These little tempeh meatballs are moist and flavorful and they're very easy to make. Then, they get tossed in a hot, spicy Buffalo tomato sauce. It’s a little different than the Buffalo sauce that I’ve put on tofu and cauliflower. It’s more like a Buffalo marinara sauce – tomato-y and spicy at the same time. I serve them with celery and carrot sticks and vegan blue cheese dressing. Vegan Gourmet has a vegan blue cheese dressing you can buy in most big stores. Or you can whip up a quick ranch-style dressing with vegan sour cream and mayo. Perfect for any game night, make sure you have a vegan feast to celebrate with and make sure my Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs are part of the lineup. Enjoy!
Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs [Vegan]
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 block tempeh
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 and 1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- Carrot and celery sticks
- Vegan blue cheese dressing, for dipping
- In a small mug, combine the flax seed and warm water. Mix and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is your binder.
- Break up the tempeh and add it to a food processor. Add the onion, carrot, celery, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and the parmesan or nutritional yeast to the food processor. Process until everything is combined.
- Add the parsley, oregano, cayenne and salt to the food processor. Add the flax mixture and 1/3 cup of bread crumbs to the food processor and process until well combined. Taste for seasoning adjustments.
- Spread the remaining ¼ cup of bread crumbs on a plate. Using a spoon, scoop up some of the tempeh mix and roll it into a ball – about 1 inch in size. Roll the tempeh meatball in the bread crumbs so that it’s completely covered and set it aside on a baking sheet. Continue making meatballs until you use up all the tempeh mix. This recipe makes about 28 meatballs.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh meatballs to the skillet and fry them. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to fry them in batches. Make sure the meatballs brown on all sides. The way I do this is to pull the skillet back and forth by the handle which makes the tempeh meatballs roll around. I find this covers all the sides better than trying to turn them with a utensil. When they are browned, transfer the meatballs back to the baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and broth to the pan. Mix and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until it thickens, about 7 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool down a bit. If the tempeh meatballs go into boiling hot sauce, they could fall apart.
- When the sauce cools down a bit, transfer it into a large bowl. Add the meatballs to the sauce and toss gently to coat. Serve with carrot and celery sticks and vegan blue cheese dressing for dipping.