Vegetarian Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

For those of you vegetarians who dream about your mom’s spaghetti and meatballs, this recipe is for you. I’m not going to lie and say that these veggie meatballs taste exactly like your traditional, Italian-style meatballs, but they do have a similar texture and consistency. At the very least, they will satisfy your craving for a childhood classic. I love to make a batch, bake a couple, and then freeze the rest for an easy dinner later. These meatless meatballs are delicious with the homemade tomato sauce recipe below and a big bowl of spaghetti. Enjoy! Vegetarian Meatballs Recipe Ingredients: 1/2 yellow onion, diced 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil a pinch of salt 4 eggs, slightly beaten a cube of a vegetable bouillon 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh 2 cups grated Asiago cheese 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup fresh basil 1 cup bread crumbs (best using day-old pumpernickel bread) 2 to 3 cups homemade tomato sauce, recipe below Directions: In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and salt, and sweat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Set mixture aside. In a large bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, the bouillon, and the grated Asiago cheese. In a food processor, pulse together the bread crumbs, walnuts, tempeh, basil, and the onion/garlic mixture. Add this to the beaten egg mixture and use your hands to fold and combine well. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. Form into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil. Bake in 400 degree oven until brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. 1/2 way through turn the meatballs over so they brown on both sides. (May be frozen now.) Place meatballs in casserole and cover with 2-3 cups homemade tomato sauce, recipe below. Meatballs should be within 1/2-inch of being covered with liquid. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe: Ingredients: 2 to 3 tablespoons EVOO 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper a few pinches of sea salt 1 can (28-ounce) whole peeled plum tomatoes a small handful of fresh basil, chopped 1/4 cup Burgundy wine (optional) Directions: In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and onion until onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with your hand over the pot. Stir in the crushed tomato, chopped basil, cayenne, salt and wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over meatless meatballs. 

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