Meatless Mushroom Meatballs are the result of much trial & error. There are a lot of ingredients that you can use to make vegetarian, or vegan meatballs, and some are better than others. This recipe, made with mushrooms, finally hit the nail on the head for us.
Why Meatless Meatballs?
Eating more plant-based foods is a healthy thing for our bodies, our budgets, and the planet too. Here’s a great article on the benefits of eating less meat and more plants: Is The Movement To Eat Less Meat Actually Making A Difference
It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing
Have you heard of the Flexitarian diet? People who adopt a flexitarian diet eat a mostly plant-based diet, but occasionally eat meat, fish, or poultry in small quantities. This also is the premise of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered to be the healthiest diet in the world. Even if you don’t want to give up meat completely, you can still make a difference to your health and the environment by simply cutting back on it and eating more plants.
What Do You Make Meatless Meatballs With?
You can make “meatballs’ with beans, lentils, nuts, grains, or vegetables, usually a combination of those. Many vegetarian meatballs, although tasty, do not resemble or taste like regular meatballs at all. To get that meaty umami taste and texture, I found that mushrooms were perfect. These mushroom meatballs are very close in both texture and taste to regular meatballs, and they are delicious either way.
Baked or Fried; How to Cook Your Meatless Meatballs
You can either bake or fry these meatless mushroom meatballs. Because they are a bit more delicate than regular meatballs, I like to bake them in a hot oven. This will keep them intact until they are cooked. Generally, I just try to avoid frying whenever possible, just because I don’t like the mess it leaves in my kitchen.
What to Serve with Mushroom Meatballs
Of course, you can have these meatballs in marinara sauce with spaghetti, as is the most obvious choice, and they are delicious that way. They also make a yummy meatball sub. You can use these meatless meatballs in any way that you would use regular ones. One of my favourites is this Greek Meatballs recipe. Simply swap the meatballs for these meatless ones, wrap in a pita, and smother with tzatziki.
Vegetarian Vs Vegan Meatballs
This recipe has both eggs and Parmesan cheese, so it’s a vegetarian recipe, but not vegan. However, I have covered all the bases, and included instructions to make a vegan version, too.
More Meatless “Meat” Options
How to Make Meatless Mushroom Meatballs
Meaty mushrooms make these meatless "meatballs" very close in taste and texture to regular meatballs, and delicious in their own right.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms chopped very finely
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 onion chopped very finely
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs lightly beaten large
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese finely shaved
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high.
Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes
Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed, and mushrooms are golden brown.
Stir in the garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme and cook for another minute.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the oats and breadcrumbs
Stir in the eggs, combining thoroughly
Stir in the Parmesan cheese
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours
Preheat oven to 400°
Line a large baking sheet with parchment, or grease with cooking oil.
Use a melon baller to scoop even portions of the chilled mixture
Roll the mixture into balls between your palms, placing them on the prepared baking sheet
Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through.
Serve with your favourite sauce
Follow instructions above with these modifications: omit eggs and Parmesan, and add instead, in the same order;
2 tablespoons ground flax seed soaked in 6 tbsp of water for 10 minutes
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
chill and bake as above
Make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free oats and breadcrumbs.