These gluten free vegetarian meatballs are so easy, perfect for meal prep, and only 4 ingredients! In under a half hour, you can have a healthy weeknight dinner or option for affordable, meatless workweek lunches. Made with cauliflower, brown rice and walnuts, they’re also soy-free and dairy-free meatballs. These pair perfectly with any sauce, pasta or salad. They also freeze wonderfully, so go ahead and make a double batch!
Ingredients in Vegetarian Meatballs
These gluten-free meatless meatballs require only 4 simple ingredients, plus a few common pantry spices. The main items you’ll need for this recipe include 2 eggs, walnuts, brown rice and cauliflower rice. For the spices you’ll need salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder. A bit of olive oil or avocado oil is also needed for brushing or spraying over the tops of the rolled meatballs prior to baking.
All of these ingredients are readily and easily available at all major grocery stores, and they’re really affordable as well which makes this a great budget friendly recipe. You can also order almost all of these items from online retailers like Thrive Market.
For the cauliflower rice, it’s generally easier to grab a 12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower rice and simply microwave it until soft and hot. You can use fresh cauliflower florets instead of frozen rice. If you’re wanting to opt for fresh cauliflower, you’ll want to chop it into florets and then boil them in a pot of water until they’re soft and able to be pierced with a fork all the way through. Those florets can go directly into the food processor with the rice and walnuts.
With the rice, again it is easier to grab an 8.5 ounce bag of 90-second microwave brown rice. However you can of course use leftover brown rice, or make it prior to prepping your meatballs. You will need about 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice. If you’re using leftover brown rice from the refrigerator, you will still want to heat it up a bit because it needs to be warm and soft to form into the meatballs.
How to Prepare Your Meatless Meatballs
It’s a really quick and easy preparation process for these meatballs being there’s so few ingredients. The first step is to add the warmed cauliflower rice, warmed brown rice and walnuts into your food processor. Then you’ll want to pulse it for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is mostly smooth.
Depending on your food processor, you may have to open the lid once to push down the sides with a spatula to make sure everything gets combined and blended. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth, but there should be no more grains of rice visible. From there, you’ll just add the mixture into a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs and add the spices.
Use a fork or spoon to incorporate the eggs and spices in with the rice, nut and cauliflower mixture. Stir it well until everything is completely mixed together. A sheet pan will need to be lightly coated with a non stick cooking oil or spray, and the oven preheated to 400 degrees F.
Then begin rolling the mixture into small balls, using about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture per meatball. When you have the meatball formed, place it directly onto your sheet pan.
If the mixture feels too wet to form into balls, you can refrigerate it for about 20 minutes to let it harden a bit. Once all of the meatballs are formed, brush on a liberal amount of olive oil or avocado oil over the top of each meatball. Or, spray a bit of oil if that’s easier for you.
The last step is to place your sheet pan into your oven on the middle rack and bake your meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the sheet pan when the meatballs are golden brown on top and firm to the touch.
What to Serve Vegetarian Meatballs With
These meatballs are really versatile which makes them great to have on hand or in the freezer. You can coat them in sauces like creamy buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, or teriyaki sauce, and serve with vegetable sides or in a salad. You can simmer them in marinara and serve over noodles, or simmer them in a tikka masala sauce and have with basmati rice. One of my favorite ways is over mashed potatoes with a ladle of mushroom gravy.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
These vegetarian meatballs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so long as they’re stored in an airtight container. Be sure to let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge. Likewise, when stored in an airtight container, they can be frozen for up to 4 months and do really well reheated. To reheat, thaw them in the fridge overnight and then bake them on 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes, or until heated through. They should crisp back up on the outsides.
Other Meatless Recipes You’ll Love:Print
- 12 ounce bag of riced cauliflower
- 8.5 ounces of brown rice (90 second rice, or 1.5 cups cooked brown rice)
- 1 cup whole walnuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Avocado or olive oil
- Microwave your cauliflower rice if you’re using a bag of frozen rice, and microwave or cook your brown rice. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add the cauliflower rice, brown rice and walnuts to a food processor and pulse for about 1 to 2 minutes, until it is mostly smooth and there are not whole rice grains remaining
- Add the mixture from the food processor to a large mixing bowl and add in the eggs and spices. Use a large spoon or fork to stir everything together until it is well combined
- Spray a bit of cooking oil over a sheet pan to prevent sticking, and then begin rolling your mixture into small balls (about 1 to 1.5 tablespoon of mixture per meatball), and placing them directly onto your sheet pan
- Once all of the mixture is rolled into meatballs, brush or spray the top of each meatball with avocado or olive oil
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve, or let cool before storing in the refrigerator or freezer
- If you’re using leftover rice or cauliflower that was previously refrigerated, heat it up first prior to adding to the food processor so it is heated and softened
Keywords: gluten free meatballs, vegetarian meatballs, brown rice, gluten free recipes, oven baked meatballs
This gluten free vegetarian meatballs post may contain some links that are affiliate links, though products are ones I use personally and recommend. When you purchase anything using my links, it costs you absolutely nothing extra, but it does give wholekitchensink.com a little financial support which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you for your continued support, both with your dollars and your interest.