Vegetarian Meatball Sliders with White Beans, Kale & Feta

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Vegetarian Mealball Sliders with Kale, White Beans & Feta-9127

I’ve been on a veggie burger kick for a long time now, so I decided to make some veggie meatballs to mix things up a little bit!  I know I probably shouldn’t be calling these “meatballs” since they don’t have any meat in them, but I thought veggieballs sounded a little strange!

A while ago, I saw a comment on another blogger’s vegetarian  meatball recipe asking why vegetarians needed meatballs.  In my mind, when I make things like veggie burgers and these meatless meatballs, I’m not necessarily trying to re-create the flavors or texture of the meat dish it might be based off of, rather my goal is to mix a bunch of delicious ingredients and flavors together and have something I can eat between two pieces of bread!

Vegetarian Mealball Sliders with Kale, White Beans & Feta-8786

I know I probably say this with each new veggie burger recipe I post, but I think this one really is my favorite!  These vegetarian meatball sliders are packed with brown rice, white beans, kale, feta and kalamata olives, which to me are some of the best flavors in the world. 

 If you aren’t a fan of olives you can always leave out the kalamatas, but I highly recommend them!  People seem to either absolutely love olive or completely despise them.  Is it bad that I loaded these with olives knowing full well that my husband can’t stand them?!  You can also make them vegan by omitting the feta cheese.  Either way, I don’t think you will be disappointed!  Not only do these go well as sliders, but you could also add them to some pasta or even enjoy them on their own with a little bit of tomato sauce.

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Vegetarian Meatball Sliders with White Beans, Kale & Feta

  • Yield: 8-10
  • Category: Entree, Gluten Free, Vegan Option


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups kale leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 cups white beans, cannellini or northern white beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, gluten free if necessary
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese – omit if making vegan
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon tried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 8-10 slider sized buns, gluten free if necessary


  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir for 3 minutes, until onion is softened. Add tomato paste and stir. Then add kale leaves and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until kale is wilted.
  2. In a large bowl add the brown rice, white beans, bread crumbs, feta, olives, kale mixture, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Mix until combined and then add mixture to a food processor. Blend for about 30 seconds until mixture is blended together, but still slightly chunky. Form mixture into balls, about palm sized, and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place meatballs into the pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. Pour tomato sauce over and stir.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees fierenheit. Place buns on a large sheet pan and toast in the oven until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Spoon meatballs and sauce onto buns and enjoy!


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Vegetarian Mealball Sliders with Kale, White Beans & Feta-9117

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  1. says

    I loved sliders before I became vegetarian so I am very excited for this recipe! There is something about mini foods that just make them more fun!! And I love that you worked delicious Mediterranean flavors into this recipe – I am absolutely olive obsessed! Have a great weekend!

    • She Likes Food says

      I agree, Ceara! I wish everything was mini! I’m so glad you are olive obsessed too! I just don’t understand it when people hate them :)

  2. says

    I’ll take the kalamata with a few extra on the side! I am a fan. They’re so good! These sliders sound/look fantastic. All the flavors you’ve included is pure Italian… so pass the meatball sliders please! Beautiful work, Izzy, always inspiring me! 😀

    • She Likes Food says

      Me too, Traci! I like to eat them with a fork for a snack! Thank you so much, Traci!! I hope you have a great weekend :)

  3. says

    I too, love food in small portions. So yummy. Meatballs, with you know “meat” haven’t been my strength in the past, but I’ll try again! Feta and olives, feels like a vacation to the Mediterranean.

    • She Likes Food says

      There is just something about small food that is so much better! I totally need a vacation to the Mediterranean right about now :)

  4. says

    My mom and sister would love these! They don’t eat meat, but the rest of the family does. So an easy dinner to make for all of us is burgers, meat for us veggie for them. But I love the idea of little meatballs!

    These pictures are really pretty too Isadora. Hope you have a good weekend : )

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you Natalie! I actually did another shoot with them and kinda hated all the pictures so I re-did it the next day! The life of a food blogger, haha! I hope your family loves these :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Sarah! I always try to get Eric to his his olives and he says they taste like salty vomit, haha! More for me I guess!

