Vegetarian Meatballs

Meatballs play an iconic role in many Italian dishes, but what if you don’t eat meat? No worries, I got you covered. These little meatballs have a great texture and are a perfect substitute for meat.

I decided to make Meatball Subs with mine, but you could always serve them with some spaghetti or something else. These guys take barely any time to make and you can easily double to recipe to serve larger crowds.


  • 16oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 15oz cans of cannellini beans
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vegetable oil

I bought full mushrooms and then chopped them up using my food processor, but you could always buy the pre-sliced ones and then chop those smaller. Also, even though you only use 1 tsp, that liquid smoke is STRONG! I poured it in and the entire house filled with that scent. It gives the meatballs a delicious flavor though so it’s worth it. If you want to make this gluten free, just use gluten-free bread crumbs rather than regular.


Look at the difference in texture between typical meatballs (left) and the vegetarian ones (right).


  1. Prepare the vegetables: finely chop the mushrooms and onion, mince the garlic, drain and rinse the beans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, beans, onion, bread crumbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Mix using a fork or a potato masher.
  3. Roll mixture into golf-ball sized balls.
    • You should be able to get about 24-30 meatballs, depending on how large you roll them and how mashed the mixture is.
  4. Heat about 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  5. Once the oil is hot, all in the meatballs and cook for 1 minute each side, roughly 4 minutes in total.
    • Avoid overcrowding the meatballs in the pan otherwise, they will not cook evenly.

From here, what you do next depends on what you’re making. You may add sauce to them for grinders like I did or you might mix it into some pasta. It’s all up to you!


Happy Cooking!

One Comment Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe


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