Introducing these heavenly Vegan Meatballs! This gluten free and vegan meatball recipe is so comforting AND seriously simple to make. Made using easily found and accessible ingredients, these delicious vegan meatballs are ready enjoy in under 30 minutes! Give them a go!
Recipe Difficulty – Easy
Why this recipe works
Are you ready to try out the best gluten free and vegan meatballs you’ve ever tasted? This vegetarian meatballs recipe is perfect for meat-free Mondays or for those following a plant-based or gluten free diet. However, if you serve a batch of these veggie meatballs up to your meat-eating friend they’re going to love them and I guarantee they will struggle to tell the difference between these vegan meatballs and the real thing!
These homemade meatballs make around 16 meatballs in total, so this is the perfect recipe to make for quick and healthy meal-prep lunches! They are little plant-based powerhouses packed full of protein and fibre from beans and lentils. They pair really well with pasta, especially my Warming Pasta Sauce, but they are also amazing on salads, in wraps/sandwiches, or even served with rice or quinoa. Trust me, you’re going to love them!
Ingredients to make Vegan Meatballs
- Red Onion – I’ve used a red onion for the recipe as red onion has a slightly sweeter taste, however a white onion would work just as well.
- Garlic Cloves – adds depth and flavour to the recipe.
- Green Lentils – drained and rinsed, work similarly to black beans, imitating the meaty texture in ground beef meatballs. If you have any tins spare then make my Awesome Aubergine Bake.
- Black Beans – are a great plant-based protein that give a meaty texture to many vegan recipes. They should be drained and rinsed before using.
- Tamari – has a similar flavour to soy sauce, but is vegan and gluten-free.
- Ground Coriander – adds a citrusy, curry-type flavour to these easy vegan meatballs.
- Paprika – has a peppery and sweet flavour that is perfect for these veggie balls.
- Tomato Puree – adds a great flavour and helps to thicken the meatball mixture.
- Ground Almonds – are what hold these meatballs together. They work in place of the bread crumbs that you’d find in traditional meatballs, so are a great gluten free alternative.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Red Onion – has the best flavour, but you could also use white or yellow onions.
- Garlic Cloves – could be replaced with minced garlic or even garlic powder if needed.
- Ground Coriander – You can replace this with cumin, curry powder, or even ground caraway seeds.
- Paprika – you could substitute paprika with cayenne pepper powder or even mild chilli powder.
- Ground almonds – If you need to make these vegan meatballs nut free then substitute with the same amount of oat flour (just blend oats into a flour).
- Spicy – For some meatless balls with a spicy kick, add chili powder and cayenne pepper. If you enjoy spice, definitely check out my Spicy Butterbeans on Toast! which certainly has a little kick!
- Deluxe – to bring these meatless meatballs to their full potential, add some Italian seasoning and make them spaghetti meatballs! Serve them on gluten free spaghetti, some zucchini noodles or even brown rice noodles along with my tomato sauce in this Warming Pasta recipe. Top your spaghetti and meatballs with some vegan parmesan cheese and you are good to go!
- Kid friendly – To make this recipe fun for children, I would serve them in vegan meatball subs with BBQ sauce! However, most children love them with spaghetti!
How to make Vegan Meatballs
Step 1: Firstly, preheat the oven to 200C / 390 F. Then, chop the red onion and chop the crushed garlic cloves.
Step 2: Now, combine the garlic and red onion in the pan with the olive oil in a hot pan and allow them to cook down for a couple of minutes until soft.
Step 3: Now add the drained black beans, lentils, coriander, paprika, and tamari to the pan. Stir together and cook for a further five minutes.
Step 4: Pour the bean mixture into a food processor with the tomato puree and ground almonds. Blend until smooth.
Step 5: Use your hands to form mixture into about 16 balls.
Step 6: Put the black bean meatballs onto a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Hint: When blending the mixture, you may need to scrape down the edges of the food processor a couple of times.
These plant-based meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can store them in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for three to four months.
There are lots of ways that will work for a plant-based take on meatballs. I like to use tomato puree and ground almonds.
For the best vegan meatballs, I recommend baking. Baked meatballs are healthier, quicker, and easier!
Meatballs are so versatile! A Swedish meatball is usually served with mashed potatoes. You could also have meatballs and rice, meatballs in tomato sauce, or meatball pasta.
Yes! Healthy vegan meatballs can also be made in a large skillet, Instant Pot, or air fryer.
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- Chopping Board
- sharp knife
- frying pan
- food processor
- baking dish
- 1 red onion roughly chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves crushed
- 1 400g can green lentils drained & rinsed
- 1 400g can black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 tbsp tamari (optional)
- 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
- 1 heaped teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 cup ground almonds (roughly 100g)
- Firstly add the olive oil, garlic, red onion to cook down for a couple minutes
- Then add the black beans, lentils, coriander, paprika, tamari and stir. Cook these together for 5 minutes
- Now pour the cooked beans into a food processor along with the tomato puree and ground almonds. Blend until smooth (you may need to scrape down the edges of the food processor a couple times)
- Now with your hands shape into balls, you should roughly get 16 or so
- Add the meat balls to a lined baking dish and place in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil for 20 minutes at 200C / 390F
Please note that Nutrition information is a rough estimate