Vegan Meatballs

Vegan Meatballs

1 Review
From:, March 2019

For these hearty and healthy vegan meatballs, we've swapped out the traditional ground beef and pork for protein-packed chickpeas and quinoa—without skimping on any of those Italian flavors that you look for in a classic meatball. Mushrooms up the umami factor, and a simple tomato sauce completes the picture. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2½ cups small cauliflower florets
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, halved
  • ½ small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 (28 ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Pulse cauliflower, mushrooms, onion and 1 garlic clove in a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 pulses. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower mixture, ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas to the food processor; puree until smooth. Add the chickpea mixture to the large bowl along with quinoa and tamari (or soy sauce); stir to combine. Form the mixture into 24 balls (about 2½ tablespoons each) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake the meatballs until heated through and firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining garlic clove. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, crushed red pepper and the remaining ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the flavors have melded, about 5 minutes. Serve the meatballs with the sauce, sprinkled with basil.
  • To make ahead: The sauce can be made 3 days ahead and the meatballs can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate separately.
  • Learn more about how to make these vegan meatballs.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 4 meatballs & ½ cup sauce
  • Per serving: 394 calories; 17 g fat(2 g sat); 10 g fiber; 46 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 102 mcg folate; 0 cholesterol; 12 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,865 IU vitamin A; 47 mg vitamin C; 59 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 434 mg sodium; 1,272 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (78% daily value), Vitamin A (37% dv), Iron (33% dv), Folate (26% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3½ vegetable, 3 fat, 2 starch, ½ lean protein

Reviews 1

March 29, 2019
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By: Pamela
I made this exactly as described, the flavor was amazing !! They were easily shaped into meatballs but the problem was after they were baked they crumbled when touched. I will freeze half and see if that helps and the remainder I will crumble and use in tacos and spaghetti sauce. Since I'm not vegan I will use a couple eggs and some gluten free panko in the next batch to see if they will remain "meatballs". Yes, I will make again!
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