These Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs are entirely vegan and gluten free. Super easy to make with a base of lentils, onions, and tasty spices. Top it with the creamy white gravy and you have an amazing plant-based lunch or dinner in no time.
We all know the feeling when the craving for comfort food strikes. Sometimes we just need to sit down with a full plate of a hearty and delicious dish and just enjoy ourselves.
Swedish Meatballs, I’m sure, are a thing for everyone when craving comfort food. As famous as they are, of course, the traditional ones are a no for vegans.
Often they land together with pasta on such a plate. Just think of my Vegetarian Fajita Pasta.
I invite you to try these Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs. They are absolutely satisfying, delicious, versatile, super easy to make, amazingly creamy if you top with them with the optional white gravy.
They go so well with many things, are protein rich, and a recipe which you will make again and again.
Swedish meatballs aren’t plant based or gluten free. The traditional recipe calls for milk, pork, eggs, beef broth, heavy cream and so on. This applies for the meatballs and the gravy as well.
Now let’s do this vegan version together. It’s easy and you will be amazed by the results.
How to make Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs
You will need a food processor. Combine brown lentils, vegetable broth powder, garlic, onion, oat creamer in its bowl. Seasoning with salt and pepper. Pulse everything some time just until it just incorporates well.
Be cautious not to over process. You still want to have a bit of texture and not a mush. Manually mix in the bread crumbs.
The base will make 16 big meatballs. Of course you can easily adjust this to your liking. Form the meatballs with your hands.
You have now two methods: frying or baking.
For frying: Use a bit of vegan butter or olive oil and fry the Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs for about 5 minutes until golden from each side. Flip them carefully around.
For Baking: Use a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. You can brush the meatballs with a bit of vegan butter, if you like. Bake for about 15 minutes at 410°F, done.
If you plan to make the optional gravy, now is the time to start: In a casserole, melt the vegan butter, and carefully whisk in the flour.
Now keep whisking and slowly add vegetable broth and oat cream. Reduce to medium heat and – still whisking – bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 5 minutes more at medium heat until the sauce thickens and will lightly bubble. That’s when you will know it’s done. If you wish to add the optional capers with brine, do this now.
Never do his in the beginning or middle. It will effect the taste and texture from the capers.
Serve gravy and meatballs into bowls or plates, eating straight from the pan is delicious as well.
If you try this version with cashew milk instead of oat cream, this will change the ratios. You will need just 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and 1 1/4 cups cashew milk.
Plant-based milks are less rich than plant creamer so you need more cashew milk and less vegetable broth.
It’s important to make sure it’s plain without any added sugar. It’s a plant based alternative to heavy cream.
If being dairy free isn’t a thing for you, you can also use your regular heavy cream, which will work of course.
Note: if you can’t find any oat or soy plain creamer in your local store, try online.
Otherwise you can go with cashew milk, as I said above. I also tried this recipe with almond and soy milk. While it was good, I find only cashew milk gives you the absolute creaminess which is a must have for a gravy.
Please note a food processor is essential for these Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs. A blender won’t work.
Not even a high speed blender, because the mix will turn out too fine like one creamy mousse. We really want a hearty and coarse mix which is just incorporated.
That goes for your food processor as well. Please only use the chop function not running your machine full speed to get a smooth mix.
What to serve with Swedish Meatballs
I can tell you everything like quinoa, rice, pasta works.
Or if you want something really delicious and special for date night, serve them with my Garlic Butter Scalloped Potatoes. This combo is just magical.
- 2 14 oz cans cooked brown lentils
- 3 Tbs plain oat creamer
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbs vegetable broth powder
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I used gf)
- salt, pepper to taste
For the optional gravy:
- 2 Tbs vegan butter
- 2 Tbs light buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup plain oat or soy creamer
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 Tbs capers with brine
- salt, pepper to taste
- Combine brown lentils, vegetable broth powder, garlic, onion, oat creamer in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined by still a coarse mix. Do not over process to a mush.
- Manually mix in the bread crumbs. Set aside for 10 minutes, so the bread crumbs. Form the meatballs with your hands.
- Fry or bake the meatballs: For frying, use a bit of vegan butter or olive oil and fry the Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs for about 5 minutes until golden from each side. Flip them carefully around. For baking: Use a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. You can brush the meatballs with a bit of vegan butter, if you like. Bake for about 15 minutes at 410°F.
For the optional gravy:
- In a casserole, melt the vegan butter, and carefully whisk in the flour.
- Keep whisking and slowly add vegetable broth and oat cream. Reduce to medium heat and - still whisking - bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 5 minutes more at medium heat until the sauce thickens and will lightly bubble. That's when you will know it’s done. If you wish to add the optional capers with brine, do this now.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 meatball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 0.8gProtein: 5g