About Recipe

These vegetarian meatballs are packed with flavour and perfectly moist, proving that you don’t need meat to enjoy meatballs.

I have been looking for a good meatball replacement for quite some time now, but the store-bought options just don’t hit the mark for me. Don’t get me wrong, they are ok, but there is nothing mind blowing about them.

Before I turned vegetarian, meatballs were definitely something I enjoyed eating, Swedish meatballs with potato puree, lingonberries and cream sauce, Italian meatballs in tomato sauce or just meatballs and snabbmakaroner (don’t ask, it’s a Swedish thing). But once I went off meat it no longer had the same appeal. Having never tasted a vegetarian meatball that made the cut I thought it was just one of those things I had to kiss goodbye to as you need meat to make these dishes work. Turns out I was wrong. You don’t need meat to make delicious vegetarian meatballs.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can play around with the seasoning. I used Italian herbs to complement the tomato sauce, but if you are going for classic Swedish meatballs a pinch of allspice would do the trick.

Don’t get discouraged by the pale look of the veggie balls after boiling them, give them a round in the pan with some butter and oil they will look and taste amazing.

Want more delicious vegetarian pasta recipes? Check out my pasta with creamy avocado pesto.

  • Serves4
  • Prep15m
  • Cook15m
  • Difficulty6/10


    Vegetarian meatballs

  • 1 dl/0.4 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 dl/0.4 cups sunflower kernels, lightly toasted
  • 2 dl/0.8 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 dl/0.4 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 dl/0.4 cups mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 shallot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1 vegetable stock pod/cube
  • 1 l water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter and oil for frying
  • Tomato sauce

  • 340ml smooth tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp fresh pesto
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    To serve


    Fresh basil and parsley



Lightly toast your pine nuts and sunflower kernels in a dry pan.

Place the toasted pine nuts and sunflower kernels in a food processor or blender and blend until you reach a fine crumb like consistency.

Place your pine nuts and sunflower kernel crumbs in a large bowl, add bread crumbs, grated parmesan and cheddar cheese and mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined.

Grate shallot and garlic and add to the crumb mixture.

Season with finely chopped parsley, Italian herbs, soy sauce, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Give the mixture a good stir before adding your eggs.

Stir again and ensure your batter is thoroughly combined before you shape the batter into balls.

I have gone for a slightly larger size, which makes about 15 veggie balls, but you can go for a more traditionally sized veggie ball and make 30.

Bring your water and vegetable stock cube/pod to a boil in a medium size sauce pan.

Once boiling, add half of your veggie balls and cook for 5 minutes before you remove them (use a spoon) and place them on a sheet of paper towel to dry. Repeat with the remaining veggie balls.

Heat up a pan with butter and olive oil and fry your veggie balls until they reach a nice golden colour.

Remove your veggie balls from the pan and place them on a plate while you cook your marinara sauce.

Add chopped garlic to the hot pan and let cook on a medium heat for a minute before you pour in the tomato sauce, ketchup and pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes before adding the cooked veggie balls.

Serve with pasta, fresh basil and parsley and grated parmesan.