These vegan meatballs will earn a spot in the list of your favorite dishes if you are all about a plant-based diet. They are hearty, and juicy, and pair well with all kinds of sauces.
Being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t crave meatballs. And if you do, then these Beyond Beef meatballs in a juicy veggie sauce are
the recipe to go for.
Why this recipe works
- Meaty and juicy. These meatballs are made with Beyond Beef which has the perfect meaty texture. They turn out so juicy and flavorful that you don’t need to be vegan to like them.
- Nutritious. Vegan meatballs are quite healthy. They contain all the essential nutrients without being high in fat.
- Freezer-friendly. These meatballs make an amazing freezer meal. Just bring them out of the freezer and put them right into the tomato sauce to heat them up and enjoy them with pasta or rice.
- No legumes or nuts. Most vegan meatball recipes call for lentils or another legume, and tons also use cashews. These don’t use either and taste the most like real meatballs.
What I love about this recipe is how easy they are to customize. They are great tossed through marinara sauce or even glazed with some sweet and sour sauce for the ultimate flavor explosion! We also love to use them in meatballs subs.
What are vegan meatballs made of?
As this recipe is made with Beyond Beef, you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make them. Here’s everything you will need to make these vegan meatballs in sauce.
- Beyond beef. This is a plant-based ground beef substitute made of pea, rice, and beans.
- Garlic. Minced,
- Ginger. Minced.
- Olive oil. To fry the meatballs.
- Salt. To taste.
For the sweet and spicy sauce:
- Bell pepper. Red and yellow bell peppers, chopped.
- Onion. Quartered.
- Ketchup. To provide a rich tomato-flavored base for the sauce.
- Sweet chili sauce. To make the flavor of the sauce richer and deeper.
- Hot chili sauce. To add some heat to the sauce.
- Soy sauce. To provide saltiness and add a rich umami flavor to the sauce.
- Cornstarch. To thicken the sauce and give it a glossy finish.
- Water. To cook the sauce longer and develop a deeper flavor.
How to make vegetarian meatballs
The process of making vegan meatballs in the sauce is pretty much the same as making meatballs using real meat. Here is how them:
Step 1- Shape and fry the meatballs
Add all meatball ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
Shape the mixture into small meatballs using your hands.
Add oil to a large non-stick pan. When the oil gets hot, add the meatballs and fry until they are fully browned. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Step 2- Cook the sauce
Clean the pan and add more oil. Saute the onion and bell peppers for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, including water. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
Step 3- Combine the meatballs with sauce and serve
When the sauce thickens, bring back the meatballs and coat them in the sauce. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and sesame seeds and serve.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Use an ice cream scoop to shape the meatballs. This will help you make perfectly round meatballs of the same size.
- Use tomatoes. If you don’t have ketchup, use canned or fresh tomatoes for the sauce. As tomatoes are quite juicy, you will not need to add extra water to the sauce.
- Add nutritional yeast. If you are afraid your vegan meatballs are going to crumble and fall apart, add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Aside from being a healthy additive, nutritional yeast is also a good binder.
- Swap water for vegetable stock. Using vegetable stock for the sauce helps create a richer flavor.
- Omit the sauce. These meatballs can work with any sauce of choice: marinara, cream, etc. Simply prep the meatballs as instructed then toss them through your favorite sauce.
To store: Place leftover meatballs in sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To freeze. You can freeze vegan meatballs in sauce for up to 2 months. However, it is best to freeze the meatballs without the sauce, cooked or uncooked.
To reheat. Reheat meatballs on the stove over medium heat. Add a small amount of water to the sauce if needed. You can also reheat the vegan meatballs in the microwave.
More vegetarian recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
IKEA offers a few types of meatballs, including ones that are vegan. IKEA plant-based meatballs are as juicy as regular meatballs. They are made of pea protein, potatoes, onion, and apples.
Vegan meatballs are good for you as they contain protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While vegan meatballs may be lower in protein than real meatballs, they contain less saturated fat.
