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Vegan Swedish meatballs «

Vegan Swedish meatballs

July 7, 2010 | 18 Comments »


I’ve never had a Swedish meatball until I went vegan. The Swedish meatballs from Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, New Jersey are absolutely amazing. I used to order them at least once a month. I always wanted to try something new, but the Swedish meatballs were too good to pass up. I haven’t thought much about them until recently. I’ve been craving them for weeks now. I knew the only way I’d get to satisfy that craving is if I tried making them myself. And so tonight I did just that. Man oh man was it a task.

First I tried searching for a vegan Swedish meatball recipe. A few recipes turned up, but none of them seemed to be what I was looking for. I wanted to recreate that exact same meatball. I needed mine to taste just like Veggie Heaven’s. After all, that’s what I was craving. While I don’t remember much about the gravy, I do remember there being cilantro in the meatballs. Or at least I think they’re made with cilantro. It’s been too long. Anyway, I didn’t have any cilantro on hand. I was close to saving this for another day, but I couldn’t hold off any longer. I went ahead and made them without the cilantro.

I decided to use Alton Brown’s recipe as a base. He talks a lot and seems to know what he’s talking about and that was pretty much good enough for me. I used Match Meats Ground Beef in place of the other stuff. I pretty much cut Alton’s recipe in half and used 3/4 of the Match Meats Ground Beef. The recipe I went with was more like this…


  • 3/4 package of Match Meats Ground Beef
  • 1 slice of fresh bread
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

I followed the instructions as Alton wrote them out, but I served my Swedish meatballs with a mushroom gravy. Once I fried the meatballs and browned them on all sides, I poured the gravy over them and allowed them to simmer in the pan for a bit longer. They were great! The texture was exactly how I remembered. I just knew Match Meats Ground Beef would be the perfect meat substitute for this dish. However, it WAS missing something and I’m almost positive it’s the cilantro. But on a scale from 1-10 I definitely give this version an 8. That cilantro will definitely bump the score up to 10. I just know it. Well, I hope it will.

If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the ground beef you can always whip up a burger the next day for lunch or something. That’s what I’m planning to do with it. Or you could just use the entire package and alter the recipe a bit. I didn’t want to make too many changes to the recipe because I didn’t want to mess it up. I also figured the rest of the meat could be used as my backup dinner in case the meatballs were horrible. But they weren’t and so now I have leftovers. Yay for a fail free dinner!


Hi! I just found your site, and it is great! Visit my site, if you have a chance.

I am working on a spreadsheet of meatballs made with one pound of MATCH meats-I am going to try this for one pound (as you suggested) and I may also try a little soy creamer..any thoughts?
Allison (founder, MATCH meats).

I did-incredible photos!
Where are you?

@Allison Burgess: Hi, Allison! I sure do hope you enjoy them as much as we have. The soy creamer is a wonderful idea. I believe Swedish meatballs are typically made with cream anyway. I didn’t have any on hand so I went with the soy milk instead.

I love Swedish meatballs! Actually, I’ve only ever tried my recipe, but now I have to try yours – it looks FABULOUS! Such a deep rich color, makes my stomach growl right away. Beautiful.

Oh and if you’re going with the full pound I might bump up the seasoning a bit. Match holds together nicely so you should be ok with the whole package there.

@The Voracious Vegan: You know, I saw your recipe and I was SO close to going with it. But I didn’t think the lentils would give me that texture I was looking for. But the lentils are a cool idea. I never would have thought to use lentils. I’m still planning to try your recipe. It looks way awesome!

Thank you so much! They were pretty yummy. My BIL couldn’t even tell they were vegan. :)

You can’t go wrong with Alton! He’s the man! The meatballs look amazing, thank you for sharing the recipe. I am not a cilantro person, so I’m sure they’re perfect just the way they are! :D

PS: Better luck with those pesky churros next time!

Yum, I’ve never seen this product around here, but it looks delicious! I can see it being extra wonderful with cilantro too…

@River — The Crafty Kook: Isn’t he all kinds of awesome? :)

Thank you! I definitely plan on giving them another try. Churros are one of those things I can’t seem to get right. No matter how many tries. I’ve got to get it sooner or later.

@Stella: No? You can order their products online. But there are also other recipes out there that don’t require a mock meat and instead call for tofu or even lentils!

Reply to this comment Matt     July 14, 2010


I’m just doing some internet searching to make some vegan swedish meatballs.. and my partner keeps raving about how it was so good as it had dill in it.. Maybe dill is what you thought was cilantro?

Good luck!


Lovely! Your website is great – I added it to my Best Vegan Blogs list:

Hey Lisa Marie, I just now noticed that you tried my vegan tres leches. That’s so nice! And I’m glad that your’e husband approved. It’s a very decent vegan cake (smile).
p.s. you poured the milk mixture into each and every little cup cake?-that’s baking dedication!

@Matt: Dill… hmm that’s interesting. I guess it couldn’t hurt to try that one out too. Thank you!

@kathy: Thank you so much! You totally made my day. :)

@Stella: Yes I did! It was very tasty! They went so fast that I didn’t even have the chance to photograph them. Maybe next time?

Reply to this comment Nicki     March 22, 2011

Ahhhh help!!
I can’t find Match Meat ANYWHERE!
What do I do??

@Nicki: I believe you can purchase it online? If not you can substitute with Gimme Lean or another vegan beef. I haven’t tried it with anything other than Match though so I don’t know how the taste or texture will turn out.

Reply to this comment bill     March 02, 2012

how can it be vegan if you use butter

@bill: Vegan butter! Such as Earth Balance. :)

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