Vegan Tofu Meatballs

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This is by far the best Vegan Tofu Meatballs smothered in homemade sweet and sour sauce that I have eaten! Tofu meatballs are perfect for someone eating meatless meals for the first time!

Vegan Tofu Meatballs

Vegan Tofu Walnut Meatballs


The original recipe was posted, December 29, 2011

Tofu meatballs are delicious served alone as an indulgent appetizer, or with the delicious sweet and sour sauce recipe.  If you prefer, you can substitute the sauce with your favorite like marinara sauce for spaghetti dinner or a creamy alfredo sauce or in a sub. I love them with rice and steamed broccoli.

I’m so proud to say that this Vegan Tofu Meatballs recipe and Cauliflower Nuggets have been served for the past three years at the Vegetarian Society Of DC annual Thanksgiving dinner and has received raved reviews. The great thing is that the recipe is also gluten-free.

How To Make Vegan Tofu Meatballs

To make the meatballs, make breadcrumbs by blending a slice of bread in a food processor (I used gluten-free bread).

They also freeze well. I prefer to use extra-firm tofu, Trader Joes has a pretty firm tofu. I make my own breadcrumbs by processing the chopped up bread slices in a food processor. Combine with walnuts, sage, oregano, and basil.

In a food processor or blender, place tofu,  liquid amino’s, nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca starch, onion powder, garlic, and sea salt and process.

Pour blended mixture into the bowl with seasoned breadcrumbs and mix well.

Form into balls and bake for 30 minutes turning meatballs after 15 minutes. Transfer tofu meatballs to a serving dish and spoon sweet and sour sauce over the tofu meatballs and serve.

Tofu Meatballs Baked

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(Per portion)
  • Energy: 415 kcal / 1735 kJ
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Carbs: 17 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • For:
  • 6 Servings


Tofu Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe


To Make Tofu Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheet or parchment lined baking sheet and set aside. Make breadcrumbs by blending 1-inch pieces of bread in a blender or food processor, scoop breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl. Stir in walnut, sage, oregano, and basil.
  2. In a food processor or blender, place tofu, liquid amino’s, nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca starch, onion powder, garlic, and sea salt and process.
  3. Pour blended mixture into the bowl with seasoned breadcrumbs and mix well. Form into balls and bake for 30 minutes turning meatballs after 15 minutes. Transfer tofu meatballs to a serving dish and spoon sweet and sour sauce over the tofu meatballs and serve.

To make Sweet And Sour Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan add pineapple juice, tomato sauce, sugar, tapioca starch, onion, garlic and sea salt, whisk.
  2. Heat sauce over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Whisking constantly, reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.


Tofu Meatballs

Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Tiffany
    December 28, 2020

    Hi Michelle, the recipe looks great but my daughter is allergic to all tree nuts. Would there be anything I can substitute the walnuts for?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 28, 2020

      Tiffany thank you, substitute with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seed, I would chop them finely in a food processor.

  2. Toni
    November 26, 2020

    Hi! May I know the net weight of the 1 package extra firm tofu? 250? 500g? 1kg? Thanks

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      November 26, 2020

      Currently, I have 16 oz packages, 454g. Hope this helps.

    • Jane Laurente
      November 27, 2020

      Michelle! This recipe is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing! I made this today and it is just amazing on my Spaghetti with Marinara sauce!!!! Such a fail-proof recipe! Def going to my repertoire!

  3. Sandy
    October 1, 2020

    I have tried so many vegetarian meatball recipes and none of them were that great. I am definitely going to try your recipe. It looks great! I do have a question. I do not have walnuts but have almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, and pepitas. Do you think I can sub with any or all of these or will the results lack that meaty texture? Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      October 1, 2020

      Thank you Sandy, I’m happy you found my recipe. Substitute with pecans. Please let me know how you enjoy it.

      • Sandy
        November 22, 2020

        Hi Michelle!
        I finally made the meatballs yesterday substituting the walnuts with pecans. All I can say is THANK YOU for such a wonderful recipe!! As I mentioned in my first message I have tried countless meatball recipes and none of them ever made the grade, until now! I did add about 2 TB of minced fresh onion as I didn’t have onion powder. I also added more than a pinch of the basil, sage and oregano as I planned on serving the balls with marinara sauce I canned this summer and wanted them to taste more Italian. My hubby and both think these are the BEST veggie meatballs we have ever had. I only served 1/2 of the batch and plan on serving the rest of them with either the sweet sour sauce you suggested or maybe even a veggie meatball sub. I also think these would be delish served with a stroganoff sauce over noodle or made into burger patties and thrown on the grill! Endless options with this recipe as they hold together so well and taste fantastic! Thank you!!!

