The very Best Vegan Meatballs are made with Impossible ground beef and a ton of savory, irresistible flavors. They never fall apart and are perfect for meatball subs, party appetizers, spaghetti, and more!
These are not your average vegan meatballs! While I love my Italian-style chickpea meatballs, these Best Vegan Meatballs are extra meaty and savory thanks to a mixture of Impossible ground beef, JUST Egg (or flaxseeds and water), breadcrumbs, and fresh parsley.
They’re the best way to take spaghetti nights and crowd-pleasing appetizers over the top!
3 reasons why these are the best vegan meatballs:
- Ultra meaty, just like real meatballs: The best part about making vegan meatballs with Impossible beef is that they end up feeling, looking, and tasting just like the real thing. The flavor is juicy and savory while the texture is deliciously tender.
- They never fall apart: Thanks to moistened breadcrumbs and egg substitute in the meat mixture, the meatballs hold together well as they’re rolled and baked.
- Easy to make ahead of time: Go ahead and make a fresh batch of meatballs (all it takes is 20 minutes in the oven) or freeze them for later! It’s always a good idea to have a batch of frozen vegan meatballs on hand at all times. Reheat them in a pinch and serve them for dinners or at the party!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Breadcrumbs – I used panko breadcrumbs because they’re light and crisp. Regular breadcrumbs will work, too. Use gluten free breadcrumbs or possibly ground up oats instead for gluten free meatballs.
- Soy milk – Or another unsweetened dairy free milk.
- JUST Egg – This egg replacer is one of the secrets to keeping the meatballs together. If you don’t have JUST Egg, use 2 flax eggs instead (2 tablespoons of ground flax stirred together with 5 tablespoons of water).
- Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves give the meatballs a stronger, more savory flavor. If all you have is garlic powder at home, use ½ teaspoon instead.
- Salt and pepper
- Impossible ground beef – Making vegan meatballs with Impossible beef is the best way to help them taste as close to real meatballs as possible. Impossible Foods products are available in many well-stocked major grocery stores (use their location finder for more information) and, if it’s available to you, use packs of Impossible ground beef rather than burger patties. You can make the meatballs with Beyond Meat instead, but I found they came out greasier and less tender.
- Yellow onion
- Parsley – Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley is best!
How to make vegan meatballs
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
To start, add the breadcrumbs to a bowl and pour the milk over top. Leave them to soak for a few minutes before stirring in the JUST egg, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add the Impossible beef and onion to a large bowl. Mix them with a wooden spoon or electric mixer.
After the two have come together, add the breadcrumb/milk mixture and fresh parsley. Mix again until combined.
Roll small scoops of the meatball mixture into balls. The meatballs don’t need to be perfectly round and can be either large or small (larger meatballs may need to be baked for 1 to 3 minutes longer). Place them on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake the vegan meatballs until they’re browned all over and cooked through. Serve warm with the sauce of your choice, over a bowl of spaghetti, or anywhere else you like!
You can serve these meatballs in endlessly creative ways, from sauce-covered party appetizers to meaty sandwiches on game day. These are some of my favorite ways to enjoy them:
- Make vegan grape jelly meatballs by covering the baked meatballs in a grape jelly and barbecue sauce mix.
- Cover them in teriyaki sauce for a sweet and sour appetizer.
- Toss them in a skillet with warm marinara sauce, then scoop over bowls of spaghetti.
- Place a few meatballs over a bed of mashed potatoes and cover them in vegan gravy enriched with coconut milk to make vegan Swedish meatballs.
- Swap the vegan ground beef in my Vegan Baked Ziti for these baked Impossible meatballs.
- Toss them in buffalo sauce and stuff them into slider buns to make vegan meatball sliders.
- They’d be perfect in these Vegan Meatballs Subs!
Frequently asked questions
The baked meatballs will last for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yes, they freeze very well. After they’re baked and left to cool, flash freeze them on a lined baking sheet until solid. Transfer the meatballs to an airtight container or sealed freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat them either thawed or from frozen in a 350ºF oven or directly in the sauce of your choice.
The best substitution would be Beyond ground beef. Just know that when I tested the recipe with Beyond, the meatballs came out greasy and not as tender as the Impossible version.
I haven’t tested a gluten free version, however, the recipe should work just as well using gluten free panko breadcrumbs as a substitute.
Want more meaty vegan recipes?
Best Vegan Meatballs
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs I used panko
- 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 4 tablespoons JUST Egg or flax eggs, see Notes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- (2) 12 ounce packages Impossible ground beef
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley optional
- Prepare oven and pan – Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Or line with parchment paper.
