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Walnut Balls

Most of my family members don't eat meat, so I've made these appetizers for special occasions ever since a friend shared the recipe with me. The moist bites and tangy sauce are always well received. —Bonnie Young, Desert Hot Springs, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups finely crushed reduced-sodium saltine crackers
  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup apricot spreadable fruit
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  • In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Stir in the crackers, walnuts and cheese. Coat hands with cooking spray; shape mixture into 1-in. balls. Place in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Pour over walnut balls. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°.
Nutrition Facts
4 pieces: 265 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 585mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • 7833louis
    Feb 4, 2019

    These are delish! I didn't have ketchup so used cocktail sauce thinking it was chili sauce. I also didn't have crackers so used the crumbs at the bottom of the tortilla chip bag. I think one can use just about any kind of jam. I used peach-apricot. I took them to a party. All thought they were made with meat. There were a few left at the end of the evening and the host asked if she could keep them! They were wonderful!

  • fnstlug
    Mar 22, 2018

    No comment left

  • hivester
    Feb 4, 2014

    OMG! These were so awesome! I brought them to a Super Bowl party and everyone loved them, and all were meat eaters! Even my pickiest friends went back for seconds. The texture and look is so much like meatballs, I almost fooled myself! You would never know this was vegetarian or delicious and easy to make. A must do!!

  • DonnaLouWho
    Jul 27, 2013

    OMG I fooled everyone. They thought I made meatballs with turkey. This is such a great recipe. The first time I made them gluten free with GF crackers and everybody loved them. The second time I made them regular and fooled some more meat eater friends... And I just looked it up again. I'm going to make a double batch and cook just the walnut balls without the sweet sauce and freeze some so I can grab some easily for recipes. My husband who is a real meat eater is requesting them. They are soooo good... Ya gotta make won't be sorry!!!

  • ndh823
    May 5, 2012

    Oops, I forgot to mention that in order to do "spaghetti and meatballs" with these as mentioned below, you make the balls and bake them WITHOUT the apricot barbecue sauce. Just follow the directions as they are, but don't prepare the apricot barbecue sauce. The walnut balls simply go in the oven without any sauce.

  • ndh823
    May 5, 2012

    Love these! I have made them for holiday gatherings and family events, and no one can tell they aren't meat! I eventually have to break the (good) news to those vegetarians so that they can enjoy them, too. Recently, I made a double batch. They freeze well and great heated with pasta sauce for "spaghetti and meatballs."

  • taji
    Sep 5, 2011

    I made these tonight and they were wonderful! I am a vegetarian and always looking for new recipes and I will definitely be making these again and again! :)

  • Trinodino
    Aug 19, 2009

    These are really good! You definitely don't miss the meat! I serve them over mashed potatoes for a main dish! Yummy!

  • Cathy
    Mar 2, 2006

    No comment left