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Appetizer, Entree, Vegetarian |257 calories per serving|125 minute recipe

Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce

This content was last updated on January 22, 2020

Veggie “meatballs” are one of the healthiest food trends today. They are savory little balls of beans, veggies and whole grains baked into golden perfection and served with a flavorful sauce. Plant-based dishes like this can be the star of your plate, taking the place of less healthful protein choices. In fact, eating a more plant-based diet is linked with a multitude of health benefits, including lower risk of cancer.


Sage White Bean Veggie Balls:
  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped in chunks
  • 1 small red onion, chopped in chunks
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 15.5-oz cans white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
  • non-stick cooking spray
Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce:
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 large mandarin orange, juice and zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 large pomegranate, seeded
Makes 10 servings (4 meatballs + 1/4 cup sauce each). Per serving: 257 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 43 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 117 mg sodium, 11 g sugar, 0 g added sugar.


  1. Using a food processor, finely shred or chop the sweet potato, onion, celery, mushrooms, hazelnuts, garlic and sage quickly, just until vegetables are chopped but not liquefied.
  2. Mix in mustard, celery salt, black pepper, soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, oats, and flax seeds. Season with salt as desired (optional). Transfer to bowl.
  3. Mash the drained beans with a potato masher until smooth, with chunks remaining. Add to vegetable mixture, combining well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  6. Shape mixture into about 40 golf ball-sized balls
  7. Place veggie balls on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Bake at 375 F for 55-60 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
  9. To make pomegranate mandarin sauce, whisk together pomegranate juice, mandarin orange juice, maple syrup, cardamom and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until bubbly and thickened. Stir in orange zest and pomegranate seeds and chill.
  10. Serve veggie balls with sauce.


When using a food processor the shredding attachment works best to shred or chop vegetables.

This recipe is by Sharon Palmer, RDN, The PlantPowered Dietitian. She is a Los Angeles-based, award-winning food and nutrition writer, plant-based food expert, and author of Plant-Powered for Life and The Plant-Powered Blog.

This recipe contains cancer fighting foods:

This recipe was specially crafted to support cancer prevention and survival. It adheres to AICR's Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Learn more about our recipe guidelines.

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