- Breadcrumb mixture – In a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs and pour the milk over them. Let the breadcrumbs soak for 5 minutes, then add the JUST Egg, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Mix everything together well. Set aside.
- Mix meatballs – In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), add the Impossible beef and finely chopped onion. Mix them together, either using a large wooden spoon or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer. Now add the bread mixture from the small bowl along with the fresh chopped parsley, if using. Mix everything together very well until combined.
- Form the meatballs – Use a cookie scoop or to scoop a small portion of the meatball mixture and roll gently into balls. They don't have to be perfectly round. You can make them a bit larger or smaller. I prefer smaller meatballs.
- Bake – Arrange the meatballs on the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and cook for another 10 minutes, until they are browned and cooked through.
- Serve – Serve warm in marinara sauce, or make grape jelly meatballs, swedish meatballs or use with teriyaki sauce. Or anywhere else you like!
- For gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs or possible chopped gf oats.
- May use any unsweetened, unflavored plant milk.
- If you want, use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
- Beyond Meat crumbles work too, but I did prefer them with Impossible Meat. My family could barely tell the difference though!
Hi, Nora—Gluten-free crumb alert! (Brand I used: 4C Crumbs, Plain, which are rice-flour based). When I poured the milk into the crumbs to let them soften—they literally turned into a tough gelatinous glob which was completely unusable. Trashed it. HOWEVER that binding ability is wonderful if you mix all the rest of the ingredients together first—and THEN pour in the milk. Then the binding qualities of the GF rice crumbs create an egg-free meatball that holds together wonderfully.
I’ve made these twice, 1/2 recipe. Once with panko breadcrumbs and once with ground up oats. I also added 1.5 teaspoons of nutritional yeast to the meat mixture. The oat version cooked lighter but still had a little baked crunch on them. We love them! Time using spoons to form balls is worth it!
I’m thrilled you loved the meatballs, Nikki! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas, feedback, and review!
THESE ARE AMAZING!!! We have made them 5-6 times since you launched this recipe! 10/10! Love them with the Justegg, over Flax egg. I also add Italian seasoning. SO GOOD!
I made these meatballs for Super Bowl, and they were sooo good! My mom, who went vegetarian recently, tried one plain and couldn’t believe they were plant-based. Then I put them in the crockpot with grape jelly and barbecue sauce, and they got even better. Your recipes really are the best. Thanks so much.
It’s great the meatballs were a hit for the Super Bowl gathering! Thanks for sharing your great feedback and review! I am thrilled you are loving my recipes!
Have you tried with Crave Plant-based? Impossible somehow bothers my DIL’s stomach.
I haven’t heard of that, but you can try it yes!
What can you use to replace Impossible meat product? It is a highly processed product
You can make the meatballs with Beyond Meat instead, but I found they came out greasier and less tender.
Do you know how these would hold up on a crockpot? I was thinking meatballs and sauce for a work thing or even the sticky ones
Yes, they will! You may want to check out my Vegan Grape Jelly meatballs. To make crockpot grape jelly meatballs, add the meatballs (fresh or frozen), grape jelly, and BBQ sauce to your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
These look great! I am going to make them tomorrow! I think – since I have it – I am going to do 1/2 Impossible Ground beef, and 1/2 Impossible Sausage. I think a meatball sub is in my future!!
Thanks for all the great recipes!
Hi Chris. You are welcome! Thank you for using my recipes! Your idea sounds really delicious! Enjoy the meatballs!
Omg yessss! I made these tonight and they were phenomenal. Thank you for always having such specific detailed recipes with freezing instructions and storage life, common questions, etc… you are my hero!
Hi Eleisha. I so appreciate your kind words about my recipes! They make my day, and it is good to know the information I post is useful! I’m glad you loved the meatballs! Thanks for sharing your incredible feedback! Happy cooking!
So excited Nora! Have you tried freezing them and do they thaw well and still taste great?
Yes! They do freeze well and still taste great when thawed and cooked again. Thank you!
I haven’t tried this recipe yet. I can’t find the note that was mentioned regarding using flax eggs instead of Just Eggs.
Use 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax stirred together with 5 tablespoons of water). Thanks for letting me know! Enjoy the meatballs!
Excited to make these! I don’t see the Note about flax eggs. How many tablespoons of flax egg would be equivalent? Thanks!
Hi! Use 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax stirred together with 5 tablespoons of water). Thanks for letting me know! Enjoy the meatballs!
I think I missed the note about flax eggs to substitute for Just Egg. Please advise and thank you for your awesome recipes!!
Hi Jamila. Use 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax stirred together with 5 tablespoons of water).The information is contained in the upper part of the recipe story, in the ‘Ingredients Needed (with substitutions)’ section. Thanks for letting me know! Enjoy the meatballs!