Vegan Thanksgiving ‘Meatballs’
Vegan Thanksgiving ‘Meatballs’- hearty, satisfying and packed full of umami flavor, these vegan ‘meatballs’ are gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free. But they’re so delicious even the meat eaters will be gobbling them up!
If you’re looking for an incredible plant-based main to serve for Thanksgiving, look no further!
These vegan ‘meatballs’ are made with wholesome and filling ingredients, and are packed full of savory flavor. They’ll easily put any of those frozen faux roasts to shame.
One of the key components that gives them their irresistible umami flavor is the Organic Gluten-free Vegan Worcestershire sauce from Edwards & Sons Trading Company.
I was actually in the process of testing a few variations of the ‘meatballs’ when Edwards & Sons reached out to me and ask if I’d like to experiment with some of their products for Thanksgiving. Being a a huge fan of their products, it automatically seemed like a no-brainer but once I learned more about their mission as a vegetarian company to support organic and sustainable farming methods, I knew it was the perfect fit.
Adding their Vegan Worcestershire to the recipe instantly took the ‘meatballs’ from meh to WOW. The unique blend of ingredients gave them just the right amount of tangy, smoky flavor that I was looking for.
They have so many great products that can help make your holiday cooking more convenient without compromising the integrity of the ingredients.
Now, about the balls. They might be somewhat time consuming but I promise they are worth it. They can also be prepped ahead and cooked or reheated the day of making them perfect for the holidays.
They’re based off of my Mushroom Lentil Loaf, however I wanted to make a version that didn’t require any grains or nuts. Shaping them into balls rather than a loaf helps give them structure, while using chickpea flour and ground sunflower seeds helps bind the ingredients and adds texture.
On the topic of texture, a food processor is key to getting the vegetables finely chopped and the sunflower seeds ground to a fine crumb. You might be able to achieve similar results with a blender or chopping them by hand but I recommend using a food processor for the best possible outcome.
If you try these please let me know how they came out! We think they’re phenomenal and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Vegan Thanksgiving 'Meatballs'
Yield: makes 25 balls
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 3/4 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and picked over (2 cups cooked)
- 2 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped (1 and 1/2 cups)
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped (1/2 cup)
- 3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
In a pot, bring 2 and 1/2 cups broth to a boil. Add lentils, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Drain excess liquid then set aside.
Using a food processor, finely chop the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the vegetables to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Meanwhile, finely chop the mushrooms in the processor then add to the skillet with the salt & pepper, thyme and sage. Continue to cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushrooms have released their liquid and vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool.
Using the food processor, add 1 cup of the cooked lentils and pulse for 5 seconds, just until finely chopped. We’re looking for a chunky texture, not mushy. Transfer all of the lentils (unprocessed and processed) to a large bowl along with the cooked vegetables. Next, process the sunflower seeds to a crumb-like texture. To the bowl, add the worcestershire sauce and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine. Add the chickpea flour and stir until mixed well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to set while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Once mixture has cooled, use a spoon or ice cream scoop to scoop out about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Roll into balls and arrange on the baking sheet at least an inch or two apart. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until firm. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm and enjoy!