meatless meatballsIt sounds like an oxymoron, but meatless meatballs sounds better than ‘oxymoronic meatballs,’ so we’ll go with meatless meatballs or vegetarian meatballs for this recipe!

Meatless Meatballs

We sat around our dinner table and said grace. Twelve expectant heads popped up after the prayer. Fourteen of us fit, albeit snugly, around the repurposed boardroom table.

“What’s for dinner?” one of the twelve students asked.

“Spaghetti and meatballs,” I answered, as I stood up to carry the two steaming bowls of sauce and meatballs from the kitchen.

“Yum!” several voices exclaimed as they settled into the business of passing noodles, sauce, and salad around the table. Pedro explained his favorite method of eating the fresh-baked rosemary garlic bread (dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar). I served myself several meatballs, sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top and took my first savory bite.

“Mrs. Ojeda!” a young man exclaimed. “Why are you eating the meatballs? I thought you were a vegetarian!”

“I am,” I assured him. “What do you think the meatballs are made of?”


“They taste like lamb,” another student chimed in.

“Interesting. I’ve never tasted lamb. Don’t worry, they don’t have any meat in them.”


“Really.” The conversation didn’t disturb the consumption of my meatless meatballs around the table. I stood up to refill the bowls. “Don’t forget to leave room for dessert,” I cautioned.

Vegetarian Meatball Recipe

You can prepare this vegetarian meatball recipe two ways: You can fry them or you can bake them. Fried things always taste better, right? But if you need to watch your intake of greasy foods, you can always bake them (my husband claims he can’t tell the difference). They look small, but once you simmer them in spaghetti sauce for hours, they will double in size.

Unless I’m cooking for a crowd, I only use about a third of the recipe and freeze the rest for a meal later on in the month. If you want to cook crazy amounts of food ahead of time, you can easily double the batch.

Tomorrow I’ll share my favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. I make a huge batch of it at a time and freeze it for later, too.

You can simmer the meatballs in spaghetti sauce in a slow cooker, on the stove, or even in the instant pot if you’re in a hurry. Serve with whole-wheat angel hair pasta, salad, and rosemary garlic bread and you have the perfect meal. Just save room for dessert!

Looking for a #meatlessmonday recipe? Check out these meatless meatballs! An easy-to-make vegetarian meatball recipe. Click To Tweet


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meatless meatballs

Meatless Meatballs

  • Author: Anita Ojeda
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


These easy meatless meatballs will please even the most stalwart meat eaters.



1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 cup pecans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground sage
4 eggs

oil for frying


Oil for frying—start heating the oil first, so that it’s hot enough to fry the meatballs by the time you finish mixing them. OR, if you want a healthier meatless meatball, you can bake them instead, so you’d want to preheat the oven to 400.

I usually make my own bread crumbs by toasting 4-5 slices of whole-wheat bread and then whizzing them up in the blender. Add them to a small mixing bowl.

Next, whiz up the pecans (you can use walnuts, too). Add these to the mixing bowl.

Add the cheese, sage, and salt and mix well. Add the eggs and mix until everything is combined. It will be a stiff dough.

Use a melon ball maker to make one-inch balls of dough and drop them into the hot oil. Let them fry until they are golden-brown. You can also spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray bake them in the oven for 30 minutes.

Keywords: meatless meatballs, spaghetti

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These meatless meatballs are so good, no one will care that they're vegetarian! #recipe #pasta #meatballs #meatlessmonday #mealprep


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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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