Spaghetti & Meatballs w/Zesty Marinara

Meatballs you say? How can they be vegan? Well, it’s easy. I was inspired when I saw Isa’s recipe in Veganomicon for her meatballs, but I wanted to come up with my own recipe which didn’t include any gluten, so that’s what I did and Voila…Gluten Free and Vegan “Meat”balls with GF Spaghetti!

This is one of many of my clients favorite dishes, even Tony Horton! The man loves his spaghetti and Meatballs, although I know they don’t compare to his Aunt Stella’s real deal, which he doesn’t eat much anymore!

Enjoy! I know your kids will love these too!



  • 1 lb. Brown Rice Spaghetti or Ziti, prepared according to package directions (Love Tinkyada Brand)
  • 1 recipe of Mel’s Zesty Marinara Sauce (below)
  • 2 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • ½ c. brown rice, cooked
  • ½ c. raw yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for browning meatballs
  • 2 tablespoons Braggs Amino Acids
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs or find ground cornmeal.

Mash beans and rice together in a bowl with a potato masher until mushy but beans are still somewhat noticeable. Add onion, garlic, olive oil, Braggs, tomato paste Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Mix well with a spoon or hands to combine. Add breadcrumbs and using hands, mix well and knead until doughy. Roll into small walnut sized meatballs. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with olive oil and brown meatballs on the skillet. Serve on top of spaghetti with a generous serving of marinara sauce.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ can tomato paste
  • 2 -28oz cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

In a stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic & mushrooms until soft & caramelized. Add thyme & oregano and stir to incorporate to release the herbs. Add crushed tomatoes & tomato paste. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add Braggs Aminos, maple syrup & balsamic vinegar & stir well. Simmer 5-10 minutes more. Season with salt & pepper and top with fresh basil.

Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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