Friday, October 10, 2008

Italian Meatballs

I have made and posted various meatballs recipes before (like this one, and this one), but I was reminded just how awesome they were when I made them for tonight's pasta dinner. These babies stick together, have great texture and taste (as long as you're at least partially partial to tempeh), and will hold up when simmered in a sauce.


INGREDIENTS
- 1 pkg tempeh, simmered in water for 10 mins, cooled, and grated
- 1/4 cup instant oatmeal
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 onion, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp HP sauce/A1 Sauce/BBQ sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil

METHOD
1. Mix cooled and grated tempeh in a large bowl with oatmeal, nutritional yeast, gluten, onion, garlic, and spices. Add sauces and mush/mix together with your fingers. Add a splash of water if needed.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over med-lo heat. Shape tempeh mixture into 36 small balls. Fry in oil for 15 mins, turning regularly, until nicely browned on all sides.
3. Although the meatballs can be used right away, they are even better when simmered in a tomato sauce for an hour or so. Serve over pasta.

32 comments:

allularpunk said...

finally, a really good meatball recipe that doesn't turn to mush in my mouth.

Ricki said...

These do look amazing. I LOVE tempeh, but can't eat wheat gluten. . . sniff, boo hoo.

Paulina said...

Looks and sounds delicious!

Georgia said...

These look fantastic and easy. Thanks heaps for the recipe.

Eesh said...

That looks unbelievably delicious!

Bex said...

oh no you didn't

Sharon R said...

These so look like the real thing; I know you posted previously that Vegan Mom loves Italian food.
What better way to kick off the weekend than by having lucious meetballs and spagetti!!??
p.s: I always thought tempeh was unjustly overshadowed by tofu..

miss v said...

my husband would love these! his misses italian meatball sandwiches. this is perfect, thanks!

Katie said...

These look yum! My fiance is coming back from vancouver with a bottle of HP, finally! I'll have to make these as my first experiment with it!

Chessa said...

OMGYUM. I definitely need to try these. As someone who grew up with italian grandparents, I'm always on the lookout for some delicious meatballs that don't fall apart. Wicked awesome!

Reni said...

These look so very yummy, and perfectly round! I'm not a fan of Tempeh, but that could be because of the brand I've tried. I think I might tweak the recipe to use TVP, maybe...

Thanks for sharing! :)

Miss Marie said...

This is so wonderful! I've been wishing for this exact thing! I can't wait to try it!

theveganfoodie said...

I am going to make these very very soon! This is a awesome recipe!

Kelly said...

Mmmm. That looks so comforting.

Christine said...

Hi! I just found you today and have "subscribed". I am an ex-vegetarian (was one ten years, gave it up 12 yrs.) who has decided that my gift to myself for my 47th birthday is a switch to a vegan diet. I am fumbling but with sites like your's and all these delicous looking goodies I have hope!

I esp. am looking for down home everyday type food since here in the middle of Wisconsin (proudly known as the dairy state, and of the cheeseheads) aside from my own garden things are difficult to come by.

Thanks for the inspiraton!

Speedwell said...

I love your whole blog but I'm so frustrated because I can't STAND tempeh (sorry). Please post a non-tempeh meatball if you come up with one?

And when can we buy the book? :)

Vegan Dad said...

speedwell,
I will work on a tempeh free version.

The book should be ready next month. Just in time for Christmas!

kimmykokonut said...

Looks easy and yummy, can't wait to try it!

jennconspiracy said...

This looks like an awesome recipe - I can't wait to try it for my next Sunday Spaghetti dinner!

Ali said...

I made these last night, and they were fantastic! I made two modifications, one on purpose and one accidental. First, after I mixed the ingredients, I pulsed the mixture briefly in my food processor, which gave it a slightly "meatier" consistency (I had grated some of my ingredients using the shredder disc, so I had some slightly larger shreds of onion than I wanted, and pulsing the whole batch took care of this problem).

