Hearty, meaty, savoury, juicy, and bursting with Italian flavours, these Vegan Italian Meatballs in Tomato Cheese Sauce won’t fall apart and aren’t mushy! They are so flavourful, satisfying, and delicious, super easy, made with very simple ingredients, and can easily be made 100% gluten-free. Simmered in a rustic homemade tomato sauce with a delicious drizzle of the most incredible Vegan Cheese Sauce and served over pasta for a delicious meal! Top with our Nut-Free Vegan Parmesan Cheese or crumbled vegan feta cheese (our recipe is in our cookbook & e-book ALL PLANTS: The Food You Love, The Vegan Way)!
These are just like the meatballs you grew up eating, but 100% vegan, cruelty-free & optionally gluten-free!
They hold up well in the sauce and are perfect served over pasta. They will surely become a family favourite!
1 serving of these amazing vegan meatballs will provide you with 50% of the protein, 40% of the iron, 53% of the calcium, 22% of the vitamin C, and 24% of the dietary fibre that you need in a day (based on a 2000 kcal per day diet). See more detailed nutrition facts below.
If you’re interested in another one of our Vegan Meatballs recipes, check out our Authentic Gluten-Free & Vegan Swedish Meatballs, our Crispy Delicious Gluten-Free & Vegan Potato Waffles, our Vegan Christmas Spiced Swedish Meatballs, Vegan Swedish Brown Gravy – Ikea Style, Creamy Vegan Green Peppercorn Gravy. You’ll love them!
If you’re interested in more recipes of vegan meats, you need to check out our new cookbook & e-book “ALL PLANTS: The Food You Love, The Vegan Way”. In chapter 3 “VEGAN BUTCHERY”, you can find recipes for 13 incredibly delicious vegan meats, some of them gluten-free too! Here’s a list:
- VEGAN BRATWURSTS
- VEGAN HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGES
- VEGAN WHEAT FILET MIGNON
- VEGAN BBQ RIBS
- THE BEST VEGAN BURGER
- BAKE-ON: A SUPER QUICK&EASY BACON MADE OF TOFU
- SWEDISH CHRISTMAS HAM
- CHICKUN: 2 DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE VEGAN CHICKEN: VEGAN THYME & ROSEMARY CUTLETS AND SPICY BUFFALO CHICKEN TENDERS
- SEITAN BACON
- VEGAN MORTADELLA
- BAVARIAN MORTADELLA
- SEITAN PEPPERONI
- and more!!
We also have an entire chapter named “Dairy is Scary” dedicated to vegan dairy substitutes, from homemade coffee creamers to 3 kinds of homemade yoghurts, homemade tofu, 4 types of cultured vegan cheese, and 5 easy and quick varieties of vegan cheese including feta, cheddar, Buffalo Mozzarella, etc. If you’re a cheese lover, you will love our cookbook! Read more about it here.
If you liked this recipe for Vegan Italian Meatballs in Tomato Cheese Sauce, check out our Succulent Vegan Filet Mignon, our Amazing Vegan Seitan Steaks, or the rest of our Vegan Meat & Fish Recipes. You’ll love them all!
Check out as well our Nut-Free Vegan Parmesan Cheese, our Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella, our Gluten-Free Vegan Mortadella, our Fluffy Homemade Vegan Bagels, our Vegan Mayonnaise (Plain & Spicy), our Easy to Make Vegan Béarnaise Sauce, our Oil-Free & Healthy Vegan Béarnaise Sauce, our Vegan Pink Sauce – Beetalicious, our Garlic Vegan Sauce, and our Vegan Pesto Sauce. And if you want to find some REALLY EPIC SAUCES AND DRESSINGS RECIPES, ALONG WITH OVER 150 OTHER RECIPES, check out our very first cookbook ALL PLANTS: The Food You Love, The Vegan Way, which includes over 150 satisfying recipes to feed all the members of your household (including your dogs!). It’s available internationally as a hardcover on Book Depository (with free delivery worldwide), Walmart, and in many other bookstores! Yay! Click here and here to learn more. You can also purchase it as a downloadable e-book (pdf) in our Store (currently ON SALE!), and our Etsy Shop (also on sale there!).
Vegan Italian Meatballs in Tomato Cheese Sauce
Enjoy friends! If you make this recipe, please snap a photo and tag @veganvvocals and #veganvvocals on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
- 1 kg extra-firm tofu, pressed
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tsp beetroot powder
- 3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce, or tamari for gluten-free option
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2/5 tsp fennel seeds, freshly ground
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour for gluten-free option. The gluten-free flour blend we used already contained xanthan gum, check ingredients and if it doesn't contain any thickening agent, you'll need to add
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 1/2 cup The Best Vegan Cheese Sauce EVER
- Press the tofu manually or using a tofu press until most of the water has been drained.
- In a large bowl, place the pressed tofu, and using a potato masher, mash the tofu until it's broken up into small pieces. Stir in the very finely chopped onion, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, beetroot powder, Japanese soy sauce or tamari, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chopped fresh basil, freshly ground fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, chopped fresh parsley, and tomato paste. Mix using a sturdy spatula until well combined. Try the mixture and adjust the seasoning to your own taste before adding the flour.
- Once you have adjusted the seasoning, add the all-purpose flour ,or gluten-free all-purpose flour for gluten-free option, to the mixture, and continue mixing, using a sturdy spatula, until a dough comes together. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour. The gluten-free flour blend we used already contained xanthan gum, check ingredients and if it doesn't contain any thickening agent, you'll need to add.
- Using a small cookie scoop, make balls out of the dough until you have used all the mixture. Place the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined tray. We made 50 meatballs, which would be 6 servings.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, and cook the meatballs in batches of 8.
- For every batch of approximately 8 meatballs, we added to a hot non-stick skillet 1/2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 tbsp of Japanese soy sauce or tamari. Pan-fry the meatballs until golden on all sides, 4 to 7 minutes per batch.
- Place the pan-fried meatballs back onto the parchment paper-lined baking tray. Let them rest until room temperature.
- Refrigerate the meatballs for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight. This is an important step to achieve the right consistency, do not omit! The more time you refrigerate them, the better the texture of the meatballs will get!
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/356ºF.
- Place the chilled meatballs back onto the parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes.
- Now, optionally, in a non-stick large skillet, over medium heat, place meatballs and pour 1/4 cup of vegan red wine on top. Let cook, stirring continuously until the wine has been absorbed. Turn off the heat.
- In a non-stick large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and sauté garlic until golden. Stir in tomato paste and tomato sauce. Lower the heat to low and add the seasoning. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the vegan cheese sauce, stirring to combine.
- Add the vegan meatballs to the skillet, and let them simmer for about 10 minutes, on medium heat.
- Serve them over a mountain of pasta and enjoy! Top with our Nut-Free Vegan Parmesan Cheese or crumbled vegan feta cheese (our recipe is in our cookbook & e-book ALL PLANTS: The Food You Love, The Vegan Way)!
- Store in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
- It’s essential that you refrigerate the meatballs for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight after pan-frying them and before baking them. This is an important step to achieve the right consistency, do not omit! The more time you refrigerate them, the better the texture of the meatballs will get!
- We made this recipe twice, one using both plain all-purpose wheat flour and the second using gluten-free all-purpose flour. Both ways the meatballs turned out delicious!
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