These absolutely scrumptious meatballs are … tah-dah ! … actually not meatballs.
Made from potatoes and walnuts and other super healthy ingredients, these no-meatballs are delicious and slimming alternative to the real deal.
Meaty, No-Meatball Success
Here’s what you need to know to make these amazing gluten-free, vegan meatballs.
1. One of the keys to the fabulous taste of these no-meatballs are the slow-sauteed onions. Slowly saute them on medium-low for 12 to 14 minutes (stir occasionally) while you prepare the other ingredients. The onions should end up golden brown. If they brown too quickly, turn heat down.
2. One of the keys to the fabulous texture of these no-meatballs is using a food processor to chop the potatoes. The potatoes need to be very fine – about the size of a large grain of rice.
3. The onions and celery need to be diced very fine also. If they aren’t minced small enough, the meatballs won’t hold together well.
4. Despite their apparent pickiness in how they are prepared, these no-meatballs are actually quite easy to make, and if you follow the instructions carefully, the your no-meatballs will have a wonderful texture and hold together beautifully.
Why You Should Be Eating More Potatoes
Many people are surprised to learn that potatoes are a great weight loss food. Find out more in this post I wrote about the super spud!
How to Serve
These are yummy enough to be served plain – no need for sauce. But they are also scrumptious served over spaghetti with my easy marinara sauce, or with gravy, or even in a sub sandwich.
And they only take 20 minutes to make.
- 1 medium to large yellow onion, finely diced - (about 1 1/3 cups) – see note #1
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup soft bread crumbs - gluten-free bread crumbs if desired or see note #1
- 4 teaspoons granulated onion - (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt - scant
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 rib celery, minced - (about 2/3 cup minced)
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped raw potato - (two 6-ounce potatoes, peeled) – see note #3
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- In a skillet, sauté onions over medium-low heat in oil, stirring often. Sauté until onions are golden brown – about 12 to 14 minutes.
- Meanwhile, measure bread crumbs and seasonings into a large mixing bowl.
- Place walnuts in food processor and chop until medium fine (just smaller than a grain of rice). Add to mixing bowl.
- Finely mince celery and add to bread crumb mixture.
- Using the “S” blade of food processor, finely chop potatoes until they are about the size of a large grain of rice or barley. (Scrape down sides of food processor once or twice during processing to ensure potatoes get minced evenly.) Stir into bread crumb mixture. Work quickly to prevent potatoes from turning brown.
- When onions are done, mix in onions and tomato paste. Mix extra well. (This extra stirring helps mixture to hold together better.) Mixture should be moist and hold together when squeezed together in hands.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using 2 tablespoons of mixture at a time, shape into balls. (I use my cookie scoop for this.) Place on oiled baking sheet.
- Bake at 350°F for 25 to 28 minutes or until browned on bottom.
>> One quick request: if you like this recipe, please leave a rating and a comment. Ratings help more people find these healthy recipes!
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These look wonderful! I’d love to have these with whole wheat pasta noodles and my favorite sauce. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am on a quest for weight loss and looking for recipes that my family will love, that are vegan and use whole foods and will help me on my weight loss journey. I just started my own vegan blog documenting my weight loss and I set out on a search to find other blogs/bloggers that can share tips with me on losing weight on a vegan diet. I am glad I found yours!
I’m glad you found my blog too : ) I hope you find many recipes you like and lots of helpful information as you embark on your weight loss journey.
Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Best wishes to you!
I am going to try these tonight with spaghetti for dinner and am making extra so I can have a no meatball sub for lunch tomorrow too.
Hope you enjoyed! 🙂
We tried these and my husband, all 4 of our children and myself love them! Thank you for sharing this recipe! We had them yesterday with pasta, but I plan on doing rice and gravy for our next batch, which we’ll be eating tomorrow! They hold together so well and have a great texture and flavor.
That’s so good to hear, Dana. Glad you liked them.
We made these! They were sooo good!!! Loved them. Thank you Jennifer for such delicious recipes ?
I told my dear friend in Illinois about your website. She loves it! She made the No-Meat Meatballs with brown rice spaghetti for our church fellowship meal. THEY ARE GREAT! She just followed the recipe, did not tweek it–why change what is already good. 🙂 We’re going to use them to make meatball subs with sauce, sauteed peppers and onions, shredded vegan cheese, and sliced black olives. And three of us are going to make all of your recipes and try them out over time. I just shared your site with a friend in WA State, too. THANKS, Jennifer! And thank you to your daughter for the wonderful pictures.
I am thrilled you liked them! We are having meatball subs too (for lunch tomorrow) : )
I hope you enjoy trying other recipes. Thank you for your sweet comment.
Tell me more about the “soft” breadcrumbs. Are they from soft, fresh bread ?
Soft breadcrumbs are made from fresh bread or bread that is only a few days old. Dry breadcrumbs are made from oven-dried bread and is much less fluffy than soft bread crumbs. The two aren’t really interchangeable.
Hope this helps 🙂
I made these for lunch, substituting gluten-free oats for the bread crumbs, because I didn’t have any GF bread crumbs. They were very delicious, with a nice texture (not gummy). I love the crunchiness from the walnuts. Hubby, Mr. Picky, liked them, so they must be good! I served them in spaghetti sauce over brown rice fettuccine pasta. Yum! These No-Meatballs are on my menu to make again soon.
I’m so happy to hear you liked them!
Can I have the tomato sauce recipie,please!
Yes! I will be posting the recipe at the end of this month. (Just have to test it one more time.)
If you are subscribed to my website, you’ll be one of the firsts to get it!
Thank you very much. I hardly wait!
I just made these and they are delicious! I am just more and more amazed with every recipe I try! I have some picky teenage boys, and trying to feed them healthy food is a challenge. Jennifer has made it possible to please them with her wonderful recipes! I believe Jennifer has a true gift for creating amazing, healthy recipes! Thank you, Jennifer!
You are so kind, Robin. Thank you. I am super happy that your boys like the recipes! 🙂
These are awesome! I subbed sunflower seeds for the nuts. I also subbed carrot for the celery because I didn’t have celery. Turned out perfect!
That makes me so happy, Nina. Thank you very much for your comment.
These are divinely delicious and easy to make. My family couldn’t get enough of them. This is definitely a new family tradition!!
I served it with whole-wheat spaghetti and a fresh salad of mixed greens, carrots tomatoes and cucumbers. My homemade spaghetti sauce was the crowning touch.
Thank you for sharing.
Mmmmm! Your meal sounds delicious! I’m so happy you liked the no-meatballs.
Thank you for your comment, Colleen. 🙂
I am so happy with this recipie, served it with mashed potatoes and gravy. Leftovers will probably be subs. I made it gf.
Aw, thanks Marlene. So happy you enjoyed them. 🙂
What can I substitute for the walnuts? I need to avoid nuts.
I’ve never tested these without the walnuts, and I’m thinking that they really do need the walnuts for the right flavor. You *could * try substituting sunflower seeds, but I’m not sure how they would turn out.
I would suggest making these Vegan Veggie Balls instead. They don’t have any nuts in them and they’re delicious!