This vegan meatball recipe is made with brown rice and walnuts to create a healthy and delicious addition to your favorite plate of pasta or zucchini noodles!

I don’t eat a lot of fake meat products, but these nut “meatballs” are a delicious and healthy substitute for your favorite pasta topper! Since they’re made with walnuts and brown rice, they’re really filling. Plus, they’re easy to make!

You can serve these faux meatballs with zucchini noodles or your favorite pasta. If you’re making zucchini noodles, be sure to check out my tips on how to avoid watery zucchini noodles!

How to Make Vegan Meatballs

zucchini noodles and nut meatball ingredients

Saute the onion until translucent. Add the walnuts, brown rice, seasonings, and flour into the food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the onion and continue to pulse until mixed.

nutmeat balls in the food processor

Roll the mixture into rounded tablespoons and place on a baking sheet.

nut meatballs on a baking sheet

Bake them for 10-12 minutes until browned. I placed mine on a silicone baking sheet to prevent sticking. You can also use parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.

nutmeat balls on a pan

Serve these faux meatballs on top of your favorite pasta or zucchini noodles!

Substitution Ideas

  • If you don’t have walnuts, you can also make this recipe with pecans! (It may sound funny, but I promise it’s delicious!)
  • You can use white or brown rice in this recipe, but I like the added fiber from brown rice.
  • I used all purpose flour to help bind the meatballs but you can use gluten free flour, or even chickpea flour, if you like.
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nutmeat balls

Vegan Meatball Recipe

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 small meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: gluten free, vegan

Description

These vegan “meatballs” are made with brown rice and walnuts to create a healthy and delicious addition to your favorite plate of pasta or zucchini noodles!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose or gluten-free flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds, then add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the onion to cool slightly.
  5. In a food processor, add the walnuts, cooked rice, spices, salt, and flour.
  6. Pulse until combined.
  7. Add in the onion and garlic and continue to pulse until mixed.
  8. Roll the mixture into small balls and place them onto a baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until browned.
  10. Serve on top of your favorite pasta or zucchini noodles.

Looking for the perfect thing to pair with this recipe? Check out my list of the best side dishes to serve with pasta! Any of those recipes would be perfect with these faux meatballs.

If you want to serve this recipe with zucchini noodles, don’t miss my tips for how to avoid watery zucchini noodles!

If you try this vegan meatball recipe, leave a comment below and let me know!