Did you know that March 9th is National Meatball Day? We’re pretty excited because nothing comes close to a big plate of spaghetti and veggie meatballs for dinner. Although we tend to associate meatballs with Italian dishes, they are actually much older than that. Some of the earliest known Arabic cookbooks contained recipes for orange-sized meatballs seasoned with saffron. Both ancient Chinese and ancient Roman culture had dishes that would be considered meatballs by many today, too.
Luckily, meatballs are one of the easiest things to make vegan. They can be made from beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, and all kinds of vegetables. To learn about how to perfect the art of making veggie meatballs, read How to Make All Kinds of Vegan Meatballs.
To see what we did last year for National Meatball Day, see 10 Incredible Ways to Make Veggie Meatballs. Then, get ready, because we have 15 more meat-free veggie meatball recipes for you to try. You’re welcome.
These Eggplant Meatballs are a must-make whenever you need to impress a crowd — or just your own taste buds. These meatless meatballs are a hearty and savory flavor explosion of spice and texture. Plus, they are oil-free and low in fat, they are also packed with protein from the chickpeas and tempeh.
Don’t throw away those broccoli stems! Combat food waste by turning them into veggie noodles and making this recipe instead! These broccoli stem noodles are tossed in an umami miso dressing, then served with Asian Black Bean Balls that have been glazed with an Asian-inspired sauce. If you haven’t used the broccoli florets, serve it with those or just serve with your favorite veggies.
These Easy Potato Lentil Meatballs are the perfect way to utilize leftover mashed potatoes and are perfect for getting in that extra plant-based protein. If you can add mashed potato to something and somehow make meatballs, then it must be good! Made from lentils, savory spices, and potato, they bake up crispy, crunchy, and golden on the outside but soft and flavorful on the inside. Serve with your favorite pasta or try it out in a spaghetti squash bowl!
Kofta is a dish found in South Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Central Asian cuisine that consists of meatballs in a thick sauce or gravy. In this Baked Mushroom Spinach Kofta Curry, the kofta is made from spinach and mushroom and the sauce is a thick tomato gravy with a touch of coconut cream, red chili powder, and garam masala. Deliciously fragrant and satisfying!
If you’ve ever had meatballs made from seitan, textured vegetable protein, or even tofu, you know that it’s possible to make delicious meatless meatballs. But did you know, you can make meaty and hearty meatballs from legumes, grains, and nuts? It’s true! Just try these Lentil, Walnut, and Millet Meatballs — they’re savory, crisp on the outside, but tender on the inside. Toss these meatballs on a blanket of spinach leaves and brown rice pasta, add some cashew cheese if your heart desires it, and dig in.
Making the perfect veggie meatball is an art and the secret is seasoning. These Swedish Mushroom Meatballs are blended with chickpeas, fragrant onions, garlic, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, Sriracha, savory liquid aminos, and a few other spices. After being formed and baked until crispy, these meatballs are tossed in a creamy cashew sauce which tastes amazing over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.
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Beets are truly one of the most under-appreciated vegetables. They are nutrient-rich, provide a mesmerizing color to whichever dish you add them to, and are extremely versatile. For these Lentil and Beet Meatballs, the crimson vegetable, along with red lentils, onions, spices, and bread crumbs, are formed into veggie meatballs. Place them atop a bed of hot spaghetti and just like that, you have a simple yet hearty dinner.
Vegetables Manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made from vegetable meatballs dipped in cornflour and then deep-fried and served in gravy. In this recipe, they’re fried, rather than deep-fried with a thick, flavorful gravy spiced with ginger, garlic, and chilis. Serve this favorite dish with a side of fried rice.
Walnuts, Baby Bella mushrooms, savory spices, and fresh parsley are mixed with fresh bread crumbs to create these amazing meatballs. If that wasn’t good enough, they’re stuffed into a toasted roll with balsamic-glazed vegetables.These Walnut Portobello Meatball Subs come together in about 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for a weeknight, weekend, or whenever dinner. You could easily bake up a batch over the weekend and reheat throughout the week. They would be perfect with pasta or on a pizza.
We have a feeling this recipe for Zucchini Noodles With Spicy Lentil Balls is going to become one of your favorites! Crisp raw zucchini is twirled into fresh vegetable noodles, topped with your favorite tomato sauce, and delightful spicy lentil balls. For some added zing and healthy fat, drizzle the whole bowl with reserved sun-dried tomato oil.
These Kale Tofu Balls are a nice change-up from the usual veggie balls. They’re light in color and flavor but are a filling addition to pasta. Nutritional yeast and panko flakes give them a unique texture and subtle cheesy tones.
This recipe for Harissa Lentil Quinoa Meatballs is a keeper! Hearty, spicy, smoky veggie meatballs with a ton of high-quality plant protein. Each bite of these has a rich variety of flavor, from spicy harissa to nutty tahini. Use these to make a hearty sub, to top a bowl of spaghetti, or add some depth to a salad.
On a budget? This quick and easy recipe for Refried Beanballs is packed with flavor, but it won’t break the bank. Pasta is tossed with tomato sauce, spinach, and crispy beanballs seasoned with Italian flavor.
Trade meatballs in for something a little more wholesome (but just as filling) like these Cheesy Quinoa Meatballs. Fluffy quinoa is rolled in flax seed, diced onion, garlic, herbs, and shredded vegan mozzarella, and then baked in the oven until brown. Serve on top of salad, in a sub, or with marinara and pasta.
These Lentil Carrot Meatballs are an energizing and nourishing addition to any meal. Made with savory brown lentils, tender carrots, sweet potatoes, juicy cherry tomatoes, and walnuts, these meatballs are supremely satisfying. Serve them with a generous pour of tomato sauce and some pine nuts and parsley for garnish.
Is your stomach rumbling yet? For more ideas and inspiration, see our vegan veggie meatball recipes page.
Lead image source: Swedish Mushroom Meatballs