Vegan Turkey Meatballs & Orzo
These Vegan Turkey Meatballs & Orzo are the best vegan dinner! Meatballs are simmered in marinara sauce before being served over garlic basil orzo!
Making vegan meatballs at home is incredibly easy and so tasty! I made these vegan turkey meatballs using Trader Joe’s vegan ground turkey (but you can sub with something else) and vegan Italian sausage. I gave them a Mediterranean twist by mixing them with vegan parmesan, roasted red peppers and oregano. Simmered in a simple marinara sauce before being served over garlic orzo – these are a must try!
How to Make Vegan Turkey Meatballs
Making these meatballs is a four-step process:
Start out by mixing all of the meatball ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. I like to use my hands since I think it incorporates everything better, but you could also use a fork. Once everything is combined it is time to roll.
For this I like to use an oiled cookie scoop. It helps you get super uniform meatballs – scoop it out, roll it in your hands and place on a baking sheet. Repeat this step with the rest of the ingredients until all of your meatballs are formed.
Next, we want to brown the meatballs. Add some oil to a stock pot and add in as many meatballs that will fit – I worked in 2 batches. Let them cook on medium high heat – they don’t need to be cooked through, but just have a nice browning on both sides. Remove from the stock pot and set aside while we make the sauce.
How to Make Simple Marinara
There will be leftover oil in the stock pot after cooking the meatballs. Use that to cook down some garlic for about a minute. Then add in crushed tomatoes, a jar of marinara, dried oregano and some red pepper flakes. Thin the sauce out with a little bit of water, then bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, and now it is time for step 4 of the meatballs – simmer. Lower the heat of the sauce and add the meatballs. Gently press them down so they are submerged in the sauce. Partially cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
How to Make Garlic Orzo
While the meatballs are simmering, it is time to work on the orzo. Melt some vegan butter in a skillet. Add in garlic & dried basil and cook for about a minute. Pour in the orzo and white rice. Cook for a few minutes, or until the grains are toasted. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer.
It should take about 15-20 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed.
How to Serve
Everything should finish right about the same time. Before serving I like to add some fresh basil to both the sauce and the orzo. Give both a toss and one last taste to make sure you don’t need to add salt.
Spoon some orzo into each bowl, then top with meatballs, sauce and more fresh basil. You can also serve some rustic bread on the side for dipping!
Need More Recipe Inspo? Check these Out!
Did you Make this Recipe?
If you made these Vegan Turkey Meatballs & Orzo I would LOVE to hear what you thought. Be sure to drop a comment and a rating below! You can also tag me on social media if you snapped a photo. I LOVE seeing your recreations!
Vegan Turkey Meatballs & Orzo
FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 12 ounces vegan ground turkey I got mine at Trader Joe's, you can sub another vegan ground "meat"
- 8 ounces vegan Italian sausage I used Beyond Meat
- 1 small shallot diced
- 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, drained, patted dry and diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- red pepper flakes to taste, optional
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan I used Trader Joe's
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba liquid from chickpea can
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients (except for the oil) in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix everything together. Use your hands or a cookie scoop to make 1.5 inch balls and place on a baking sheet – I was able to make 22 meatballs.
- Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on both sides – you will probably need to work in batches. Lower the heat as needed. Remove from the pot, lower the heat to medium and make the sauce.
- Add the garlic to the oil leftover in the pot. Allow to cook for about one minutes, then pour in the crushed tomatoes, marinara, oregano, red pepper flakes and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Add the meatballs to the sauce and gently press them down so they are submerged in the sauce. Partially cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make the orzo. Melt some vegan butter in a skillet. Add the garlic & dried basil and cook for about a minute. Pour in the rice & orzo and cook until it begins to toast, stirring frequently. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Before serving I like to add some fresh basil to both the sauce and the orzo. Give both a toss and one last taste to make sure you don't need to add salt. Spoon some orzo into each bowl and top with meatballs, sauce and more fresh basil.