Protein-packed tempeh transforms into hearty, flavorful meatballs in this simple, beginner-friendly Vegan Tempeh Meatballs recipe!
If you're trying to eat a more plant-based diet, then tempeh needs to become a staple in your diet. Whether you try out tempeh bacon or teriyaki tempeh or these Vegan Tempeh Meatballs, tempeh is such a great source of plant-based protein!
These vegan meatballs are so easy to make, so they're perfect for any of you who are new to cooking or eating a plant-based diet.
I love to make a double batch of these tempeh meatballs to go with One-Pot Creamy Marinara Pasta or to be the filling for vegan meatball subs.
And don't let the tempeh in this vegan meatball recipe scare you!
Tempeh is full of plant-based protein, is a great meat substitute and can easily be found at your local grocery store.
More on tempeh later.
Ingredients You'll Need for Tempeh Meatballs
These vegan meatballs thankfully don't require many ingredients.
To make these tempeh meatballs, you'll need the following simple ingredients:
- Italian herbs
- Vegetable broth (or vegetable stock cubes)
- Tomato paste
- Olive oil
What is Tempeh
If you're new to eating a plant-based diet, you may not be familiar with tempeh.
But you're in for a treat!
Tempeh originated in Indonesia and is a block made of fermented soy beans. It's similar to tofu in that it is usually made from soybeans, but it can also be made with different kinds of beans.
Soy beans are fermented in a controlled fashion so that the beans are bound together into a cake-like block.
When described, tempeh may sound unappealing, but it's actually delicious when prepared correctly.
Tempeh Nutrition Facts
Not only is tempeh delicious, but it also contains a lot of nutritional benefits.
Tempeh is high in protein and contains no cholesterol.
It contains lots of B vitamins, iron, fiber, calcium as well as other minerals.
A 3 ounce serving of tempeh contains 160 calories and 18 grams of protein!
How to Make Vegan Meatballs
This vegan meatball recipe is perfect for beginners or busy people as it is really quick and easy to prepare.
To make these vegan tempeh meat balls, simply follow the step-by-step instructions below:
- Place all of the ingredients for the tempeh meatballs into a food processor, except for the flour.
- Process the ingredients until combined, yet some larger pieces of tempeh remain.
- Next, add in the flour and pulse a few more times until the tempeh is broken down, but still has some texture.
- Next, roll the tempeh mixture into balls about 1 inch wide. Place them on a plate.
- Heat some olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Once hot, fry the meatballs until golden brown on each side, rotating the meatballs every 1-2 minutes or so.
- Once browned on all sides and warmed through, serve the meatballs however you would like!
Best Ways to Serve Vegan Meatballs
There are so many fun ways to enjoy these vegan meatballs.
I'll list out some ideas below:
- On top of spaghetti with marinara sauce
- In a sub with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella
- As the "meat" on a meat-lovers vegan pizza
- As the main protein source in buddha bowls
- Coated in a sticky sauce as an appetizer
How to Store Leftover Vegan Meatballs
If you have any leftovers of these vegan tempeh meatballs, you can easily store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
To reheat them, place them in a baking dish in the oven at 350F until warmed through.
Can You Freeze Meatballs?
Yes, you can freeze these vegan meatballs!
After frying or baking these tempeh meatballs, allow them to cool completely before placing them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Place the sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours to flash-freeze the meatballs before transferring them to a freezer safe Ziploc bag.
Label and date the bag and freeze the meatballs for 2-3 months or until ready to use.
Vegan Tempeh Meatballs
- Add all of the meatball ingredients except for the flour to your food processor. Process until combined, yet still some larger pieces of tempeh remain.
- Add in the flour and pulse a few more times until a dough forms. Try not to over process the mixture so that some texture remains.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch thick balls. You should get about 14 meat balls.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Fry the meatballs for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown all over. If needed, you can add more oil.
- Serve warm on top of spaghetti or however you desire!