When Impossible Foods launched its ground “meat” for purchase in the grocery store, I knew it would be perfect for recreating my dad’s family meatball recipe.
Note that this post was NOT sponsored by the Impossible™ company; however, I have found the impossible products to be the best for the job.
I mean I love using chickpeas and lentils to make veggie balls, but it’s just not the same thing.
If I was ever going to recreate the nostalgic savory flavors from the original recipe, legumes just weren’t going to cut it.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Using Impossible foods means no animal products or animal hormones to deal with
- These hold together better than meatless meatballs made with legumes and other products
- Quick and easy recipe ready in about 20 minutes or less
- These "meatballs" could easily go in various recipes using various preparation methods
- Using a sustainable alternative like the Impossible ground in this recipe provides you with more vitamin b12 than when made with animal meat
- No need for olive oil sunflower oil, coconut oil, or other cooking oil
My dad's original recipe called for the following simple ingredients: ground beef, egg, sliced white bread, whole milk, grated cheese, garlic, fresh parsley and black pepper.
To keep this version as true to the original family classic, I made the following swaps:
- I used Impossible Burger ground "meat" in place of the ground beef.
- I omitted the egg white and egg yolks entirely instead of using a replacement. Upon testing, I found that neither eggs nor a vegan egg substitute would be necessary when using the Impossible "meat."
- Instead of wheat-based white bread, I used a gluten-free sliced bread instead. Of course, if you are not gluten-free, feel free to use non GF sliced bread with wheat flour if you'd like.
- In place of the whole milk, I used oat milk. However, you can use any plant-based milk of your choosing or dairy-based milk if you are not vegan or avoiding dairy. If you are using oat milk, be sure to check the label for a certified gluten-free brand if necessary.
- I used vegan Parmesan-style shreds in place of the dairy-based grated cheese. You can use grated vegan Parmesan or dairy-based Parmesan cheese as well.
- Garlic, parsley and black pepper all remained the same in this savory homestyle meatball seasoning blend. I find that fresh herbs bring the best flavor
How to make these meatless meatballs
Preheat your oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the Impossible ground followed by the Parmesan, garlic, parsley and black pepper to a large bowl.
Break up the slices of bread into small pieces.
One by one, dip each broken up piece of bread in the milk to lightly coat it. You don't want to make it sopping wet, but if it is, just squeeze it between your thumb and pointer finger over the bowl of milk to drain off the excess.
Tip: Using bread dipped in milk rather than dry bread crumbs is the traditional way to keep the meatballs tender and juicy.
Rub the coated bread piece between your thumb and pointer finger over the mixing bowl to crumble it into the mixture.
Use your hands to mix everything together until well combined.
Form 12 tightly-packed "meatballs" of equal size and place them on the parchment-lined baking tray.
Bake the vegan meatballs for 10-15 minutes until browned to your liking.
Ideas for serving
These new Impossible meatballs are perfect with your favorite tomato sauce, marinara sauce, or other favorite sauce.
Simply heat the sauce in a skillet on the stovetop while the meatballs are in the oven.
Then add the cooked meatballs and turn off the heat.
Spoon some of the sauce over top of each meatball.
Alternatively, you can add the cooked meatballs to a pot of sauce, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes to infuse the flavor of the meatballs into the sauce.
Serve over top of your favorite pasta or veggie alternative such as zucchini noodles or roasted spaghetti squash.
They are also great for making a meatball sandwich or some tasty meatball subs.
You can also slice them and use as a pizza topping.
Frequently asked questions
I purchased mine at my local Target; however, it is available at a number of grocery stores and additional retailers throughout the United States. You can search for a store near you that carries it on the Impossible Foods website or buy directly from the company online.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The meatballs can be stored alone or in sauce.
Yes, after cooking, allow the meatballs to cool and then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Once they are frozen solid, transfer the meatballs to a resealable freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container. The frozen meatballs will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
The meatballs can be reheated until warmed throughout on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 400° F oven, in a covered large skillet or saucepan on the stovetop in sauce, or in a covered microwave-safe dish in the microwave in 30-second intervals. If previously frozen, they can be cooked from frozen or thawed first.
More Italian-inspired meatless recipes
Italian-Style Impossible Burger Meatballs
- 12 oz Impossible Burger Ground
- ¼ cup vegan Parmesan-style cheese, shredded or grated (can use vegetarian-friendly Parmesan if not vegan or avoiding dairy)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices gluten-free bread, broken up into small pieces - equates to approximately 1 cup of broken up bread pieces (feel free to use non GF bread if you are not avoiding gluten)
- ¼ cup unsweetened oat milk or other plant-based milk (can use dairy-based milk if not vegan or avoiding dairy)
- Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the Impossible ground followed by the Parmesan, garlic, parsley and black pepper to a mixing bowl.
- One by one, dip each broken up piece of bread in the milk to *lightly coat it. Rub the coated bread piece between your thumb and pointer finger over the mixing bowl to crumble it into the mixture.
- Use your hands to mix everything together until well combined.
- Use your **hands to form 12 tightly-packed "meatballs" of equal size and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until browned to your liking (mine took 12 minutes). ***Serve as desired.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
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