I rarely repeat recipes. It’s not that I don’t like to eat the same things over and over again, because I do. But there are too many new dishes to try, not enough meals in a day, days in a year. And I love eating leftovers, so typically cook in quantities that last us for lunches for a few days, which is almost the same thing as cooking a dish over and over again (right?). That’s not to say there aren’t things I make semi-regularly, but I like to do variations and generally switch things up.
But these chickpea pizza balls. So versatile, so pantry friendly, so delicious. I whipped them up originally to make meatball subs after baking some hoagie-style rolls. Then a couple weeks later I made them again and threw them on a pizza. I made them for a spaghetti and chickpea balls dinner. A bit after that I made them to stuff into some freshly baked pretzel rolls. If I want to eat them that regularly in a few months, maybe you will too.
They’re pretty easy. Toast some walnuts, rehydrate some bulgur, toss a bunch of stuff in the food processor, shape some balls, a quick trip through the oven, and voila. Little morsels of tasty. To get that perfect texture, where they hold together but still have a little chunkiness, the key is to hold back some of the chickpeas before processing, and process to get a nice, sticky, well ground texture from most of the mixture, before tossing in the last chickpeas, the vegan cheese (if using), and breadcrumbs (which you want to add last so they don’t absorb too much moisture before baking).
I have to admit, that while I love traditional basil pine nut pesto, since making this pepita pistachio arugula pesto, I’ve really been branching out in my green sauces. I love the peppery flavor of arugula, the earthiness of pepitas, and the sweetness of pistachios. It combines so well for a super flavorful pesto, and goes great on this pizza, as well as with whole grain pasta. I regret being a pesto traditionalist for way too many years, I missed out on so much!
Let me know if you make this pizza, or any of the components! We are pretty obsessed over here. And if you want more pizza inspiration, check out my other pizza recipes!
- I used Miyoko’s Kitchen cheese for this batch of pizzas, but you can use whatever you like or have access to
- I use bulgur in the chickpea ball recipe, but if you happen to have a different leftover grain in the fridge, feel free to substitute.
- If you want to have the chickpea balls gluten free, replace the bulgur with a wheat-free grain and use gluten free bread crumbs or omit them completely
- I like to make several pizzas when I decide to have pizza night, so I typically make enough dough for 3-5 pizzas. To reheat pizza, warm it on a dry skillet, covered, over medium heat. This helps recreate a steamy oven for it to property toast back up!
*longer baking time maybe necessary if using more pizza dough, or if oven temperature is lower. *Chickpea meatballs recipe makes 25 large or 65 mini chickpea balls.
Pepita Pistachio Arugula Pesto
Easy Pizza Sauce
To make the chickpea balls
To make the pesto
To make the easy pizza sauce
To assemble the pizza
*longer baking time maybe necessary if using more pizza dough, or if oven temperature is lower.
*Chickpea meatballs recipe makes 25 large or 65 mini chickpea balls.