Chickpea meatballs with sauce: as good as grandma’s – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

The chickpea meatballs with sauce they are a variant without meat of one of the dishes we all grew up with. Grandma’s meatballs are a comfort food which was difficult to resist. One led to another and the sauce in which they were immersed was too great a temptation not to make the slipper. Here you will find it vegetarian version of that dish capable of igniting the most nostalgic memories in us: chickpea meatballs with sauceprotein and really tasty.

Chickpea meatballs with sauce: the recipe

Made with just a few ingredients, the chickpea meatballs with sauce they are a real goodness. Soft and tasty, they won’t make you miss the classic ones. To make the sauce we recommend using the cherry tomato puree as it has a sweeter and more delicate taste.

Ingredients for 4 people

For the chickpea meatballs

  • 250g canned chickpeas
  • 30 g of breadcrumbs
  • 30 g of grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • ½ golden onion
  • Salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

For the sauce

  • 500 ml of cherry tomato puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • parsley to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste


  1. Drain the chickpeas well from their storage water and rinse them with running water. Place them in the glass of a blender. Add the egg, the onion peeled and cut into pieces, the parsley, the mustard, the grated parmesan, the salt and the pepper. Blend until you obtain a smooth and homogeneous mixture with an almost creamy consistency.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs to give it more consistency. With wet hands, shape the meatballs and arrange them on a plate.
  3. In a non-stick pan, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add the meatballs. Brown them on a high flame, turning them until they are golden on all sides. Keep them aside.
  4. Pour 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a large saucepan and fry the two peeled garlic cloves. Add the tomato puree, season with salt and cook with the lid on for about 10 minutes. After this time, remove the garlic cloves, add the meatballs, the chopped parsley and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve them chickpea meatballs with sauce piping hot, accompanying them with slices of toasted bread.

How to use dried chickpeas

To save time, we recommend making your own chickpea meatballs using canned chickpeas. However, if you prefer, you can use dried chickpeas. In this case, a soaking time of 24-48 hours will be necessary. After this time you will have to rinse the chickpeas, place them in a pan, cover them with cold water and bring everything to the boil, cooking for about 1h30 or until the chickpeas are soft. If you use dried chickpeas you must consider that 50 g of dried chickpeas correspond to 150 g of cooked chickpeas.

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