Vegan Swedish Meatballs

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated
These Vegan Swedish Meatballs have the perfect texture and are so comforting! They are incredibly easy to make, coated in a homemade traditional sauce and are so meal preppable!
Vegan Swedish meatballs in sauce in a pan.
I’m just going say it – MAN these Vegan Swedish meatballs were good! I just polished off some more right now, and I could just swim in the sauce for them! Guaranteed perfect comfort food for the holiday season. Guaranteed perfect dish for date night, a celebration or well, life. If you’ve never experimented with these before, I did my best to keep this vegan version as authentic as possible, so let’s get into it. 
Firstly, why Swedish meatballs?! Because I’ve never had them. I’ve actually probably never had “real” meatballs due to allergies growing up, and I was always jealous of those people who could easily enjoy the IKEA Swedish meatballs. How badly I wanted to be those people, to be shopping in this heaven like maze and to just pop in for a break to devour this apparently cult like meatballs. Boo hoo to me. That feeling soon passed until one night my brain was like – hey! Now that we have a rock solid veggie meatball recipe; we can finally try those Swedish meatballs! 

How to make vegan meatballs

Needless to say, these meatballs are beyond everything I dreamed they’d be. They start with my cauliflower quinoa meatball recipe – cooked and ready for the taking.  You’ll definitely sneak one into your mouth while making the sauce – that’s okay. Or you’ll sneak four like my Gav did. Hmm, also okay I suppose. 
The sauce is like a fairy tale. You make a roux with flour and vegan butter, and I promise once the follow the instructions that part is easy! Then add in your vegetable broth, soy sauce, garlic powder, mustard coconut milk and seasonings and bam! You’re done! 

Vegan meatballs in a bowl with sauce and other ingredients around it.

Swedish Meatballs Tips

So, some tips to making these meatballs uniquely your own. The key is starting with solid vegan meatballs that won’t fall apart. I’ll touch on that in a bit. Re the sauce, I love a nice thick sauce, but if you want yours thinner, add in an extra ½ cup to a cup of vegetable broth, adjusting the seasonings appropriately. Don’t skip the mustard here, because it really helps to neutralise that coconut flavour. That was my thing – let this taste like an actual sauce, and not like a coconut flavoured sauce. 

Vegan Meatballs Falling Apart? Troubleshooting Tips

Okay my favourite part has arrived! I did a whole mini series on my Instagram stories, but I want to share the #1 tip why you’re vegan meatballs are falling apart if you’re making my recipe. Simply: you’re not grinding them enough. You want like one cohesive dough, not it falling apart and you can still see quinoa bits. That’s not a mixture and it will fall apart; guaranteed. Also, if you decide to substitute any ingredients – like say, pre-bought riced cauliflower instead of making it yourself, be sure that you get any of that excess liquid out before adding it in. Extra liquid will make the balls fall apart. I also like to squeeze each meatball together properly before adding in the pan, like I would regular meatballs. So these tips should help!! 
a wood spoon scooping a vegan meatball in sauce from a pan.
In a nutshell, these Swedish Meatballs are:
  • Divine 
  • Family favourite
  • Meal preppable
  • Freezer friendly
  • Made in a Creamy delicious sauce
Make these beautiful morsels, and enjoy! 
Vegan swedish meatballs in sauce in a pan.

Vegan Swedish Meatballs

These Vegan Swedish Meatballs have the perfect texture and are so comforting! They are incredibly easy to make, coated in a homemade traditional sauce and are so meal preppable!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 18 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine Swedish

Vegan Meatballs Base

  • 8 ounces roasted cauliflower (instructions below) (1 cup)
  • 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)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs gluten free if needed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil

Swedish Meatballs Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 13.4 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce or liquid aminos*
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt to taste depending on your vegetable broth



  • I would make the sauce after the meatballs are finished cooking. In a pan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter. Add the flour to pan, and whisk vigorously with a whisk until the flour is fully incorporated with the butter with no lumps, forming a roux. Let it cook for about 2 minutes to remove any flour taste.
  • Slowly mix in the vegetable broth, whisking at the same time, until a smooth sauce is formed. Add in the can of coconut milk, whisking at the same time too until fully incorporated.
  • Add in the garlic powder, soy sauce, mustard, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Mix, taste, and add salt to test.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and add in the meatballs, slowly turning to coat the meatballs. Add the last of the parsley to garnish and serve and enjoy!

Vegan Meatballs Base

  • 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. Prep the sauce either in this cooled down pan, or in a separate pan then add the meatballs to it as in the sauce directions. 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 parties! Enjoy!
*I started with 1 tablespoon then ended up adding in an extra 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce and I felt like it really enhanced the flavour. So start with 1 tablespoon, and add more if you think you need it. Also, if you don’t use light soy sauce or liquid aminos, please note that it WILL be saltier, so adjust accordingly!


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 201IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. How much and what kind of mustard? U said it was important but it isn’t listed in the ingredients.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Theresa,

      Sorry about that! I just added it in – it’s 1/2 teaspoon mustard. Thanks so much for bringing that to my attention and I hope you enjoy!!

  2. Debbie says:

    Hi Jessica

    Quick question re the coconut milk – is this tinned (like you would use for Thai curry) or is it just plain old coconut milk from a carton (so like a carton of almond milk or hemp milk)


    • Jessica says:

      Hi Debbie,

      Tinned coconut milk! I’ll update the recipe to reflect that. I hope you enjoy so much!!

  3. Natasha Wilkinson says:

    Made this tonight for the family. It was a big hit. I made sure I stuck to the meatball mixture to the letter. Not a problem at all. The meatball nmixture doughed up in the processer like you said. They were very flavoursome. I thought the sauce was a little runny to start with but it all worked over a pile od mash potato. Thanks for another yummy recipe. The red lentil curry is still a family and friends of family favourite.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Oh wow! We’re happy that you made the recipe to the letter and liked it. Thank you for leaving this kind reply. We’re happy that it was able to please you and your amazing family!

  4. Jess says:

    5 stars
    This one was a big hit all round, my toddlers’ nearly bit my finger off going in for seconds, my mother in law was impressed and even my meat eater husband said they were very tasty (believe me this is high praise from Mr ‘I just don’t like vegan food’! Luckily we’ve got enough left for another meal so I’m hoping they freeze well!

  5. Erin says:

    5 stars
    Made this recipe this week and it turned out fantastic! The flavor is great and the meatballs held together when cooked. Thanks for the great idea!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      So happy to hear that Erin! Thank you so much for reading and trying the recipe! Also thank you so much for this great review

  6. Ellen says:

    5 stars
    One of the best (if not THE best) vegan cream sauces I have ever eaten. Can only speak to the sauce, as I used premade gardein brand frozen vegan meatballs, but it was truly so delicious. I put it over mashed potatoes, and it was the perfect texture and consistency. Excited to try the meatballs themselves when I have a bit more prep time.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe Ellen! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

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