Spaghetti and ‘Meatballs’ made with yellow split peas

vegan spaghetti and meatballs made with yellow split peas

Spaghetti and PULSES meatballs with a Mediterranean twist – scrumptious meatballs made with yellow split peas, herbs and spices made to satisfy those meaty cravings without breaking vegan. Perfect summer dish topped with tasty marinara sauce and a side of perfectly roasted veggies.


  • 18oz package of pasta (I used pasta made out of red lentils for gf option)
  • one jar of store-bought tomato sauce (My go-to brand is Engine 2)

For yellow split peas ‘meatballs’: 

  • 1 cup uncooked yellow split peas (207g)
  • 3 cups water (580g)
  • 23 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (4g)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic + onion powder (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (1g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (2g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder (1g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (1g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper depending on your spice tolerance
  • 1/4 cup of olives (I used a Mediterranean mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt (2g)
  • dash of black pepper 

for roasted veggies:

  • 1 to 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 to 2 zucchini
  • 1 to 2 yellow squash
  • veg broth or oil for coating
  • pinch of salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powder, thyme and rosemary.

optional spices:

  • a dash of dried parsley or dried basil to coat meatballs and pasta.


  1. Begin by preparing the pasta as directed on the packaging. Pasta will take 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
  2. Mince the fresh garlic and finely chop fresh onions. Cook over low/medium heat in oil or vegetable broth until transparent and fragrant. Set aside.
  3. Roast your choice of veggies: I like to use red bell peppers and zucchini for my pasta. Slice them up, coat them with vegetable broth or oil, add a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic + onion powder, thyme and rosemary and roast in an air fryer (using the vegetable pre-setting) or roast in your oven at 425f for 15 to 20 minutes (keep an eye on them to keep them from burning). Remove once roasted and set aside.
  4. To make meatballs: Begin by preparing yellow split peas. Place one cup of peas in a medium-sized pot and add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and continue to cook on a gentle simmer with a tilted lid on top. Cook until most water has been evaporated and peas are soft, but not mushy*. The peas will still have their shape (this is okay because we will be processing them in the food processor). This may take 25 – 30 minutes depending on the heat of your stove top.
  5. Allow split peas to cool down a bit and then transfer to food processor.
  6. Add cooked garlic and onions to food processor.
  7. Add spices and chopped olives to the mix in the food processor and combine until evenly mixed. You may have to add bits of water (I added 2 tablespoons) or use a spoon to help the machine go if the mix is too dry and won’t turn well.
  8. Using your hands, roll the processed mixture into bite sized ‘meatballs’. A half-cup of mixture will yield around 3 meatballs (which equals ONE serving of pulses).
  9. Preheat oven to 425F. Bake meatballs in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until outer texture is slightly golden-brown and crispy. Set meatballs aside.
  10. Once pasta is cooked and drained – add tomato sauce to the pot with the pasta and combine. I like to add a few extra spices to my pasta here such as extra salt, garlic and onion powder, and maybe a pinch of dried basil and parsley, but this is optional for you as your sauce may have enough flavor. You can add your roasted veggies to the pasta here and mix it all up, or serve it on the side if you prefer it separately. Pasta is ready to be served.
  11. Transfer meatballs to a pan and coat with 1/2 or 1 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle some dried parsley/basil on top. Let simmer gently over medium heat. Do this just for a few minutes and then transfer sauced meatballs to pasta bowl. This not only makes the meatballs look more aesthetically pleasing, but adds an extra level of flavor by coating them in yummy tomato sauce.
  12. Enjoy your Mediterranean pasta!


  • 1/2 cup of cooked yellow split peas makes 3 meatballs.
  • 3 meatballs = 1 serving
  • Will make a total of 15 meatballs. 
  • The recipe does call for a few different spices, most of which you probably already have in your pantry, but if you are missing 1 or 2 it won’t break the recipe. Feel free to add or remove whatever in order to personalize the recipe to your needs.

Keywords: spaghetti and meatballs, vegan, plantbased, pulses, yellow split peas,

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