BXG Blog

Vegetarian Tempeh Meatballs

Sometimes you just want spaghetti with meatballs. These are no Swedish meatballs, but they do work nicely with pasta. I haven’t tried it yet, but they seem like they might also work out as a meatball sandwich.


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp marinara or tomato sauce

For the coating:

  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until they’re soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Set aside, but don’t wash this pan yet.

Put the tempeh in a good processor and pulse to break down into crumbs. Add cooked onions, garlic, and remaining ingredients and mix until it forms a moldable dough. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Re-heat your skillet and add a little more oil. While it’s heating, scoop out the dough about 1 tbsp at a time and roll into balls. Mix the remaining breadcrumbs and cheese on a shallow plate. Roll the balls in the mixture to coat.

Put the coated tempeh balls in the skillet and fry for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan so they roll around and get browned on all sides. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your pan.

Put the browned meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. If you’re making pasta, cook it while they’re baking. Remove meatballs from the oven once they’re golden brown and firm to the touch.