:
You can also used chopped frozen spinach.

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15 Responses to “Vegan Spinach Balls with Pesto Sauce”

  1. Vanja Stace says:

    These look so good!

  2. Jenna says:

    I tried these tonight but they didn’t look like yours at all. I thought 16 ounces (500 grams) seemed a lot of spinach and they turned out super bright green!

  3. Kristen says:

    These sound amazing! I will definitely make them in the near future!

  4. Donna says:

    this look awesome! I have a question, what is egg replacement equivalent? is ground flax & water an example?

  5. Chris says:

    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for your question. we have a product here by Orgran…called “No Egg” That is the one I usually use. It is organic, and I have used it for years, to “tried and true”. You could probably use flax seeds, ground ..or whole, with water etc…but I do not have experience using it, so can not give you good advice about it.

  6. Sally says:

    The recipe says to add the nutritional yeast also to the pesto sauce but it doesn’t say how much to add. Is it the same amount you used to make the balls. Haven’t cooked the balls yet but man the ingredients taste amazing together! Thanks :)

  7. Alicia says:

    Made this tonight – amazing!!!

  8. ThatsSoBoss says:

    Just Made this- AWESOME! Seriously- Thank you! I added sauteed asparagus tips to the pasta and really seared the outside of my Featballs. Again- thank you- I’m gonna make this all the time.

  9. Angela says:

    Just made these last night. They are really good! Mine also turned bright green, and didn’t look like yours but they tasted fantastic. They make an excellent sandwich too.
    I used a flax egg instead of the replacer. 1T ground flax to 3T water.

  10. Beth says:

    Mine came out too runny to fry :-( I followed the recipe. Don’t know what happened.

  11. Chris says:

    Hello Beth,
    Thank you for your comment.
    When I washed the spinach, I dried it well, and when it was cooked with the garlic and oil, there was not much juice left in the pan…there was a bit so that the spinach could be all chopped up…but not that much. After pulsing with the dried bread and the nutritional yeast it was already quite a dry mixture that would not quite stay together. The moisture from the egg substitutes was just enough to hold everything together.

    I will re-write the directions, indicating that if there is a lot of liquid in the pan after cooking the spinach to drain it off, and even to place the spinach in a fine sieve and squeeze out the excess. Then, place it in the food processor with the dried bread.
    I might be possible to use just 1 egg substitute to keep the mixture together, although I have not tried the recipe with just 1.
    We really enjoyed the meal, I will make it again, and make adjustments to the recipe.
    Thank you for your comments and I will keep your email and try to inform you about the changes so you can make it and enjoy it.

  12. Beth says:

    I think I may have figured out what happened. I used fresh bread instead of dried bread? That’s the only thing I can figure. In any case, I figured out it needed more binder so I cooked up a batch of brown rice in my rice cooker, and added that to my spinach mixture and it worked well. The rice didn’t mess with the favors much, and it kept them from falling apart and, they were absolutely delicious! I served them to my family, and they loved them. even though they looked a little strange, they still tasted amazing. And the pesto was wonderful. I subbed half an avocado for most of the olive oil and used pecans instead of walnuts. It was a huge hit. Thank you!!

  13. Rachel says:

    Can these be baked instead of fried? If so, what time/temperature would you recommend?

  14. Chris says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for your comment and question. Yes, I am sure you can bake these. They will not have the crispy golden brown outside, for that you need to fry them. You might be able to spray them with oil…and get the outside slightly crispy, but that sort of defeats the purpose of baking them.
    By baking them they will be a bit dryer on the inside as well. But, they will bake fine, and be tasty, especially if you serve them with a sauce.
    I have not tried baking these yet, but I will make them again in the near future and bake some while I pan fry the others. I would think baking as you would baked felafel, in a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes, you might turn them from time to time so they bake evenly.
    Hope this helps.
    Sincerely, Chris the cook at Maliciousness

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