These Gluten-Free Meatless Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce are perfect for your Meatless Monday meal adventures!
After watching Molly Yeh make her Spaghetti and My Ex-Boyfriend’s Meatless Balls on the Drew Barrymore show this week, I was incredibly intrigued & decided I had to test them out!
I researched a couple variations of this sort of recipe and saw that the key ingredients remained: nuts (walnuts or almonds), parmesan, bread crumbs, eggs & spices — all blitzed in a food processor.
Other recipes, that didn’t call for nuts used mushrooms, which I thought was genius!
I decided, what better way to make a meatless meatball than with 2 kinds of meat substitutes. That is how this recipe came to be! My Gluten Free Meatless Meatballs stick to the key components of Molly Yeh’s recipe, but I’ve added onion & lots of mushrooms to the mix! Additionally, I swapped the parmesan and bread crumbs for gluten free versions.
Best vegan parmesan is hands down Follow Your Heart Parmesan Shreds. I recently tried a new brand of Breadcrumbs (new to me, at least) and I think they’re excellent; Aleia’s Gluten Free Italian Bread Crumbs.
How these Gluten-Free Meatless Meatballs are made:
Start with roasting the nuts; it’s a simple, yet crucial step. Roasting nuts in the oven will enhance the flavor of your final dish!
Next, it’s pretty simple. You add the Meatless Meatball ingredients to a food processor and process until it becomes mealy. I like to have a few small chunks remain.
Once the mixture is ground, it’s time to roll into balls! Surprisingly, it makes quite a lot; 28 meatless balls.
It’s fry time!
I wouldn’t quite say we’re frying these meatballs, but we’re pan-searing them in a bit of olive oil. I love using olive oil, but feel free to use any oil you prefer to cook with.
Onto the Red Pepper Sauce.
It’s a matter of adding most of the ingredients to the blender and blending until super smooth and creamy!
Once the sauce is blended, heat in a shallow pan and cook until the onions and garlic no longer have a biter lingering taste in the sauce. Lastly add a few more ingredients to balance out the flavors, and you’re set!
This recipe does contain quite a handful of ingredients, but I truly believe it’s a labor of love and you’ll love it.
PS- My meat-eater boyfriend said he’d definitely eat these in a vegan restaurant. Also, on a scale of 1-10 of a Meatball scale, he ranked these an 8.5, tasting delicious but not actually like real meat.
Let’s not kid ourselves, these Meatless Meatballs are made from vegetables, but they are insanely delicious!
For the Meatless Meatballs
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 8 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, rinsed & patted dry
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 cup gluten free (panko) breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 16 ounce jar roasted red peppers (save the liquid from the jar if water based)
- ½ cup oat milk or other non dairy milk
- ½, 13.5 oz can coconut light (I prefer light)
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley & extra for garnish
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 8 ounces gluten-free spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Make the Meatless Meatballs:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread the walnuts onto the baking sheet in an even layer and bake about 5-7 minutes until toasted. Allow to cool before proceeding.
3. Combine toasted walnuts & all other Meatless Meatball ingredients (except for olive oil) in a food processor.
4. Pulse the mixture in the food processor until it is combined and slightly chunk, but the mixture should stick together when pressed together.
5. Roll 28-30, 2-tablespoon balls of Meatless Meat mixture and place onto a plate.
6. In a large pan, on the stovetop, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
7. Place all of the meatballs into the pan, not to overlap, and cook on a medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes until one side is crisp and golden brown.
8. Use a spoon to carefully flip over each meatball. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
9. Remove meatballs from the pan and allow to cool on a plate or open area, before serving with sauce or storing in a container.
Make the Sauce:
1. In a blender or food processor, add the garlic, onion, roasted red peppers (& liquid) and non-dairy milk. Blend until smooth. *If you don’t have the roasted red pepper liquid, add another ½ cup of your non-dairy milk.
2. Transfer the blended pepper mixture to a shallow pan (I reused the same pan from frying the meatballs), and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. It’s important to keep on cooking this sauce, so that the onions & garlic won’t be bitter.
3. Mix in the coconut milk, parsley, cumin, balsamic vinegar & lemon juice. Allow to cook on a medium-low flame for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
1. Serve up the pasta with a generous amount of the Red Pepper Sauce & a few Meatless Meatballs!