Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! Have you ever wanted a hearty meal that checks ALL the boxes? I’m not just talking about nutrition- I’m talking about one wildly flavorful meal with a ton of different textures, and that is super wholesome! These vegan Swedish meatballs are bound to hit the spot!
Why you will love it
This vegan version of the classic meatballs is sure to satisfy even the biggest self proclaimed carnivore. But vegan meat haters, don’t fear! This isn’t a seitan or tofu or vegan meat heavy recipe at all. We are creating our meaty mince using whole foods, like beans and mushrooms.
You will also love it because if you have a food processor, your prep time really gets cut down. We are going to pulse to finely chop the ingredients for the meatballs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can definitely still make the meatballs, but your prep time will be longer ~10 min and you’ll have to use a bit of elbow grease.
Optional wheat gluten powder
You have the option to add some vital wheat gluten (the stuff you use to make seitan) if you want. I like adding it because it gives the mince some texture so that the meatballs don’t completely fall apart when cooking and stirring. You do not taste it at all in the end product- it is simply there to make the cooking easier and also provide a bit more protein to your meal. But you can leave it out if you want and use more breadcrumbs to firm up your mince if yours starts to fall apart.
Don’t skimp on the spices
I highly recommend not skimping on any of the spices here for the simple reason that I hand picked each one to add a specific kick and depth of flavor. But if you had to skip one, I would probably forgo the vegan fish sauce and substitute soy sauce in its place- just because I know vegan fish sauce is a bit of a specialty item and I want my recipes to be as accessible as possible.
Our star ingredients
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are such a lovely way to add a meaty texture using whole foods. As much as I love tofu and seitan, I find that when I am in the mood for something hearty but not overly heavy that may make me bloated, mushrooms are the best choice!
Beans: We are using pinto beans in this recipe, but you can use cannellini beans if that’s what you have. Canned is best because they smush up really well when creating your mince. They’re also a great way to get some protein and fiber in.
Coconut milk: We’re going to use coconut milk to simmer our meatballs and partially cook our pasta and infuse some lovely flavors into them. I use lowfat coconut milk, but if you are down for something a little fattier you’re more than welcome to use full fat or even a different non dairy milk if you like.
Wheat gluten: Like I said, this is completely optional, but I always opt to use wheat gluten powder to bring any savory wet mixtures together for a couple of reasons. One: it doesn’t take a lot of it to help the mixture firm up so you don’t taste it in the end. Two: you get a little extra filling protein if you use it. Obviously if you’re allergic, steer clear, but if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it. You can always use extra breadcrumbs, according to how fussy your mixture turns out.
Ok, let’s get started! And like always, give me a shoutout and tag me on Instagram if you give it a go!
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (can use panko or regular) + extra if skipping wheat gluten
- 1 can pinto beans (can sub cannellini or white beans)
- 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten (optional)
- 1 medium white onion
- Handful of parsley
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp vegan fish sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dijon or coarse grain mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 can coconut milk
- 16 oz short pasta, dry
- Process onions, mushrooms, and parsley in food processor until fine mince. You can also finely chop them by hand if you don’t have a processor.
- Add mixture to mixing bowl. Add beans, breadcrumbs, and vital wheat gluten.
- You can add in more breadcrumbs if skipping the gluten.
- Add balsamic vinegar, vegan fish sauce, soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and salt.
- Mash using a masher or just use your hands like I did 😉
- Roll into balls and place into a lightly oiled skillet on medium high heat. Turn every 3 minutes until pretty uniformly browned.
- Take meatballs out and pour coconut milk over medium high heat.
- Cook pasta in regular salted water halfway according to box instructions.
- Transfer pasta to coconut milk to finish cooking and add meatballs back in.
- Serve immediately or store in fridge for up to 3 days.
These vegan meatballs in pasta hit the spot! Try it out and leave me a comment!
See you soon!
Janani <3 <3