Then, after my meatballs were simmering in the sauce, I saw the lonely little packet of instant oatmeal on the counter--I had totally forgotten to add the oatmeal! Because I had pulsed the ingredients, they stayed together just fine; the result was mainly a softer, slightly looser meatball. I'm going to try it again--this time using all the ingredients--but my "oopsie" version was a big hit in my house. THANK YOU!!

Esther said...

These are WONDERFUL. I am a very recent convert to veganism, and as such remember real meatballs very well. These taste identical, yet better! My only issue was they didn't hold up terribly well in my sauce, or seem entirely cooked, although browned on the outside. Should I have sauteed them on lower heat? I did make the mistake of putting the olive oil in the meatballs, so I'm not sure if that affected it; I tried to compensate by using extra oatmeal.

Allana said...

I made these last night; they were perfect after frying, but became mushy after I simmered them in the sauce. All in all, they tasted delicious; the kids loved them!

Not sure what I did wrong....I didn't have any instant oatmeal and used rolled oats instead (whizzed them in the food processor briefly), I used vegan worcestershire sauce as a sub for the HP/A1/ BBQ sauce, and I also made the mistake of adding the olive oil to the tempeh mixture (my bad, it was getting late and I wanted to get dinner on the table). I added 2 tbsp olive oil instead of the 3 since it seemed like too much oil and had no problem with shaping the mixture into meatballs; they didn't even fall apart when they were fried. Not what I quite expected, but very tasty! Thank you, Vegan Dad! I enjoy reading your posts!

Adam said...

Just made a version of these tonight. Skipped the oats but made pretty much the same recipe. I found baking mine int he toaster oven at 400 degrees F worked very well. Lightly coat the pan with Olive oil, bake, shake, bake, shake, bake, etc till done. Firm and tasty. Same balls fried and then simmered turned mushy. Could have been the lack of oats but I like what I made without and baked. Try it out!!! Also added liquid smoke..... yum

Barb said...

Hello Vegan Dad,
I have used tempeh for awhile and I like it. I find that if you steam the tempeh for about ten minutes, let it cool, then grate it for your recipe it taste good and will hold together pretty good. I like this method better than boiling.

kitty said...

I tried your recipe tonight and it tasted wonderful. I would have liked to simmer it in spaghetti sauce for a while but it was already pretty crumbly in the pan so I decided not to. That was totally my fault though, I threw in some uncut parsley that just got in the way of everything! I think the large parsley also interfered with my ability to roll spherical balls so I ended up with some nice cubes and polyhedrons. LoL! Thanks for a great recipe, Vegan Dad.

Allison said...

I'm a pretty hard sell when it comes to anything faux-meat, but these were really great. Probably the best meat sub I've ever made. I baked mine at 400F for 35 mins and was very pleased with the texture right out of the oven. Then I threw a couple in the microwave with some marinara and I agree that they are improved by a sauce. Excellent consistency: not spongy, yet nice and dense. Thank you Vegan Dad for being a great cook and a wonderful resource

c men said...

just made these... easy and delicious! thank you!

c men said...

also, do these freeze well?

icaoberg said...

what brand of tempeh do you reccomend? and since you say one package what size/weight is the package you use? these look amazing!

Vegan Dad said...

icaoberg: I can't remember the brand off the top of my head . . . something from here in Canada. The packs are about 8.5 oz.

Susan (peebsmama) said...

I admit it. I used to buy packaged frozen meatless balls. I had tried many recipes for meatless balls before and they either took to long to make or had a less than pleasing texture so I resorted to pre-made. Then I found this recipe. These meatless balls are so good. They have enough flavor to stand on their own but not so much that they would compete with any recipe that I wanted to use them in. The first time I made these I fried them as the directions stated. The next time I baked them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray at 375° for 30 minutes turning half way through. Just as yummy and less mess and fat. After my first try I modified the recipe slightly to suit my tastes. I used only 1/3 cup gluten instead of 1/2 so the texture would be a little softer. The recipe didn't call for salt and pepper so I added 1/2 tsp salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. I no longer buy the frozen meatless balls. These are now in my regular recipe rotation.

asharpknife said...

These things are amazing, I think that's what I'm going to call them in future. Amazeballs. <3 <3 Love you Vegan Dad!