Who doesn’t love a good meatball? Meatballs are great with pasta, in a sandwich, or even in soups. There are many different ways to enjoy meatballs. It’s no surprise that meatballs are so popular. They are comforting and delicious. However, the main ingredient in a meatball is it’s namesake – meat.
But what about those who don’t eat meat? Are there any vegan or meatless options out there? Meatless meatballs do exist and you can make them yourself or buy them.
Why would you want a meatball without meat? Meatless meatballs are a preference for many.
Which is the best vegan meatball? The quick answer is Beyond Meatballs by Beyond Meat.
Some prefer not to eat meat at all. While others will occasionally eat meatless meals to maintain a healthy, sustainable diet.
Some people decide to eat vegan. A vegan diet means that you do not consume any animal products at all. So, not only does that eliminate meat, but it also eliminates a few other popular ingredients in meatballs that are sourced from animals.
Another main ingredient in a meatball is egg. Eggs are almost always found in a meatball recipe. The eggs act as a binding agent for the meatball so that it keeps its round shape. Some other non-vegan ingredients found in meatballs are milk, bread, and worcestershire sauce.
Eating a plant-based, meatless diet is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint in addition to its many health benefits. So, even if you do it just one day or one meal a week, you’re making a difference.
But this doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice when it comes to meals. There are lots of delicious options out there for those who are choosing not to eat meat. Meat substitutes are more popular than ever and meatballs are one of the top products that come to mind.
Table of Contents
- Are vegan meatballs healthy?
- Should you buy or make vegan meatballs?
- Are there good vegan meatball options to buy?
- Where can you buy vegan meatballs?
- Can you buy vegan meatballs online?
- More meatballs to come
Most vegan meatballs are considered healthy. You’ll find that many vegan meatballs are made primarily with vegetables, beans, or soy-based proteins. Which one you choose will vary depending on what kind of diet you are following. Some diets tend to stay away from beans and legumes because they may cause inflammation. Others may need to avoid certain allergens like soy or gluten.
Take note of the list of ingredients while shopping for vegan meatballs. Ideally, you want a small, easy-to-read ingredient list. You want to be familiar with the names of the ingredients. Most ingredients that look foreign or are hard to pronounce are likely unhealthy (and unnecessary) additives to enhance the texture and flavor of the meatball.
Meatballs are a labor of love. Making meatballs is not a quick endeavor and usually requires some time in the kitchen. You can easily find recipes online for vegan meatballs. However, they aren’t any quicker than making regular meatballs. Sometimes you need to buy ingredients that might be hard to find.
We know that there are plenty of non-vegan/traditional meatball options out there to buy. But what about vegan meatballs? Buying vegan meatballs has become relatively easy. There are more options now than ever.
Here is a list of some of the most popular vegan meatball options that you can purchase. This way, you can get dinner on the table in a fraction of the time with much less of a mess.
Beyond Meat has become a very popular company that produces plant-based products. Not only will you find their items in grocery stores, but many restaurants are now using their burger blend for meatless hamburgers.
Pea protein is the plant-based material that makes up this meatball. It also has various seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, and apple extract. There is no soy, GMOS or gluten in these meatballs.
These are hands down the most meaty non-meatballs you can buy and our favorite here at Cook Gem. They cook and taste like real meatballs and give you just as much protein without the cholesterol. These are great with salads when crisped up cooking in a pan or the traditional pasta route. Beyond Meatballs are fantastic meatless balls.
Serving size: 5 meatballs
Gardien is another company that has been producing plant-based groceries for a long time. You can find their items in the freezer aisle at your local supermarket. The reviews on this particular meatball claim that they taste very much like a regular meat-based meatball. However, there does seem to be a long list of additives in the ingredients.
The main plant-based ingredient is soy protein. It’s important to note that these meatballs do contain gluten and soy.
Consumers have said this is one of the best meatballs for traditional Italian recipes. They are best served with tomato sauce because of their particular texture, which was noted to be dryer than others.
Serving size: 3 meatballs
Are you trying to avoid beans and legumes? Jack and Annie’s plant-base meatball will be one of your best options. The main ingredient in this meatball is jackfruit. But do keep in mind that these meatballs still contain soy and gluten.
They have a higher calorie count than other plant-based meatballs, but they also have less ingredients. When trying to eat healthy, it’s important to keep an eye on the list of ingredients. The shorter the better is usually the case. And another perk is that all of the ingredients listed (like coconut oil, canola oil, white onion, etc.) are ingredients you’re already familiar with.
Serving size: 3 meatballs
Nate’s meatless meatballs come in three different flavors: Classic, Savory Mushroom, and Zesty Italian. They are made with non-GMO soy protein and have endless possibilities. The savory mushroom flavor would be great for Swedish meatballs. Zesty Italian meatballs would be fantastic in a meatball sub.
Serving size: 3 meatballs
Are you short on freezer space? This vegan meatball mix is shelf stable. Therefore, you don’t need to store it in the fridge and freezer. The only catch is that you’re going to need to mix up these meatballs yourself.
You can even buy neat’s egg substitute to keep things simple. This option does allow you to get a little creative with your own flavorings.
The main ingredients in this meatless mix are pecans and chickpeas. Not only is the product vegan, but it’s free of soy and gluten as well. The meat mix can provide the same amount of protein as a regular meat product but with 60% less saturated fat.
Serving size: ⅓ cup (about 2-3 meatballs)
If you’re fortunate enough to live by an IKEA, you’re probably very familiar with their delicious meatballs. Lucky for you, IKEA came up with a plant-based meatball for their vegetarian and vegan shoppers.
These meatballs are packed with visible vegetables like carrots, peppers, corn, and kale. Chickpeas also make up a fair amount of the meatball’s protein. It’s hard to come by a poor review for these meatballs.
Than can easily substitute any standard meatball in recipes. They are also a great option for kids.
Serving size: 5 meatballs
Heidi’s Real Food meatballs are the ones to grab if you’re looking for a ton of flavor. There are three different flavors and each has their own unique list of ingredients.
The Italian meatball has dark chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh basil and oregano. This would be a great meatball for standard Italian recipes.
The Persian uses light chickpeas, dates, spinach and spices. This flavor is described as starting with a sweet flavor and ending with a little heat. The company even claims it tastes better than a falafel.
The Barbados meatballs use kidney beans as their source of protein. THey also include sweet mangos, mustard greens, pumpkin seeds, and curry.
All three flavors are allergen and gluten free.
Serving size: 4 ounces
There are plenty of places where you can buy vegan meatballs. Being vegan and vegetarian is more mainstream than ever. Therefore, there should be plenty of options in your local grocery store.
If you don’t have any luck at your standard supermarket, it’s almost guaranteed that you will find vegan meatballs at a health food store. There will be lots of options in stores like Whole Foods and The Fresh Market.
Yes, you can buy vegan meatballs online. Online grocery shopping has become quite popular. Instacart is one of the most popular apps that is used for online grocery shopping. You can easily check and see what your local options are by searching for local grocery delivery options.
You can also use an online grocery store, if you do not live in an area where there is grocery delivery. Thrive Market is a good option.
More meatballs to come
There is no better time than now to shop for vegan meatball options. There is a larger variety of products out there for you to try. Whether you’re vegan or not, it’s worth giving these products a shot. And with increased interested in plant-based foods, expect more options in the future.
Eating plant-based meatballs is a fun and healthy way to mix up the regular routine and lower your cholesterol intake by cutting out meat. Vegan meatballs can substitute regular meatballs in any recipe. If you can’t find them in your regular grocery store, there are lots of purchasing options for you online.