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vegan harissa meatballs closeup with yogurt cilantro sauce

Vegan Harissa Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Vaishali · Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes
These spicy vegan Harissa Meatballs with a cooling but dashingly flavorful Cilantro Yogurt Sauce are the perfect snack or appetizer. And they are, of course, great for you. Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer/snack
Cuisine gluten-free, Moroccan fusion, nut-free, Soy-free, Vegan
Servings 6 servings (24 meatballs)
Calories 346 kcal


For harissa sauce:

For the harissa meatballs:

  • 16 oz chickpeas (canned or cooked. Or use pinto beans or red kidney beans or any bean)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 heaping tbsp harissa sauce (Use more or less based on your taste. Recipe on my diy spice mixes page linked here)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley (finely minced)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or use cooking spray to coat the bottom of the skillet. You won't get the same golden crust, but they'll be nice)

For the cilantro yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup vegan cashew yogurt
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (finely minced)
  • 1 green chile pepper (like serrano, finely minced. Deseed and use less if very sensitive to heat)
  • Zest of 1 lemon (I don't use the juice if the yogurt is really tangy because the zest adds enough lemony flavor. But if your yogurt isn't tangy, add some juice too)
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of extra virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)


Make the harissa sauce:

  • Soak the chile peppers in water for 30 minutes.
    Place the cumin and coriander seeds in a skillet and toast until they start to change color and are really fragrant.
  • Place the drained peppers in a blender with the garlic and toasted coriander and cumin seeds and process into a fine paste. Use the chile soaking water, a little at a time, to keep the blades moving.

Make the meatballs:

  • Place the oats in the food processor. Pulse 3-4 times until broken into tiny bits but not a powder. Then add in the chickpeas and other ingredients and continue to pulse until everything has broken down into small bits. The mixture should come together when you ball it up, but if it's still too dry add a tiny bit of water of vegetable stock, a little at a time, until it does. If you just made the harissa, you can use the soaking water of the chiles for this too)
  • Shape the mixture into 24 meatballs.
  • Heat a cast iron or nonstick skillet with the oil in it. If using cooking spray, spray the bottom of the skillet to coat.
  • Place the meatballs in the skillet, taking care not to crowd (do in batches if your skillet is small). Cook, turning the meatballs over until they have a nice, golden-brown crust on all sides.

Make the cilantro yogurt sauce:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If using olive oil, add a dash of it to the top before serving. I like the olive oil because it adds a nice mellowness to the tangy sauce.


Serving: 4meatballs with yogurt sauceCalories: 346kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 13gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 16mgPotassium: 608mgFiber: 10gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 726IUVitamin C: 90mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 6mg
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