Vegan spaghetti and meatballs are delicious, hearty, and the perfect dish you can make for your friends and family. It is especially an amazing dish for holidays and festivities. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a regular dinner, you can happily make this dish and indulge in the festivities by staying on the vegan track.

This recipe is a healthy and vegan twist on the traditional spaghetti and meatball recipe. Above all, it is a gluten-free recipe, so a win-win situation for everyone. So, try this recipe, and I bet you won’t miss the meat even a single bit!

What’s in vegan spaghetti and meatballs?

Vegan spaghetti and meatballs are made from three main components. Each one of these plays a vital role, and without it, the dish is incomplete. Although we all know these three components, let’s just get a quick revision:

  • The pasta: Spaghetti is the best choice for this dish. These are pasta shaped into long strings. If you are a pro, you can make spaghetti at home. However, if you are not into homemade pasta and dough, get pre-made dry spaghetti from a grocery store. Simple and convenient!
  • The meatballs: Traditionally, this dish is made from “meaty” meatballs, but because we are a vegan party, we are going to create our own vegan “meat” for the meatballs. There are several ways you can do so, but my favorite recipe includes tofu, breadcrumbs, and some spices.
  • The sauce: The rich, delicious, and tomato-y sauce is the signature for this dish. This sauce is pretty easy to make.

Close up spaghetti and meatballs

Vegan spaghetti recipe:

  • Spaghetti: For this recipe, I have picked up gluten-free spaghetti. However, you can choose regular or whole wheat spaghetti as well.

Vegan meatballs recipe:

  • Tofu: Tofu sets the base for our vegan meatballs. It is not only rich in protein but also gives shape and body to the meatballs. Tofu comes in different types. For this recipe, I have used extra-firm tofu. It has low water content and, therefore, will not make the meatballs crumbly. Instead, the meatballs will hold shape perfectly.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs act as a binding agent in most meatballs. Breadcrumbs help them hold shape and not fall apart. You can use pre-made breadcrumbs for this recipe or make them at home as well. I have used gluten-free breadcrumbs, but you can also use panko. If you want to make breadcrumbs at home, just process a few slices of bread in a food processor until they are finely crumbled.
  • Pecans: Pecans add a crunch and an additional element in the meatballs that give them shape, body, and flavor.
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos: This liquid seasoning is made from soybeans and is gluten-free. Its flavor resembles that of soy sauce a lot. The only difference is that liquid aminos is less salty and has a slightly sweet flavor.
  • Tapioca starch: Tapioca starch acts as a binding agent. Starch has the ability or absorbs moisture. So, the meatballs retain their shape without falling apart. If you don’t have tapioca starch, feel free to use corn starch.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: This vegan ingredient adds a cheesy and umami flavor to the meatballs.
  • Onion powder: You will get a savory flavor from onion powder.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder brings in the intensity of flavor we need in these vegan meatballs.
  • Dried sage: It adds an earthy, lemony, and peppery flavor to the meatballs.
  • Dried oregano: It has a bold and prominent flavor with a slight bitterness that is not overpowering.

Spaghetti sauce recipe:

  • Olive oil: Olive oil is known for its health benefits. I usually prefer using it to any other vegetable oil. If you don’t have olive oil, use avocado oil. It is the next best thing.
  • Onion: Use either white, yellow, or red onions for this recipe.
  • Garlic: The depth of savory flavors from freshly minced garlic is unmatched.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are the main ingredient for this sauce. Although I have used canned tomatoes for this recipe, you can use fresh tomatoes as well. Just blanch them first and remove the skin. Tomatoes give this sauce its texture, flavor, and richness.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro has an herbaceous flavor. If you don’t have cilantro, use parsley instead.
  • Garlic powder: For more intensity, add garlic powder to the sauce.
  • Italian seasoning: It is a blend of dried herbs that make this sauce more flavorsome.
  • Salt: Season the sauce with salt according to your liking.

Can you make vegan meatballs without tofu?

Suppose you don’t want to use tofu to make vegan meatballs, no problem. We have any other option for you to try as well. The thing I love about vegan food is that you have so many options and choices. You can always try another ingredient for a change of flavors so, if you don’t want to use tofu in your vegan meatballs, use sautéed mushrooms and cooked black beans. The two ingredients pair really well. Keep the rest of the ingredients the same and switch tofu with these two. You will enjoy the flavors.

