Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vegetarian Meatballs

This recipe makes use of our very versatile mushroom meat. This is the stuff we use in place of ground beef in any recipe in order to vegetarianize it, and it's much more natural than commercially available ground beef substitutes. These meatballs made with mushroom meat are a hit over and over again in our house. We serve them on top of spaghetti, my wife's favorite, but mostly, I prefer sneaking them one at at time, popping a really too-hot-to-eat meatball into my mouth while the pasta is cooking. They also make a great little vegetarian appetizer for a party. How would you serve them?


Vegetarian Meatballs
(makes about 3 dozen small meatballs)


1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups mushroom meat
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you don't like spiciness)
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil (for drizzling)
about 1/2 cup of good-quality tomato sauce (for brushing)


In a large mixing bowl, combine cheese, breadcrumbs, mushroom meat, eggs, tomato paste, half and half, red pepper flakes, oregano, and parsley. Allow mixture to stand for twenty minutes so that the breadcrumbs soak up the flavor of the other ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using a small ice-cream scoop (about one tablespoon), scoop a portion of the mixture onto a parchment-lined, 12 x 17 inch, rimmed baking sheet. (You will want to portion them fairly close together as this makes a whole bunch of little meatballs.) Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil. Place pan in the oven for a total of 20 minutes. After ten minutes, take the tray out and brush the tops of the meatballs with tomato sauce. Return the pan to the oven to finish cooking.


Serve these with your favorite pasta and spaghetti sauce garnished with plenty of parmesan cheese and minced parsley. You could also make these into little sliders on a soft bun with ricotta and tomato. 

22 comments:

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

Thank you for another great post; I love natural meat substitutes- TVP and the like are so processed. In answer to your question, I would serve those meatballs like koftas in some kind of spicy Asian sauce like a korma on top of a good quality brown basmati rice... probably accompanied by some kind of wilted greens?? What do you think?:)

Eating Greener said...

These sound good; I've never tried any vegetarian "meatless ball" recipes that didn't include legumes, so I'll have to give these a go.

You might also like to try these:
http://eatinggreener.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/black-bean-meatlessballs/

=)

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

That sounds fantastic. We love Korma.

Mallory said...

Do you think this would translate into a "meat"loaf?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Mallory,
Try this!

http://chubbyvegetarian.blogspot.com/2011/12/vegetarian-meatloaf-garlic-mashed.html

tender b. said...

I haven't used mushroom meat before. I'm intrigued. I usually use nuts in my meatballs.

Kelly said...

Justin, I made these and they were delicious- no problem with any excess liquid at all. Wondering if you have a variation for these that would go well with a comfort food menu (roasted mustard potatoes, cheddar broccoli soup, homemade applesauce, etc.) Thinking sage but not sure what else... Love your blog!

Quilter Peg said...

Any chance these would work with less oil?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I think so. It's just to give it a little;e crust on the outside. It adds texture.

Dawn said...

These look great. Do the freeze well? I would love to make a big batch to use half of now and freeze half for future use.

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Freeze them on a sheet tray and then place them in a food storage container. They'll do great!

Catt of the Garage said...

I would serve them with onion gravy and rice, like the canned meatballs I loved as a kid. And I want some right now! Unfortunately I don't have the ingredients to make up the mushroom meat, but I'm definitely going to try it. I make veggie haggis using portobello mushrooms and sometimes walnuts, I might try putting aubergines in it too.

sinanddaisies said...

they came out really yummy! Although i used Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream

Anonymous said...

I told my partner to hide them and not to tell me where they are or I'd eat them all. One of the greatest vegetarian foods I've eaten in 35 years. If only you could mass produce them. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Staycie said...

Must try this recipe. Looks delicious!!!

Anonymous said...

My step-daughter is vegetarian and when we have her, I want to support her the best I can. So I am always on the lookout for tasty vegetarian recipes. This one sounds so good my husband might even eat it! As for me, I go both ways.

Anonymous said...

What is half and half?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

half milk, half cream -- is in a small carton by the milk at the store

TCV

Sue said...

Have you ever traded out the eggplant for zucchini?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Sue, I think there would be too much moisture for hat to work, but I say give it a try and report back. You never know!

staceysundquist said...

I am newly vegetarian and wondered how I would survive without meatballs - I make some tasty ones! These are a delicious replacement. I have already eaten two and it's not even dinner time yet. Thank you for this recipe!

John Sokolowski said...

These are awesome!! I make them all the time!! one thing i do though is after you take the mushroom meat out of the oven and let it cool, i wrap it in cheesecloth and squeeze alot of the juice out (results in a bit firmer mushroom ball) I also substitute bread crumbs with panko... Very food recipe that can be a good base for others :)