These Vegan Cauliflower Meatballs are perfect for an easy dinner and packed full of healthy ingredients - plus they taste AMAZING! Serve over pasta with a classic marinara.
I've tried a lot of the faux meats out there.
The burgers, the hot dogs, the bacon, the sausage, the chicken.
And while I think a lot of it tastes really good, there have definitely been a few duds.
What do you expect though?
Vegans have been around forever. But packaged vegan food has just seen a huge boom over the last couple years.
It's going to take some time to perfect everything. Plus, we all have different tastebuds.
I hear vegans say all the time that nutritional yeast tastes like cheese.
Meanwhile I taste chalk.
Hence why you will rarely see me use it in a recipe.
And while I have found plenty of meat substitutes that I love. One thing I haven't been able to buy pre-made is a good vegan meatball.
And just because I haven't had it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
But if I can create it at home, quickly & easily and made out of whole food ingredients, then why not do that instead?
I mean, it tastes good and is good for you...I'm down with that.
That is where these Vegan Cauliflower Meatballs come in.
We're talking crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.
We're talking fresh garlic & onions mixed in with Italian seasoning, bread crumbs and riced cauliflower.
If you're scared of cauliflower, the time has come to move past your fear.
Believe me - I was afraid of it at a point in my life too.
I know it can have a funky smell while you're cooking it. But with the right spices, you can transform cauliflower into a really amazing meal.
And in this recipe in particular, you're not even going to know there is cauliflower in there.
Once you have your meatballs crispy and delicious, you can serve them with your favorite marinara sauce, fresh basil and vegan parmesan.
Or add some pasta into the mix for a super filling meal.
You could even serve these over zucchini noodles to really pile on the veggies.
These are sure to be a hit with everyone at your dinner table!
Need a tasty homemade marinara to go with those meatballs? Try out my Spicy Marinara Sauce recipe.
Vegan Cauliflower Meatballs
- ½ head cauliflower cut in florets
- 3 teaspoon olive oil separated + more for frying
- ¼ red onion roughly chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread cauliflower florets on baking sheet and drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil on top. Mix to spread oil evenly.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- While cauliflower is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent (approx. 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove cauliflower from the oven.
- Add cauliflower, oats and garlic & onion mixture to a food processor. Pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper and remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Take 2 tablespoons of mixture in your hand and roll into a ball.* Place finished balls on a parchment lined baking sheet.** Once all of the balls have been formed, place them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.***
- Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the same pan and place on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Place meatballs in the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until browned on all sides and warmed through. Lower heat to medium if they begin to brown too quickly.
- Serve with warm marinara, fresh basil and vegan parmesan.
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Had these twice and really enjoyed them. First time was using your recipe exactly the second time a I added 3/4 cup of pre-cooked quinoa and reduced the oats by half and reduces breadcrumbs by 1/3. I had to up the Italian seasoning and added a pinch of red pepper. Wow they were great and the quinoa added protein. They are on the edge of needing a binder so...
Sorry, I missed rating these in both recipe options. Five star for both.
Thanks so much! So glad you liked these 🙂
These need a binder and more seasonings. Mine just fell apart in the skillet. I also put in fridge to help hold them together. I compressed them all I could. What a mess! ?
So sorry this didn't work out for you!
Could you bake the meatballs instead of pan frying?
Made these for the first time last night for the family and I. They were freaking awesome. Taste like they came from the store. No joke. Our girls are very picky. They loved them (: Thank you for a great recipe. Will be saving and making again.
Awesome! So glad they were a hit with the whole family. Can't go wrong with great taste while sneaking in some veggies 😉
We loved it!! I doubled the recipe to have extra to freeze. I'm so happy I found you, this is the third recipe from your site, they are all winners!!!
Woo who - so happy you've liked everything you've tried so far. And I love having these in the freezer - makes for such an easy dinner later on!
I am so glad you do not use nutritional yeast as it is MSG. So many vegans are eating it and harming their health in the long run. Source: Medical Medium by Anthony William. I only tried it once and it gave me a head ache and researched it to find the truth.
This looks delicious. I will be making it today lasagne style to save time. Thank you.
Yum! Lasagna-style sounds amazing!
Nutritional yeast does not contain MSG unless it is added. It contains some of the same compounds as MSG, but they do not behave the same in the body.
Do you think, or know if using Panko crumbs vs breadcrumbs would work just the same? I realize it calls for Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, so I was thinking I could add my own blend of Italian seasoning to my Panko breadcrumbs? That is, if the use of them would suffice. Thank you in advance.
What is the nutritional value of these?
I would also like to know what kind of oats you used.
Just good old traditional Quaker Oats. Nothing fancy. 🙂
I would too like to know what type of oats?.. one minute? Old fashioned?
Just traditional old fashioned oats 🙂
The oats, are they quick, steel cut, rolled? Are the for texture or absorption?
Could these be made without the oats?
Made these for the family - 14 yo vegetarian and 11 yo gluten free (used gf bread crumbs) - a home run!! Everyone loved them, thanks for the great recipe! Will make these again for sure.
Awesome - so glad everyone liked them!
Could this be turned into a meatloaf?
I'm sure it could...I haven't tried it though so I can't say for sure that it will turn out. Let us know if you try it!
Hey I was wondering if anyone has the nutritional vales on these meatballs? Thank you
These look great!! And I definitely like your zucchini noodle suggestion.
These sound delicious! Any chance you could bake these meatballs? Thanks 🙂
I haven't tried baking them yet, but I think it is definitely possible. I would start by baking them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Check them, and add additional bake time if needed.
I did bake them at 350 for 20-25 mins - they were delicious!