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Golden Beet Veggie Balls with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema (Vegan)

Sharon Palmer

Holiday cooking doesn’t have to focus on decadent casseroles, pounds of meat, and indulgent desserts. You can boost the delicious, health potential of holiday meals with more plant foods, such as whole grains, beans, and seasonal vegetables. After all, some of the most delicious items on the holiday table—green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and stuffing—area all about plants. If you’re trying to shine the light on plant foods this holiday, try making a plant-based entrée alternative. One of my favorite options is veggie “meatballs”—savory little balls filled with the goodness of beans, grains, vegetables, and herbs. These crispy Golden Beet Veggie Balls are filled with the earthy, holiday flavors of golden beets, white beans, sage, and hazelnuts. Serve them with this easy, plant-based almond crema dip flavored with cranberries and sage. These veggie balls make the perfect party appetizer, holiday entrée, or comfort. Just watch meat-eaters and plant-eaters alike gobble them up in no time.

Crispy, savory veggie balls star golden beets, mushrooms, and hazelnuts.
This recipe is filled with fresh golden beets—a heirloom variety of beets with a sunny yellow shade—which can be shredded quickly in a food processor.
Chill the veggie-ball mixture to thicken it before shaping it into balls.
Bake veggie-balls until crisp and golden.
This plant-based Almond Sage Cranberry Crema can be whipped up easily with soaked almonds, lemon juice, and seasonings.

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Golden Beet Veggie Balls with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema (Vegan)

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings (about 2 ½ tablespoons each) 1x


These plant-based Golden Beet Veggie Balls with Almond Sage Crema make the perfect party appetizer, holiday entrée, or comfort food dish.



Veggie Balls:

  • 1 bunch fresh golden beets (about 5)
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed drained (about 1 ¾ cups)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (may use gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Almond Sage Cranberry Crema

  • 1 cup peeled, slivered almonds
  • 46 tablespoons plain, unsweetened plant milk (i.e. soy, almond)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • Sea salt (to taste, optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped sage leaves
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries


To make Veggie Balls:

  1. Trim beets and scrub outside surface, leaving peels on. Shred beets with food processor or box grater.
  2. Place beans in a large mixing bowl and mash slightly with a potato masher to achieve a thick mixture with some lumps.
  3. Add beets, onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, hazelnuts, flax seeds, breadcrumbs, sage, tarragon, thyme, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Toss together well.
  4. Mix in soy sauce, tahini, and lemon juice—using hands to combine mixture well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).
  6. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Form 24 golf ball-sized balls out of the mixture and place evenly on baking sheet.
  8. Bake veggie balls in top rack of oven for about 40 – 45 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Serve with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema.
  10. Makes 8 servings (3 veggie balls each)

To Make Almond Sage Cranberry Crema

  1. Soak almonds in water for 2 hours (or overnight).
  2. Drain water and place soaked almonds in the container of a blender or food processor.
  3. Add 4 tablespoons plant milk, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, and ground sage and process to make a thick, creamy dip. If too thick, may add 1-2 tablespoons plant milk as needed to create desired texture.
  4. Transfer crema to a dish and stir in fresh sage, cranberries, and salt if desired. May garnish with additional freshly ground black pepper and fresh sage. Makes 8 servings (about 2 ½ tablespoons each)
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 1/2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 312
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 236 mg
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 12 g
  • Protein: 13 g

Keywords: vegan veggie balls, veggie balls, vegan entree

For other plant-based holiday recipes, check out some of my favorites:

Cranberry Apple Leek Stuffing
Oat Cranberry Pilaf with Pistachios
Broccoli Walnut Au Gratin

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