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How to Make "Meatballs" Without the Meat

Learn how to make simple vegetarian meatballs by using store-bought ground beef substitute from GimmeLean. Vegetarian, with vegan option.


By Jolinda Hackett, The Spruce Eats

[post_ads]Wondering how to make homemade vegetarian meatballs? One simple way to make quick and easy vegetarian meatballs is to use a store-bought ground beef substitute, such as GimmeLean brand. At most grocery stores, vegetarian ground beef substitute such as GimmeLean is usually sold in a tube in the refrigerated section near bagged salads and other produce. At natural foods stores, it's more likely to be near the other vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes and vegetarian deli meats in their own section, though also refrigerated.

Make these vegetarian "meatballs" vegan by using an egg substitute instead of an egg, if you're eating dairy-free and egg-free.

Not sure what to do with your homemade vegan meatballs? Well, there's always a classic meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Just add these vegetarian meatballs to some store-bought marinara sauce on top of a plate of spaghetti and you've got yourself a quick yet romantic complete Lady and the Tramp-style dinner. Or, make them mini-sized (you'll need to reduce the baking time a bit accordingly if you do) and serve them up as an appetizer with toothpicks for a cocktail party alongside a dipping sauce, such as a sweet chili sauce or some kind of gourmet preserves, such as mint jelly or jalapeno jelly.

This vegetarian meatball recipe with Gimmelean courtesy is of Lightlife Foods

Total: 35 mins
Prep: 10 mins, Cook: 25 mins
Yield: 6 servings

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What You'll Need

  • 1 package Gimme Lean vegetarian beef substitute
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk substitute
  • 2 tbsp. onion, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg or egg replacer for 1 egg, prepared according to package instructions


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How to Make It

  • First, pre-heat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a baking sheet, baking pan or cookie sheet.
  • Separate the vegetarian beef substitute into several chunks, and place in a large bowl.
  • Next, using a large fork, or your (clean!) hands if needed, mash the beef substitute together  with the seasoned bread crumbs, soy milk, onion, salt, garlic powder, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce and the egg or prepared egg replacer until fully combined.
  • Next, shape the mixture into individual balls about 1 1/2 inches round.
  • Bake your vegetarian meatballs in the pre-heated oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Recipe note: Be sure to read the ingredients list on the label if you're purchasing Worcestershire sauce for the first time. Some brands are both vegetarian and vegan, while many brands contain fish (anchovies).

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Nutritional Information, per serving:

One serving of these vegetarian meatballs, prepared with an egg, provides approximately:
  • Calories 126
  • Total Fat 1g
  • Saturated Fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 31mg
  • Sodium 847mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 17g
  • Dietary Fiber 3g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 10g
  • Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 1%, Calcium 10%, Iron 13%

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Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)

  • Calories 56
  • Total Fat 2 g
  • Saturated Fat 1 g
  • Unsaturated Fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 39 mg
  • Sodium 375 mg
  • Carbohydrates 6 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Protein 4 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)

See more at: The Spruce

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Food Magazine: How to Make "Meatballs" Without the Meat
How to Make "Meatballs" Without the Meat
Learn how to make simple vegetarian meatballs by using store-bought ground beef substitute from GimmeLean. Vegetarian, with vegan option.
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