The Best Vegan Meatballs

Want meatballs without the meat? These vegan meatballs with spaghetti and vegan Parmesan are cozy, comforting, and you won’t miss the meat.

Spaghetti with Vegan Meatballs | A Couple Cooks

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? Keep reading for this vegan meatballs recipe, and more about the farmers behind it all.

Related: 10 Romantic Dinner Recipes

The farmers behind it all

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:

bag of sprouted rolled oats
Creating these vegan meatballs

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.

Related: 14 Red Potato Recipes | Best Vegan Dinner Recipes | Norwegian Vegetarian Meatballs

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. Or you can use our Easy Marinara Sauce! 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.

Spaghetti with Vegan Meatballs | A Couple Cooks

Using sprouted oats

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!

Spaghetti with Vegan Meatballs | A Couple Cooks

Looking for vegan Italian recipes? 

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.

5 Delicious Vegan Pasta Recipes | Can't Believe It's Vegan Spaghetti & Meatballs | A Couple Cooks

Vegan Meatballs

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


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 or Easy Marinara Sauce
  • Vegan Parmesan


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. Serve the meatballs with the pasta covered in high-quality marinara sauce (your favorite brand, or homemade if desired), and top with Vegan Parmesan.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Vegan Meatballs, vegan pasta, vegetarian pasta

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    April 22, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Do you think this could be made with almonds or walnuts instead of cashews? To avoid an allergen, for example? Thanks!

    • Reply
      April 25, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Good question! The cashews have a great texture that bring together the meatballs. However, I do think you could try them with walnuts since it’s a softer nut. Let us know if you try that out!

  • Reply
    Francine Bollman
    January 12, 2019 at 8:02 am

    These are amazing! Great texture, and they stay together. I made them exactly as written, then threw them in my homemade sauce to simmer. Hands down the best vegan meatball ever!

    • Reply
      January 31, 2019 at 10:42 am

      We are SO so glad to hear this — thank you so much! They’re our favorite too :)

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.