One day I really wanted (vegan) meatballs, but none of the store-bought varieties seemed to appeal to me. So what’s a food blogger to do? Make her own from scratch of course! Even though it’s less convenient, it’s always fun (and totally worth it) to create something at home that’s yummier than what you can find in a store.
Another reason I made this recipe… TEMPEH.
I’ll be honest, I’ve had some spectacular failures with tempeh in the past. So my sad little food blogger ego really needed a tempeh redemption recipe! I think I’m back on track now with this one.
This recipe is a good one to make any day, but it’s especially fantastic if you’re having a stressful day. It’s true that exercise is a very effective way to healthfully manage stress, but have ya tried kneading dough?? There’s something very therapeutic and satisfying about mashing around a ball of gluten-y meatball mixture.
I really love these meatballs not only because they’re a delicious vegan source of protein, but because they can be used in so many different types of dishes! You can eat them with pasta (or my personal favorite, zoodles – pictured below), on a salad, with marinara sauce in a hoagie roll, or in any other way you might think up. High-five for versatile foods!
If you do try this recipe (or any So Much Yum recipes), I would love to know about it! Leave a comment on this page, find So Much Yum on Facebook, or tag So Much Yum and/or #somuchyumblog on Instagram!
- 8 oz. tempeh
- 6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- ½ cup mashed tofu
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried fennel
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Steam your tempeh. Steam over a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then set aside to let cool. Once it's cool, crumble up until it is pretty fine - about ¼" pieces max.
- Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the chopped spinach and 1-2 Tablespoons of water. Cook until the spinach is wilted and then stir in the garlic powder. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Once cool, add to the tempeh and mix until well combined (I used my hands to crumble everything together). Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, rice and tofu, and then stir until well combined.
- In a separate large bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, oregano and fennel.
- Add the tempeh mixture to the dry mixture. Stir for a minute to start incorporating the ingredients, and then knead with your hands for a few minutes to thoroughly combine.
- Using a small cookie scoop, form meatballs (about 1-inch in diameter) and place on prepared baking sheet. You should be able to make 45-52 meatballs.
- Bake for 15 minutes, and then flip the meatballs. Continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes to allow the insides of the meatballs to firm up slightly.
- Serve as desired: simmered in marinara sauce, on top of pasta, in a meatball sandwich, on a salad, or any other way you would like!