Going vegan is a taste adventure! Once you start discovering the rich and tasty world of veggie-friendly dishes, chances are you’ll never look back with regret.

We all have a dish we remember fondly from childhood, though, and sometimes letting go of those ‘comfort food’ favourites can be a little tough. Who said you needed to let go of that nostalgia at all! With Miami Canner’s super secrets in your pocket, you can be vegan and have your mama’s meatballs too! And the best news of all? This dish will be done chop chop – no fuss at all!

Vegan meatballs with a tasty tomato pasta

These super-simple vegan meatballs may be meat- and gluten-free, but they’re packed with taste and flavour. The secret? A tin of Miami’s tomato paste, some succulent herbs, and a little vegan ‘parmesan cheese’ or nutritional yeast if you’d like the extra layer of flavour. They even pack a ton of protein.

What you’ll need to make the meatballs:

  • 45ml olive oil, and 1 tsp divided.
  • 1 tbsp Miami tomato paste
  • 1 medium shallot or onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked lentils (use stock of your choice)
  • 1 ½ tbsp of dried basil and oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 5-6 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or other vegan crust of choice)
  • 1 tbsp flour of choice (can be non-wheat or gluten-free if required)
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Binding agent: 7g flaxseed meal and 37 ml of water. This makes a ‘flax egg’ that can be used in place of a ‘real’ egg in any recipe. Simply combine the 2 ingredients, stir, and leave for 5 minutes to thicken. This is the rough equivalent of 1 egg.

How to make your meatballs:

Let’s make the meatballs first. Heat your skillet over a medium heat, and your oven to 190 C. Pop some baking paper on a baking sheet. Add the oil, garlic and onion/shallot to the pan, and sauté until soft (but not burnt). Turn off the stove and take off the heat. Drop your prepared ‘vegan egg’ into a food processor. Add the cooked (cool) lentils, 1 tsp of olive oil, the onion/garlic, seasoning, fresh parsley, tomato paste, and your vegan cheese. Pulse the mix until it has a ‘mince’ texture- not puréed, but well combined. Taste and adjust your seasonings. Add the flour if the mix is a little wet- you want a dough-like consistency.

Now gently form your meatballs. Coat them in the cheese (or crumbs), and pop them on the baking sheet. There should be about 12 from the quantities we gave. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil back to the pan, and pop 6 balls in. Brown them for about 5 minutes. Be sure to roll them to cook evenly! When they’re all browned, bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

From meatball to tasty dish

It’s time to pop your pasta on! As you do so, heat up a tin of Miami’s Tomato with basil, oregano and garlic. Add a spoon of tomato paste to the mix, and season/adjust to your taste. Drop some fresh chopped parsley into the mix. This makes a spectacular basic pasta sauce you can use as-is, but you can also add to it and customise your sauce to your own taste too. Your imagination is the limit.

The meatballs will firm up as they cool. When everything’s ready, toss the whole dish together and serve!

This surprisingly simple vegan substitute makes for a tasty, light dish that the whole family will enjoy. With the help of your favourite Miami Canner’s tomato products, it’s a quick and clean dish that won’t take longer than 30 minutes to prepare- you’ll be eating it chop chop, no fuss at all!