Tempeh meatballs!

I was recently watching the Food network at someone’s house (we don’t have cable) and there was a show highlighting great restaurants in Canada. One of the restaurants that was featured had all classic Italian food and one of their signature dishes was their giant meatballs. That got me thinking that I hadn’t ever tried making vegan meatballs! I’ve been loving tempeh lately so I knew I wanted something tempeh based. I googled tempeh meatballs and sure enough the first result was from Vegan Dad, who is the expect on homemade vegan fake meat. I used the main structure of his recipe and made some changes to the seasoning and cooking technique. This recipe is a real winner, I’m sure these will be part of our regular meal rotation.

I used Noble Bean tempeh, it’s made in Ontario with organic and locally grown soybeans!

Tempeh meatballs (adapted from Vegan Dad’s Italian tempeh meatballs)

1 package tempeh
1/4 cup instant oats
1/4 cup nooch
1/2 cup wheat gluten
1 onion
4 garlic
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs dried parsley
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs Worcester sauce
1 tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate the tempeh into a large bowl. Add the oats, nutritional yeast, and wheat gluten. Grate in the garlic and onion using a microplane zester. Add all the seasoning and sauces (not the oil). Mix well with your hands.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the olive oil to the baking sheet. Shape the tempeh mixture into small balls (~ 1 tbs) and place on the baking sheet. Roll the balls around so they are all coated with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the balls every 10 minutes, until they are nice and browned.

At this point you can do whatever you like with the meatballs. I bet they would even freeze well. I simmered them in a store bought tomato sauce for 20 minutes and served them over pasta. I actually liked the taste of them better right out of the oven, so I probably won’t bother simmering them next time.

Meatballs before they went into the oven.

After they were baked.

Simmering in some sauce. 


Yum, those look amazing. I have to try this. Possibly this evening. I have tried a few recipes on no meat balls and they are all pretty ok. So far, i tried black bean balls and they are good but do not hold up well in red sauce. I LOVE spaghetti and meat balls and when I went plant-based, I almost cried as I could not longer have this treat. The sauce and pasta alone just don't do it for me. When I came home from university visits (UofO as it would be...as you live in Ottawa), I begged my mom to make pasta & meat sauce. Now I think I can finally find something to replace my love of the meat ball. When I make it (which might be tonight as I have to grocery shop and cook) I will let you know how it turns out.

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These meatballs definitely held up really well in the sauce. They didn't crumble at all. Let me know how they turn out, I hope you like them!!!

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Wow, they really did hold up! I have never had such fab meatballs vegan style. Thank you so much for the recipe. I made a the full recipe and froze most for another date. I plan on using some next time over rice and some sort of sauce. Great recipe.

Yay!!! So glad they worked out well for you too!!

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Hi Katie: Just came across your sight while looking for cabbage roll recipe. Couple questions...what is nooch and soy products...lots of folks tryiong to avoid them re: cancer. What are your thoughts about soy..good guy or bad guy? Jo

Hey Jo! Sorry for criptic vegan slang! 'Nooch' stands for nutritional yeast. It has a slightly cheesy flavor. It's pretty easy to find at health food stores or large super markets. There is a lot of misinformation out there about soy. All the scientific research actualy suggests that soy consumption reduces rates of most cancers, especially breast cancer. Unprocessed soy (tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame) is way better than processed soy (fake meats, soy protein powder). In general, moderation and variety are key, so I usually keep my soy consumption to 2-3 servings/day max. Hope that helps!

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