Delicious Vegan Meatball Recipe
Who knew that meatless meatballs could taste so delicious? We did! Vegan meatballs are quickly becoming an excellent way for non-meat eaters to enjoy some of their favorite dishes, like spaghetti and meatballs. There are so many recipe variations out there that it can be difficult to find one that not only tastes good but is also good for you.
How Are Vegan Meatballs Made?
Vegan meatballs are made slightly differently than vegetarian meatballs. This is because they require ingredient variations.
The best way to make a vegan meatball is to be sure it’s firm but not tender. There is nothing less appetizing than a mushy meatball. This recipe is packed with flavor and is made from fresh ingredients. It also contains a healthy dose of protein and fiber, while still tasting delicious.
Vegan Meatball Variations
There are many different types of meatballs that you can make. This includes tofu meatballs, mushroom meatballs, chickpea meatballs, and black bean meatballs. Not to mention old fashioned, regular meatballs, as well. We’ve come a long way, baby!
If you are a mushroom lover, then these will quickly become a favorite. Mushroom meatballs get their base from finely chopped mushrooms. The texture of mushrooms makes them a very versatile food that can be used in many recipes. They have quickly become a favorite replacement for vegetarians and vegans alike.
Black Bean Meatballs
As seen in the recipe below, black beans make a great base for vegan meatballs. They are an easily adaptable food that can be enjoyed by many people with special dietary needs or preferences, including those on the Paleo Diet. Black beans are packed with protein and can easily create the base for a variety of delicious recipes.
Chickpeas are another favorite go-to food among both vegetarians and vegans. They do not overpower a recipe, but simply complement the flavor instead. They have a thick texture that makes them an excellent replacement for meat products and are so healthy that they are often used as part of a plant-based diet.
One of the most popular foods among those of us who choose not to eat animal products is tofu. It has provided a great alternative for vegans and vegetarians over the course of many years. Tofu can even be used as a cottage cheese substitute and blends deliciously with meatballs recipes.
Vegan Meatballs vs. Regular Meatballs
While there are some critical differences between vegan meatballs and regular meatballs, there is one very significant thing that they have in common. That is taste.
A “regular” meatball has a hamburger or beef base, while a vegan meatball can be made from a variety of alternative, non-animal product ingredients. Tofu is a great meat substitute. Chickpeas and black beans can also be excellent choices. All of these variations provide a tasty meatball that will allow you to eat in a way you can feel good about, without having to sacrifice flavor.
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Simple and Tasty Vegan Meatball Recipe
Finding a healthy meatball recipe is important to many of us, and this delicious vegan meatball recipe delivers. Once you give it a try, your friends and family will be requesting these vegan meatballs for years to come. The non-vegans in your life won’t be able to tell the difference. That is how delicious these are.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 15-ounce can of black beans
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup diced shallots
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 tsp fresh oregano (or 1 1/4 tsp dried oregano)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Step 2: Arrange black beans (rinsed and dried) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Beans should feel dry to the touch. Once they are finished, remove the beans and turn the heat up to 375°F (190°C) for the remaining ingredients.
Step 3: Pace a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is heated, add water, (or oil substitute) garlic, and shallots. Sauté until slightly softened, which should be in about 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently before removing from heat. You will need to keep the skillet close by for later use.
Step 4: In a food processor, combine black beans, garlic, shallots, sea salt, oregano, red pepper flake, and fennel (optional). Pulse these ingredients loosely, without overmixing.
Step 5: You will now need your cooked and cooled quinoa. Add the vegan parmesan cheese, tomato paste, fresh basil, fresh parsley, and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse everything until a textured dough forms, rather than a purée.
Step 6: Adjust the flavor as needed. Add more salt or red pepper flakes if you feel it needs it. Also, add more vegan parmesan cheese if it is too wet still, and pulse to combine. (If you like it spicier like us, you’ll want more red pepper flakes.)
Step 7: Scoop out approximately 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture to gently form the dough into meatballs.
Step 8: Place balls onto a plate and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
Step 9: Take your oven-safe skillet and place it over medium heat again. Once it heats up, add the meatballs to the skillet and sauté them for just a few minutes. Turn them on each side to create a slight crust.
Step 10: Transfer the meatballs in the skillet straight into the oven. Bake them for 20-30 minutes or until they are dry to the touch and golden brown on the edges.
Step 11: Remove the skillet from the oven and place it back on the burner over medium heat. Add some marinara to the pan and heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 12: Serve over pasta of your choice. If desired, add vegan parmesan cheese on top.
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Simple and Tasty Vegan Meatball Recipe