Americans have wonderfully adapted many of other cuisines into some of their own classics. I have always been curious about many cuisines and have tried to make use of the best of it into my own cooking. This American adapted Italian Cuisine - Spaghetti with Meat balls has been further adapted by me for a healthy and vegetarian dish as Spaghetti with bean balls.

This is very versatile and can be used with varied combinations. I have used so many different twists to it and it remains unblemished! Among so many types out there, this is my version.

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • For the Bean Balls
  • 1 cup Black beans
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk/buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Italian style Bread crumbs with herbs and spices ( or plain bread crumbs would do too )
  • few springs of cilantro,chopped
  • 1 small onion,chopped into small pieces
  • 1-2 green chillies,chopped (as per req )
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp curry powder ( optional)
  • For the Gravy
  • 1 onion,chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of tomato puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato ketchup (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • Spaghetti as per req.
  • few springs of thyme (optional)

Soak the beans in cold water,after cleaning it,for at least 6-7 hrs. Cook it in a pressure cooker well.Soak the bread in milk for 2 min.


Once cooked,drain excess water if any.Dont throw it away. Now grind the beans in a processor, or mash it well and you can use the drained water in case needed here. Add chopped onions along with rest of the ingredients for making the bean balls.


The consistency should allow to make balls of it.If v thick use some of the drained water, otherwise use some cornflour to make it thicker. Make big balls and fry them till brown.

4. VARIATION : You can bake them to make it more healthy. It usually takes about 30-45 min for me in 350F Oven. This is more healthy and there is not that much of a difference in the taste. After making balls,brush them with little Olive oil and place them in a muffin tray or cookie sheet, whatever works for you. 4.Cook the spaghetti as per package instruction. Once done,heat a non stick with a little olive oil. Add the spaghetti,season a bit of salt and pepper. Toss well. Add some thyme and cilantro and toss them till mixed and then set aside.

In the same pan add onion,garlic,ginger and tomatoes and cook them till tomatoes get all soft and mushy.


Add tomato puree,ketchup and cook for a few more min. Then add milk and make into a gravy consistency. You can use the pasta water instead of plain.

Jus 5 min before serving add the balls into the gravy and then place the spaghetti in a plate and place the balls and gravy on top, or any way you choose. This is healthy and wholesome

You can use different ingredients for making balls, be it lots of vegetables, or indian cottage cheese ( paneer ) or jus bread. It works well with all. The bean balls also taste very good as a evening snack with some chutney.

Leave a Reply

I love to hear from you! I read each and every comment, and will get back as soon as I am able to.
Did you try this recipe? Please share your feedback!
Upload Your Recipe Photos

3 Member Reviews

By Swami on May 31, 2010

We(my family) were very skeptical when I started making this dish, but the outcome was mouth watering. I love the richness of this dish and going to try with different style of beans. We had little trouble with the bonding of bean balls as the onions started giving out  water, we used some corn starch to bond them together. Also we deep fried in one of the authentic south indian utensil called kuzhi panniyaram chatti, It takes very less oil and cooks quickly too.

By Apeksha on May 30, 2010

Used up some leftover Aloo ki sabji to make the balls, in addition to the beans and other ingredients. Really yummy!!

Also, I added some tabasco and herbs to the sauce.

I wish I'd made more sauce though. Since the recipe has no indication of the amt of spaghetti, my estimates went a bit wrong :(

Will surely make this dish again, with the right amt of spaghetti and sauce :)

Read All 3 Reviews →


By sukeerthi on Feb 19, 2014

its awesome and cool i have tried has a gr8 taste ,keep it up

By Javaria Shah on Feb 22, 2010

is it the same as Rajmah or red kidney beans?

No its actually not. But you can use kidney beans instead too :) --DK

By Kribha on Jan 29, 2008

I've always loved spaghetti and meatballs. But I've not tasted them before as it's made out of red meat. Your bean balls are a great alternative to that. I'm sure it must have tasted very good.

By DK on Jan 25, 2008

Thanks Asha! He he I already spammed ur comment section! :)

Try and update sudha gaaru :)

Ya sia! I did too! Thanks :)

Sure Rajitha, You are welcome anytime of the day:)

Sure Laavan :)

Thanks Vanamala:)

Thanks Lisa :)

Thanks Latha! I luv fusion too, lets us make use the best of all the worlds..:) do take your time.

Sure Siri, Your req my comman :-D

Am sure u will like to Bhags :)

Thanks Margot:)

Hey Cynth! My motto right now is to make sure I fill out not only ur fav but also your folders :-D My way of returning some of the huge ones you gave all of us

Hey thanks Dhivya! Nice to know another namesake :)

Am glad you like it Kaykat

Thanks a lot Johanna :) your beautiful comment put a smile on my lips :)

By Johanna on Jan 25, 2008

That looks delicious - I loved meatballs in spaghetti when I was little and I love vegetarian versions now - although I have done nut balls so I would like to try bean balls.

your blog is really helpful in giving some great vegetarian versions of traditional meat dishes - thanks!

By KayKat on Jan 25, 2008

This is a GREAT idea! I always wondered what I could substitute meatballs with, now I finally know!

Thanks, Dhivya!

By Dhivya on Jan 25, 2008


Very beautiful Photos!!!Your blog looks so good.I am a new Blogger ..Plz do encourage me

By Cynthia on Jan 25, 2008

Girl, you are filling up my bookmarks! this is a definite must-try! Keep cooking :)

By Coffee & Vanilla on Jan 25, 2008

Those bean balls look very tempting :)
Have a great weekend, Margot

By bhags on Jan 25, 2008

Sphagetti and bean balls a new combo, but seems very delicious....a must try list entry...:)

By Siri on Jan 24, 2008

wow, u are unbelievable Dhivi, Bean balls and sphagetti.. awesome.. would love to try :)) So, are u forwarding this to Legume Love Affair event?.. It wud be an awesome entry!

~ Siri

By Latha Narasimhan on Jan 24, 2008

Fusion leads to lot of new recipes! lovely dish! nice pictures as usual!:) I will bloghop regularly only after 3 weeks! take care!

By Lisa on Jan 24, 2008

I just love little balls of fried or baked goodness, be they grain, cheese or beaned based. I think I would include paneer, like you suggest, and bake them in the oven. Thanks for this unique recipe.

By Vanamala on Jan 24, 2008

Hey nice one !! will try it. Looks interesting.

By Laavanya on Jan 24, 2008

DK, this is just super! :) Love it and bookmarked to try. Will bake the bean balls though, esp. coz you say you've tried it and it works great.

By Rajitha on Jan 24, 2008

dhivya!! i would love to come for lunch and dinner to ur place!! u make such amazing food :)

By Sia on Jan 24, 2008

this is the 3rd black bean recipe i came across today. hatrick!!!
i loved the idea of bean balls. it was very cleaver of u to use it this way dhivya.

By Anonymous on Jan 24, 2008

Bean Balls..? :)

Looks Great ! i will try baked meat balls ;)


By Asha on Jan 23, 2008

Replaced the meat balls with bean balls!! Looks great and healthy too!:)
I have enabled the comments again! Unless you have spammed me, you could say hello!;D