Get your vegan meaty, nut neatballs right here! They’re delicious and incredibly addictive. I dare you not to try a few straight out of the hot pan.
When I switched to a plant-based diet, I was surprised to realise that from all my old favourite meat dishes, the flavours rarely come from the meat. Instead, it’s the seasonings that make all the difference.
It’s another reason why being plant-based is so natural!
These nutballs pair well when served with my fresh and simple tomato sauce or five-minute lemon and basil pesto. Serve them as either a bite-sized appetiser, or make a meal out of it by plating them on a bed of mash.
You can add your favourite pasta or rice, put them in baguettes with tomato sauce to make a nutball sub, or even put them on a pizza.
Go nuts and use them on everything! I know you’ll want to!
I served these to a meat eater who was so convinced that they thought they were eating real meatballs (success!). These are much healthier than meatballs though, easy to make, full of vitamins, protein, and all the flavourful things.
The recipe is for the meaty, nut neatballs, but if you’d like to make the spaghetti and neatballs recipe as shown in the photo, please see the recipe notes below.
Meaty, neat nutballs pair perfectly with a delicious sauce. Here at Silvobeat HQ, I serve them with:
Rich, flavoursome, meaty, nut neatballs that pair perfectly with a delicious homemade tomato sauce or pesto, your favourite pasta or rice, in a sub, or on a pizza! There's nothing these popular nut neatballs don't go well with.
- 1 can nutmeat I use a can of Vegie Delights 415g
- 1 red onion
- 1 garlic clove medium-sized, minced or grated
- 3 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 4 Tbsp water cold
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- ½ tsp chilli flakes optional
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves loosely packed, or ½ tsp dried
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast optional
- 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- ½ cup breadcrumbs gluten-free if required; use 1 cup if using panko breadcrumbs
In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and water, and set aside for 2 minutes.
- Cut the onion into quarters and add to a food processor, then process briefly until roughly chopped.
Add all remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until all ingredients are mixed, making sure you scrape down the sides occasionally so that all the ingredients are combined. Check the consistency – if it's too runny to roll into balls, add some extra breadcrumbs; if it's too dry, add a little extra water.
If baking: the meatballs will dry out a little more in the oven, so make sure the mixture is quite soft. If frying: add an extra ¼ cup of breadcrumbs to create a slightly firmer texture.
- Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball, and repeat until it's all been used.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and cover the base of the pan with a thin layer of cooking oil. Add the nutballs in batches and fry, regularly rotating to ensure even cooking until well browned. If you prefer a lower fat and crispier version, place the nutballs on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush them lightly with olive oil. Roast them in the oven at 180°C (356°F) for 15 minutes; rotate them and re-brush with olive oil, then roast for a further 10 minutes until browned. They will be a little drier this way with a crunchier crust.
- Some people have found it difficult to source nutmeat outside of Australia. Atlantic Natural Foods in the USA wholesale Loma Linda nutmeat; please let me know if you find it anywhere else!
- You can find nutritional yeast at your local health food store.
- Nutritional yeast is not the same as dry yeast used in baking.
- I choose one herb to add as a fresh ingredient to add some colour to the mix (I had fresh basil in my fridge when I made it this). If you'd prefer, you can use only dried herbs, or use a different fresh one to basil by swapping it for one of the dry ones.
- To make the spaghetti and neatball recipe in the photos: make my fresh and simple tomato sauce. While the sauce is simmering, follow the neatball recipe above and cook a batch of spaghetti pasta in boiling water. When the sauce is ready, add 1 tsp cumin and ½ tsp smoked paprika to it (optional, but it'll provide a richer flavour). Place the pasta into bowls, top with the sauce, neatballs, toasted pine nuts, chilli flakes, chopped parsley or basil, and drizzle with olive oil.
- You can make this recipe ahead of time. Store the nutballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
Please read the Silvobeat nutritional facts disclaimer.