Perfect Vegan Meatballs for the Whole Family
A quick and easy recipe for vegan meatballs without tofu
Looking for something simple to make for dinner tonight? These vegan meatballs will satisfy your whole family, even your little ones.
Yup, this recipe is baby and toddler friendly. I made them for Haylee who is 15 months old now.
Let me tell you this – she devoured them!
She ate 5 of these meatless balls for dinner. Okay, they are kind of small, but still. 5 is a lot for a little toddler.
I love how easy this recipe is and you can flavor it however you like.
Just to point out, this recipe originally came from My Plantiful Cooking and I adapted it a bit to be more baby and toddler friendly since I was making it for Haylee.
I know you’re ready to get started here with baking so let’s get going!
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Ingredients for vegan meatballs
This recipe for vegan meatballs requires ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen. That’s what makes it so easy and a perfect go-to recipe!
What will you need?
- Textured vegetable protein
- Canola oil
- Nutritional yeast
Now, if you’re making this for your little one who’s under 1, you can simply skip out the salt. I only added a dash for my 15-month-old.
Only recently I started serving her salt in foods. I was so against sugar and salt until now. I’m still not serving her any sugar.
However, regarding salt, her nutritionist recommended adding a bit to give her iodine.
If you’re looking for a meal plan for your little one, fill in your details below and you’ll get my FREE baby/toddler meal plan sent straight to your email!
To get started, you want to soak the textured vegetable protein. Add it to a medium bowl and pour boiling water over it.
After about 10 minutes, the textured vegetable protein will resemble minced meat.
While it’s soaking, you can dice the onion and fry it over medium heat.
After the onions are translucent, you will add the minced garlic and fry for another minute.
Set this aside and it’s time to pull out your food processor. Pulse the oats until it becomes like oat flour. If you already have oat flour, you can use that instead.
In the medium bowl of textured vegetable protein, pour in all the ingredients and mix it until everything is combined.
Now, just to get the texture a bit finer, you will add everything to the food processor and pulse a few times.
At this point, you’ll have the perfect batter to make your vegan meatballs!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the batter into balls. Bake it in a preheated 400 F/200 C oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, you have a main dish for your family dinner.
What to eat with these meatless balls
This would pair well with any kind of pasta. I made it for Haylee with pea pasta but she didn’t care for the pasta.
She used to love pasta but I think these meatballs were so good that she didn’t want to eat anything else.
Whenever I serve pasta to Haylee, I always try to get her something besides the usual white wheat kind.
Sometimes I get her whole wheat pasta, lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, or anything interesting I find in the grocery store.
Another healthy and nutritious option to serve these vegan meatballs with is this roasted radish salad.
The best part about these vegan meatballs is that they freeze really well.
Simply pop them in the freezer once they’ve cooled down and you can defrost a few whenever you want.
I love freezer-friendly food since I don’t have time to cook for Haylee every day. Instead, I spend my weekend making her several dishes and that’s what she has for the week.
Baby led weaning tips
These are perfect to serve your baby if you’re doing baby led weaning since they’re really soft on the inside.
It’s best to wait until your little one masters the pincer grasp since the pieces would be too small for her to pick up otherwise.
Another great recipe for baby led weaning is this 5 minute baby oatmeal cookie recipe. I made them this weekend too and Haylee never gets tired of them.
They’re one of her favorites!
If you’re just getting started with baby led weaning or you need more recipes that are baby friendly, be sure to check out my eBook Baby Led Weaning Made Simple.
You can also find more tips and recipes for baby led weaning here.
To wrap up
I hope you and your family enjoy a mouth-watering meal with these perfect vegan meatballs!
They’re quick to make with common ingredients found in your kitchen. And your whole family can enjoy these, even your baby!
Now that’s a win!
Did you make these meatless balls? If so, let me know in the comments how you all enjoyed them!
Perfect Vegan Meatballs
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup oats
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.
- Boil the water. In a medium bowl add the textured vegetable protein and pour the boiling water over it. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it's all absorbed.
- In a nonstick frying pan, heat canola oil.
- In the meantime, dice an onion. Once the oil is hot, pour the onion into the frying pan and fry for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
- Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add it to the frying pan. Continue frying for another 2 minutes.
- In the food processor, pulse the oats until it's fine.
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl of textured vegetable protein and mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into the food processor and pulse a few times until the batter is better combined but not completely smooth.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form balls from the batter and place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Love this recipe! Meatballs are a great protein idea for babies and little ones! I like how you used oats instead of flour for a nutritional upgrade.
Thank you Chelsea! Protein is such an important part of babies’ nutrition.
These look amazing! I am always looking for easy meatless ideas for dinner and these will work great! Thanks for sharing!
Sounds like such a lovely recipe. Thank you for sharing!
What a lovely substitute for meatballs! I am excited to try to make this dish.
Let me know how it goes for you, Lyssa!
I’ve been looking for some vegan meatballs! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I hope you enjoy them Miranda!
Looks great for kids. I will give it a try!
Eva, let me know how it turns out for you!