Mushroom meatballs in tomato sauce

Care to share!

Vegan Mushroom Meatballs Homemade with a simple mix of mushrooms, processed oats, and brown rice or quinoa makes for a very ‘meaty’ and fiber-packed bite. The meatballs are already great with gravy or a dipping sauce of your choice but I chose to cook them in a delicious tomato sauce with umami from some white miso paste.

These meatballs in tomato sauce make a great appetizer or can be enjoyed with some cooked spaghetti or other pasta.

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatballs with Tomato Sauce in a Cast Iron Pan

These are mushroom meatballs in tomato sauce

  • Made of a few simple ingredients
  • Perfect for sharing
  • Great for parties and potlucks. Especially during the holiday season!
  • gluten free
  • Air-fried, baked or pan-fried!
  • Versatile – You can enjoy meatballs cooked in any sauce you like
  • Packed with lots of fiber from mushrooms, oats and quinoa or brown rice

Here are the ingredients you will need to make these meatballs

  • Fresh mushrooms are preferred, I used shiitake mushrooms
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • Green onion or small red onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Processed quick-cooking oats or whole rolled oats (can sub for panko or Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Corn starch or potato starch
  • Salt or flavor
  • fresh chilies

You can also find the full printable recipe on the recipe card below!

Canned white tomatoes and white miso paste

For the tomato sauce

Note: You can double this recipe if you want extra saucy meatballs perfect for pasta!

How to Make Mushroom Meatballs

Prepare the mixture

  • Oats: If using quick cooking oats, it does not need to be processed. If using the whole roll out, process quickly or pulse until the small panko has a breadcrumb-like texture. Don’t increase the price of oats too much or it will turn into flour consistency. I like to keep the oats in a panic bread crumb-like texture for texture.
  • Mushrooms: Process or chop the mushrooms until minced. You can leave some large pieces for extra texture.
  • Meatball Mixture: In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, quinoa/brown rice, green onion, garlic, oats, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix everything well until the mushroom-quinoa mixture comes together.
  • Check the mixture and then shape it into small balls to see if it holds well. If the mixture is a little wet and sticky, you can add another 1-2 tbsp of processed oats or regular flour. The oats/flour will help absorb some of the moisture.
  • After that, roll the mixture into balls.

Cook the meatballs

  • Pan-Fry: Heat a medium or large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add some neutral oil to submerge at least half of the mushroom balls. Add the balls and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Air Fry: If air-frying or baking, preheat your air-fryer or oven to 350F/180C. Place the balls in a lined air-fryer basket or baking tray. Spray or brush a generous amount of oil on both sides. Leave to air-fry for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until golden brown on both sides. To bake, it will take more time, about 35-40 minutes.
  • Personally I prefer pan-fried meatballs because they are so juicy. Air fries are a bit drier but once cooked or mixed into a sauce, the differences are barely noticeable.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce

  • You can double the tomato sauce recipe if you plan to enjoy the meatballs with some spaghetti or other pasta.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat.
  • Add olive oil. Once hot, sauté the garlic for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the canned tomatoes and miso paste (if using). Mix to thin the miso paste. Season with salt and sugar to taste.
  • Add dry bay leaves to the tomato sauce and then simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.
  • Mix in the tomato paste (if using) and season with salt and sugar to taste if needed.
  • Add fresh basil leaves to the sauce before adding to the cooked mushroom meatballs.
  • Let everything come together and make sure the meatballs are well coated in the sauce.

How to enjoy these meatballs

  • To enjoy, you can serve meatballs as a hearty main or side. Another option is to mix in some cooked spaghetti or pasta of choice to soak up the sauce.

More recipes you might like:

Vegetarian Mushroom Meatballs with Tomato Sauce in a Cast Iron Pan

Mushroom Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Vegan)