Savoury and comforting vegan Swedish meatballs in a rich and creamy gravy sauce.
There is nothing better than a bowl of homemade meatballs and the most delicious sauce served over mash or pasta!
The base to these vegan meatballs are mushrooms and brown rice. The mushrooms add umami and flavour and the rice helps hold the meatballs together and adds texture!
The main difference between Italian and Swedish meatballs are the spices. Swedish meatballs are flavoured with nutmeg and allspice making them quite different to garlic and Italian herbed meatballs.
My chief recipe taster for this recipe was my boyfriend who has been to Sweden many times and always enjoyed this dish.
He enjoyed this recipe with a side of lingonberry sauce, which I haven’t included in this recipe, purely because I’m not a fan of fruity condiments. But if you are and want this to be authentic I would recommend making or buying some!
What you’ll need for vegan Swedish meatballs:
- Brown rice
- Soy sauce
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Liquid smoke
- All spice
- Vegan butter
- Plain flour
- Vegetable stock
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
Traditional swedish meatballs are made with pork and beef so to replicate the meaty flavour we are adding soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.
You can find vegan Worcestershire sauce in some supermarkets or health food shops, or online. I use this one.
Just make sure you get a vegan one as it is usually made with anchovies, there are a few brands that do a vegan version.
How to make vegan Swedish meatballs and sauce:
For the rice, you can either make your own or use a microwaveable sachet (quicker option!). Once cooked, leave to cool.
Start by sauteeing the onion and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and they have evaporated the water they released.
Take off the heat and leave to cool. Place mushrooms and onion in a food processor along with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Blend until mostly smooth like a paste.
Add the rice and blend again until the rice is mostly broken down. Make the flax egg by mixing flasxeed and water in a cup and leaving for a few minutes to thicken. This is going to help bind the meatballs.
Add the flax egg and all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend until combined. It should look pliable and easy to mould into balls.
Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Place on a plate and repeat until all the mixture has gone. It should make around 15-20 balls, depending how big you make them.
I would recommend making them on the smaller side so they go nice and crispy and coat in the sauce well.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Place the balls in the frying pan (do it in small batches if it is too cosy). Fry for a few minutes on each side until browned and crispy.
Whilst they are cooking make the meatball sauce. Melt butter in another frying pan on low to medium heat. Once melted add the flour and whisk until a roux forms.
Add the vegetable stock and whisk until there are no lumps. Let simmer for a couple of minutes and then add the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, cream, salt and pepper.
Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed. If the sauce is too thick, add some water to thin it out. Add the meatballs to the sauce, toss and serve immediately.
What to serve with these vegan Swedish meatballs:
- Mash potato. Here is my recipe for creamy garlic mash.
- Pasta – macaroni or any shape!
- Rice. This isn’t traditional but I think it would be yummy, similar to a stroganoff.
- Lingonberry jam – this is a fruity spiced condiment traditionally served with Swedish meatballs.
- As they are – they are just as delicious on their own and would make a tasty snack or starter!
As always if you make these vegan Swedish meatballs be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
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- 2 cups / about 400g brown rice, cooked
- 1 white onion
- 15oz / 400g mushrooms
- 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp flaxseed
- Handful fresh parsley
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup / 90g breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups / 480ml vegetable stock
- 1 cup / 240ml vegan cream
- 1.5 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- Salt to taste
- Fresh parsley
- If you need to cook the rice do this first. Boil in salted water according to packet instructions. Leave go cool once cooked.
- Dice the onion and slice the mushrooms. Cook in a bit of oil on medium heat until the onion is soft and the mushrooms are starting to brown and the water they release has evaporated.
- Take off the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled place in a food processor with the worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and liquid smoke. Blend until smooth, like a paste.
- Make the flax egg by mixing the flaxseed with 4 tbsp water, leave to thicken.
- Add the rice to the mushrooms and blend again until the rice has mostly broken down. Add all the remaining ingredients and the flax egg to the food processor.
- Blend until the mixture is combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times. It should be a thick mixture that is easily mouldable.
- Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball in your hands. Place on a plate and repeat until all the mixture has gone. It should make about 15-20 balls. Don't make them too big.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Place the balls into the pan and fry for a few minutes on each side until browned and crispy. Do this in batched if the pan is too crowded.
- Whilst they are frying, make the sauce. In a separate frying pan melt the butter on low-medium heat. Once melted add the flour and whisk until it forms a roux.
- Add the vegetable stock and whisk until smooth and there are no lumps. Bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes then add the cream, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Whisk until combined. It should be a gravy consistency, if it is too thick you can loosen with a bit of water. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed.
- Place the meatballs in the sauce, toss and serve! Top with some fresh parsley.
I used chestnut/cremini mushrooms.
Serve as they are or with mashed potato (my favourite) or pasta!
Make sure you buy a vegan worcestershire sauce as this is traditionally made with anchovies.
I used Elmea plant double cream, oatly cream is also nice. Opt for a double cream consistency/alternative!