Vegan No Meatballs

Red quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and shiitake mushrooms combine to make simple 5 ingredient vegan no meatballs. Ready for the oven in 15 minutes and on the table in 45. With gluten-free and oil-free options. Serve with your favorite pasta, sauce and a side of toasted garlic parmesan French bread.

Bowl of vegan no meatballs with spaghetti and fresh basil strands.

Why you’ll love it

I know that everyone loves their own recipes and thinks that they are the greatest. And a lot of them are truly amazing. But let me just say, these vegan no meatballs really the spot. Here are just a few reasons why you should make them this week.

  • Simple- All you need are 5 ingredients and about 45 minutes to prepare a nutritious, wholesome meal.
  • Kid-friendly- This meal is sure to please not only adults, but kids as well.
  • Meaty- By using red quinoa the meatballs definitely look like they contain meat. In addition, the shiitake mushrooms add texture and “meatiness” to the meatballs.
  • Plant-based protein- Thanks the to the use of quinoa, these meatless meatballs are loaded with plant-based protein. This makes for a truly satisfying meal.
Close up of vegan no meatballs made with quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and shiitake mushrooms.

Perfect Quinoa

This recipe calls for leftover or freshly cooked and fully cooled red quinoa. I love quinoa and I am going to share with you how simple it is to make a perfect batch of it.

First off, I suggest buying pre-rinsed quinoa. It’s just one less step in preparing the quinoa but if you don’t buy the pre-washed stuff, rinse and drain the quinoa thouroughly before cooking it.

My next tip: for every 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, use 1 3/4 cups of liquid. You read that right. Not 2 cups of liquid. I’ve found that using 1 3/4 cups prevents the quinoa for getting squishy. You want light and fluffy quinoa right? 

Bring the liquid (I always use water) to a boil, add the uncooked quinoa, and cover the pot cooking the quinoa for 15 minutes over a very low flame. 

The quinoa is finished once the liquid is absorbed. Now, here’s the challenging part: wait! Resist the urge to stir, fluff, or eat the quinoa. Let it rest, uncovered for about 10 minutes before fluffing gently with a fork. I prefer to let the quinoa rest even longer. You want it as close to room temperature as possible. 

And there you have it- perfect quinoa EVERY TIME!

Bowl of vegan no meatballs with spaghetti and fresh basil strands.

No Meatballs

To prepare the vegan no meatballs heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent. Next, add the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and fragrant and the mushrooms are tender, another 3-4 minutes. Finally, turn off the heat and add the minced garlic. Once fragrant remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.

To the bowl of a food processor, add 2-3 thick slices of stale bread and pulse until the bread is chopped into a course crumb. Remove the breadcrumbs and set aside. Add the sun-dried tomato and mushroom mixture as well as 1 cup of cooked quinoa to the food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add back the breadcrumbs and final 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa. Pulse just a few times to combine. You don’t want to puree your meatball mixture.

The no meatball mixture will be sticky and that’s ok. Using your hands, roll 3 tbsp of the mixture into a ball and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Continue making meatballs until all the mixture has been used.

Place the meatballs into the preheated 375*F oven for 20-25 minutes. The meatballs are finished when they’re crispy on the outside.

Edamame Pasta

And now that you’ve got the meatballs in the oven, it’s time to prepare some of this gluten-free organic edamame spaghetti from Seapoint Farms. Then, top it with your favorite pasta sauce (Muir Glen’s Roasted Garlic with no added sugar is our family’s go-to). Go all out and serve alongside a hearty salad and some garlic vegan parmesan bread. I’m telling you, it’s the ultimate in comfort food. So simple and so delicious. Most importantly, so nutritious.

Please give these vegan no meatballs a go this week and be sure to let me know how much you love them down in the comments. Enjoy friends!

Bowl of vegan no meatballs with spaghetti and fresh basil strands.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic- phytochemicals

Olive oil- monounsaturated fats

Onion- antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate

Quinoa- complete protein; rich in iron, potassium, riboflavin, B6, niacin, and thiamine; good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese; anti-cancer & anti-inflammatory properties

Mushrooms- selenium, B vitamins

Tomatoes- vitamin C, potassium, polyphenols

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Vegan No Meatballs

Red quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and shiitake mushrooms combine to make a simple 5 ingredient vegan no meatballs. Ready for the oven in 15 minutes and on the table in 45. With gluten-free and oil-free options.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian, Vegan
Servings 15 meatballs


  • 1 tsp olive oil use water if oil-free
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • cups red quinoa, cooked, cooled, and divided
  • cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained dry packed if oil-free
  • 6 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs gluten-free if necessary


  • Preheat the oven 350°F a line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a skillet heat olive oil and add diced onion cooking for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for additional 3-4 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and add the garlic. Allow the garlic to cook for about 30 seconds then remove the skillet from the heat.
  • To the bowl the of a food processor, pulse stale bread into crumbs. Remove the crumbs from the bowl and set aside.
  • Next, add the tomato and mushroom mixture and pulse a few times before adding 1 cup of cooked and cooled quinoa. Then pulse a few more times.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and the rest of quinoa pulsing until just combined.
  • The mixture will be slightly sticky. Roll about 2 tbsp of the quinoa mixture into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling the mixture into balls until all the mixture is used.
  • Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes, turning half way through baking. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce and pasta. Top with fresh herbs and vegan parmesan cheese next to a slice of warm French bread.
Keyword 5-ingredient, easy, gluten-free, meatballs, mushrooms, oil-free, pasta, quinoa, red quinoa, shiitake, simple, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan meatballs

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