I love a good Canapé any time of the year, but especially love to eat (and make) them over the Christmas & New Year period! For me a good canapé 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, and they're also healthy and gluten-free!
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This bean ball recipe has two parts - the bean balls themselves and a spicy tomato sauce. Many of the essential ingredients are repeated across both. The ingredients are super simple and you'll likely have a lot in the kitchen cupboard anyway!
Kidney beans - full of protein and the main ingredient. Beans are so versatile, cheap and healthy. You can get tins/cans of beans or cook dried beans yourself. Check out our fabulous guide on the best vegan protein if you want more information on high protein vegan foods and yummy recipes.
Herbs and spices - these warming spices make the dish come alive! This bean ball recipe and tomato sauce use the herbs and spices cinnamon, oregano, chilli (optional - omit if you have fussy kids at the party!), cumin and smoked paprika.
Chopped/crushed tomatoes - for the tomato sauce. You can use tins/cans or blend up tomatoes yourself.
Dried cranberries - for that extra Christmas flavour and a sweetness to the dish. If you love cranberry in your Christmas dishes, then you'll love these Cranberry, Chestnut and Tofu Facon Brussel Sprouts.
Ground linseed/flaxseed - this makes a great egg replacement when mixed with water, which bind the bean balls. Linseed/flaxseed is also very healthy with lots of fibre and good fats. You can grind (same as blending!) your own, or buy them ready ground. We have a great guide to the best egg alternatives here.
The essentials - onions, garlic, salt and pepper!
This is an easy bean ball recipe, and also simple to make double or even triple if catering for a crowd. Here's how you do it:
For the bean ball part:
- Sweat the onion & garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil. Sauteé in water if doing this oil free.
- Add the herbs and spices, letting them cook for a minute to release their flavours.
- Add the cranberries and drained beans. Cook for a few minutes.
- Mash up the beans with a potato masher or fork. This should start to form a chunky paste.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, then leave the mixture to cool.
- Make the 'linseed/flaxseed egg' by mixing the ground linseed/flaxseed with the water. It will form a sort-of gel.
- Add this to the bean mix and combine well.
- Roll into walnut-sized balls. You'll get around 30 (depending on the size you roll).
- You can then put them in the fridge if you're making ahead of time, or put the straight in the oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.
Making the tomato sauce to go with the bean balls:
- Sweat the garlic and add your spices for a minute to let their flavours come out.
- Add the tomatoes and cook down so they're reduced to a thicker sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper. We suggest adding just a teaspoon of sugar to take away the acidic taste of the tomatoes. You can use a healthier sugar like coconut palm sugar.
- Let it cool. Then blend the sauce so it's nice and smooth. You could skip this step but I love a smooth sauce. I love my Magimix blender for this and anything else I need to process in the kitchen.
Yes! They will sit just fine in the fridge for a couple of days if you need to get all your food prep done.
Absolutely. While I haven't tried it out myself, they're a recipe I'm sure will be delicious air-fried.
Yes. You can freeze once cooked. My recommendation for the best taste would be to freeze them from uncooked, or freeze the mixture before you roll it into balls. Put in an airtight container. I love using glass tupperware which is more sustainable and better for health. I use these ones.
We have lots of other great entertaining and canapé recipes you'll love:
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! Comment below and share with your friends.
Spicy 'n' Sweet Vegan Cranberry Bean Ball Canapés
- Large frying pan
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the Spicy Bean Balls
- 480 g (1⅓ cups) kidney beans (drained (2 standard tins/cans))
- 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoon dried cranberries (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 4 teaspoon ground linseed/flaxseed (mixed with 3 teaspoons of water)
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Spicy Bean Balls
- In a large frying pan, sweat the onion & garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add all the herbs & spices & let them sizzle for a minute to activate their flavours.
- 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.
- Combine 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 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- 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.