rants & recipes

Tempeh Meatballs

Posted by ataraktos on 2009-07-12

These are the best meatballs I've made, so far - they're heavily based from a Vegan Dad recipe, but I found those, as they're written, a little too dense so I made some changes. I also don't bother to steam the tempeh before putting it in the food processor. We really like the flavor of tempeh, even raw, so it's not a problem. If tempeh isn't a favorite, you might want to steam it for about 10 minutes first, and adjust/leave out the water?


  • 18 oz. package tempeh
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp A1
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 100 grams bread, crumbs
  • 20 grams walnuts (about 2 tbsp?)
  • 1/4 cup instant oatmeal (woops, I forgot this - maybe next time)
  • few dashes black pepper
  • about 3 tbsp oil, for browning


  1. Finely dice onion and garlic in a food processor. Remove to mixing bowl.
  2. Make bread crumbs and chop walnuts (I also did this in the food processor.) Empty into bowl w/ onions.
  3. Grate tempeh with grater or food processor. Add to mix.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. I used a bread mixer - if you have a full-size food processor, it could probably mix it too - leave it somewhat crumbly, though, you don't want a paste.
  5. Form about 36-40 small 'meat'balls.
  6. Heat oil in frying pan and brown meatballs. Turn to brown on all sides (this is harder than it sounds).
  7. Serve with pasta sauce and pasta.


Next time, I may use more walnuts. And try to blend them up better.

Meatballs, pasta sauce with veggies and pasta: