I love a good Canapé at any time of the year, but I especially love to eat (and make) them over the Christmas & New Year period! For me a good canape is one I can make ahead of time, ready to bring out of the fridge or freezer & give a quick blast in a hot oven, or even bring along to a drinks with friends type thing. These Spicy 'n' Sweet Vegan Cranberry Bean Ball Canapés are perfect for this!
Yes you can get a bazillion weird things in pastry at this time of year, ready to heat & eat for party finger food, but with a little extra effort you can have something that is super tasty to eat, is vegan AND is gluten free! Yay! It also has bonus points for being able to made ahead & frozen or kept in the fridge, ready to deploy when guests come.
Now, I'm not for one minute suggesting you should make every single canape you bring out for your friends. I do think however, some of these, a good dip & a some olives (and maybe a vegan cheeze board- like this one) with maybe a prop or two of store bought snacks or canapes will be more satisfying to eat for everyone. The added bonus is if you DIY, you can ensure you have all dietary requirements covered!
I took these snacky bean balls along to some Christmas drinks that my friends were hosting, (just to check & see if they would go down well!) and they did! (Phew). I can't say the kids loved them, but if you wanted to make them more child friendly, I would omit the chilli. The adults however loved the slight hint of sweetness from the dried cranberries, along with the warming spices & (accidentally) chilli spiked tomato sauce.
If you want more Easy Vegan Party Canapes to inspire you for other snacks to make for your friends and family, we have a whole load of ideas over here.
Let us know if you make these delish Spicy 'n' Sweet Vegan Cranberry Bean Ball Canapés, or any of our other fun vegan party food ideas over the holiday season!
Spicy 'n' Sweet Vegan Cranberry Bean Ball Canapés
For the Spicy Bean Balls
- 800 g Kidney Beans drained (2x 400g tins)
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp dried cranberries finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 4 tsp ground linseed mixed with 3 teaspoons of water
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 400 g tin of chopped or crushed tomatoes 1 tin
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small chilli optional!
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, Pepper & a little sugar if needed
For the Spicy Bean Balls
- In a large frying pan, sweat the onion & garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil
- Add all the herbs & spices & let them sizzle to activate their flavours for a second
- Add the drained kidney beans & cranberries & cook for a few minutes until the beans start to fall apart a bit.
- With a masher or back of a fork, mash the beans to form a thick, chunky paste.
- Season with salt & pepper & let the mixture cool a bit.
- Mix the ground linseed with the water & allow to form a thick gel.
- Mix the linseed mix in with the kidney bean mixture (this is the binding agent!)
- Roll into walnut sized balls, then baste with some olive oil.
- At this stage you can either put the balls into the fridge, or into the freezer until ready to use them.
- When ready to cook, heat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 6
- Put the balls on an oven proof tray & cook for around 15 minutes (longer if from frozen) until slightly crisped on the outside.
For the Spiced Tomato Sauce
- Sweat the garlic in some olive oil & add the spices
- Add the tomatoes & cook down until reduced.
- Season with salt & pepper & if needed, add some sugar to taste.
- Let cool a little, then blend until smooth
- Serve the spicy bean balls on a platter with the sauce to dip it in.