Please the meat lover in your life with these hearty bean “meatballs” and creamy avocado pesto sauce. To make it even more nutritious, we’re swapping out noodles for zoodles (zucchini noodles)! Get the recipe for these bean “meatballs” and noodles with an avocado pesto sauce below for a delicious Meatless Monday dish.
Have you tried zoodles, yet? I got a spiralizer for Christmas and waited a good few months before using it, and now I don’t know why! I think the thought of it intimidated me a bit, but now that I’ve used it several times, I just can’t get enough.
The spiralizer is super easy to use and produces stringy zoodles (zucchini noodles) every time. I can’t wait to try it with other produce, and I have my eye on beets to tackle next!
Because I’m having so much fun with my zoodles, I have been brainstorming different ways to use them. I created a recipe a while ago for bean “meatballs” that used spaghetti squash and thought why not update it by swapping out the squash for zucchini noodles?!
For the original recipe, I used a marinara sauce, but for this one, I thought I’d go with an avocado-based sauce since we’re already switching things up around here.
The results got a two thumbs up from the hubs, which means you know it’s a good dish! The zoodles are stringy (in a good way) and hold their shape, making them perfect for slurping. The avocado pesto sauce is super creamy and can be made in less than 5 minutes, and the bean meatballs are light, moist and full of protein and fiber, making this one nutritious and satisfying meal!
Let’s back up a second though and talk about the creation of zoodles. There are several different spiralizers out there that will make these perfectly formed zucchini noodles – a handheld version or a more advanced version (like the one I have) that comes with various attachments. For those looking for low-carb or gluten free dishes, this is a must-have tool to have on hand!
Okay, back to the dish. If you are into meal prepping on the weekends, I would suggest making your bean “meatballs” ahead of time and reheating in the oven when ready to eat while you make your zoodles and sauce (which will take you less than 10 minutes). This dish is better prepared in smaller quantities that can be consumed right away, rather than a huge batch to reheat throughout the week!
If you’re looking to add more veggies into your diet or incorporate a meatless meal or two into your week, than this recipe for bean “meatballs” with pesto avocado zoodles is the one for you!Print
- For the meatballs:
- 2 14.5 oz cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more for rolling*
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- For the avocado pesto sauce:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 2 Tablespoons pesto
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 2 Tablespoons almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- For the zoodles:
- 4 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add the beans and onion to a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add in the breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, olive oil, dried oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper and pulse until well combined.
- Form into golf-ball sized balls, rolling each ball in leftover breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet that has been covered with cooking spray.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, turning them over halfway so that both sides are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the avocado pesto sauce and noodles!
- In a food processor, combine the avocados, parmesan cheese, basil, pesto, lemon juice, almond milk, salt and pepper. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the zoodles and saute until warmed through, about 4 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the avocado pesto sauce and toss until evenly coated.
- To serve, place the zoodles with avocado pesto sauce in the bottom of a bowl. Top with 3 bean meatballs and garnish with extra basil and parmesan cheese!
Breadcrumbs can be substituted for ground oats for a gluten-free version!
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