I love meatballs because you can do so many things with them. You can throw them in pasta, you can eat them on their own, as an appetizer, switch up the sauces to create different flavors, or switch up the fillings to make them different. Seriously there are so many different variations of meatballs out there, even for vegans. This Brown Butter Vegan Meatballs Recipe with Mashed Potatoes is so good and seriously the ultimate comfort food for the fall and winter.
Why you’ll love these vegan meatballs:
This is a full-blown comfort meal
It’s easy to make
Your whole family will love them
Great holiday meal alternative
How do you make Creamy Mashed Potatoes?
Who doesn’t love some creamy mashed potatoes as a side dish? These dairy-free potatoes are creamy without dairy. They’re perfect for a plant-based diet, and you can whip them up for your whole family. I promise, they’ll love them. Plus, they go great with these vegan meatballs and gravy. Here’s how you make them:
5 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled, washed – cut in 1-2 inch chunks for boiling
2–3 tbsp. Califia Plant Butter
2–3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp. Califia Protein Oat Plant Milk
Garnish with some olive oil or more Califia Plant Butter
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your potatoes until soft and fork-tender.
Into a high-speed blender add your strained potatoes, Califia Plant Butter, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and Plant-Based Milk. Using a blender tamper push the ingredients down and blend for around 1 minute or until perfectly smooth.
Serve hot with a drizzle of oil or Califia Plant Butter
For these mashed potatoes, I used Califia Farms Plant Butter and Oat Protein Plant Milk. I love these products because butter and milk are staples in everyone’s diet and cooking, and these are great plant-based options that I can use on their own or in my recipes. Their Oat Milk is great because most oat milk you find in the grocery store is loaded with fillers and have very little to no health benefits. This oat milk has 8 grams of protein per serving with its blend of oat, pea, and sunflower proteins. It’s rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 that it gets from the flaxseed plant, and its essential vitamins are all derived from plants.
For a modified recipe that’s also great with these
For my vegan gravy, I like to use modified versions of this recipe. Who doesn’t love gravy? However, vegans are often forced to live without it because so many places or people think you can only have gravy made from meat-based products. I’m here to prove to you that even vegan gravy can taste so darn good, and be meat-free.
For this recipe, I used the Califia Farms Plant Butter that I mentioned above. What’s great about this plant butter is that it’s made from REAL food like cashews, tiger nuts (which are super high in fiber), nutritional yeast, avocado oil or olive oil, BUT you get that creamy butter-like taste that melts, spreads, and cooks or bakes well. These products stay clear from palm and canola oils and provide that yummy taste you’ll love with the use of whole foods, versus just fat like regular non-vegan butter.
Okay, let’s get to that gravy!! Here’s how you make it:
2 tbsp. Califia Plant Butter
1 large sweet white onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable stock paste – I like to use Better Than Bouillon brand
2 tbsp. liquid soy seasoning
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 –3 cups of boiling water
1 heaped tbsp. all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup boiling water and stir till there are no clumps
Heat a medium-sized pan on medium-high heat. To the pan add the vegan butter. Cook for 30 seconds before adding your onion. Cook for at least 15 minutes on low-medium heat. This is an essential flavor building step. Do. Not. Skip. Be sure to stir often to avoid burning. You want the onions lightly browned, not crispy.
Now add your garlic, vegetable stock paste, liquid soy seasoning and nutritional yeast. Cook for 5 minutes before adding 2 cups of boiling water. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Check for taste and consistency. If the mixture is too thick add more water, 1/4 cup at a time. You want to make sure it’s loose enough to be thickened. The goal is for it to be a soup consistency before adding the flour + water mixture.
Once you have achieved a good simmering consistency then go ahead and add your flour + water mixture. Act fast and stir aggressively for around 1 minute with a whisk. Cook for 3-4 minutes to remove flour flavor.
Blend till smooth with a hand blender and serve.
Don’t forget the vegan meatballs!
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the star of this show. These Brown Butter Vegan Meatballs are so unreal. To achieve a consistency that sticks together, and provides more protein, I use lentils and mushrooms, as well as walnuts. The combination of spices in these vegan meatballs really brings this dish to life and makes it so comforting combined with the gravy on top and a side of creamy mashed potatoes. You’re going to love these!!
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These Brown Butter Vegan Meatballs are complete with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and gravy. The perfect comfort food! (For the potato and gravy recipes, see the body of this post)
2 tbsp. Califia Plant-Butter
3 cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped, like corn kernels
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 400 mL can lentils, drained and rinsed
1 cup walnut whole or halved walnuts (cannot be pulsed or pieces)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp rosemary
2 tbsp. Protein Oat Plant Milk
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
3/4 to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
1 vegan egg*
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat a large skillet on medium for 20 seconds before adding the plant butter.
Melt for 1 minute before adding to mushrooms and garlic. Cook for around 10-15 minutes while stirring very often. You want to avoid burning but really brown and develop those brown butter characteristics.
Meanwhile, place your oats into a food processor and process till fine and flour-like. To the processor, add the lentils, walnuts, thyme, sage and rosemary. Pulse till a dough forms, it will be dense and heavy.
Transfer mixture to the mushrooms, stir and incorporate till combined. Season to taste as desired.
Transfer the dough mixture to a bowl and stir in the vegan egg.
Begin forming the balls as desired. I went with larger sized ones, around 4 tbsp per ball. Place each ball onto the lined baking sheet and bake for at least 20 minutes and up to 25 minutes. If you do small balls, bake for less time (around 16 minutes) and vice versa. You will know they are ready when they are golden brown and steamy, cooked on the inside. Go with your gut 🙂
1 Vegan Egg = 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp. warm water
You could also just use a premade powdered Vegan Egg, Bob’s Red Mill and Follow Your Heart have one
If you prefer using egg, that is fine, just use 1 but know this is now no longer plant-based.