The best vegan meatballs! Made with mushrooms, walnuts, and black beans, they’re crispy on the outside, tender in the middle, and full of delicious flavor.
These vegan meatballs are the best I’ve tried. They’re super tasty, made with sauteed mushrooms, a savory spice mix, and balsamic vinegar for tang. They also have the perfect texture—crisp and charred on the outside and firm-yet-soft in the middle. Top them over pasta, stuff them into subs, or serve them over polenta with a scoop of marinara. There are so many ways to enjoy these delicious vegetarian meatballs!
Vegan Meatball Recipe Ingredients
To be clear, these vegetarian meatballs have no flavor Just like meat. They’re made with whole-food, plant-based ingredients, and you can tell when you eat them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious! They have a satisfying texture and a great delicious flavor.
Here’s what you need to make them:
- mushroom – A mix of shiitakes and creminis gives these meatballs their meaty texture and umami flavor.
- walnut – They add richness and keep the meatballs from getting too mushy!
- black beans – For plant-based protein.
- Onion and garlic – For depth of delicious flavor.
- Fennel seeds, cumin, smoked paprika and ground sage – This blend of spices makes the meatballs so delicious! Paprika adds smokiness, cumin adds earthiness, and fennel and sage add classic Italian flavor.
- Tomato paste and balsamic vinegar – For Tang.
- Tamari – I like to use tamari or soy sauce when cooking mushrooms. This brings out their rich, umami flavor.
- Panko bread crumbs, whole rolled oats and ground flaxseed – They bind meatballs together. To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free panko and certified gluten-free oats.
- Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil – I like to use olive oil in the meatballs and avocado oil in the pan. If you want to simplify, you can use avocado oil for both.
- and salt and pepper – Make all the flavors pop!
Find the full recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Vegan Meatballs
This vegetarian meatball recipe is the first step Fried mushrooms. This concentrates their umami flavor and gives them a satisfying meaty texture.
Stem and slice the mushrooms and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes, or until slightly crisp around the edges.
Next, pulse the walnuts, onion, garlic and spices together in a food processor. Your goal here is to smash the walnuts and onions.
You want them roughly ground before adding more ingredients to the food processor.
Then, add the roasted mushrooms, black beans, oats, olive oil, tomato paste, flax, tamari and balsamic.
Pulse until the mixture is well combined but still has some texture. There should still be some large beans and mushroom pieces.
Next, make the meatballs. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and fold in the panko. Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to portion it out. Then, use your hands to roll into balls.
Finally, cook the meatballs. Start by searing them in a cast-iron skillet until they are well browned. It may take about 5 minutes over medium-high heat to brown them on all sides.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the vegan meatballs are firm and lightly crisp around the edges. Enjoy!
How to Serve Vegan Meatballs
These meatless meatballs are a great vegetarian meal! Here are our favorite ways to serve them:
Leftover meatballs keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, refrigerate them for up to 3 months. They reheat nicely in the microwave or a 400°F oven.
More favorite vegan recipes
If you love these veggie balls, try one of these hearty vegetarian recipes:
serves 4 to 6
This vegan meatball recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Hearty veggie balls are crispy on the outside, tender in the middle and full of rich, delicious flavor. Great on pasta, subs and more!
- 16 ounce Mixed crimini and shiitake mushrooms, Stem and cut
- 1 the cup walnut
- ½ the cup Coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon Sea salt, Plus more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon Again ground pepper, Plus more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon Smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Earth sage
- 1½ the cup Cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ the cup Whole rolled oats
- 1 table spoon Extra virgin olive oil, More for the drizzle
- 1 table spoon Tomato paste
- 1 table spoon Ground flaxseed
- 1 table spoon Tamari
- 1 table spoon Flavored vinegar
- ¾ the cup panko bread crumbs
- Avocado oil, For Pan
- Marinara sauce, to serve
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place mushrooms on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly crisp around the edges.
Place the walnuts, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, cumin, paprika, and sage in a food processor. Pulse until thick, then add the roasted mushrooms, black beans, oats, olive oil, tomato paste, flaxseed, tamari and balsamic vinegar. Pulse until the mixture is well combined but still has a few large bean and mushroom chunks.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the panko. Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to divide the mixture, then use your hands to roll into balls.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with avocado oil. Add the vegan meatballs and cook, turning the balls as they brown, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the vegan meatballs are firm and lightly crisp around the edges.
Serve with marinara.