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Vegan Meatballs with Tempeh Served over spaghetti and pasta sauce.

Vegan Meatballs with Tempeh

These perfectly seasoned vegan meatballs are made with tempeh, herbs, and spices to complete the best plant-based appetizers, sandwiches, or pasta dishes. 
4.84 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 meatballs
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup vegan parmesan
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup veggie broth
  • 1 flax seed egg
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon paprika


  • Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • In a small sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and thyme and sauté for another minute, stirring often, until fragrant. Set aside
  • In a food processor, blend together the tempeh and walnuts until they are broken down into a moldable texture. 
  • Transfer tempeh/walnut mixture to a large bowl. Add sautéed onions and garlic, along with the remaining ingredients. Stir together until well combined. You may find that using your hands is best. 
  • Roll the meatball mixture into balls 2 heaping tablespoons in size and place on the prepared parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until meatballs are browned and crispy on the outside. 
  • Remove from oven and serve as an appetizer, in your favorite sandwich, or over pasta. 


Serving and Storing - You can make all kinds of meals with these meatballs. Serve them over pasta with a homemade marinara sauce for a classic spaghetti and meatballs dish, stuff them in a baguette for a delicious meatball sub, or serve them as an appetizer at your next holiday party. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Recipe Tips
  1. Dice the onion and herbs small so that they blend evenly into the meatball mixture.
  2. Do not over-mix your tempeh/walnut mixture or you'll end up with a gummy paste. Make sure large pieces remain.
  3. Adjust the spices/herbs as you desire. The flavors in this recipe are highly flexible. Taste and adjust as you go.


Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 112mg | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 0.8mg