Meatless Mushroom Meatballs Recipe

Two bowls of spaghetti and meatballs

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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.

black cast iron pot of mushroom meatballs in marinara sauce

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

A pot full of cooked meatballs on a table

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.

A pot of meatballs with two empty plates

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.

Two black cast iron dishes of spagetti topped with mushroom meatballs in marinara sauce

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.

Top down shot of two cast iron dishes of spaghetti topped with meatless meatballs in marinara sauce

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.

A bowl of food, with Meatball and Spaghetti

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.

A plate of pasta and meatballs with a fork


More Meatless “Meat” Options

Try these delicious Southwestern Veggie Burgers, made with lentils and red beans, or these black Bean Stuffed Mini Peppers

Two plates of spaghetti and meatballs, with a pot of meatballs


Two bowls of spaghetti and meatballs

Meatless Mushroom Meatballs

Meaty mushrooms make these meatless "meatballs" very close in taste and texture to regular meatballs, and delicious in their own right.
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
chill time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4
Calories 282 kcal


  • 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 or gluten-free quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or gluten-free panko
  • 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

Vegan Option

  • 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. Serve with gluten-free pasta.
See the recipe card for an easy vegan option.


Serving: 1gCalories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 587mgPotassium: 663mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 216IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 233mgIron: 3mg
Keyword mushrooms, vegetarian meatball
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

26 thoughts on “Meatless Mushroom Meatballs Recipe

  1. My family loved these and we will be having them again soon!
    (I didn’t use parmesan cheese and instead used some cauliflower rice and they were delicious)

    1. Hi Nicky, I’m so happy that you & your family loved these meatballs! Great idea to make them with cauliflower rice, I’m going to give that a try next time.

  2. Hi there I am making them for the first time yay!! Gluten free too, I wondered can you freeze them after?

    1. Hi Elise,
      I think you’re going to love these. And absolutely you can freeze them. After they are cooled, flash freeze them on a baking sheet until they are firm, then just pack them in freezer containers or bags. I love having meatballs in the freezer. Enjoy!

  3. These look fab! I’m trying to do more meatless meals for the fam, but my hubby always complains a bit haha! These look so hearty and delicious, I dont think I’d hear any complaints! Yum! Pinning to try soon!

  4. This is a total winner for me! I love mushrooms but previous efforts at making vegan meatballs fell apart while cooking. These are moist and delicious and I love them!

  5. Colleen, I’m so excited for this recipe – we are big on doing at least 2-3 meatless days a week in our house, so this is a perfect addition to our meal lineup. Pinning it for later, thanks so much for sharing ; it looks incredible!

  6. I am so excited to try your Meatless Mushroom Meatballs, Colleen! The texture looks so amazing! I agree that everyone should try the Flexitarian approach and Mediterranean style of eating is so healthy and easy to follow. (And I have told you this previously, but those adorable cast iron pans are the bomb and they make your lovely photographs even more wonderful). Many thanks for sharing your recipe – it is already pinned and printed to try. 🙂

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