This is the best vegan Swedish meatballs recipe – These no-meat balls “Koettbullar” are incredibly delicious, rich in plant-based protein from lentils, meaty in texture and can be made soy-free and gluten-free. They are coated in a simple creamy vegan gravy, making it to the perfect comfort food for vegans and non-vegans alike!
I love trying new recipes from countries all over the world! I’ve already shared my vegan cinnamon rolls with you, which originate from Scandinavia. So I thought it’s about time to share a hearty lunch or dinner recipe from northern Europe! Anyway, today’s vegan Swedish meatballs recipe is inspired by the popular “Koettbullar” which is a classic Swedish dish, that is also served at Ikea and anyone loves it! So if you love it, too but went vegan or vegetarian, this meat-less version is what you need!
The Best Healthy Vegan Meatballs recipe
What I love about this recipe is that it is so healthy, satisfying and rich in nutrients! I made my vegan Swedish meatballs with lentils as I did in this lentil meatballs with Indian curry sauce recipe but adjusted the flavors and tossed the no-meat balls in a simple cream sauce. Thanks to the lentils, the meatballs are packed with vegan protein, keeping you full for several hours. Along with the wholesome oats, they contain also a lot of fiber which is important for your digestive system. Is there anything better than enjoying a delicious meal, that is even nourishing and healthy? I don’t think so!
I served my vegan Swedish meatballs in a simple gravy over Fussili here, but you can use any pasta of your choice or serve them with homemade spaetzle. However, they’re also delicious over mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, rice or quinoa which are all great gluten-free options. And if you follow a low-carb diet, simply serve this recipe as a main dish with vegetables on the side or over protein pasta like chickpea, lentil or pea noodles.
How to store, freeze & make-ahead
This recipe makes not only a great lunch or dinner to enjoy at home, but it is also perfect for meal prep to take to work. You can store leftovers in the fridge for a few days or freeze the uncooked balls for longer storage. Just be sure to store the vegan Swedish Meatballs and the gravy separately! Otherwise, the meatballs will get soft and mushy. When ready to serve, simply reheat in the microwave or in the oven for a crispier result.
How to make Vegan Swedish meatballs
This recipe is pretty easy to make in just a few steps, requiring simple pantry ingredients!
Step 1: Prep the vegan meatball mixture
Start by making the Meatballs: Cook the lentils in 1 ½ cup of water for 20 minutes, or according to the package instructions. In the meantime, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, until fragrant. Then add the chopped mushrooms and cumin and continue sautéing until the mushrooms are tender.
Next, place the oats in a blender or food processor and process them into flour. Then add in the cooked lentils, sautéed onions, garlic, mushrooms and the other ingredients for the Meatballs (see recipe card below). Pulse until combined, but not puréed, to get the perfect texture! Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Then set the no-meat lentil balls mixture aside for 10 minutes or refrigerate overnight, if you want to continue with the recipe the next day.
Step 2: Form the balls and bake
When ready to form the balls, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the lentil mixture into balls with wet hands. (This will prevent the lentil-mass from sticking to your skin.) Then place them on the prepared baking sheet and brush or spray them with a little oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Step 3: Make the vegan gravy
To make the gravy add all the ingredients as written in the recipe card below (except the cornstarch and water) to a pot or saucepan and bring to a boil. In a smaller bowl or cup whisk together the cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons of water to dissolve. Then whisk it into the gravy and bring it to a boil again, stirring occasionally. Simmer for a few minutes, until the gravy is nice and thick. Serve the gravy with these best vegan Swedish meatballs over pasta or mashed potatoes!
These Vegan Swedish Meatballs (Koettbullar) are:
- Can be made soy-free and gluten-free
- Easy to make
- Tossed in a creamy gravy
- Perfect for lunch, dinner, or meal prep
- Incredibly delicious!
Looking for more dishes with vegan meatballs, be sure to check out the following recipes:
- Lentil meatballs in Indian Curry Sauce
- No-Meat balls with Vegan Gravy over Mashed Potatoes
- Vegan Meatballs with Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce
- Vegan sweet potato falafel
- Or how about Vegan Lasagna or Mexican One-pot Taco Pasta?
- Also, my Lentil Bolognese and the classic Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese are incredibly delicious!
Anyway, if you try this recipe for Vegan Swedish Meatballs (Koettbullar), please leave a comment and rating! And if you take a photo of your delicious no-meat balls and share it on Instagram, please make sure to tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking!
Vegan Swedish Meatballs
- ½ cup dry lentils green or brown
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp oil + more for brushing
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup mushrooms roughly chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- ¾ cup rolled oats gluten-free if needed
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped (or sub 1 tbsp dried herbs)
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce (if gluten-free)
- ⅓ tsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper or to taste
To serve (optional)
- pasta of your choice
- Cook the lentils in a pot with 1 ½ cups of water for 20 minutes, or according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, until fragrant. Then add the chopped mushrooms and cumin and continue sautéing for about 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender (*see step-by-step photos above).
- Place the oats in a blender or food processor and process them into flour. Then add in the cooked lentils, sautéed onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Pulse until combined, but not puréed, leaving a little texture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Then set the mixture aside for 10 minutes (or refrigerate overnight if you want to continue the next day).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form the mixture into balls with wet hands and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Brush or spray the balls with a little oil and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them halfway through.
- Add all ingredients (except the cornstarch and water) to a pot or saucepan and bring to a boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons of water to dissolve. Then, whisk it into the gravy and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. Simmer for a few minutes, until the gravy is thick and creamy.
- Storage: Store leftover sauce and vegan meatballs separately in the refrigerator or the balls will get mushy. Reheat leftover meatballs gently in the microwave or in the oven for a crispier result.
- Sauce: You can also serve these vegan meatballs with mushroom gravy or mushroom stroganoff.
- Please read my blog post for further information about this recipe!
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