Meatballs provide protein and texture to otherwise basic dishes like pastas and sub sandwiches. And now non-meat-eaters can enjoy these tasty balls too with this Walnut Meat-less Balls recipe!
These meat-less-balls are flavorful and replicate a traditional meatball quite nicely—but without the heaviness that comes from the meat. You get a nice punch of protein from the walnuts and immune-boosting benefits from the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and parsley.
You can throw these meat-less balls into a typical tomato sauce and serve over pasta, or you can serve them as a side dish with your favorite gravy. In fact, you can even eat these meat-less balls plain! They make for great party hors d'œuvres. Just arrange them on a platter with some toothpicks and set them out for your guests to enjoy.
How to Make Walnut Meat-less Balls
- Preheat oven.
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
- Sauté onions, muchrooms, and garlic until soft.
- Add all ingredients to food processor and blend.
- Form mixture into balls and place on baking sheet.
- Bake covered.
- Uncover, flip, and cook a bit longer uncovered.
- Let meat-less balls cool a bit before serving.
Full directions for how to make Walnut Meat-less Balls are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Walnut Meat-less Balls FAQs
Can I use a different type of nut for these meatballs?
We used walnuts for our meat-less balls because they have a nice, rich taste. However, you can use whatever kind of nuts you have on hand! Each nut variety will give your meat-less balls a slightly different flavor, so feel free to experiment.
How should I store leftover meat-less balls?
you can store any leftover meat-less balls in the fridge or the freezer. For the refrigerator, keep your leftover balls in an air-tight container up to 1 week. If you're freezing your meat-less balls, you can freeze them before or after baking them.
Here are more tasty vegan appetizers.
Walnut Meat-less Balls
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus ¼ tsp
- ½ medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup button mushrooms chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp wheat germ
- 3 tbsp quick oats
- 2 tsp tamari
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions, mushrooms, and garlic for about four minutes or until soft.
- Transfer the sautéed onions, mushrooms, and garlic to a food processor. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Form mixture into small balls—about the size of a golf ball—and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
- Bake covered for thirty minutes.
- Then uncover, flip meatballs, and bake for an additional ten minutes uncovered.
- Let meat-less balls cool for five to ten minutes before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen* by Annette Ramke & Kendall Scott (© 2012 Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group).
*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!
I made these today, but I think my oven was too hot, so they came out a little dry. They are really tasty though. I'm now cooking up a pan of carrots, onions and zucchini to which I will add the meat-less balls. Thank you for your post. I will definitely make them again.
Thanks so much for your input, Joan. I will pay a little extra attention to the consistency next time I make these.
I just made them, and they are really good. I got 11 out of the recipe, but I wonder if maybe they should bake longer at lower heat? They came out on the edge of being burned on the outside, while still somewhat "creamy" on the inside. Great flavor though, so I don't regret it! They go well with my whole wheat penne with chunky vegetable sauce and extra mushrooms, zucchini and onions!
Do these freeze well? Thank you.
Cheri — I have tried freezing them, and as long as they're covered well without a lot of air in the container, they do freeze well.
Great! Thank you!
I make these but also add tofu, which may help with keeping the balls moist
Bruno Coutinho says
Any good dipping sauces good for these?
These would be great with our Easy Vegan Barbecue Sauce — http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/quick-sweet-and-savory-grilling-sauce/ — or Teriyaki Marinade — http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/teriyaki-marinade-2/ Enjoy!
Bruno Coutinho says
Just made them. I found the nutritional yeast flavor to be overwhelming. maybe it depends on the brand.
I think the sauce you suggested will solve that.
Can I use regular oats in place of quick oats?
I think so, but it might be best to pulse them in a food processor to make them finer. Good luck!
Vanessa Cooling says
We thought these were delicious. Great recipe, thanks.
We're glad you enjoyed this recipe, Vanessa!