If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, then these delicious Vegan Italian Meatballs will hit all the high notes. Ready in under 20 minutes, you are guaranteed to love these dairy free meatballs. This recipe can be made Top 8 Allergy Friendly, including info for gluten free meatballs.
Vegan Italian meatballs may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. And I’m going to venture to say that this plant based meatball recipe is actually one of the best you’ve ever tried. These vegan meatballs are one of those recipes that you serve to a crowd that is going to be made up of plant based and carnivore eats and then stand back in amazement as no one really has any idea that there’s no animal products inside of these dairy free meatballs.
These vegan Italian meatballs are going to be a hit whether you are serving yourself, your family, or a crowd. The recipe can be adapted to double or triple depending on how many people you are feeding. The key points of these dairy free meatballs are:
- dairy free
- egg free
- completely vegan
- can be Top 8 Allergy Friendly
- including being gluten free if needed with one quick swap
With all that, these will become known as the best vegan meatballs you’ve made at home!
What ingredients do I need to make these vegan Italian meatballs?
Theres’s just 12 ingredients in this Italian meatball recipe. All ingredients are easily found at grocery retailers, making this 20 minute dinner meal a big hit to add to your next meal plan. The ingredients that you are going to need for this vegan meatball recipe are:
- olive oil
- panko bread crumbs (use GF crumbs if needed)
- fresh basil
- sun dried tomatoes in oil
- vegan parmesan cheese
- red pepper flakes
- pink salt
- black pepper
- Italian Seasoning
How do you make these vegan Italian meatballs Top 8 Allergy friendly?
Depending on your own dietary needs or those in your family or friends that you are serving, you may need to know how to make these vegan meatballs Top 8 Allergy Friendly. Top 8 allergies are: dairy, egg, gluten, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and treenuts. In some countries, sesame is also a top allergy.
The good news is that this vegan meatball recipe is already free of most of these things. As written, it does contain gluten and cashew (tree nut). The cashew comes in the form of our homemade dairy free parmesan cheese, but we do include a variation of our vegan parmesan cheese by using sunflowers. By using sunflowers, you eliminate any nut allergies. As far as the gluten, we do use panko bread crumbs in our recipe. In order to make these meatballs gluten free, you just need to swap for a gluten free bread crumb, like this one.
If you make those two simple swaps, then these vegan Italian meatballs will be coming Top 8 Allergy friendly!
Vegan Italian Meatballs
- ¼ cup smashed avocado (about ½ an avocado)
- 5 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs (use GF crumbs if needed)
- ⅓ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped (about 3-4 big leaves or 6-8 smaller ones)
- ⅓ cup packed sun dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil from sun dried tomatoes jar
- ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon pink salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 cups chickpeas, cooked (or 1 can drained and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon panko bread crumbs (use GF crumbs if needed)
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Smash avocado and mince garlic. Roughly chop sun dried tomatoes and basil.
- In a very large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and over medium low heat, saute minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Do not let brown.
- In a food processor, add the sauted garlic with the smashed avocado, sun dried tomatoes, basil, panko bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sun dried tomato oil, vegan parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Blend well. Scrape down if needed.
- Add chickpeas and blend just until no large pieces remain. You want it to be chopped well, but we aren’t making hummus.
- Taste a small piece and add more salt, pepper if needed.
- Using a small scooper or your hands, form 15-16 balls.
- Roll balls into the coating mixture and place on a plate.
- Add remaining oil (3 tbsp) to the same large skillet you cooked your garlic in over medium low heat.
- Add meatballs to the skillet. (If you only have a small skillet, you’ll need to do batches, adding more oil if needed. Do not overcrowd your pan)
- Cook meatballs for 1 minutes. Carefully flip over and cook on opposite side for 1 minute.
- Then, shake the pan around so the other sides get browned. Cook for 3-4 more minutes.
- Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add to any sauce, on a sub (hoagie) roll, or eat by themselves.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
We don’t use oil, so I made these with sun dried tomatoes from a pouch. I water sautéed the garlic and replaced the other oil in the recipe with water. I followed the rest of the recipe as written. They browned nicely in the air fryer, and they were delicious. We had them with mashed potatoes, gravy and a salad. What a fabulous vegan meal this turned out to be. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
So glad that it worked well with your substitutions. Happy you enjoyed the meal!
Can you bake these? I cook oil free and I want to avoid the frying.
Yes you can, bake or air fryer 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or so I’d say
These look amazing! Vegan meatballs have been on my must-make list for some time now, and I think this is the idea I need to do it!
Hi! Thank you for this recipe, it seems awesome! Can’t wait to try it.
Could you tell me what kind of coating mixture you used?
The coating is vegan parmesan, panko bread crumbs, italian seasoning and pepper