cook at home/ Lunch box/ summer/ Vegetarian

Summer Veggie Balls in Tomatoes & Basil Sauce

Summer Veggie Balls in Tomatoes & Basil Sauce

Delicious and summery Veggie Balls. This can be a pretty accurate description of this recipe.

Homemade food or better say the process of making your own meal in the comfort of your home is something that I strongly believe in, and this is basically the main idea of my blog: to learn how to enjoy and prepare a delicious and simple meal with seasonal ingredients. And there are no excuses with this reach mid summer season 🙂

One of the main benefits of cooking the food at home is the nutritious factor which weights in the most when it comes to your health. And this is because you are in full control on what goes into your food.

The second main benefit which for me it’s also very important is the social factor. Food brings people together, and the process of making the food at home is an activity me and my husband cherish a lot, especially in the evenings, when we start prepare the dinner together, discussing the day that just ended.

I decided on this veggie balls for this dinner/lunch recipe as it reminds me a lot of my childhood, my mom was always making this dish (with meatballs instead) and I was the helper in the kitchen, preparing the ingredients and tasting for salt 🙂

Summer Veggie Balls in Tomatoes & Basil Sauce

A few days ago Reka from Holy Whisk Blog asked me to join her challenge and spread together the joy of cooking from scratch at home. I couldn’t be happier about this and I knew this recipe will definitely be a good point to start on.

I find myself eating considerably less meat during the summer days, as the heat gets more predominant, and most of my meal consist of salads, vegetarian dishes and fresh fruits. But I don’t consider myself being a vegetarian.

The “meat” base of this veggie balls are a good bunch of mushrooms, it can also a bit a nice mix of them, but I went for the classics and only used brown mushrooms.

You’ll probably consider the oats in the image a bit strange, but those are a good binder for the veggie balls and successfully replaced the bread crumbs addition. All you will need to do is to pulse a bit the rolled oats in a food processor until they resemble flour (coarse looking flour is good too).

Summer Veggie Balls in Tomatoes & Basil Sauce

The consistency of the veggie balls is a bit soft, but the more they will stay in the tomatoes and basil sauce, the better they will get.

You can easily pack them for lunch the next day or keep them in the fridge for several days. Those are best served with rice, steamed veggies or even toasted bread to dip in the tomatoes sauce.

I’ll leave you now with the recipe.

Drop me a comment if you try out the recipe and let me know your thoughts.



Summer Veggie Balls in Tomatoes & Basil Sauce

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By Cori Costache Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins

Delicious and summery Veggie Balls. This can be a pretty accurate summery of this recipe.


  • 450 gr mushrooms
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 medium sized onion or 2 scallions
  • 1 egg
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 75 gr rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 600 ml tomato juice
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • a few basil leaves
  • salt and pepper



Preheat a cast iron skillet on low-medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil.


Finely chop the mushrooms and the onion. Transfer them in the skillet and sauté them with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms and onions for about 10-15 minutes, or until you see that all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.


Grate the zucchini and squeeze all the liquid out with the help of a kitchen towel or cheese cloth.


Pulse the rolled oats in the food processor until those start to resemble flour (it's ok if it's also a bit coarse too)


Transfer the mushrooms and onion into a bowl and mix them with the zucchini, beaten egg, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 minced garlic, finely chopped parsley and the oats. If you notice the consistency of the veggie balls it's still too soft, add a bit more oats, but one tbsp at a time. Adjust the saltiness of the veggies.


Form the veggie balls and transfer them into the fridge until you prepare the tomatoes and basil sauce ( I got ~ 20 veggie balls).


Pour the tomato sauce into the skillet you cooked the mushrooms. Bring it to a boil on low heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, the remaining garlic clove and some of the basil leaves.


Let the sauce boil for 5-7 minutes, until all the flavours are combined and the garlic starts to soften. Set aside with a lid on, until you cook the veggie balls.


Into another larger pan heat the remaining olive oil and start cooking your veggie balls, for around 3-4 minutes on each side. They should easily become golden brown.


Transfer the veggie balls onto the tomatoes and basil sauce and bring again to a soft boil for another 5-7 minutes, until the veggie balls will be cooked through.


Turn off the heat and let them rest in the pan with the lid on for another 10-15 minutes, for all the flavours to combine.


Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh basil on top, with rice, salad or toasted bread.




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