Vegan Gluten Free Meatballs Recipe

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Vegan Gluten Free Meatballs Recipe



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Meatballs are a classic dish loved by many, but for those following a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle, enjoying this dish can be a challenge. The good news is that it’s possible to recreate this beloved recipe in a way that’s both vegan and gluten-free, without compromising on flavor or texture. This article will guide you through a simple yet delicious recipe for vegan gluten-free meatballs that can be a star in your pasta dishes, sandwiches, or even as a standalone snack.


1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup canned lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water (flax egg)
1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil for frying


Prepare the Flax Egg: In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseed with water and set aside for about 5 minutes to thicken.

Process the Ingredients: In a food processor, combine cooked brown rice, lentils, and walnuts. Process until the mixture is finely ground but not paste-like.

Mix the Ingredients: Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the flax egg, gluten-free breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, minced garlic, oregano, basil, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Shape the Meatballs: Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Cook the Meatballs: Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and firm.

Serve: Serve your vegan gluten-free meatballs with your favorite pasta and sauce, in a sandwich, or enjoy them as a tasty snack with a dipping sauce.

Tips and Variations:

For a Different Texture: Try adding finely chopped mushrooms or grated carrots to the mixture for added moisture and flavor.

Spice It Up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to your meatball mixture.

Baking Option: If you prefer, you can bake these meatballs in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

This vegan gluten-free meatball recipe is not only healthy but also incredibly versatile and packed with flavor. Whether you’re a vegan, gluten-intolerant, or just looking to try something new, these meatballs are sure to satisfy. By experimenting with different herbs, spices, and additional ingredients, you can customize this recipe to suit your palate and enjoy a delicious, plant-based version of a traditional favorite.

Nutritional Benefits:

This recipe isn’t just a delicious alternative to traditional meatballs; it’s also packed with nutritional value. Lentils provide a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Brown rice adds a hearty texture while being a good source of whole grains. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. Nutritional yeast, a popular ingredient in vegan cooking, offers a cheesy flavor along with B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, which is often a concern in vegan diets.

Serving Suggestions:

With Pasta: Serve these meatballs over a bed of gluten-free pasta topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil for a classic Italian meal.

Meatball Sub: Place them in a gluten-free baguette with marinara sauce, vegan cheese, and arugula for a delicious meatball sub sandwich.

Appetizer: Serve them as an appetizer with a dipping sauce like vegan aioli or marinara sauce at parties or gatherings.

Meal Prep: These meatballs are perfect for meal prepping. You can make a big batch and freeze them for later use.


Leftover meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To freeze, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Allergy-Friendly Tips:

For those with nut allergies, sunflower seeds can be a great substitute for walnuts. Ensure that all ingredients, especially the gluten-free breadcrumbs, are certified gluten-free and processed in a facility free from cross-contamination if you’re highly sensitive or celiac.

Environmental Impact:

Opting for plant-based meat alternatives like these vegan meatballs is not only good for your health but also for the environment. Plant-based diets are generally associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions and less use of natural resources compared to diets rich in animal products.

Embracing a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up on familiar and comforting flavors. This recipe for vegan gluten-free meatballs is a testament to how versatile and delicious plant-based cooking can be. Whether you’re a full-time vegan, exploring Meatless Mondays, or have gluten sensitivities, these meatballs offer a nutritious, environmentally friendly, and tasty option for various meals. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to enjoy a delightful culinary experience that’s bound to please your palate and contribute positively to your health and the planet.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Gluten-Free Meatballs

Can I use a different type of bean instead of lentils?

Absolutely! Black beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans are great substitutes. Just make sure they are well-rinsed and drained if you’re using canned beans. Each type of bean will give a slightly different flavor and texture to the meatballs.

How can I make these meatballs soy-free?

This recipe is naturally soy-free as it doesn’t contain tofu or soy-based products. Just ensure that the ingredients, especially the gluten-free breadcrumbs, are free from soy if you have an allergy.

What can I use instead of walnuts due to a nut allergy?

Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are excellent nut-free alternatives that provide a similar texture and nutritional benefits. Make sure to grind them well in the food processor.

Are these meatballs suitable for freezing?

Yes, these meatballs freeze very well. Place the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet in the freezer until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored for up to 3 months. Reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop.

Can I bake these meatballs instead of frying them?

Certainly! Baking is a great alternative. Place the meatballs on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and firm to the touch.

How do I ensure the meatballs don’t fall apart while cooking?

Make sure the mixture is well combined and not too wet. The flax egg and breadcrumbs help bind everything together. If the mixture feels too moist, add a bit more breadcrumbs. Letting the formed meatballs chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cooking can also help them hold together better.

What’s the best way to serve these meatballs?

They are incredibly versatile! Serve them with gluten-free pasta and sauce, in a meatball sub sandwich, as a protein-rich addition to salads, or as an appetizer with a dipping sauce.

How can I add more flavor to these meatballs?

Experiment with different herbs and spices. Adding fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, or spices like cumin or coriander, can create a variety of flavor profiles. You can also incorporate grated vegetables like zucchini or carrots for added moisture and flavor.

Is this recipe kid-friendly?

Yes, these meatballs are often a hit with kids, especially when served with pasta and a familiar sauce. The texture is similar to traditional meatballs, making them an excellent option for family meals.

Can I make these meatballs without a food processor?

While a food processor is the easiest way to combine the ingredients, you can mash them together with a fork or potato masher. The texture might be a bit chunkier, but they will still be delicious.

By addressing these FAQs, you can feel confident and creative when preparing these vegan gluten-free meatballs, adapting the recipe to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy the process of cooking and the joy of sharing these healthy, delicious meatballs with friends and family!


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