Moreover, you can also use cooked quinoa and cooked black beans. This unique combination also works well. Although I have just tried it once, I think it is a good option for those who don’t want to use tofu.

Can you make vegan spaghetti and meatballs in advance?

Absolutely! You can make the vegan meatballs in advance, cook them and flash freeze them on a baking sheet. Then, place them in a ziplock bag or an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. Similarly, you can also make the sauce in advance and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.

Furthermore, you can also freeze it for up to a month. This way, you just have to defrost the components, cook the spaghetti and assemble them.

In my opinion, do not cook spaghetti in advance. Pasta is always perfect when cooked fresh. Plus, because it takes only 10 minutes to cook,  so you can cook it in a large batch just before serving.

boiling spaghetti and meatballs

How to make vegan spaghetti and meatballs?

Now, let’s get into making this classic dish!

Spaghetti cooking instructions:

  1. Fill a large pot two-thirds with water and place it n medium heat.
  2. Add salt and oil.
  3. Once the water starts to boil, add spaghetti and cook them for 7 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
  4. Once done, drain the spaghetti and drizzle with oil. Toss and set aside.

Instructions for vegan meatballs:

  1. In a food processor bowl, add extra firm tofu, Bragg’s liquid aminos, nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca starch, onion powder, garlic, and sea salt, and process until you get a fine paste.
  2. Once done, place the mixture into a bowl. Add breadcrumbs and mix well.
  3. Grease your hands with olive oil and shape this mixture onto equal-sized balls. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking tray.
  4. Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 375℉ for about 30 minutes or until the meatballs get color. Flip halfway into the cook.
  5. Once done, take them off the oven and set them aside.

Instructions for the spaghetti sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan, add olive oil and place it on medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add onions and cook for about 3 minutes or until the onions turn translucent and are soft.
  3. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Next, add chopped cilantro, garlic powder, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and mix well.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes or until the tomato sauce thickens up.
  6. Once done, turn off the heat and add vegan meatballs to the sauce. Mix so that the sauce coats the meatballs.

Serving instructions:

  1. On a plate, place cooked and drained spaghetti and top it with vegan meatballs and tomato sauce.
  2. Garnish with fresh cilantro and basil. Enjoy.
  3. Turn off the stove, add vegan meatballs, and coat with the sauce. Serve over cooked spaghetti and garnish with chopped cilantro or fresh basil.

More vegan pasta recipes:

  1. Vegan Mac and Cheese
  2. Instant Pot Vegan Chili Mac And Cheese
  3. Vegan Italian Pasta Salad
  4. 20 Minute Pasta With Asparagus
  5. Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

vegan spaghetti meatballs with fork holding meatball and spagherri

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Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs on a white plate

Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs

Most of us have had this classic dish as children or still today. I am sharing my favorite vegan spaghetti with meatballs as a new healthy twist!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 432kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gluten-free spaghetti uncooked

Vegan meatballs recipe

  • 1 14 ounce block extra-firm tofu mashed
  • 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Spaghetti sauce recipe

Instructions

Instructions for the spaghett:

  • Fill a large pot two-thirds with water and place it n medium heat.
  • Add salt and oil.
  • Once the water starts to boil, add spaghetti and cook them for 7 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
  • Once done, drain the spaghetti and drizzle with oil. Toss and set aside.

Instructions for the vegan meatballs:

  • In a food processor bowl, add extra firm tofu, Bragg’s liquid aminos, nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca starch, onion powder, garlic, and sea salt, and process until you get a fine paste.
  • Once done, place the mixture into a bowl. Add breadcrumbs and mix well.
  • Grease your hands with olive oil and shape this mixture onto equal-sized balls. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking tray.
  • Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 375℉ for about 30 minutes or until the meatballs get color. Flip halfway into the cook.
  • Once done, take them off the oven and set them aside.

Instructions for the spaghetti sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, add olive oil and place it on medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add onions and cook for about 3 minutes or until the onions turn translucent and are soft.
  • Add garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Next, add chopped cilantro, garlic powder, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and mix well.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes or until the tomato sauce thickens up.
  • Once done, turn off the heat and add vegan meatballs to the sauce. Mix so that the sauce coats the meatballs.

Serving instructions:

  • On a plate, place cooked and drained spaghetti and top it with vegan meatballs and tomato sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and basil. Enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 2mg