Vegan Appetizers/ Vegan Recipes

Walnut Meat-less Balls

Walnut Meat-less Balls

These meatballs 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 into a typical tomato sauce and serve over pasta or as a side dish with your favorite gravy. 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).

Yield: 1 dozen

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon 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 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 them cool for five to ten minutes before serving.

Kendall’s Tasty Tip: These also make great party hors d’oeuvres – and when you’re feeling up to it, have a little get-together just to celebrate you. Just arrange the meatless balls on a platter with some toothpicks and set them out for the guests to enjoy.

*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!

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  • Reply
    March 30, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      March 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks so much for your input, Joan. I will pay a little extra attention to the consistency next time I make these.

  • Reply
    April 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Do these freeze well? Thank you.

    • Reply
      June 20, 2014 at 8:27 am

      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.

  • Reply
    June 20, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Great! Thank you!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2015 at 6:39 am

    I make these but also add tofu, which may help with keeping the balls moist

  • Reply
    Bruno Coutinho
    November 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Any good dipping sauces good for these?

  • Reply
    Bruno Coutinho
    November 14, 2015 at 12:44 am

    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.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Can I use regular oats in place of quick oats?

    • Reply
      October 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I think so, but it might be best to pulse them in a food processor to make them finer. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Vanessa Cooling
    February 14, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    We thought these were delicious. Great recipe, thanks.

    • Reply
      February 14, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      We’re glad you enjoyed this recipe, Vanessa!

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