Vegan Swedish Meatballs

I was inspired to find a vegan Swedish meatballs recipe by one of my favorite YouTube Chefs: Alex the French Guy. Alex is a…french guy. He lives in France and mixes his engineering talents with cooking. Alex is publishing a series on making the perfect meatball. Not just perfect tasting, but perfectly shaped. On his quest for perfect meatballs he went to Sweden to try authentic Swedish meatballs. That got me thinking about making a vegetarian version for us. There had to be a way. Luckily Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen had a recipe to try. Her recipe made 20 meatballs. I calculated the recipe for 4 servings, 5 meatballs a piece. The sodium was a bit high on this, but that’s easy to fix. Since Swedish meatballs do not have anything but meatballs, gravy and starch there needs to be some more veggies thrown in. Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I changed the soy sauce to a low sodium variety.
  • I increased the servings to 5 to reduce the sodium and potassium.
  • I added brown rice for protein and starch for serving.
  • I added extra firm tofu in place of mushrooms to bulk up the protein in the meatballs
  • I added red bell pepper for vitamin C
  • I added carrot for vitamin A.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:


Vegan Swedish Meatballs

Serves 5

For the rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water

For the meatballs:

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils green or brown
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 5 ounces of extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 

For the gravy:

  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened, plain soy or almond milk
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water


  1. Bring the rice and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onion in 3 tbsp water until translucent on medium heat (add more water if necessary). Add in garlic and sauté for additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in lentils and 1.5 cup water. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 15-20 minutes (until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender.)
  4. In a separate skillet spray with cooking spray, sauté tofu on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  5. Blend oats in a food processor (or a blender) to create oat flour.
  6. To the food processor, add in the tofu, lentils, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, pepper, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Process until everything is combined. Don’t process until it’s total mush – some texture from the lentils and tofu should still be there. 
  8. Add more soy sauce and pepper if needed.
  9. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes. It will become thicker and easy to roll. 
  10. Pre-heat oven to 425F degrees. 
  11. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  12. Roll into meatballs and place onto baking sheet. Spray with some cooking oil if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway. 
  13. In a medium-sized pot, heat over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add in the carrot and bell pepper and saute until soft.
  14. Add in all gravy ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch and water.
  15. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  16. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to create a cornstarch slurry. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the gravy.
  17. Return the pot to the burner and bring to a simmer again. The sauce should be nice and thick. If it’s too thin, add a little more cornstarch slurry.
  18. Pour the gravy over the meatballs. Serve over rice.

2 thoughts on “Vegan Swedish Meatballs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s