The vegan “meatball” recipe even carnivores will love…

Now there’s a recipe title I never thought I’d write! As one brother is vegan, and the other recently vegetarian, whenever they are home, making meals that satisfy everyone around the table has become trickier, and I never expected there to be even such a thing as a tasty vegan “meatball” that didn’t include some sort of modified fungus, or tofu.

As it turns out, these little bad boys were delicious.

Seriously good.

Even for a complete carnivore.

It’s the kind of recipe you don’t ever really believe could replace actual meatballs in any way shape or form, just like there’s no way to replicate the deliciousness that are IKEA meatballs. The sauce, the mash, the cranberry…oh boy, get me to IKEA (actually, don’t…I’m not sure my bank balance can take it…!!)

It’s also surprisingly quick and easy to make these vegan “meatballs” and if you have a pan and a magi-mix, that’s literally all you’ll have to wash up afterwards- HELLO!

No Meat Meatballs Vegetarian 2No Meat Meatballs Vegetarian 1


  • 200g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Chestnuts
  • 1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes with their juice
  • A glug of red wine if you’re feeling fancy
  • 100g breadcrumbs (check it’s vegan if you need the vegan version)
  • 250g soaked or tinned chickpeas
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • a pinch of parsley/thyme/basil/rosemary/dill/coriander…you do you with this one, whatever takes your fancy, I shoved in a bit of pretty much everything.
  • 1 egg yolk (for non vegans, use olive oil if you’re sticking to the non-animal malarky)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A little flour for dusting your hands
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

No Meat Meatballs Vegetarian 3No Meat Meatballs Vegetarian 4


Start with the tomato sauce. Get a large shallow pan. Add the onions and olive oil. Sweat for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add the tinned tomato, red pepper, wine, and water. Simmer gently while you make the chestnut balls.


Get out your magi-mix, and pulverise the breadcrumbs. I made the mistake of trying to whizz up bread whilst mixing in the other ingredients. Learn from my mistake…! Add the chestnuts to blend into a paste,  cooked chickpeas, chopped garlic, herbs and the egg yolk or olive oil. Season to taste. Roll it into balls and flatten them slightly so they cook a bit better.


Originally the suggestion was to add the chestnut balls to the simmering sauce, but I actually fried mine off a bit before hand as it made them crispy on the outside, which was gooooood! Brush each one with the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, repeating the brushing 3 times. (this is taken from the original recipe. I didn’t wait that long, they smelt too good and my tummy was rumbling so I pretty much bunged them in and served them up!)

No Meat Meatballs Vegetarian 6No Meat Meatballs Vegetarian 5

Serve your vegan “meatballs” with a load of red and white quinoa or a hunk of bread and some salad….and some obligatory balsamic glaze that’s bound to squirt out irregularly and ruin the appearance of the plate…you know how it is…!!

*This was in collaboration with a brand but the recipe was adapted, devoured and enjoyed by me*