This vegan Mediterranean meatball bowls recipe is just wonderful and proof that you can enjoy the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits throughout the year, yes, even during winter.
Packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants this vegan Mediterranean diet recipe is perfect for dinner or lunch when you want to eat healthy.
And if you’re looking for healthy Mediterranean-inspired meal prep ideas for the week – well, there you go, put this high-protein vegan recipe on the list!
These healthy Mediterranean power bowls are made with vegan tzatziki, chickpea meatballs and easy cabbage slaw. Sounds like a lot, but once you’ve got the vegan meatballs prepared, it’s all pretty easy.
What’s In This Vegan Mediterranean Recipe
Mediterranean bowls are among my favorite healthy meals to make and more importantly – to eat for dinner or any time of day.
The fact that the Mediterranean diet comes with amazing health benefits doesn’t hurt, but what I truly love when it comes to Mediterranean recipes is their amazing taste. I adore the combination of Mediterranean flavors and the freshness of it all, it feels natural and good to be eating this way.
And what’s amazing about vegan power bowls like these Mediterranean meatball bowls is that you basically get to taste a variety of mini dishes, each flavorful on its own, put together in one meal. That’s my kind of eating.
Now here are the things that you’ll find in these Mediterranean-style vegan bowls:
- Spicy vegan meatballs. Made with canned chickpeas, paprika, crushed red pepper, onions, garlic and mint these plant-based meatballs are slightly spicy and super flavorful.
- Salad. Depending on the season when you’re making this meal, you can vary the salad with whatever is available. If you’re making Mediterranean bowls during summer, it makes sense to serve them with a fresh tomato cucumber salad. If you’re making the recipe during winter, enjoy the vegan meatballs with cabbage- or cauliflower-based salads like this red cabbage slaw.
- Vegan Tzatziki. Did you know you can make tzatziki, even when you’re vegan or dairy-free? Yes, it’s possible. It’s called soaked cashews and a bunch of other things and it tastes wonderful. I have a recipe right here.
- Olives. In my opinion, no Mediterranean diet recipe should be made without olives. Well, you can skip them if you need to be avoiding salt, but if you can afford to eat some olives – add them to the bowls.
And that’s all the components I have in these healthy plant-based Mediterranean meatball bowls.
How To Make Vegan Meatballs
Making these spicy chickpea “meatballs” is pretty easy, especially if you have a food processor, a blender or an immersion blender. To make the recipe I used an immersion blender. Here’s how it’s done:
- First drain, rinse and drain again the canned chickpeas. You want them clean like a teardrop.
- Peel and chop onion and some garlic, because you need them in the meatballs.
- Add the chickpeas to a bowl or food processor with some paprika, olive oil, crushed pepper, dried and fresh mint, onion and garlic.
- Now it’s time to get out that immersion blender and blend this mixture about 2/3 through. You do not want to make it super smooth, you want the chunks for texture.
- Make your hands wet or if you’re rich and famous and like bathing your hands in olive oil – make them oily and start shaping the vegan chickpea “meatballs”. See how we forgot to line a baking pan with parchment paper and to preheat the oven to 350F/180C? Go back in time and do that first, then do the olive oil bath. Use a tablespoon to grab from the chickpea mixture and roll it with your hands to shape the balls.
- Place the balls onto the baking sheet and bake for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Your chickpea meatballs are done and ready to mingle with the other ingredients in these vegan Mediterranean bowls.
How To Make Vegan Mediterranean Meatball Bowls
Now, if you thought that you can just sit there and rest on your laurels while the meatballs are baking, you’ll be disappointed. There’s some more work to do:
- Prepare the tzatziki. Again, use the time machine and go back in time to soak the raw cashews in hot water. They should stay in the hot water for about 20-30 minutes in order to get softer and double in size. Then blend them with garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and water until smooth. Add in some thinly chopped cucumber, if available and the tzatziki is ready!
- Make the red cabbage slaw. I keep mine pretty simple. It’s just red cabbage, garlic, carrots, parsley, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Here it’s really important to be nice to that cabbage and to massage it with your hands as well as possible. Red cabbage usually holds onto a lot of tension, that’s why it’s red and bitter. Once you massage it, the cabbage will relax and become sweet and delicious. It’s SCIENCE. You can, of course, make the tomato cucumber salad instead, in that case, there’s no need to give out massages for free.
- Arrange the bowls. Now that we’ve got everything and are too tired to eat or smile, let’s put it all together on a plate or a bowl. I usually start with the salad, then the tzatziki, meatballs and some olives.
- Finally, it’s time to dig in!
How To Meal Prep This Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipe
This vegan Mediterranean recipe is great for meal prep and it’s a great choice for winter too! Here’s how to meal prep these bowls:
- Make the chickpea balls
- Prepare the tzatziki
- Chop the ingredients for the red cabbage slaw or the tomato cucumber salad without adding dressing (use whole cherry tomatoes too).
- I like to store each little dish separately in order to heat up the meatballs in the oven when it’s time to eat.
- When it’s time to eat, dress the salad, arrange the bowls and enjoy!
This plant-based Mediterranean dish is great for dinner throughout the week and it’s pretty versatile too. Once you’ve prepared the individual parts, you can use them in other vegan recipes like these Mediterranean chickpea wraps or these healthy roasted vegetable lunch bowls.
Other Tasty Additions
Now, if you’re looking to diversify these vegan Mediterranean bowls even more, here are some tasty ideas to try:
- Add hummus. You can prepare it yourself or buy it ready-made.
- Roasted vegetables. Go with the seasons. If it’s winter roast some cauliflower, carrots and sweet potatoes, if it’s summer – pan-roast or grill some zucchini and peppers with garlic.
- Other salads. If you’ve got a favorite vegan side dish salad that you’d like to use – add it instead of the cabbage slaw or the tomato cucumber salad.
More Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Recipes
I hope you enjoy this delicious healthy plant-based Mediterranean diet recipe for dinner or whenever you decide to have it. And if you want even more healthy vegan Mediterranean-inspired dinner ideas, check out these recipes below:
Vegan Mediterranean Meatball Bowls
This vegan Mediterranean meatball bowls recipe is proof that you can enjoy the Mediterranean diet throughout the year, even during winter. Packed with flavor, fiber, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants this high-protein vegan Mediterranean diet recipe is perfect for dinner or lunch when you want to eat healthy.
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas, about 2 cups
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 3 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp hot paprika or crushed red pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- red cabbage slaw
- or tomato cucumber salad
- Drain, rinse and drain again the canned chickpeas. Peel and chop onion and garlic, wash the mint and remove the stems.
- Soak the cashews for the tzatziki in hot water for about 20 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, garlic, onion, fresh mint, dried mint, paprika, crushed red pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor or use a bowl and an immersion blender. Mash the chickpeas about 2/3 through, leaving the mixture slightly chunky.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C while you're shaping the meatballs. To do so, grab some of the chickpea mixture using a tablespoon and shape balls. This process will be easier if you wet or grease your hands to prevent the chickpea mixture from sticking to your skin. Place balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the chickpea meatballs are baking you can make the tzatziki sauce by blending cashews with lemon juice, salt, garlic, fresh dill and black pepper. For full instructions, follow this recipe.
- Next, make a seasonal salad. You can either make the bowls using a cabbage slaw when seasons are colder (as pictured) or a tomato cucumber salad like this one.
- Once you've got it all done and the meatballs are ready - arrange bowls with some salad, tzatziki, vegan meatballs and olives.
- Enjoy immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 9g