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Vegan Meatballs

Easy, flavorful, protein packed vegan meatballs made with TEMPEH
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 batch flax egg 1 tbsp flax seed meal + 2.5 tbsp water
  • 1 medium yellow onion minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley if no fresh available, use dried
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan cheese store bought or DIY- instructions in notes at end. This time I used follow your heart brand
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs Italian seasoned preferred
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1 cup veggie broth for steaming tempeh
  • olive oil for sautéing

For coating

  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a large skillet on medium heat, pour 1 cup veggie broth on bottom. When broth is hot, add slab of tempeh and cover with lid allowing it to steam and absorb some of the broth for approx 15 minutes. The slab will be "puffed up" when done. Turn once halfway through. While the tempeh steams, chop your onions, garlic, and parsley and prepare your flax egg by mixing water and flax seed meal in a small bowl and setting aside.
  • Heat a skillet to medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Sauté onion until fragrant and translucent (approx 3 min), then add garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant (approx 1 min). When done, remove from pan with slotted spoon so as to drain excess oil.
  • Carefully take the tempeh out of the broth and set on a plate. Break up the slab into smaller pieces so it can be easily distributed in food processor. Add tempeh, flax egg, garlic, onion, parsley, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan (1/3 cup), and breadcrumbs (1/2 cup) to food processor and pulse a few times until everything is combined. The result should be combined enough to act like a dough, but with as coarse enough texture to give you a "meatier" meatball.
  • Heat up the same large skillet used earlier to a medium heat. In a separate bowl or plate, combine the remaining breadcrumbs and parmesan for coating the meatballs.
  • Spoon out tablespoon sized amounts of the mixture, roll into balls with your hands, and then roll in the breadcrumb/parmesan coating. It's important to keep the meatballs on the smaller size so they keep their shape and don't fall apart.
  • Add a thin layer of olive oil to heated pan. When oil is hot, add the coated meatballs in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Brown the meatballs for 5 min, shaking the pan to ensure they brown on all sides (note: I suggest testing with one meatball first. If your meatballs are sticking to the bottom the pan isn't hot enough!)
  • Put the meatballs on a baking sheet (I like to line mine with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden brown (longer time = crispier meatball)
  • Serve with favorite sauce! I served mine with spaghetti and marinara sauce and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan. Enjoy!


The easiest vegan parmesan recipe I have found is ALSO from the minimalist baker. I swear this lady must think I'm insane because I tag her so much. Honestly I just love her recipes!
All you need is
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.
(I actually make mine with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder to crank up the flavor slightly but the original is still great)
Keyword meatballs, plant based, vegan, vegetarian