Pasta and meatballs are a classic dinner combination, and just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean that you should miss out on this dish. In fact, we have a recipe that tastes even better than the “real” thing.
Here’s our recipe for meatless meatballs that have all the flavor and texture to make your next Italian feast a winner.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound fresh white mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 ounce very finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, packed
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 pinch dried oregano
- 3 cups pasta sauce
- 1 tablespoon very finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, or to taste
What you’ll do:
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, cook and stir until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Stir butter into the mushrooms, reduce the heat to medium, cook and stir mushrooms until golden brown (about 5 minutes).
- Add onion into mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent (5 minutes). Remove skillet from heat and stir garlic into mushroom mixture until fragrant (1 minute). Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Mix oats into mushroom mixture until combined. Gently stir 1 ounce of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the mixture. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1 egg; season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix them together with a fork until crumbly, then stir in the remaining egg. Mixture should hold together when pressed.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours. For best flavor and texture, refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Form mixture into small meatballs using a 2-tablespoon scoop. If desired, roll meatballs lightly between your hands until smooth; then, arrange meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven until meatballs are lightly golden brown (12 to 15 minutes).
- Bring pasta sauce to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat to low. Gently stir meatballs into sauce until coated. Simmer meatballs in the sauce until cooked through (45 minutes to 1 hour). Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with 1 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 1 tablespoon parsley.
This recipe requires some thorough preparation, but we promise the results are more than worth it. When properly browned, the mushrooms provide a lot of savory flavor, and the garlic, cheese, and parsley bring it full circle.
Have you tried this recipe? What did you think? Share your pictures and reviews in the comments! Bon appetit!
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