  4. James
    September 10, 2020

    These are delicious! Didn’t make the sauce because I didn’t have the ingredients on hand but the balls themselves are really tasty. My picky 7 year old loved them. Thanks

  5. Mary M Menendez
    September 6, 2020

    I’ve been eating mostly vegetarian for several months now. I’ve tried a few “meatball” recipes and they were either very dense or slightly gummy. When you break these apart they look like meat and have a nice texture! Love! I didn’t have any coconut sugar for the sauce but I did have a jar of homemade orange marmalade sitting in the fridge and I threw that in. Love this recipe! Thank you!

  6. Georgia
    September 1, 2020

    I’ve Made several different vegan ”meatballs” and this is by far the BEST! Great texture and flavor. I added a little vital wheat gluten. I didn’t make the sauce, but used spaghetti sauce and also made a peppercorn sauce for some. These are amazing and I’m finally able to enjoy vegan “meatballs” that are eerily similar to the meat version. Thank you, I love your recipes!

  7. Daisy
    August 19, 2020

    Amazing. I didn’t even read the previous comments but I am quite good in improvising so I did not have pineapple and used fresh oranges, mango and lemon juice for the sauce. The meatball recipe is just on my favourites list now!
    Thank you.
    Peace and blessings

  8. Elvi
    July 30, 2020

    I don’t have pineapple juice. Might orange juice work?

  9. Joan Burrows
    July 30, 2020

    Made for lunch so delicious

  10. Miranda J Miranda
    May 27, 2020

    Great recipe. I had some pressed tofu in the fride that I needed to use. I’m assuming you don’t press the water out of the tofu for this recipe? Mine were a little dry, but stil yummy. Next time I’ll use unpressed tofu and see how it goes…..’bet they will be even better. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      May 27, 2020

      Miranda, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I don’t usually press my tofu for this recipe. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

      • Miranda J Miranda
        May 30, 2020

        Michelle … my adult daughter raided my fridge and devoured the Tofu meatballs. She loved them so much that she asked for the recipe. She’s an avid cook and says your recipe is fantastic!

        • Michelle Blackwood, RN
          May 30, 2020

          Wow Miranda, that is great to read. I’m so happy your daughter loved them. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback!

  11. Alexander
    May 13, 2020

    good recipe, but can I print only the recipe and directions?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      May 13, 2020

      Thank you Alexander, there are two print buttons, one below the first recipe image and one below the last image.

  12. Jaclyn Kielblock
    January 16, 2020

    If you wanted to freeze them, do you cook them and then freeze or freeze right after making them in the food processor?

  13. Jeffrey Gross
    December 15, 2019

    This is my favorite recipe. That being said, I was trying to print it for my mother-in-law. I used a mobile device and 2 browsers. In all of them the Print button is missing.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 15, 2019

      That’s wonderful to know Jeffrey that you and your mother-in-law love it. Did you use the print button that is right below the first image and the second one right below the instructions? I would love to know so that if it’s not working I can have my web developer fix it.

      • Jeffrey Gross
        December 17, 2019

        That’s what I was trying to say. There is no print button below the first image or below the instructions. There are links for facebook, pintrest,etc but no print,

      • Jeffrey Gross
        December 17, 2019

        There is no print button in either place. Links for facebook etc but no print

  14. Bonny
    December 11, 2019

    I love your recipes, but is there a way to print just the recipe? Other blogs have a print button which is very convenient. I can’t wait to try this one!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 11, 2019

      Bonny thank you, the print button is in 2 places, right below the first image and right after the recipe instructions, it is a green tab.

  15. Cyndi
    December 4, 2019

    I thought I have pinned every recipe with tofu in it until I came across this one. I can’t wait to make it. I’m going to give it 5 stars before I even try it (which I’ve never done) because I can tell if something is going to be good and I know this will be good!

