Vegetarian Spaghetti and “Meatballs”

Easy homemade meatball recipeI bet you didn’t know that us (mostly) vegetarians dream of meatballs too. At least this gal does (points thumb at chest). 

OK, we’ve got to discuss this real quick. Who decided that these should be called “meatballs?” I mean, is it just me, or is that not the laziest name ever? Also, it’s not the most appetizing description ever. Meatballs. Balls of meat. 

And if your inner-middle schooler is giggling right now, it’s OK. Me too. Or, conversely, if you are a middle schooler, and you’re way too mature to be giggling at this…well, you win. 

My favorite vegetarian meatball recipeFocus now. We’ve got some meatless meatballs to make. These may not have meat, but they are still full of protein.

Still giggling? Get it together, you guys. We’ve got dinner to make. 

Best vegetarian meatball recipe Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs, serves 2-3 (makes 14-15 balls)
Adapted from The Kitchn’s guide, How to Make Meatballs

8 oz. tempeh
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 large jar of your favorite tomato sauce (or make your own)
salt + pepper
16 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles

In a bowl, stir together the milk and bread crumbs. This is sort of a breakfast cereal moment. 

Use a grater to shred the tempeh so it resembles the texture of ground meat. To the bread crumb bowl, add the tempeh, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, chopped onion and the minced garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Best vegetarian meatball recipe Use your clean hands to roll the batter into small balls. (Insert more giggles.) If you aren’t using them all at once, you can place them in a zip lock bag and freeze them.

Best vegetarian meatball recipeGet your pasta cooking in some boiling, salted water. While that cooks, cook the meatballs in the tomato sauce for 10-12 minutes until everything is hot. They don’t need to cook for very long. You’re mostly just making sure the raw egg in the batter cooks and the cheese begins to melt.

Vegetarian meatballs (click through for recipe)Once the pasta is ready, drain, and serve the meatballs and sauce on top. Garnish with a little more chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese. Devour. 

Yes, you must devour. That’s just part of the recipe. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection. 

Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. tempeh
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs I used panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large jar of your favorite tomato sauce or make your own
  • salt + pepper
  • 16 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, stir together the milk and bread crumbs. This is sort of a breakfast cereal moment.
  2. Use a grater to shred the tempeh so it resembles the texture of ground meat. To the bread crumb bowl, add the tempeh, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, chopped onion and the minced garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Use your clean hands to roll the batter into small balls. (Insert more giggles.) If you aren't using them all at once, you can place them in a zip lock bag and freeze them.
  4. Get your pasta cooking in some boiling, salted water. While that cooks, cook the meatballs in the tomato sauce for 10-12 minutes until everything is hot. They don't need to cook for very long. You're mostly just making sure the raw egg in the batter cooks and the cheese begins to melt.
  5. Once the pasta is ready, drain, and serve the meatballs and sauce on top. Garnish with a little more chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.

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