A blend of lentils, black beans, baby portabella mushrooms, and Italian spices for the perfect plant-based, gluten-free, grain-free meatballs to add to your pasta, on top of pizza, or served with your favorite gravy!
Whether you’re Italian like me and meatballs are maybe as essential as pasta, or you really just love meatballs- this recipe is calling your name! You can easily enjoy this whole skillet of Vegan Italian Meatballs as a meal in itself or you can make a batch, serve some to kick up your weekly pasta game and then freeze some for another meal when you’re having one of those i-dont-feel-like-cooking days.
This easy Vegan Italian Meatball recipe takes basic ingredients and the familiar meatball-rolling technique to create a wildly flavorful meat-packed alternative. There’s so many amazingly nutritious ingredients in these meatballs, and I’d bet you have most of the ingredients on hand already! Here’s what you’ll need:
☆ canned lentils (or you can cook up your favorite lentils)
☆ black beans
☆ baby portabella mushrooms
☆ flaxseed meal
☆ red onion
☆ tomato paste
☆ vegan Worcestershire sauce
☆ Italian seasoning
☆ fennel seeds
☆ garlic powder
☆ Vegan Parmesan Cheese
☆ cassava flour
☆ hazelnut flour/almond flour
☆ salt & pepper
Although my Italian heart has these little gems sizzlin’ in a tomato jacuzzi, you can serve these with any meal for some added protein, or as a replacement for traditional meatballs. Sweedish Meatballs would be a great example, which totally needs to be on my list of recipe to add to the blog soon!
I definitely recommend having some of my Vegan Parmesan Cheese on hand already, for even faster meal prep. I use it on like eerryyytthhaaannng, and of course, included it in this Vegan Italian Meatball recipe.
If you can’t find canned lentils, boo. BUT you just have one extra simple step. Just cook up your lentils and add 2 cups of cooked lentils to your bowl with the other meatball ingredients.
You’ll be mashing the black beans and lentils with your hands, I find that they keep some of their texture this way- which is needed when making meatless meatballs. You don’t want to blend them and have pureed beans and lentils, your meatballs won’t cook up and will be very mushy. Part of vegan meatballs is tricking your brain into thinking they are real meatballs, and a large part of that is texture.
I also wanted to keep these vegan meatballs grain-free. I’ve had some in the past that used oats or rice, which were really great, but as I’ve been slowly cutting more grains out of my diet I decided to sub hazelnut flour (or almond flour if you wish), and cassava flour. Also, if you can’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce, you can try to sub liquid aminos, tamari soy sauce (gf), or coconut aminos for soy-free.
I hope you love these Vegan Italian Meatballs, and if you tried them, let me know! Snap a photo of your meatballs and maybe even a video of you enjoying them with the people you love. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook or use #healthylittlevittles so I can see all your lovely recreations!
- 5 ounces baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) cooked lentils (or 15 ounces of lentils prepared by you)
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup hazelnut/almond flour
- 1/4 cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and destem your baby portabella mushrooms, then place them into a food processor/blender and pulse until they are diced (not blended).
- Empty them into a large bowl along with the drained and rinsed lentils and black beans
**NOTE: time does not include if you have to boil your own lentils
- Dice your red onion into small pieces and add to the bowl.
- With your hands, mash the lentils and black beans until they are no longer whole, but not too mushy.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Vegan Parmesan Cheese, Italian seasoning, flaxseed meal, hazelnut/almond flour, cassava flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Using a spoon, stir to combine.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the meatball mixture and gently roll between your hands to form a ball. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat.
- Bake for 30 minutes, flip them and then bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Store leftovers in the fridge or freeze for another meal later on.
** I recommend making your Vegan Parmesan Cheese ahead of time and keeping it stocked in your fridge 🙂