These vegan Italian-style Impossible Burger meatballs are super easy to make in about 20 minutes with just 7 ingredients! Pair with your favorite tomato sauce and enjoy over pasta, in a sub or on a pizza!
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 this to be the best product 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 that nostalgic flavor, legumes just weren’t going to cut it.
My dad's original recipe called for the following: ground beef, egg, sliced white bread, whole milk, grated cheese, garlic, fresh parsley and black pepper.
To keep this vegan version as true to the original, I made the following swaps:
- I used Impossible Burger ground "meat" in place of the ground beef.
- I omitted the egg entirely instead of using a replacement. Upon testing, I found a vegan egg substitute wasn't necessary in this recipe.
- Instead of wheat-based white bread, I used a gluten-free, vegan sliced bread instead. Of course, if you are not gluten-free, feel free to use non GF sliced bread 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. 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 as well.
- Garlic, parsley and black pepper all remained the same.
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 vegan Parmesan, garlic, parsley and black pepper to a mixing bowl.
Break up the slices of bread into small pieces.
One by one, dip each broken up piece of bread in the plant-based 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 sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until browned to your liking.
Ideas for serving
These vegan "meatballs" are perfect with your favorite tomato or marinara 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 gluten-free pasta or veggie alternative such as zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
They are also great for making a meatball sandwich/sub.
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 chains 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 freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container. They 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 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 vegan recipes
Italian-Style Impossible Burger Meatballs
- 12 oz Impossible Burger Ground
- ¼ cup vegan Parmesan-style cheese, shredded or grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices gluten-free and vegan bread, broken up into small pieces - equates to approximately 1 cup of broken up bread pieces (feel free to use non GF sliced bread if you are not gluten-free)
- ¼ cup plant-based milk (I used oat milk - use certified GF brand if necessary)
- Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the Impossible ground followed by the vegan Parmesan, garlic, parsley and black pepper to a mixing bowl.
- One by one, dip each broken up piece of bread in the plant-based 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 for this recipe)
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