These amazing little vegan meatballs truly embody what a meatball should be. Crafted with exceptional ingredients, like mushrooms, oats, and walnuts, they maintain their perfect shape, boast an incredible texture, and delight the taste buds like no other. Whether you’re adding them to a rich tomato sauce or creating delectable meatball hero sandwiches, these vegan meatballs are destined to become the ultimate crowd-pleaser!
When I delved into the world of veggie meatballs, I experimented with various ingredients. From black beans to kidney beans, potatoes to rice, and lentils to mushrooms, I explored a plethora of flavorful options. After savoring countless variations, I eventually stumbled upon the undeniable star of the show – the magnificent mushroom! With its rich, earthy notes and satisfyingly “meaty” texture, it became clear that mushrooms were destined to reign supreme in my quest for the perfect veggie meatball recipe.
The meatballs also have some other great flavor-enhancing ingredients, that provide depth of flavor and perfectly complement the earthiness of the mushrooms.
One such ingredient is marmite, a savory spread made from yeast extract and fortified with B vitamins, making it a great source of nutrients for those following a plant-based lifestyle. It has a distinctive flavor that is often described as salty, tangy, and slightly umami. and adds incredible depth of flavor to vegan recipes. Marmite is often used as a seasoning in cooking, as a spread on toast or sandwiches, or even as a flavoring agent in soups and stews.
You can typically find Marmite in grocery stores, particularly in the condiment aisle or in the international foods section, and can also found online.
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The meatball mixture gets even more flavorful with some dried mushroom powder, a versatile ingredient made by grinding dried mushrooms into a fine powder. It can be made from various types of mushrooms, such as porcini, shiitake, or cremini, and adds a super flavorful, umami kick to your dishes. Mushroom powder is known for its rich aroma and can be used as a seasoning in soups, stews, sauces, marinades, or as a flavor enhancer in vegetarian and vegan recipes.
You can typically find mushroom powder in specialty grocery stores ( such as Trader Joe’s), health food stores, or online retailers that offer a wide range of culinary ingredients. It is commonly sold in small jars or containers, labeled as mushroom powder or mushroom seasoning.
If you have access to dried mushrooms, you can also make your own mushroom powder at home by grinding them in a spice grinder or blender.
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The Best Vegan Meatballs
- Food processor
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 oz cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup walnuts or pumpkin seeds if nut-free
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mushroom powder
- 1 teaspoon marmite
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour if gluten-free
- Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic to the bowl of your food processor, and pulse until finely chopped but not mushy.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat, and saute the chopped vegetables until all their liquid is evaporated.Transfer to a large bowl.
- While the vegetables are cooking, place the oats and walnuts in the food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and onions.
- Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, marmite, mushroom powder and flour to the bowl and mix well.
- Scoop approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture, and shape into balls. I use a small 1 oz ice cream scoop for this step.
- Cook the meatballs in a lightly oiled skillet, approximately 5 minutes, until browned on all sides.
- Serve with your favorite sauce, as a meatball hero sandwich, or in any recipe that calls for meatballs.