We grew up on meatballs. It’s one of many classic Italian meals we vividly remember making throughout our childhood. It’s no surprise that meatballs are heavily intertwined with our most wholesome memories: cooking with our mom, hosting pasta parties for our high school soccer team, and enjoying the coveted meatballs in our grandma’s “Christmas soup” every year for the holidays.
It’s safe to say that 20 percent of our childhood was spent standing over the kitchen table rolling meatballs into perfect balls. They are near and dear to our hearts. To this day—with all the recipes we make and develop—our dad’s favorite meal is still spaghetti and meatballs.
These vegan meatballs are juicy, tender, cheesy, garlicky, and packed with flavor. The smell of them baking in the oven carries the promise of a comforting Italian meal on its way. There’s truly nothing better. So put on Frank Sinatra and start rolling! You’re guaranteed to have a good time and an enjoyable meal.
What Makes These Meatballs Vegan?
There are 3 main things that make these meatballs vegan. Impossible Foods plant-based meat instead of ground beef, a flaxseed “egg” as a binding agent, and nutritional yeast and vegan Parmesan instead of dairy cheese.
Tips for Making The Best Vegan Meatballs
- Use your hands to combine all the ingredients. This prevents overmixing and creates a juicy, more tender meatball.
- When rolling out the meatballs, wet your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to you. Keep a glass of water nearby to dip your fingers in as needed.
- Chop your garlic and onion very finely so they are easy to incorporate into the meatball mixture.
Ways To Serve Vegan Meatballs
- Spaghetti & Meatballs: You know the drill. After baking, drop the meatballs into simmering tomato sauce and serve atop spaghetti.
- Italian Wedding Soup: Swap these vegan meatballs for the traditional beef and pork meatballs in this recipe, cooking them in the broth as instructed.
- Cheesy Meatball Appetizer: Place cooked meatballs in a baking dish lined with tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese (vegan if desired) and broil until it melts. Serve with toothpicks for bite-sized apps.
- Meatball Sub: Meatballs, sauce, and shredded cheese on a garlic and olive oil brushed roll is the ultimate Italian comfort food.
- Greek Meatballs: Give these meatballs a Mediterranean flavor by substituting fresh dill for the parsley.
Vegan Comfort Food Classics
- Vegan Biscuits
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Vegan Sloppy Joes
- Vegan Patty Melt
Make the flax egg:
Whisk together the ground flax meal and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Make the meatball mixture:
Meanwhile, add the garlic, onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, oregano, fennel seeds (if using), onion powder, black pepper, salt, and chili flakes to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add the flax egg and Impossible meat. Use clean hands to mix just until combined.
Form the meatballs:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside a small bowl or glass of water.
Using a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon to measure, gently roll 1-inch balls and place them on the baking sheet. Dip your fingers in the water to make it easier to form your meatballs. You should have 12 to 16 meatballs.
Refrigerate and preheat the oven:
Refrigerate the meatballs for 30 minutes. This helps them keep their shape and provides a juicier, more tender texture.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the meatballs until browned, 10 to 14 minutes. To check for doneness, cut one in half. It should be largely cooked through, although a very small amount of pinkness at the center is okay. Enjoy immediately.
Store leftover meatballs in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 months. To reheat, drop them into simmering sauce or broth and cook until warmed through.
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