Vegan Meatballs with Mushroom Miso Gravy
A delicious vegan main dish that’s sure to be a hit at your holiday table. These vegan meatballs are like Thanksgiving/Christmas in a single bite - loaded with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. Drizzle some mushroom miso gravy on top for an an epic plant-based feast. Vegan & Gluten Free.
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Ironically, my obsession with meatballs started after I stopped eating meat. My very first boyfriend was Swedish, and stereotypically, the dude loved meatballs. Christmas dinners at his family home usually meant there’d be at least a few Swedish dishes on the table. Things like potatoes or pickled herring - but most definitely, meatballs. At the time, I can’t say I got the whole meatball thing. But now, I have to admit I’ve had a total change of heart.
It turns out that meatballs make for a great “main”, while still being small enough that you can eat a bit of this - and a bit of that. During the holidays, it really seems like the only way to survive when there’s so many delicious things to try from the table. So, I started toying with a holiday meatball recipe before Canadian Thanksgiving, and have been testing it consistently since. Which means that in the past month, Anguel and I have eaten upwards of 150 meatballs. Verdict? So worth it.
I like to call these holiday meatballs, because they literally taste like Thanksgiving/Christmas in a single bite. They’re loaded with the classic flavors of a bread-based stuffing (such as onion, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.), but without the glutens. And conveniently, these meatballs pair well with sides that you’re probably already planning on serving anyways.
Since cooking during the holidays can be a serious undertaking for some, I’m happy to say these meatballs are pretty fuss free. They mostly come together in the food processor, after a quick start in the saute pan to build some flavor. Chickpeas and mushrooms form the bulk of these meatballs, providing a combination of satisfying protein and umami flavor. And unlike many meat-based meatball recipes, you don’t need to let the dough rest before shaping it. The dough will be moist, but still mouldable with your hands. If for some reason your dough is sticking more than usual, I’d suggest wetting your hands to make them easier to handle.
And, before we get too carried away with the meatballs, we should definitely stop to talk about the mushroom miso gravy. After all, potatoes and meatballs aren’t quite the same without it. This gravy uses both mushrooms and miso for a double-hit of umami flavor. You’ll notice that the fresh herbs are almost identical across both the meatball and gravy recipes. In the vein of making your life easier, I doubled up on ingredients to not only make shopping easier - but to also help you use up more of those fresh herbs. I suspect I’m not the only one that often struggles to use up delicate herbs before they spoil.
There are a number of different gluten-free gravy thickeners out there, but I’ve opted for cornstarch here. Arrowroot can work to thicken, but I find it more unreliable when it comes to reheating, so have avoided it this time. In developing this recipe I opted for a smooth gravy that would hold it’s own at the dinner table. A high speed blender makes it smooth and creamy. However, if you like your gravy on the chunkier side, only blend half, or leave as is. To maintain as much of the health benefits of miso as possible, I recommend adding it at the end, which minimizes how long it gets cooked.
Pictured with Maple Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
VEGAN HOLIDAY MEATBALLS
Makes 24-30 meatballs - Vegan, Gluten Free
MUSHROOM MISO GRAVY
Makes 2 1/4 cups - Vegan, Gluten Free
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #ngmw on Instagram. I can't wait to check it out!