Vegan Meatballs

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5 from 11 votes
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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. 

vegan meatballs.

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. 

meatball mixture.

Shape the mixture into small meatballs using your hands.

shaped vegan meatballs.

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. 

pan fried vegan meatballs.

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. 

sweet and spicy sauce.

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. 

vegan Swedish meatballs.

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.

Storage instructions

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. 

vegan meatball recipe.

More vegetarian recipes to try

Frequently asked questions

Are IKEA meatballs vegan?

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.

Are vegan meatballs healthy?

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. 

Where can I buy vegan meatballs?

Vegan meatballs are quite popular now and you can find them in nearly all grocery stores. You can also get vegan meatballs online. 

vegan meatballs recipe.

Best Vegan Meatballs (No legumes or nuts!)

5 from 11 votes
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.
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 21 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 24 ounces ground beef substitute I used Beyond Beef
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 24gFat: 14gSodium: 1088mgPotassium: 547mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 764IUVitamin C: 64mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 15g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. Hi Arman, your balls look great! I am cringing a tad though on those raisins in there. Any way I can get around them? Looking forward to trying these. Thanks bunches!~ 🙂

      1. Thank you for replying. Happy that I can omit the raisins 🙂 All the best to you Arman. I will be keeping tabs of your site now that I found you 🙂

  2. I made these last night and they were wonderful!! Everyone loved them even my skeptical husband. I made two changes. I used Quorn crumbles and regular potatoes because that is what I had. I followed the recipe exactly. It made about 18 two T size meatballs and I fried them in a little EVOO to brown on each side. These really reminded me of Samosa. So much so that I may make these again and leave out the crumbles and add frozen green peas. Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it again!

    1. Diane! I’m so glad you tried it out with Quorn as that’s the original inspiration yum! and samosas…you’ve left me with a craving!!!

  3. Sweet potatoes, carrots, raisins, spinach…. I’ll tell you what I’m impressed with your ingredients. You manage to put some clever and creative combinations together and it all works. I’m sure these are wonderful too.

    Also amen to reading the instructions. Sometimes you gotta tweak things to make sure it’s all on point.

  4. I love meatballs of all kinds, I don’t discriminate♡ So of course I love the meatless variety and these look delish!! Love that they are spicy and sweet! My favorite combination! Yum! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Yummy, it’s wonderful day for me now.Your Vegan Sweet and Spicy Meatballs recipe is so good. It looks delicious and nutritious. All I can say, this is totally perfect and for sure my family love this. I cannot wait to prepare this for eating . Feeling excited to serve this. Your other recipes are also great I love it.Thanks for sharing, nice post indeed, keep updating . I felt hungry… 🙂 Also can you please promote my site?

  6. I didn’t even know they had any GF products. Now I can participate in the Gardein fad! WOOT! And spicy is the only way. YES kick that spice all the way up to volcano status! Too bad my dumb feather of a stomach can’t handle it so spice is on the “do not eat” list. Somehow Cholula always sneaks into my meals though. I guess I should get stronger locks for my door.

      1. This is all truth: hummus, potatoes, and chicken. Agh! Enjoy all of the delicious things in life for me, would ya?! And now that you’re in America: tell me if the Doritos Locos taco from Taco Bell really IS Jesus as a taco!

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