Vegan Meatballs Recipe– this easy to make vegan recipe is SO GOOD and perfect for weeknight dinners. They can also be made ahead of time and frozen for later! The recipe provides options for frying OR baking these, so they’re super versatile and delicious!

vegetarian meatballs in a skillet with tomato sauce and sprinkled with vegan cheese and parsley

Oh HELLO Vegetarian meatballs of my dreams! This is a recipe that I’ve been meaning to work on for YEARS and I’m so excited how delicious this one turned out!

I wanted these to have a meaty texture while also being substantial and, of course, TASTY! These could be eaten with spaghetti or even on their own!

large plate filled with spaghetti that's topped with marinara sauce and 4 vegan meatballs and a sprinkle of parsley and vegan parmesan

I also love this recipe as a make ahead vegan meal. The meatballs could be made and frozen before cooking them. When ready to eat, simply leave them in the fridge overnight and then pan fry them (or bake) according to the recipe. They may end up requiring a little extra cook time if they’re still a little frozen in the middle.

Love the idea of making this vegan meatball recipe for new parents who need ALL of the easy freeze meals that they can get!

vegetarian meatballs in a skillet with tomato sauce and sprinkled with vegan cheese and parsley. vegan meatballs recipe

My hope is to start posting a lot more Italian inspired plant based recipes. I AM 1/2 Italian after all and there are SO so many dishes that I can’t wait to re-create. Really want to work on a good vegan lasagna! Lots of ideas bouncing around and I’m always open to suggestions.

But for now, let’s dive back into this vegan meatball recipe!

up close shot of vegetarian meatballs in a skillet with tomato sauce and sprinkled with vegan cheese and parsley. one with a bite taken out

Ingredients needed for this vegan meatball recipe:

These delicious homemade vegan meatballs are easy to make with simple ingredients. You’ll need:

  • Olive oil. A bit of oil is needed for sautéing the veggies.
  • Vegetables. We’re using white onion, cremini mushrooms and garlic to make this vegan meatball recipe plenty hearty, satisfying and packed with amazing flavor.
  • Rice, flour and breadcrumbs. This combination acts as a binder and holds the veggie meatballs together.
  • Seasonings. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper is the perfect blend of spices for wonderful flavor.

How to make vegan meatballs:

To make these meatballs, we’ll start out by sautéing the mushrooms, garlic, and onion until they’re soft. Those then get added into a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blended until everything is combined. Not going to lie- the mixture won’t look pretty (but who cares- it’ll end up delicious!!).

vegan meatballs ingredients in a stand mixer: breadcrumbs, rice, sauteed onion/ mushroom mixture, flour, spices

Roll the mixture into balls and set aside. When it comes to cooking the meatballs, you can either bake them OR pan fry them which is my preferred method. They only need about 12 minutes to cook until a nice crust forms on the outside and the meatballs turn a darker brown color. AND that’s it. So easy!

browned vegan meatballs in a black cast iron skillet. how to make vegan meatballs

Serving suggestions:

There are a ton of ways to serve these meatballs! I suggest making a double batch, so that you have extras for another meal.

  • Spaghetti. I like to keep things classic and eat these with spaghetti and a good spaghetti sauce. You could even serve them over zucchini noodles.
  • Subs. These meatballs make the best sub sandwiches! Add them to Italian rolls with marinara, top with mozzarella cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.
  • Pizza. Slice a couple of meatballs up and use them as a pizza topping. So good!
  • With sides. Another idea is to serve these meatballs with a couple of sides. They would be awesome with Peperoncini Garlic Bread or Parmesan Baked Asparagus.

Make-ahead healthy vegan meatballs:

These healthy vegan meatballs are perfect to meal prep ahead of time! Once you’ve made the meatball mixture, form the veggie meatballs and place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Cover them with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy them. You can make them 2 days in advance of when you plan to cook them.

Storing & freezing vegan meatballs:

Leftovers. Store leftover vegan meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can even store them in the sauce. Reheat meatballs and sauce over medium heat on the stovetop. Or you can warm them individually, or with the sauce, in the microwave in 30 second intervals.

Freezing. You can freeze these meatballs before or after baking. To freeze baked meatballs, place meatballs and sauce, for up to 3 months, in a freezer-safe container or bag. When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then reheat them in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.

To freeze before baking, make and form meatballs as instructed. Place each one on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for about 1 hour. This will keep them from sticking together when you place them altogether. Once frozen, transfer the meatballs to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and then cook them as instructed.

You guys are sure to love this vegan meatball recipe! It’s an easy recipe and these meatballs are full of flavor!

More vegan recipes you’ll love:

See how to make the Vegan Meatballs here:

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Easy Vegan Meatballs


  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 meatballs 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Easy Vegan Meatballs- these vegetarian meatballs are so simple to make and perfect for delicious weeknight meals!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, sliced or roughly chopped (we’ll be blending them later so size doesn’t matter)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice (I used basmati rice but brown rice or even another grain such as quinoa would work well)*
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the onion mixture to a food processor along with the rice, flour, bread crumbs, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Pulse until everything is combined and comes together.
  3. Form the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and set aside.
  4. TO FRY: In the same skillet pour in enough oil to fully cover the bottom of the skillet (I end up using about 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons of oil). Set over medium heat. Once hot, add in the meatballs so that they’re not overcrowded. Cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed so that skillet has a thin layer covering it.
  5. TO BAKE: Place the uncooked meatballs on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes.
  6. Serve with spaghetti or however you enjoy your meatballs :D

Notes

*I used brown rice in the video and having tried both a few times, I think that I prefer these with brown rice. It’s also ideal that the rice be fresh so that it’s stickier and has more moisture.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: italian, vegan, vegetarian meatballs, vegan dinner