Commercially manufactured vegan meatballs may be high in sodium and contain artificial additives. Thus, always read the ingredient list before buying them.
Vegan meatballs are quite popular now and you can find them in nearly all grocery stores. You can also get vegan meatballs online.
Best Vegan Meatballs (No legumes or nuts!)
Sweet and spicy sauce
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 1 small onion quartered
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup hot chili sauce or more sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- In a mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients. Using your hands, shape them into small meatballs.
- Add oil to a large non-stick pan and fry the meatballs until fully cooked on the outside. Remove them from the heat and place them on a paper towel to mop up excess oil.
- Clean the pan and add extra oil. Sautee the onion and bell peppers for 1-2 minutes, then, add all the sauce ingredients. Let it simmer until it has thickened, before adding the meatballs back in and coating them in the sauce.
- Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.
Mmm these look delicious- and meatballs aren’t the most picturesque of foods so that says a lot!!! Although I never thought I’d voluntarily stop eating meat, I’ve been following a plant-based diet for the most part over the past 2 months and I’m loving it! We get a similar product in London called Quorn- will have to nab a bag when I get there to make these!
Be warned that, while awesome and meat-free, Quorn products are not vegan.
Thank you, these are made with Gardein 🙂
YES! I based this off a quorn recipe I always made back home! 🙂
Yum! These look crazy good.
Thank you, Allie! 🙂
i love meatballs but never make them myself. i need to change that!
Try out a meaty version first 😉
Vegan meatballs?! WHAT THE WHAT?! I have been trying to do that “meatless monday” dance more often, so I need to check these out! Pinning!
LOL. Taytay I think the two of us are on the same wavelength..I went to a vegan buffet yesterday and not going to lie, I needed eggs.
Obviously you know how much I love meat, but these are seriously making me drool. I will have to sub meat in for the meatless meatballs, so wrong!
YES! They taste great with ground beef or chicken 🙂
The spicier, the better!
That’s my motto!
I’m not gluten free but I want to try these because they look so delicious. Great idea and beautiful photography 🙂
Thanks so much, Debbie! 🙂
Dude – I <3 these balls in a big huge way! I am a huge fan of "meatless" grounds and I am a big huge fan of sneaking in ALL the veggies! Fantastic job with these, Arman! I haven't tried Gardein yet – but, next time I come across it – I am grabbing me a pack for sure!
Do try it out, Shashi- I was so skeptical of it but the grounds are delicious!
I absolutely LOVE that you threw raisins and sweet potatoes in here…I love little pops of sweetness in savory recipes. You know I don’t eat beef so I’m always looking for beef replacements! I’ve never tried Gardein so I guess I’ll have to try…but if I hate it I’M COMING FOR YA!
I promise Gardein products are delicious- If only their meatballs were gluten free!
Love this! I try to eat mostly vegetarian but I love meat so something like this is perfect for me 🙂 I have pretty much zero spice tolerance, I sometimds wish I liked it though because of how people like you rave about it with your chilli festival fantasies 🙂
Ohhhh no! We need to work on your spice tolerance 😉
Those meatballs look awesome! And it’s funny, I had the opposite problem – I wanted to use the crumbles but could only find the meatballs at my store when I went, so I adapted my meatballs by slicing them up for a breakfast sandwich 🙂
Oh that sounds delicious- Yum, Laura!
I’m all about trying new foods, Arman, and I think you already know how smitten I am with sweet & spicy guys, umm, I mean meatballs, so these are a must make!
Please do, Becca- These are delicious!
So good! 🙂
Okay it’s been too long since I have caught up with you. What the heck! I can’t beleive all the amazing foods I have been missing out on. While I definitley love my meat, these meatless pups look SO tasty! youre creativity never ceases to amaze me
Selena..Can I convince you to swing by NYC!!!!
Meatballs are a vice of mine. Really anything in sphere form is a go to for me. These look delicious!!
Thanks so much, Jenn! 🙂