March 9th is National Meatball Day and we are so excited. We love meatballs because they elicit all kinds of good feelings – big plates of spaghetti, yummy sauces, Lady and the Tramp… When it comes to meatless meatballs, there are so many ways to go about making them. Just like there are 10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat and 10 Vegetables You Can Make Burgers With, there are all kinds of ways to make mouthwatering, savory meatballs. You can use tofu, tempeh, seitan, and textured vegetable protein. Or, you can stick with veggies and make them out of eggplant, mushrooms, or cauliflower. In the same way beans and legumes make great veggie burgers, they also make awesome meatballs. Learn How to Make Lentil Meatballs, and if you need more tips on making great meatless balls that will hold together, read How to Make All Kinds of Vegan Meatballs. Besides the main ingredient, your veggie meatballs can be traditional, or filled with exotic global flavors. Eat them on a plate of pasta, in a sandwich, or as part of an ethnic feast. To show you just how versatile they can be, here are 10 completely different ways to make incredibly delicious veggie meatballs.
1. Manchurian Black Bean Balls in a Savory Gravy Sauce
Give meatballs an Asian twist with these Manchurian Black Bean Balls in a Savory Gravy Sauce. These black bean balls have a mixture of lightly seasoned black beans, carrot, and crunchy cabbage. They’re served in a savory sauce that’s made by sautéing a mixture of fresh and flavorful vegetables with ginger, garlic, and freshly ground black pepper to uplift the flavor. This simple dish is perfect for families, where it’s sure to be a hit with everyone, especially when served with a side of fresh brown rice.
2. Swedish Meatballs with Lentils and Black Rice
You don’t have to go furniture shopping to enjoy these Swedish Meatballs with Lentils and Black Rice. Serving these with the right sides, like potato mash, red cabbage relish, and plenty of gravy brings out the best of their flavor and texture. They’re a real traditional Swedish treat that’s perfect for dinner. Plus, the recipe instructions are great for beginner cooks!
3. Seitan Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce
If you’re craving a traditional plate of spaghetti and meatballs, you must make these Seitan Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce. Seitan gives the meatballs a “meaty” flavor and texture, while the homemade tomato sauce is perfect for ladling over a ginormous plate of spaghetti. Your cravings will be satisfied with this classic Italian dish with a makeover.
4. Quinoa Meatball Tagine
Come with us to the Casbah and enjoy the Moroccan flavors of this Quinoa Meatball Tagine. The meatballs are filled with the exotic flavors of apricots, nuts, cinnamon, garlic, chili, coriander, and paprika. The rich tomato sauce only serves to intensify the flavors. This is a beautiful whole food recipe with all of the delicious flavors of North Africa.
5. Pumpkin Seed Cannellini Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti
This Pumpkin Seed Cannellini Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti is a really delicious meal. Raw zucchini spaghetti is tossed in a flavorful, homemade tomato sauce. The real stars of the show, however, are the vegan meatballs made with pumpkin seeds, and cannellini beans. You can feel good about having seconds of this raw, whole foods meal.
6. Mozzarella Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs
These Mozzarella-Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs give you a pleasant surprise in every bite. They’re crispy on the outside and inside the eggplant is so creamy and flavorful. When you bite into one, you get the ooey-gooey surprise of vegan mozzarella. It’s like having eggplant parmigiana in a meatball!
7. Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs
When you want to spice things up, serve these Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs. These little tempeh meatballs are moist and flavorful, and they’re very easy to make. Then, they get tossed in a hot, spicy Buffalo marinara sauce. Serve them with celery and carrot sticks and vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing for the total Buffalo experience.
8. Pesto Pappardelle with Artichoke Chickpea Meatballs
Light, yet deeply flavored, these Artichoke and Chickpea Meatballs are served with pappardelle pasta tossed in a homemade pesto, packed with fresh herbs and greens. Seared artichoke hearts and chopped fresh tomatoes complete the dish. It looks expensive and fancy, but it’s really so simple. You’ll be sitting down to gourmet pasta in no time!
9. Vegan Greek Keftedes
Go Greek with these Greek Keftedes. Traditionally, keftedes are fried meatballs, served with French fries and Greek salad. Here, the meatballs are made with pinto beans and plenty of herbs and spices. These are the ultimate comfort food.
10. Beanball Sub-Sandwich
Are you looking for a hearty filling sandwich even meat lovers will drool over? Look no further that this Beanball Sub Sandwich. The bean balls are made with all delicious ingredients like kale, lentils, mushrooms, oats, and sunflower seeds. Serve these on a sub with fresh kale and savory marinara sauce, and you have a sandwich that is just like the classic but so much better. It’s so easy to make an endless number of all kinds of veggie meatballs. You could change up the ingredients and flavors and still eat a completely different meatball dish every day for a month. That’s a challenge we’re happy to accept! Lead image source: Beanball Sub Sandwich