So these vegan Swedish meatballs are my special weeknight delight. They are also my answer when I need something delicious and filling to satisfy a crowd of both carnivores and herbivores – and need it quick!
There are versions of vegan meatballs you can make with zucchini but nothing really gets close to that deep, buttery chewiness of Swedish meatballs I remember before going vegan than this.
And there’s also something very satisfying about rolling up your meatballs and seeing them lined up perfectly on the tray!
The lentils and mushrooms only take 20 minutes in total to prepare and you can make the sauce while the meatballs are cooking, which takes around another 20 minutes.
So you are done in under 40 minutes with these little wonders. And they are perfect for freezing up to 3 days once you’ve rolled them.
And don’t be put off by all the ingredients – the blender does most of the work. Sauteed mushrooms and lentils provide the texture, onions and garlic give it the base, herbs, soy and mustard give it those zing and yum and oooh flavors.
To all the purists out there who say this should be done with cranberry sauce, yes that is true for Swedish meatballs. But I just love a rich deep sauce with these. By all means add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar to the sauce mixture of you miss that tartness.
Vegan Swedish Meatballs
Serves 4 – 6
- 3 cups cooked green lentils
- 1/4 cup sauteed mushrooms
- 1 1/2 teaspoon mix salt and black pepper, more to taste
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Up to 2 cups of vegetable broth for the flax egg and binding
- 1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Flax seed (to make flax egg and bind)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Oil for frying and topping, preferably avocado or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
For the sauce:
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk, full fat
- 1 tbsp Bragg’s amino acids or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (to thicken)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tbsp sage
- pinch nutmeg
- Prepare lentils by cooking in salted water for 20 minutes or until soft and cooked through. This can be done ahead of time (and cooked lentils are dead easy to store).
- Sautee the mushrooms and sweat down the onions and garlic for 5 – 8 minutes or so until the liquid from the mushrooms have released and they are just beginning to brown.
- Make the meatballs. Mix the flax and up to 3 tbsp broth (adding as you go), before combining with all the meatball ingredients in a food processor. Reemm
- Blend the ingredients well until it comes together and is smooth. It should easily form a ball when pressed. If not, just add a little more broth – teaspoon at a time – to get the desired consistency.
- Put the mixture into a bowl. Press with the back of a spoon to compact it a little before then rolling up the meatballs in your hands. Complete for all the mixture.
- Fry the meatballs on a medium sized pan (ideally an iron skillet) on medium-high heat for a couple minutes until browned all over
- Place meatballs on a lined tray and place into a 375 degree pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Clean the pan and bring to a medium heat. Add the vegan butter, whisking with the flour to form a paste.
- Once the paste starts taking shape, throw in the chopped sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds before adding the other sauce ingredients. Bring up to a medium heat and simmer, tasting and seasoning as you go.
- Once the meatballs are ready, coat in the sauce. Serve straight away with mashed potatoes and greens.