Meatless Meatballs! Vegetarian Garlic & Mushroom Meatballs

Craving for scrumptious and meaty meatballs but can’t have meat? No worries, we got you covered! Chef John, a famous food vlogger shows you how to make healthy and delicious meatless meatballs. Just like traditional ones, these meatless meatballs are very versatile and can be cooked by frying, baking, steaming, or braising in sauce. Instead of minced meat, this recipe uses chopped mushrooms. The key to meatier meatballs is browning the mushrooms really well. After the meatballs are baked, they are simmered in pasta sauce. This dish is perfect with garlic bread or over cooked pasta. Serve your family and friends this dish and watch them drop their jaw when they find out there’s no meat in it.


This recipe takes about 90 minutes to make. The mushroom mixture needs to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours. Serves 16 small meatballs.

• 1 pound white mushrooms, chopped
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 tbsp butter
• ½ cup of finely chopped onions
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ cup of instant oatmeal
• ½ cup of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• ½ cup of breadcrumbs
• ¼ cup of chopped Italian parsley
• 1 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
• ⅛ tsp cayenne powder
• ⅛ tsp dried oregano
• 2 eggs
• 3 cups of pasta sauce


Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Add chopped mushrooms and salt, then stir-fry for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium and continue browning the mushrooms for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add onions and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat off and stir in minced garlic.
Add instant oat and mix well.
Let the pan cool completely, then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Add finely grated cheese and mix well.
Add breadcrumbs, chopped Italian parsley, 1 egg, salt, pepper, cayenne powder, and dried oregano.
Mix well using a fork.
Once you get a grainy texture, add 1 egg.
Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Let the mushroom mixture refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out the mushroom mixture and transfer to a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.
To make the surface of the meatballs smooth, roll them in between your palms.
Bake the meatballs in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.
In a saucepot, simmer pasta sauce and meatballs over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.

Ideas And Tips:

When the pasta sauce is drying out too much while simmering, you can add water. You can also adjust the seasoning according to taste.

You can substitute mushrooms with crumbled extra firm tofu or tempeh.

Aside from pasta sauce, you can simmer the meatballs in sweet and sour sauce or teriyaki sauce.

Meatless Meatballs! Vegetarian Garlic & Mushroom Meatballs
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