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Black Bean & Quinoa Balls w/ Spiralized Zucchini


By Honor Tremain

There's nothing like a towering plate of steaming hot spaghetti and meatballs! It's warm, comforting, delicious, and...let's face it, not very healthy for you. What if you could have all the hearty comfort of spaghetti and meatballs, and some serious nutrition to boot? 

These Black Bean and Quinoa balls, thanks to the overachiever superfood quinoa, are loaded with protein, fibre, and essential vitamins and nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, folate, and phosphorous, and a good amount of fatty acids. Add the protein-rich black beans, and the hefty health contribution of several vitamins, flavonoids, and plant polyphenols, from the lovely, fresh herbs, and you've got an incredibly tasty meal with a serious nutrition power punch. 

This filling, nourishing dish is perfect for a quiet evening in with family, or elegant enough for the main event, gathered around the table with good friends.

Article by Kara Parnell

Sources:, April 19, 2018, and, January 4, 2018

Servings: 4

Prep time: 00:30

Cook time: 00:55


  • 4 zucchini or 350 g/12 oz pasta
  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • 1 can of black beans
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup of buckwheat or quinoa flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast, divided
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1.5 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, rosemary)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, divided
  • ½ cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • A handful of fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt, pepper


  1. For the Black bean and Quinoa Balls: Add quinoa and one cup of water to a pot and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain any excess water and let cool a bit.
  2. Meanwhile, add black beans to a bowl and mash coarsely with a potato masher or a fork. Add quinoa, sesame seeds, buckwheat or quinoa flour, tomato paste, chilli flakes, nutritional yeast and spices, and mix together well. Use your hands to make it into a moldable dough.
  3. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls (about 22-25 total). Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake at 200°C for 35-40 minutes, or until crispy.
  5. For the Sun-dried tomato sauce: Place sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy.
  6. For the Pasta: Spiralize zucchini and place in a large bowl, or prepare your pasta according to package instructions.
  7. Assembly: Add sun-dried tomato sauce and cherry tomatoes to zucchini/pasta and mix well. To serve, top zucchini/pasta with 4-5 balls per serving and sprinkle with fresh basil.

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