Vegan “Meatballs”

Whenever I am craving something I used to eat as a non-vegan, I just do a Google search for a vegan alternative. I came across this recipe for Vegan Meatballs (Mushroom “Neat” Balls).

I’ve had this recipe saved on my computer and have been wanting to try it. So I did, and wow…worth the wait and effort for sure!!

Ingredients for Neat Balls:

  • 2 2/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 lb. cremini or baby bella mushrooms (should make 2 cups when finely chopped)
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 vegan egg (EnerG egg replacer works great)
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup almond/nutritional yeast mix (half nutritional yeast, half finely milled almonds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions for Neat Balls

  • In a large saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over high heat. Add rice, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir almost constantly during las 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer to large bowl.
  • In food processor, pulse mushrooms in batches until finely chopped.
  • In large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2-3 mins. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3-5 mins. Add to bowl with rice; let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Add vegan egg, breadcrumbs, almond/nutritional yeast mix, parsley, salt and pepper to cooled rice mixture and mix well. Form mixture into about 24 oval-shaped nuggets, each about 2 by 1.5 inches.

raw vegan meatballs

  • In clean large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium high heat; tilt to coat bottom. Add half the nuggets and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 mins per side. Turn nuggets over onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining nuggets. Bake until nuggets are browned and firm, around 15 mins.

grilling vegan meatballs

oven baked vegan meatballs

The recipe (link at the beginning of this post) included a tomato sauce, which I’m sure would be great with these as well. Instead I made my sweet and sour sauce.

1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar*
*Or reg. cider vinegar and replace the last ½inch of the measuring cup w/ apple juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

I threw this in my slow cooker on high before starting the meatballs. You could easily heat it for a while on the stove top as well.

Mixed the sweet and sour sauce with some cooked brown rice, topped with “meatballs”. YUM!

sweet and sour vegan meatballs