In my native Sweden, meatballs are a must at Christmas. I, of course, always make them vegan! These are inspired by my grandmother’s old recipe, with lots of rosé pepper.

Swedish Meatballs With Rosé Pepper and Thyme [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 medium sized red beet, peeled and finely shredded
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. rose pepper
  • 1tsp. salt
  • 7 ounces firm, plain tofu, mashed with a fork until grainy
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • ½ cup of almond flour, on a plate to coat


  1. Soak the chia seeds in the water (it will gelify after a few minutes, which helps the other ingredients to bind)
  2. Prepare the chopping (garlic), shredding (red beet) and mashing (tofu).
  3. Bring a frying pan to low heat and add half of the olive oil, the garlic, the thyme and the red beets. Fry for five minutes while occasionally stirring. The red beets should get a little soft.
  4. Add the rose pepper, the salt and the tofu and forcefully mash it all together while frying for another few minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and add the chickpea flour and the chia-gel. Continue to manually mash with the fork until you have a mixture firm enough to form meatballs. It is fine to add a little more flour or water to get to the right consistency.
  5. Place the almond flour on a plate. Using your hands, form small meatballs, roll them in the almond flour and set aside on a plate. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the remaining olive oil to a frying pan and bring it to medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry for a few minutes on each side. Roll them around occasionally, to make sure they don't burn.


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