Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
This Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is just like your favourite classic comfort food! It’s deliciously saucy, incredibly easy to make, and full of those familiar flavors you know and love.
Oh my, vegan spaghetti and meatballs!
What’s the thing that comes to your mind when you hear spaghetti and meatballs? To me, it’s like a warm blanket of comfort. I not only grew up eating spaghetti and meatballs, but also got to give it an authentic taste on one of my two trips to Italy!
Today we are making a veganized version of the classic. It’s just like mom used to make, but with my reader-favourite cauliflower and quinoa meatballs. You can easily make it gluten-free by swapping in a gluten-free pasta (I love the ones made with bean or lentil flour for some extra protein!), and you can use your favorite pasta sauce or homemade marinara. Up to you!
How Do You Make Vegan Meatballs?
There are so many ways to make vegan meatballs! For this recipe, I made the meatballs with cauliflower and quinoa, which are a nice complement to the other flavours in this dish.
Notes on Ingredients
Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.
- Roasted cauliflower – Using roasted cauliflower instead of raw brings the flavour and texture of these meatballs to the next level!
- Cooked quinoa – Here’s how to cook quinoa.
- Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacers or flax eggs
- Red onion
- Ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- Coconut oil
- Fennel seeds
- Dried oregano
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh basil
- Marinara sauce – Rao’s is my absolute favorite when I’m using jarred sauce!
- Spaghetti pasta
- Vegan Parmesan – Use store-bought or make your own vegan Parmesan!
How to Roast the Cauliflower
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Cut the stem off of the cauliflower and cut it into even-sized florets. Place the cauliflower on a sheet pan and drizzle it with oil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, then allow it to cool a bit before starting the recipe.
How to Make Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
If you’d like, you can double the meatball recipe and freeze some for your next vegan spaghetti and meatball dinner!
Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
Rice the cauliflower. Place the roasted cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until they’re riced. You’ll need a cup for the meatballs.
Form the meatball mixture. Add 1 cup of riced cauliflower and the remaining meatball ingredients except the coconut oil to the food processor. Pulse them together until a uniform mixture forms.
Prepare. Heat the coconut oil in a pan set over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, form the meatballs by taking a heaping tablespoon of the meatball mixture and rolling it into a ball with your hands. Place them on a plate or sheet pan.
Cook the meatballs. Add one meatball to the pan to test the oil. If it sizzles, add as many meatballs as will fit without crowding the pan. Cook on one side for about 1 to 2 minutes, then turn and continue cooking until all sides are nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
Add the sauce. Lower or turn the heat off. Once the pan has cooled down, add the marinara. Gently coat the meatballs in the sauce and then remove the pan from the stove.
Serve. If you’d like, you can add the spaghetti to the pan, too, or you can plate the spaghetti, then add the meatballs and spoon the sauce over the top.
Tips for Success
Here are a few hints and tips for perfect vegan spaghetti and meatballs!
- No food processor? No problem! You can use a chef’s knife to finely chop the cauliflower until it’s in very small pieces; it will take a while, but it works. Then, add all of the meatball ingredients to a mixing bowl and use your hands to really squeeze everything together to break up the cauliflower and quinoa and create a uniform mixture.
- Don’t stir the meatballs and sauce too much. You want to gently roll the meatballs in the sauce to coat them, rather than stirring vigorously. This will keep them from falling apart!
- Make it your own. Sautéed mushrooms are an awesome addition to the sauce, or stir in some roasted garlic cloves.
What Do You Eat With Spaghetti?
If you’re looking for some vegan sides for pairing with spaghetti, I’ve got you covered!
- You can never go wrong with crusty, buttery garlic bread!
- Or serve your spaghetti with a vegan Caesar salad.
- If you want to up the veggie factor, tuck some roasted broccoli florets next to the spaghetti when you plate it. Roasted balsamic veggies are fantastic, too!
How to Store Leftovers
Vegan spaghetti and meatballs is great for meal prep lunches and dinners because it stores so well! Place it in an airtight container and store for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to reheat, you can pop it in the microwave or warm it in a skillet on the stovetop.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
These vegan meatballs freeze beautifully. Place them in a freezer bag or airtight container with parchment paper separating the layers. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months; warm them up in the microwave from frozen, or let them thaw in the fridge and warm them on the stovetop in a pan of marinara.
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan spaghetti and meatballs recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 8 ounces roasted cauliflower, 1 cup (instructions below)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, (137g)
- 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)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 1.5 teaspoons dried
- 48 ounces marinara sauce, (I used 2 24-ounce jars)
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti pasta, 250g or ½ lb(or your favourite long pasta)
- vegan parmesan shredded on top
- Cook pasta according to package directions in a well salted pot of water. Set aside.
- 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 and 8 ounces should make about 1 cup.
- 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 tomato 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.
- You can add in all the spaghetti to combine so they are also fully sauced, or just add a dollop of sauce into each spaghetti serving if you aren’t serving it all at once, then add the meatballs you want on top of the spaghetti. It’s up to you how to want to serve it basically!
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