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Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

I have been a vegetarian for 24 years (24 years!) and I have never made my own vegetarian meatballs. Don’t ask me why, I have no good reason for it. If I had to come up with a reason though, I’d say I was too overwhelmed by it. In my head I saw a vision of a crumbly mess that falls apart in the frying pan, and doesn’t stand a chance of staying in tact while swimming in tomato sauce.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

The idea of crumbly meatballs makes me strangely anxious, and because of that, I’ve avoided the whole thing and gone store-bought. Until now. And now that I’ve made them, I’m kicking myself for not making them sooner. First off, they are super easy to make, second, they stayed together even better than the store-bought kind, and third, they taste amazing!

The thing that motivated me to finally try to make vegetarian meatballs, was my weekly meal plan! I said I wanted to have spaghetti and meatballs on Monday, and I didn’t have any meatballs on hand. I’m convinced that my bullet journal is magic, it keeps motivating me to try new things!

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

The key ingredient in these babies, is the meatless crumbles. And I know, these meatballs are not entirely homemade, since I am using store bought crumbles. But between my job, my two year old, and my five year old, these are as homemade as I’m getting. If you have a meatless ground alternative, you can definitely use it here.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

The binder in this recipe, or as I like to call it, the anxiety-reducing-element that makes these little lovelies stay together, is the eggs, cheese, and breadcrumbs.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

With the addition of Italian spices, garlic, and basil to the mix, you’ve got yourself some tasty vegetarian meatballs.

This is my favorite way to use garlic and basil these days:

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

They are perfect little portion-sized and you don’t have to worry about chopping, peeling, or using them before they go bad. You keep the pack in the freezer and then pop out a little cube when you need it. I throw garlic in everything now! I know that garlic is super healthy for you and I’ve always wanted to eat more garlic, but I hate peeling and chopping it.

The next step is crucial to creating solid, stable, meatballs; baking them in the oven for twenty minutes until they are nice and firm.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

If there is a flattering way to photograph uncooked veggie meatballs on a baking sheet, I don’t know it. Funny enough, as I was taking this picture, I was thinking that these looked rather unappealing, when Jack walked into the room, took one look at the pan, and said “are we having poop for dinner?” Ah, kids…{facepalm}.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

Once the meatballs come out of the oven, throw them in a pot with your favorite pasta sauce and let them simmer for another 20 minutes, until you are ready to serve.

Cloudy with a Chance of Vegetarian Meatballs

You are going to love these, whether you are vegetarian or not. The texture is perfect, and the flavor pops with the Italian spice and garlic. They literally taste better than any store-bought meatball I’ve ever had.

I hope you try these and that you enjoy them as much as my family did. I made these with spaghetti, and my next move will be meatball subs. OK, I literally got a little sad typing that because I can’t make them right now. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out, and I’ll try to snap a pic before I completely devour them!

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetarian Meatballs

12 ounce package of Morning Star crumbles
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp basil, minced
2 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Adobe

Directions:

  1. Defrost crumbles in a skillet with garlic and basil
  2. Whisk remaining ingredients in a large bowl and set aside
  3. Chill crumbles completely (I throw them in the freezer for a few minutes)
  4. Combine crumbles and egg mixture
  5. Form meatballs and place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until firm, flipping half way through

My recipe was inspired by this recipe.

Linked up here, here and here.

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