Jackfruit Cafe’s Vegan Chickpea Meatball Recipe with Spicy Jerk Glaze

erk Meatballs 2 Cropped-2

The Jackfruit Cafe is a new Los Angeles vegan eatery centered around nourishing plant-based food for everyone. Our first location launched in 2017 in South LA, which is also referred to as “the hood.” Despite LA being “the mecca” of vegan food, this neighborhood doesn’t see many of those fantastic plant-based options. I wanted to provide the local community with healthy, plant-based fare by serving up affordable and delicious veganized comfort food. Think of soul-inspired dishes such as black-eyed peas, jerk-seasoned jackfruit, collard greens, and mac ‘n’ cheese. The Jackfruit Cafe is currently in transition to opening a new location in Santa Monica, so to satisfy your hunger while we move, please enjoy this hearty vegan chickpea meatball recipe, complete with a flavorful, fiery jerk glaze.


Jackfruit Cafe’s Vegan Chickpea Meatballs with Spicy Jerk Glaze


Chickpea Meatballs

2 – 15oz cans garbanzo beans (or 3 cups homecooked garbanzo beans, soaked at least 2 hours)
2 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
¼  teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1  green bell pepper, chopped
1  onion, chopped
2  tablespoons pine nuts
2 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons tamari
¼ cup water

Jerk Glaze

1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons all spice
¼ teaspoon scotch bonnet peppers
1 teaspoon tamari
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

jerk meatballs


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in large mixing bowl, then blend the mixture together in a food processor until the dough comes together (you may need to blend in several batches depending on the size of your food processor).
3. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
4. Scoop enough chickpea mix to roll a two-inch ball. Place the balls on the parchment-lined baking sheet 1/2 an inch apart. Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Prepare your jerk glaze. Whisk together all glaze ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
6. After 30 minutes remove meatballs from the oven and coat with a generous layer of your yummy jerk glaze.
7. Bake the glazed meatballs for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Let cool a few minutes before serving. Serve with remaining glaze for dipping.

Image Credit: Angela Means of the Jackfruit Cafe