It's easy to make the BEST Italian Vegan Meatballs with only 4 ingredients and just 20 minutes. These meatless meatballs are juicy, delicious and naturally gluten free! Made with Impossible meat, these meatballs have the look, taste and texture of a traditional meatball, but are totally vegan!
You can serve them any way you'd serve traditional meatballs, with spaghetti, rice or in a sub sandwich. Or you can try them in these Italian bowls, served with the BEST marinara sauce, chickpea pasta and roasted broccoli!
I'm always excited to share new recipes, but I'm really excited to share this particular recipe! Since going on a mostly plant-based diet in 2020, I'm always trying out different ways to get plant-based protein in my diet.
These plant-based bowls contain 34 grams of protein per serving. That's more than twice the protein of a cheeseburger! And way better for you! These bowls are packed with fiber at 17 grams per bowl and loaded with calcium, potassium and vitamin A.
In addition to being healthy, these bowls are absolutely delicious! I could eat the meatless meatballs by the dozen! They're so juicy, flavorful and incredibly easy to make. Feel free to triple the recipe and make extra to save for later. I promise, this will become your new go-to vegan meatball recipe!
The meatballs will stay good in the refrigerator, uncooked, for up to 3 days. They're also perfect for freezing and will stay good in the freezer for up to 6 months. Use the meatballs in these bowls, for spaghetti and meatballs or in your favorite traditional meatball recipe.
These Italian bowls are incredibly versatile and can easily be made your own. Not a fan of broccoli? Roast zucchini instead! Want to ditch the pasta? No problem, toss in more veggies! The only thing I insist you make is the incredible Vegan Meatballs, the rest of the bowl is up to you!
What you'll need for the vegan meatballs
- Impossible burger - feel free to use another plant-based ground meat, but I love the Impossible burger in these meatballs. The flavor + texture = the perfect meatless meatballs every time!
- Italian seasoning - you can purchase Italian seasoning on the spice aisle at the grocery store, or use the link to the left to make homemade Italian seasoning. It's easy to mix up in just 5 minutes and you know exactly what's going in it, because you're making it at home!
What you'll need for the Italian bowls
- Broccoli florets - when I first created these bowls, I debated between roasting broccoli or zucchini to go in them. Honestly, I've made it both ways and you can't go wrong with either! If you love bell peppers, onions or cauliflower, feel free to use those instead, or throw them in to roast with the broccoli.
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Chickpea pasta - I used chickpea pasta in these bowls because I love that it's a gluten-free pasta option, that also provides a ton of protein and fiber. If you prefer another gluten-free pasta, feel free to use that instead! As far as the shape goes, rotini, small shells or penne would all work in this recipe.
- Marinara sauce - this sauce is my go-to for any pasta recipe. It's so easy to make, and it tastes so much fresher and more flavorful than the stuff from a jar. If you don't have time to make your own sauce, no worries, just pick up your favorite pre-made sauce at the grocery store.
- Fresh basil leaves
- Nutritional yeast (optional) - this popular plant-based ingredient adds a similar flavor to the bowls, as would parmesan cheese. If you already have some if your pantry, feel free to sprinkle a little on top of the bowls at the end!
- Red pepper flakes (optional) - for a little extra kick of flavor and spice, feel free to garnish the bowls with some pepper flakes.
How to make meatless meatballs
- Grate an onion. You want to grate the onion, instead of chopping it, so that it gets well incorporated into the meatball and cooks evenly inside the meatball. It also acts as a binder for these meatballs. Start on the outside of an onion and use a box grater, or hand grater, to grate ¼ cup of onion for the recipe.
- Combine the meatball ingredients. Add the Impossible burger to a large bowl with the grated onion, crushed garlic and Italian seasoning.
- Combine all of the ingredients together. Use a spoon, or your hands, to combine all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Form into meatballs. Use your hands to form the meatballs into 12 golf ball sized meatballs. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs. Place the meatballs in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
- Add the meatballs to the bowls, or use in the recipe of your choice.
How to make Italian bowls
- Roast the broccoli and meatballs. Toss broccoli florets with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Place the broccoli on an extra-large baking sheet, along with the meatballs, or place it on a separate parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the broccoli with the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Cook the pasta. While the meatballs and broccoli roast in the oven, bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. For the chickpea rotini, used in this post, it should cook for 7-9 minutes.
- Heat the marinara sauce. You can either heat the sauce on the stove, or in the microwave. If using the stove, add the sauce to a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Simmer until ready to serve with the bowls. If heating in the microwave, add the sauce to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and place in the microwave for 90 seconds, if the sauce is coming from the refrigerator, for 30 seconds if the sauce is room temperature.
- Assemble the bowls. Remove the broccoli and meatballs from the oven, drain the pasta and remove the sauce from the stove. Divide the broccoli, meatballs and pasta between four bowls. Pour the marinara sauce over the bowls or serve it on the side in small bowls for dipping. Top with fresh basil leaves and feel free to add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or red pepper flakes at this time.
How to make the bowls low carb
- Omit the chickpea pasta. Replace the pasta with an additional ½ cup of broccoli florets. Or roast another vegetable, like zucchini, cauliflower or bell peppers, with the broccoli to replace the chickpea pasta. Without the chickpea pasta, these bowls contain 23 grams of carbs and 15 net carbs per serving.
- The meatballs alone contain 3 grams of carbs per meatball and 1 net carb per meatball.
How to meal prep the bowls
- For storage: Prepare the meatballs and roast the broccoli and meatballs according to the recipe. Also prepare the pasta according to the recipe instructions. Divide the cooked meatballs, broccoli and pasta between four large containers. Divide the marinara sauce between four small containers. Place the small containers of sauce in the larger containers. Store for up to 5 days.
- To reheat and eat: remove the lids from the large and small containers, cover and place in the microwave for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the bowls, or serve it on the side for dipping.
More delicious vegan bowls to try
- Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl
- Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl
- Low Carb Vegan Fajita Bowl
- Sweet Potato Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Chipotle Cauliflower Vegan Taco Bowl
- Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts Bowl
- Roasted Broccoli Bowl
Italian Bowls with Vegan Meatballs
- 12 ounces Impossible burger
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- red pepper flakes
- nutritional yeast
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a bowl.
- Roll the meatball mixture into 12 balls, the size of golf balls.
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Toss the broccoli florets with the olive oil and Italian seasoning.
- Spread the broccoli into an even layer on a baking sheet.
- Place the broccoli and meatballs in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs and broccoli are roasting, bring a pot of water to boil on the stove.
- Add the rotini to the boiling water and cook for 7-9 minutes.
- Add the marinara sauce to a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
- Simmer the sauce for 5-10 minutes, until ready to serve with the bowls.
- Drain the rotini and divide it between four bowls.
- Add the broccoli and meatballs to each of the bowls.
- Pour the marinara sauce over the bowls or serve it on the side in small bowls for dipping.
- Top with fresh basil.
- Optionally top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and/or red pepper flakes.
- To grate an onion: start on the outside of an onion and use a box grater, or hand grater, to grate ¼ cup of onion for the recipe.
- The nutritional information provided does not include the optional toppings of nutritional yeast or red pepper flakes.
- Vegan meatball nutritional information: 64 calories per meatball, 3 carbs per meatball, 1 net carb per meatball, 5 grams protein per meatball
- Broccoli florets can be replaced with diced zucchini, cauliflower florets or large diced bell peppers, if you'd prefer.