  5. says

    You couldn’t have said it better, vegetarians don’t meat, and many of us don’t like the texture of meat – so when we try to recreate a “meatloaf” doesn’t mean we want to fake out our tastesbuds! I just want something to sandwich two pieces of bread together!! Love these! Pinned :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Exactly! One of things I dislike about most meat is the texture, so I am definitely not going to try to re-create it, haha! But sandwiches are awesome and need something delicious to go in the middle :) Thanks so much for pinning!

    • She Likes Food says

      They are such a nice size that you don’t get too full, but you still get a good bite! I always eat a lot of them too!

  6. says

    I *love* these Isadora! I think they’re perfect for game day and I wish I could’ve included them in my Top 20 Appetizer recipes for the Super Bowl this year! Either way, I think they’d be great any time, and I love the fact they’re vegetarian! :-)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Kristi!! I’ve been eating them all week and I am also planning to make them again for the Super Bowl! I just can’t get enough :)

  7. says

    Oh, Isadora, I do that all the time – make things that I know the hubs won’t be all that wild about (guilty smirk). Personally, though, I love olives, and of course they’re a perfect match for the feta in these tasty-sounding ‘meatballs’.
    You can make these any time you fancy inviting me over for dinner 😉

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, does that mean we are bad wives?! Sometimes I don’t want to share! I’m so jealous of the fact that you probably get to eat high quality olives and feta all the time! Yes, Please come over for dinner! We will have an olive feast :)

  8. says

    I think we’ve discussed our mutual love for “cute” food before but these take the cake. Baby burgers! Ahhhh! I happen to have all of the ingredients in my kitchen––except the baby buns (totally going to buy some), so I’ll have to throw these into my rotation this weekend. Stunning photos, Izzy! Miss you and sending love xox

    • She Likes Food says

      Al!!! I was just thinking about you the other day and how much I missed you! Cute food is the best (remember cutecumbers?!) and I would be so happy if my diet only consisted of tiny foods! Maybe I need to figure out how to work that in! Love you!! xoxo

  9. says

    I love kalamata olives. The olives and feta must give these vegetarian meatballs an amazing flavor. They look gorgeous!

  10. says

    I love all your vegetarian meals and will definitely try these meat ball sliders soon! The fact that they are called meatballs, shouldn’t mean they should taste like mead! Great combination of flavors! Pinned :)

  11. says

    These are so cute! I am not a fan of olives, but Ben loves them! Have you seen that episode of How I Met Your Mother with the ‘olive theory’? Basically for a relationship to be compatible, one of you has to like olives and the other hates them. Anyway, these look delicious, and I love that you turned them into burgers!

    • She Likes Food says

      I do remember that episode, Denise! How funny! I feel like it always true too! Isn’t mini food the best?!

  12. says

    hahaha well I am with your husband in that I despise olives! I’ve tried them so many times and still just don’t care for them!

    But I love a good veggie burger or meatball! These look fantastic (without the olives for me! haha). And too funny – I have a veggie meatball recipe coming up soon!

    • She Likes Food says

      I’m excited to see your veggie meatball recipe! I’ve been craving more ever since I made these! I used to try to get my husband to try different kinds of olives, but I have just given up now! I guess more for me :)

  13. Faune says

    I wonder how they would go with some kind of Greek-type yogurt or tahini sauce?! They seem like they might go well, especially because of the feta and calamatas..

    • She Likes Food says

      Ohhh! I bet they would be really good with a greek yogurt or tahini sauce! I have a falafel salad coming up soon that I made a citrus tahini sauce for and I’ve been putting it on everything!

  14. says

    We are SUCH meatball-lovers in this house and I have a feeling that these little guys would go over very well here! I want these for the superbowl on Sunday! Love all that kale-feta goodness. :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Sarah! I’m imagining the awesome game day food spread that you will have at your house on Sunday and my mouth is already watering!

  15. says

    These sliders sound and look so tasty! I actually just posted a chickpea slider recipe myself… aren’t mini burgers just so cute and fun?!

    As a vegetarian, I do have to laugh when people talk about veggie products having meat names… I think it happens for lack of better term as you mention! My hubby tends to refer to things as “fake burgers” or “fake chicken” or “fake meatballs” hahaha


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