Baby Led Weaning Meatless Meatballs with Garlic Bread

Over the past 3 years, I have been cooking more and more vegetarian food for my family since my husband and 12 year old son are both non-meat-eaters. It’s slowly crept into my own life and I realised about a month ago that I haven’t eaten any meat now in almost 3 months!

Baby friendly vegetarian meatballs recipe safe for baby led weaning. These delicious meatless meatballs are a great way to get some extra protein and iron in your little ones diet

We had a brilliant conversation at the dinner table yesterday where my little boy Oscar (aged 5) announced that he no longer wants to eat meat any more and he wants to be like his big brother. He still loves his fish which makes him pescatarian but I think I am too! Eeeek! I’ve never put a label on food but I find my vegetarian and fish recipes do so much better than the meat ones, but I would love to know your thoughts. Would you be happy with more vegetarian food if there was an option for meat, fish or perhaps tofu or beans, lentils or chickpeas? It’s something I have been doing naturally for the past few months (unwillingly).

Easy vegetarian meatballs recipe safe for baby led weaning.

Baked chickpea meatless meatballs, super easy and quick kids food.

My daughter (17 years old) is a complete carnivore and she’s adamant she will never give up eating chicken or steak, so you will still see a few meat dishes (if you are a fully fledged meat eater don’t despair).

So enough chat and more about the Meatless meatballs!!! This is a recipe I have been working on for quite some time. They have fallen apart, dissolved into the sauce and crumbled, but today I cracked it! Voila! the most perfect, soft but deliciously, undry, meatballs EVER! 100% winner with the entire family, from the omnivore’s to carnivore alike.

Garlic bread makes a delicious side to this dish!

Start with a food processor, add all of the ingredients and blend to form a dough. You can use your hands to shape into meatballs but to be honest I think its quicker, easier and a whole lot cleaner to just use an ice cream scoop. These meatballs need to be baked in the oven to allow them to set before adding them to the sauce.

The sauce is super easy and took me less than 10 minutes from start to finish! You can also make it ahead of time and freeze to make life really, really easy on yourself. The simplest ingredients really do make the best dishes in life.

Simple ingredients makes the best food!

Easy vegetarian meatballs recipe safe for baby led weaning. Served with a side of garlic bread.

 Meatless Meatballs Easy vegetarian food for kids.  

All of the ingredients for this recipe can be found in your local Dunnes Stores. It is actually ones of the most inexpensive recipes ever and you will make it time and time again – just you wait and see.

For other delicious vegetarian recipes your kids will love, check out these links: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Curry, Healthy Sweet and Sour Tofu, Vegan Veggie Loaded Moroccan Stew

Meatless Meatballs Easy vegetarian meatballs recipe safe for baby led weaning.

      • PREP TIME
      • 15 minutes
      • COOK TIME
      • 25 minutes
      • TOTAL TIME
      • 40 minutes
      • SERVES
      • 2 adults and 2 children

What goes in...

  • Meatless Meatballs
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tins chickpeas
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 120g (1 + 1/2 cups) breadcrumbs
  • Pepper to season
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • Garlic Bread
  • 1 large ciabatta loaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sauce
  • Dash olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • To serve
  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan Cheese (leave out for smaller babies)

How to make it...

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
  3. Pour the oil and onion mixture into a food processor along with the chickpeas, herbs and breadcrumbs. Process for a few moments until the chickpeas have broken up and it starts to form into a dough-like mixture, then add in the eggs and pulse the machine a few times until it is completely mixed.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then use an ice cream scoop to divide the mixture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until the meatballs are firm to touch.
  6. To make the garlic bread, mix the butter with he garlic and thyme, then spread over the bread. Place onto a baking tray, cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sauce – gently heat up the oil, then fry the onions until soft, add in the garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant.
  8. Add the tinned tomato, tomato puree and vinegar, stir well and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce reduces.
  9. When the meatballs are cooked, add to the sauce and toss.
  10. To serve, sprinkle over a little parmesan cheese and tear some basil leaves.
  • HELPFUL TIP - Freezer Tip

    Make a double batch of meatless meatballs and store WITHOUT sauce in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months for an easy family dinner another day!