Chickpea Meatballs

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 15 min./batch


4 servings

Updated: Jul. 13, 2023
Being a vegetarian, it's been hard for me not to lean toward heavier, carb-laden foods. This recipe for chickpea meatballs satisfies my cravings and doesn't leave me with a heavy feeling. —Sara Willen, Cypress, Texas


  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • Cooking spray


  1. Place first 8 ingredients in a food processor; add 1/3 cup bread crumbs. Process until combined (mixture will be soft). Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place remaining 2/3 cup bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Gently add balls, a few at a time, and toss to coat; shake off excess.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 375°. In batches, place balls in a single layer in greased air fryer; spritz with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown, 11-13 minutes. If desired, top with additional fresh torn basil leaves.
Chickpea Meatballs Tips

How can you make chickpea meatballs vegan?

To make these chickpea meatballs vegan, try substituting nutritional yeast or your favorite vegan cheese shaker for the Parmesan. Then, instead of using an egg as a binder, consider adding olive oil, or even tomato paste, for flavor and color.

What can you serve with chickpea meatballs?

Serve these chickpea meatballs in place of Italian-style meatballs in spaghetti or on top of pizza. Because they’re breaded, avoid adding them to liquid-heavy dishes such as soup.

Can you freeze chickpea meatballs?

Freeze your leftovers or an extra batch of meatballs in a well-sealed container for about 3 months. You don’t need to defrost them before reheating in the air-fryer, but they may need to cook for an additional minute or two.

Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Associate Recipe Editor/Test Cook

Nutrition Facts

4 balls: 252 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 562mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 11g protein.