Buffalo Quinoa Cauliflower Vegan Meatballs
These Buffalo Quinoa Cauliflower Vegan Meatballs will be a HIT at your next party! They are incredibly easy to make, coated in buffalo sauce and so meal preppable!
Imagine this: your new favourite vegan meatballs recipe, with the best texture, slathered in a sweet and spicy buffalo sauce. That’s exactly what you’re going to get with this recipe. Now I’ve made meatballs before when I made my beet meatballs, and after that I knew I wanted to delve deeper into the meatless meatballs world. That’s one of the things I love about vegetarian and vegan food. You can use such a range of ingredients to recreate dishes that you can make something that is completely in your taste. There are no rules and don’t ever let anyone try and tell you that there are!
So here’s the assembly of these vegan meatballs. I knew using cauliflower and quinoa together to make these vegan meatballs would make the perfect texture combination after making these Quinoa Cauliflower Burgers. The roasted cauliflower alone is magnificent just like in my sticky sesame cauliflower wings which mimic chicken, and quinoa adds a lovely texture while also adding lots of fibre and added protein. After that it was really about binding and seasonings.
Buffalo Quinoa Cauliflower Vegan Meatballs
- 1 cup roasted cauliflower, instructions below
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, 137g
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacers OR flax eggs, if flax eggs, less one tablespoon of liquid per flax egg
- ½ cup red onion, finely diced, 114g
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup vinegar based hot sauce, such as Frank's hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Mix all the ingredients together other medium low heat in a sauce pan until completely incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C. Cut the cauliflower's stem off, and cut into even-sized florets. Drizzle the cauliflower with maybe a teaspoon of oil. Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- In a food processor, add the cauliflower and pulse it until it's completely riced. Remove from the food processor. You only need 1 cup of this for this recipe. You can use the rest for a cauliflower rice recipe
- Add the 1 cup of riced cauliflower and all the other meatball ingredients EXCEPT the coconut oil. You can pulse them or mix them together until they form into a tight ball, combining everything. You want to ensure they are so mixed together that you're not seeing individual cauliflower or quinoa florets, it's all one big mixture. That's how you'll ensure the meatballs will hold together!
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat. While it's heating, use a tablespoon measurer to form one raw meatball and shape into a ball with your fingers. You can place them on a plate while the oil heats.
- Add one meatball to test the oil. Cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes, turning on all sides onto fully cooked inside and out, about 4 minutes. You can add as many meatballs as can fit in the pan without overcrowding it, cooking them all for about 4-5 minutes turning on each side, to cook them through.
- Lower/turn the heat off. When the heat has cooled down, add in the sauce. You want to do this because if the pan is too hot, the sauce will spew and the heat can be dangerous while so hot.
- Coat the meatballs in the sauce and then remove the pan from the stove. Serve the meatballs and enjoy!! You can enjoy these vegan meatballs alone, in a nice hoagie or with cauliflower rice or quinoa on the side, you know, for a double down. You could even have them on toothpicks as an appetiser at your Super Bowl party!
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We’re glad you love the recipe Kate! Thank yo for your kind words!
Absolutely loved this! That buffalo sauce is killer! I added a couple dashes of hickory liquid smoke to it too.
Thank you so much Megan! Adding Hickory liquid smoke sounds like an amazing idea we have to try that! Thanks again for your kind words!
Do you think they can be cooked in the air fryer instead of frying them? If so what temp and time?
Hi Traci you should be able to air fry them! We haven’t tested them but you can try 375 for 30-35 mins.
Can these be made with frozen rice cauliflower?
Hi Hilda! Yes it can, you would have to defrost and squeeze dry the rices cauliflower thoroughly first if frozen. If not go straight ahead!
Jessica Gurl.. . Thank you, thank you. Delicious .. Flavorful , Spicylicious.. I’m happy I choose this recipe of yours.. I’m gone to definitely make other batch of these yummy meatballs .. Btw the flax seed egg measurement you suggested work out very well and all the notes were helpful. Thank you again. 👍🏽.
yay! I’m so happy to hear that! Sooo happy to hear you enjoyed so much and thanks so much for sharing with me!
The flavor is absolutely terrific, finally a vegan ball that tastes wonderful! The balls are however still mushy from the inside. I roasted my cauliflower in the oven, and it became really soft as well. Any tips?
Hi Caroline thank you for your comment. I want to ask a couple of questions so that I can help. Was your cauliflower frozen?
Was super excited to try these BUT they fell apart…. used the Bob’s Egg Replacer as recommended too. After pan frying had to place in the oven to bake the insides more due to being mushy as other have reported. Smelled amazing while cooking though.
I’m sorry that happened to you! I know that can happen sometimes if the mixture isn’t mixed completely, meaning it doesn’t all get a chance to stick together! Or the cauliflower was very watery and the extra water wasn’t removed. Curious – was your cauliflower frozen? I’m still so happy that you enjoyed the smell!
I used freshly roasted cauliflower that I riced then mixed with the quinoa… once I mixed all the ingredients, I couldn’t get them to even roll into balls. The never shaped into balls, more like pancakes. Once I fried them in the coconut oil, they were nice and brown but mushy so I popped into the oven which only browned them more, rather than cooking the inside. Sadly I ended up throwing them out and left the sauce to use for something else. 🙁
Wow, I’m really not sure what to say because I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, including on video twice (the long video is above, not sure if you got to watch it) and you can see just how easy it came out for me! Pancakes sound like they were way too wet, and you added in the breadcrumbs too right? If you give this recipe a try again and it’s still wet (which again is difficult for me to be able to assess because that’s never happened for me – the videos show exactly what I go through every time I make these), add in more breadcrumbs or even an extra egg replacer to help with the binding. I do hope that helps, and sorry again that it didn’t work for you!
What would you recommend to sub cauliflower?
I’m not sure, actually – it depends! Is it an allergy?
I made them today, they are spectacular!! They hold perfectly together, this is so exciting, it is the first time that the meatballs I make stay together! I made them with tomato sauce, and it was incredible.
I really really liked this recipe. I actually think that I preferred the “meat”balls without the hot sauce as I thought that their flavour was great without it, but they were good either way. I’m already thinking about all the non-vegans that I could make these for that would win them over 🙂
AWESOME so happy that you like it! I hope non vegans will appreciate it too!