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The Oat Project Recipes

For our second family based recipe for Mornflake’s The Oat Project, we made black bean balls & homemade tomato sauce. We decided to make a vegan black bean-ball to go with a vegetable filled tomato sauce. It’s a delicious alternative to meatballs and with all the extra veggies in the tomato sauce, it is a great way to add more vegetables to a dinner plate.

The black bean balls and the tomato sauce freeze well – we often make a double batch to freeze and then take them out on days when we know tea time logistics are going to be interesting.

We hope you enjoy the recipe for black bean balls & homemade tomato sauce if you like a bit more of a kick to the veggie black bean balls then add another tbsp. of Worcester sauce. And for a spicer tomato sauce add a few chilli flakes and don’t forget the longer you can cook a tomatoes sauce for the better it will taste.

You can also view a slightly entertaining video of Sarah and I making the black bean balls and homemade tomato sauce recipe – at the end of this post.

Black Bean Balls & homemade tomato sauce


250g mushrooms
1 x 400g tin black beans, drained
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
120g medium oatmeal
2 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp mixed herbs
1 to 2 tbsp of Worcester sauce (Gluten Free & Vegan)
Salt & pepper
Rapeseed oil

Tomato Sauce
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
1 red pepper
Rapeseed oil
400 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp apple balsamic vinegar
80g tomato puree
2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil


Preheat oven to 180 fan.

To make the sauce, peel and finely chop the onions and garlic.  Add some oil to a large saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. While the onions are cooking, peel and finely dice the carrots and pepper, before adding to the pan.

Add the tomato puree and stir for 1 minute. Add the oregano, bay leaf and stock. Stir well, tip in the tomatoes, stir and add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring, then reduce to a low heat and place the lid over the pan. Cook for a minimum of 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, the longer you can cook the sauce for the better the flavour.

To make the veggie black bean balls, roughly slice the onion and garlic and add to a food processor – pulse until finely minced.  Place a small frying pan on the hob, add a glug of oil and heat, add the onion and garlic mixture and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Add the mushrooms, black beans, tomato puree, mixed herbs along with the Worcestershire sauce to the food processor and roughly pulse. Add the cooled onion and garlic back to the food processor and pulse until minced. Spoon the mix into a mixing bowl, then tip in the oatmeal and season with salt and pepper, stir until combined.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Take a small handful of the mix and roll gently in your hands then place on the baking tray, repeat until you have used all the mix, it should make around 25 balls.

Heat a medium frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and carefully place the balls (you’ll have to do this in batches) in the frying pan, cooking for 3 minutes on each side, then return to the baking tray.

Once all the veggie black bean balls have been pan-fried, place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then turn the balls and cook for a further 5 minutes.