Cevapcici are delicious sausages or meatballs from the Balkans and can be easily made vegan and gluten-free with chickpeas instead of meat! Besides chickpeas, my vegan cevapi recipe also contains soy-free sunflower mince and flavorful spices to ensure the perfect meaty consistency and best flavor! You can fry, grill, or bake them in the oven!
This vegan cevapcici is quickly prepared and makes a great main course along with Turkish bulgur salad and dairy-free tzatziki! The spicy chickpea sausages are completely meat-free, but perfect for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike!
You could even wrap this unbaked chickpea cevapcici in vegan puff pastry as I did with my cheesy asparagus puff pastry bundles. So you’ll have amazing vegan meat sausage rolls to enjoy as a finger food party snack!
What is cevapcici?
Ćevapčići is often called Ćevapi or kebab in the Balkans and is basically just simple grilled minced meat rolls. It is a well-known meat dish in Southeast Europe and the Near East, which is considered to be a national dish in Serbia, Croatia, Albania, and Bosnia. They can be fried, baked, or grilled, and they are as delicious in the vegan version!
Ingredients for vegan cevapcici
For my vegan Cevapcici recipe, you basically don’t need a lot of ingredients, even if the ingredient list may look quite long. Since we want flavorful meatballs that taste like the real deal, a couple of spices are a must here!
The 3 basic ingredients that are required as a meat substitute are only:
- Sunflower mince (or soya granules)
- Chickpeas (or black or kidney beans)
- Chickpea flour (or oat flour)
The rest of the ingredients are necessary for the spicy flavor, but you can also vary or even swap the spices to your wish. I use:
- onion and garlic
- soy sauce or tamari (if gluten-free)
- tomato paste
- paprika powder
- chili (optional)
- salt and pepper
- fresh parsley and coriander
- a squeeze of lemon juice
How to make Vegan Chickpea Sausages
Step 1: soak sunflower mince or soya granules
First, place the sunflower mince or soya granules in a bowl. Then pour the hot vegetable broth over it and allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Then transfer it to a fine-meshed sieve and squeeze out any excess liquid.
Step 2: sauté onions and garlic
While the vegan mince is soaking, you can fry the onion and garlic in a pan.
Step 3: Make the dough
Next, place the sautéed onions and garlic along with the soaked sunflower mince in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and all the other ingredients, including spices and herbs. Then process into a batter but do not purée, leaving a little texture.
Step 4: form into cevapcici, patties or meatballs
Now you can form the sunflower chickpea mixture into sausages or balls or patties, depending on what shape you like – just get creative! You can even prepare the mixture one day ahead and refrigerate overnight. This makes the dough firmer so it’ll be easier to form it into your desired vegan meatball shape.
Step 5: fry, bake, or grill the cevapcici!
I prefer to fry the vegan cevapcici in a pan with plenty of hot oil until golden brown. However, you can also brush the vegan minced meat rolls with oil and bake them in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. If you have a grill, feel free to grill the vegan sausages and serve at your next BBQ party!
My favorite way to enjoy this chickpea cevapcici is alongside Turkish bulgur salad (kisir), vegan tzatziki, and fresh vegetables. You can also serve them with my Mediterranean couscous chickpea salad and vegan feta, guacamole, cashew dip, or other side dishes and dips you like. They also taste amazing when stuffed in homemade tortillas as a kind of lahmacun wrap or with vegan naan bread as a kebab!
How to store and freeze chickpea sausages
Leftover vegan cevapcici or meatballs can be kept airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days. Then reheat them in the microwave, on the stove or in the oven until warm.
As already mentioned above, this recipe is also great for meal prep! Prepare the vegan cevapcici dough ahead, then cover airtight with cling foil and store it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. You can even form the dough into sausages, patties, or balls in advance, then cover and store the same way.
The uncooked vegan chickpea sausages or meatballs can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Simply put them in a freezer bag or airtight container, placing a piece of parchment paper between each cevapcici to prevent them from sticking. Then you can remove them individually and cook as instructed in the recipe box below.
This vegan cevapcici recipe is:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Easy to make
- Rich in fiber and protein
- Perfect as a side dish or for lunch, dinner or grilling
- So delicious!
More vegan recipes for summer or for grilling:
- Mediterranean couscous chickpea salad
- Mexican pasta salad
- Broccoli salad with yogurt dressing
- The best vegan burger
- Barbecue cauliflower wings
- Crispy cauliflower nuggets
- Vegan meatballs
- Vegan naan bread with garlic butter
- BBQ Jackfruit Tortillas Wraps
If you try this vegan cevapcici recipe, please leave me a comment on how you liked it! And if you take a photo of your chickpea sausages and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka so I don’t miss your post! Enjoy!
- 1 package sunflower mince 2.7 oz (76 g) or sub soya granules
- 1 ¼ cups hot vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil + more for frying
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1x14 oz can chickpeas 8.5 oz rinsed & drained, or sub beans
- ½ cup chickpea flour or oat flour
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, if gluten-free
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp paprika powder
- ½ tsp chili optional
- salt and pepper 1 tsp each, or to taste
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- a squeeze of lemon juice fresh
- *Note: See step-by-step pictures above!
- Place the sunflower mince in a bowl. Pour the hot vegetable broth over it and allow to soak for 5-10 minutes. Then transfer to a fine-meshed sieve and squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute, until fragrant.
- Place the chickpeas, sautéed onions and garlic, soaked sunflower mince, and all other ingredients, including spices and herbs in a food processor, and process into a dough (see photo above).
- Then form it into sausages, patties or balls, whatever shape you like.
- Now fry the cevapcici in a pan with plenty of hot oil until they're golden brown from all sides, about 8 minutes. Alternatively, brush the cevapcici with a little oil and bake in a preheated oven at 392°F/200°C top/bottom heat (356°F/180°C fan) until golden brown, about 25 minutes (flipping halfway through).
- I do not recommend trying the uncooked dough, as raw chickpea flour tastes very bitter. Once cooked it’ll lose the bitter taste and becomes very delicious!
- Please read my blog post for further information on this recipe, such as storage and freezing instructions as well as serving suggestions and more!
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