  16. Nitza
    October 31, 2019

    My friend made these for a party and they were Delicious. I am making them for a luncheon at work. Thanks for sharing. Blessings

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 31, 2019

      That’s awesome Nitza, I’m so happy your friend made them and you are going to make them also. Thank you for sharing your feedback. Many blessings to you also.

  17. vanni
    September 23, 2019

    Hello! How fine are you supposed to process the tofu mixture? Pulsing?

  18. Mary
    September 4, 2019

    Great recipe!!! My just-2 year old grandson ate 4 of them!!! And he’s not vegan or vegetarian. Across all eating variations, literally everyone thought they were delicious. I rolled them in breadcrumbs for a crispier finish as they were very sticky (don’t know if they were supposed to be) so I increased the heat to 375 for the first half hour, then lowered it to 350 as the recipe stated. They were great like that and with marinara sauce. Next time, I won’t blend the nuts so fine, for added texture. I had to use a blend of walnuts, pecans, and just a few cashews as I didn’t have enough of the first two. I put the tofu in a high-speed blender along with the garlic, plus a shallot and remaining ingredients until it was silky smooth. Maybe that’s why it was sticky. The only other things I did differently were to use more
    of the herbs, thyme instead of basil because my son loves thyme, and I put a pinch of basil in the breadcrumb coating. I was nervous to bring this untried dish to so many different appetites, with one finicky eater. I didn’t need to be, it was such a hit!!! Shortly before making the tofu balls, I read a chef who said people follow recipes too closely and should make them their own with their favorites. I was short of time and energy so I did that, as I’ve described, and couldn’t be happier. Thank you for your incredible recipe. I can’t wait to try more of your fabulous sounding recipes. I love, and am inspired by, the immense diversity of styles and tantalizing flavors you have developed. I’m so excited to have found you and your wondrously creative and exciting food sensibilities.

    • Mary
      September 4, 2019

      Oops. That was really, really long. Sorry. I was so excited I got carried away.

      • Michelle Blackwood
        September 4, 2019

        I’m happy you found my website Mary, not a problem. Thank you once again for your feedback.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 4, 2019

      Thank you Mary for your response, I enjoyed reading how you made the recipe your own and it turned out great, everyone enjoyed it. I really appreciate your feedback, its very helpful for our readers.

  19. De Dee
    July 11, 2019

    hi Ms.Michelle
    these are the best vegan meatballs I have made and eaten
    i have thrown several batches in the trash. My husband is a meat eater and he loved them
    thank you for sharing your recipe

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 11, 2019

      Thank you De Dee for your feedback, Im so happy you enjoyed them and I’m so sorry to hear about the failed batches. I’m happy you found my website.

  20. Joan Stirling
    June 21, 2019

    Excellent dish! I use quick oats for the breadcrumbs. Thank you for this delicious recipe. ♥️♥️♥️

  21. Bonnie
    June 15, 2019

    Can you make both the day before and then heat up the meatballs with the sauce, or would they get too mushy with the sauce absorbed overnight?

  22. Candace
    April 5, 2019

    on this and your tikka masala tofu, the nutritional info seems way off. :) Love your site and am making my way through your recipes to choose a few more to try. xo

  23. Cheri
    February 21, 2019

    This is one of our favorite vegan meatball recipes! Thank you for sharing it. I was wondering, since they freeze well, at what point do you freeze them. Thank you!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 21, 2019

      Thank you Cheri, I’m happy you enjoy them, I would freeze them after they are baked and cooled. Then when I’m ready to serve them, just thaw them out and bake for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees F. Then toss with heated sauce.

      • Cheri
        February 22, 2019

        Great, thank you!!

  24. Becky
    December 8, 2018

    Hi Michelle!
    I was wondering what size package of tofu?
    I’m able to purchase a 14oz package in water or a 16oz package without water.
    Thanks, Becky

  25. Catherine A Rush
    December 2, 2018

    I’m will give it a try but due to health issues I am going to use Bragg coconut liquid aminos instead to keep the salt content under control.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 5, 2018

      Catherine, I understand and hope it turns out great. Himalayan Pink Salt is great in moderation.

  26. Kelly
    November 7, 2018

    I never write comments but had to for this recipe. It is now my favorite vegan meatball recipe, my family loves it!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 7, 2018

      I’m so happy you and your family loves it Kelly, thank you for your feedback.