This post was created in partnership with One Degree Organic Foods. All opinions are our own.
Do you know the names of your farmers? Maybe for produce, but how about foods like…oats? Get this: the farmer of the oats used in this recipe is Eldon Kebernik from Alberta, Canada. I just watched a video of him talking about his passion for organic farming (you can too)! Kind of surreal, right? This kind of magic comes from One Degree Organic, the only business I know that is this intentional and thoughtful in sourcing quality ingredients from family farmers. They bring food from a farm to your table so there’s only one degree of separation between you and person who grew your food. And they’re a family business too! My friend Sondra’s family runs it, and her son Andrew is very close in age to Larson. (Side note: Larson loves looking at his internet friend Andrew on their organic cereal boxes.)
Before I get too far waxing on about organic oats, though–let’s talk vegan meatballs. Vegan wha? Half of you reading probably think that vegan meatballs sound incredible; the other half wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole. But we promise: these vegan meatballs are absolute cozy, comforting deliciousness. Here’s the backstory behind them. (Continue below)
In February, I took a trip to New York City right after our Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook launch and stayed my friend Gena Hamshaw of the blog The Full Helping. Trust me, if you’re on the fence about vegan food, hang around Gena for a few minutes and you’ll see how delicious it can be! Gena took me out to a fantastic vegan restaurant called Candle Cafe West. While there were lots of delicious sounding items on the menu, I stopped reading when I got to vegan meatballs with vegan Parmesan. It sounded so comforting and delicious, so I ordered it and fell in love. Returning home, I told Alex about these delicious vegan meatballs with vegan Parmesan from New York City. Could you help me recreate a recipe? The next day, I had an event and was out late. When I got home, Alex had some really, really delicious vegan meatballs waiting for me. I can’t quite explain the comfort of sitting in our dark kitchen at 10 pm, twirling pasta doused with delicious marinara and topped with vegan meatballs.
Now, some of our recipe testers claim these vegan meatballs would win over a meat lover. At the very least, they’re perfect for vegetarians and vegans who want that cozy vibe of meatballs without the meat. To us, they’re a special occasion meal when we’re in the comfort food mood. The ingredients for the vegan meatballs are simple: just oats, potatoes, cashews, garlic and spices! They’re best when pan fried in a bit of oil, but we’ve added a baked option below as well. High-quality marinara sauce is key here: it brings in the flavorful, savory component even more. And the vegan Parmesan: well, we’re new converts! It’s got the texture of shaker can Parmesan cheese, but it’s fully-plant-based and super savory. >> How to make vegan Parmesan.
You can use any oats for this recipe–however, One Degree Organics are the only oats I know of that are sprouted, organic and gluten-free AND traceable to the exact farmer who grew them. What’s the difference with sprouted grains? Sprouted oats boast more nutrients and are easy to digest. But to us, the most compelling thing is getting to see the farmer’s face and hear him talk about his passion for organic farming. Pretty incredible. Thanks to One Degree and Eldon for making these vegan meatballs possible!
About the Company: The mission of One Degree Organic Foods is to bring food straight from a farm to your table so there’s only one degree of separation between you and person who grew your food (like a farmer’s market). The story of the family farmers who grow every ingredient is on QR code on the package! All of One Degree’s products are sprouted, traceable, organic, and non-GMO project verified. An incredible amount of care goes into all of their products (sprouted grain flours, cereals, breads, and granolas), and it was easy to see the passion that drives this company forward.
Where to buy these organic sprouted oats? Find One Degree Organics in a store near you!
Looking for pasta recipes?
Here are a few of our favorite vegan and vegetarian pasta recipes:
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free spaghetti noodles.Print
Want meatballs without the meat? These vegan meatballs with spaghetti and vegan Parmesan are cozy, comforting, and you won’t miss the meat.
- 1 cup One Degree Organic sprouted rolled oats
- 1 pound medium red potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound spaghetti noodles, gluten-free if necessary
- High quality marinara sauce
- Vegan Parmesan
Boil 1/2 cup water. Place the oats in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Soak 5 minutes until the water is fully absorbed.
Meanwhile, wash and dry the red potatoes, leaving the skin on. Chop them into quarters and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the texture is evenly chopped and has a consistency like rice (scrape once and pulse again to ensure there are no large chunks). Transfer the potatoes to a clean, dry towel and squeeze out the moisture by wringing the towel a few times (using a dark towel is best because the red skin can color the towel). Then measure out 1 1/2 cups of the chopped potatoes (discard any remaining).
Peel the garlic. To the food processor, add the cashews and garlic and process until finely chopped. Add the potatoes, soaked oats, oregano, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and black pepper. Pulse a few times until fully combined.
Form the potato mixture into about 1-inch wide balls by squeezing the dough together, then rolling it lightly, making about 28 in all. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When ready to fry, cover the entire bottom of a large frying pan with a layer olive oil and heat at just over medium heat. Place the balls into the oil; it should lightly bubble when the balls meet the oil (if not, adjust the heat). Fry the balls in two batches, turning each one frequently until all sides are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Take care of the hot oil, as it may spit. Remove the balls to a plate lined with paper towels. (Alternatively, you can bake the balls in a 400F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, then flip and brush with olive oil; bake another 25 minutes until browned and crisp.)
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Boil the pasta until al dente, following the package instructions. If the pasta finishes before the meatballs, place it back into the pan with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Serve the meatballs with the pasta covered in high-quality marinara sauce (your favorite brand, or homemade if desired), and top with Vegan Parmesan.
Keywords: Meatballs, Vegan Meatballs, Pasta, Marinara, Spaghetti, Vegan, Vegetarian, Healthy Dinner Recipes
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.