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Vegan Swedish Meatballs

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The first time that I ever had Swedish Meatballs was at a New Years Party held by one of my Mum’s friends when I was about 5 years old. His mother was an elderly lady who loved to cook and she whipped up a whole Crockpot full of the little beauties.

They’ve been a personal favorite ever since, though they remained a rare but delicious occurrence in my life.

Making Swedish Meatballs can be a little time consuming as it is a multi-step process, but well worth the effort.

If you don’t have access to the main ingredient, Lightlife Gimme Lean, than you could try some Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) but I am not sure how the flavor would turn out.

Serve finished meatballs over linguine, egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

This recipe makes enough for five to six people to really stuff themselves. Expect leftovers.

Just for fun, you can see a video of the Muppets Swedish Chef serving Swedish meatballs.

    Vegan Swedish Meatballs


    1 package Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style
    1 package Gimme Lean Sausage Style
    2 large onions (diced small)
    4 medium portabello mushrooms (diced very small)
    1.5 cups dried bread crumbs
    3/4 cup rice or soy milk
    2 cups soy creamer (ie. Silk)
    4 tblspn olive oil
    3-4 tblspn corn starch or flour
    1.75 cups homemade No-chicken broth*
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    1.5 tsp sea salt

    * No-chicken broth
    4 tblspn nutritional yeast
    1.75 cups filtered water
    1 tblspn sea salt

1. In one bowl soak the bread crumbs with the rice milk and mix to soften.

2. Add half of the chopped onions, both types of Gimme Lean, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

3. Form into small 1 or 1.5 inch balls by rolling between your palms.

4. Brown the meatballs on all sides in a skillet with the olive oil.

5. Return meatballs to a large casserole dish or skillet (depends on whether you choose to bake or boil the sauce.)

6. In a separate sauce pan heat olive oil and fry the other half of the onions to soften them.

7. Add mushrooms and saute for two minutes.

8. Add soy cream and corn starch to thicken. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

9. Add No-Chicken Broth, a pinch of nutmeg, salt & pepper. Allow to thicken again.

10. Add to meatballs and simmer or bake for 15-20 minutes on low to medium-low heat.

11. Ladle over noodles and serve.

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  • Nicki

    Any suggestions for a dessert if this were the entree? My husband’s bringing a friend home kind of last minute and he’s expecting something awesome to come out of the kitchen! All I have in there are the ingredients for this recipe, so what should I try to make that will complement the meal?

  • Nicki,

    This is a rather heavy meal so something light would be the best sort of dessert.

    Perhaps some fresh fruits pieces, choose a good varied selection, then arrange them beautifully and drizzle with honey or chocolate sauce.

    Alternatively a simple apple crumble is always a good bet.

    Hope that helps!


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  • Rita

    Hi, I found a word-for-word copy of your recipe, including the picture at:

    It looks like some other person is claiming it as their own.

  • Kelsey

    I’m really happy to see a vegan version of these, but I’m scandinavian and my mother’s recipe for traditional swedish meatballs has a cooked potato mixed in with the meat. I’m not sure how that would work with this recipe, but I think it would be worth trying out!

    Another suggestion (especially if serving them over mashed potatoes) is to serve with a side of lingonberry jam to dip things in. I always thought swedish meatballs tasted incomplete without them.

    Perhaps a desert made with lingonberries would compliment this as well!

  • Erin

    I too am Swedish and a vegetarian and I’m trying to figure out how to make “meatballs.” We also wouldn’t use portabello mushrooms in the meatball… I don’t remember seeing mushrooms in them. I also remember my grandmother grating the onions instead of dicing them to make them really small but still add lots of flavor (squeezing as much of the liquid out as possible). I agree… lingonberry jam would be great with these! I’m going to make these and then pair it with a side of homemade Limpa!

  • Anonymous

    Gimme lean is not a Frugal alternative in any recipe. The stuff is over priced. I think the recipe should have used something else that is frugal to sub for give me lean. Just saying to use TVP isnt enough.

  • Donald

    gimme lean is in a 12 oz roll and is equivelent to 1 lb of beef . Cooks down to about 12 oz. And it is not very different in price to 1 lb of extra lean beef on sale. And healthier for you. Also makes good italian style meatballs.

  • THANKS for this! My husband (with a little assistance from myself haha) made this for dinner last night. He followed the recipe exactly (simmered, and served over linguine.) Absolutely delicious. Even better today as leftovers! Will be having this again!

  • Glad that you liked it, Jules! :-)

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    Thanks for sharing this information all this are of extreme use.

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  • Helen

    Well I am glad I am not vegan, what’s wrong with a little meat in the diet. I use mince beef and pork, giving the meatballs a really nice taste and I’ve tried vegan-type chicken stock – yuk, just stick to the real thing. You can get organic these days. And using “faux” products, that is just not natural. I’m surprised these are still called meatballs.

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  • Cow

    Hi, is it not a problem that Silk Creamer is sweet? If I were going to substitute unsweetened soy milk, should I reduce the amount of liquid? Or increase the amount of corn starch? If either or both, by how much, might you recommend?

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

  • Hi, Cow. I think you can just do either. Maybe reduce the liquid by 1/3 OR add an extra 1-2 tbsp cornstarch. Happy Cooking!