Cook's Hideout: Broccoli Meatballs (Vegetarian & Gluten free Recipe)

April 19, 2015

Broccoli Meatballs (Vegetarian & Gluten free Recipe)

These meatballs have nothing to do meat, they are completely vegetarian (skip the eggs and cheese -- you have totally vegan meatballs). They are made with broccoli and ground raw almonds with no bread crumbs for binding -- so these are gluten free too.
Recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine and the use of broccoli in meatballs was interesting to me, so I tried the recipe to see how these would taste. Ground almonds and eggs (or egg replacer) bind the meatballs together.
Broccoli Meatballs
Almonds give a nutty taste to the meatballs while the broccoli makes them taste earthy and delicious. I was initially worried if the meatballs will hold together and if they would cook all the way through in the oven. I didn't have to worry much, the mixture came together beautifully even with the egg replacer substitution and baked perfectly in the oven.
The meatballs are slightly crispy on the outside and nice & soft in the center. They can be served as appetizers with the tomato garlic sauce which is perfect to dip the meatballs in. They are also great to serve over pasta. 
Broccoli Meatballs
Broccoli florets - 4cups
Raw Almonds - 1cup
Parmesan cheese - ¼cup, grated 
Fresh Basil - ¼cup, finely chopped
Fresh Parsley - ¼cup, finely chopped
Garlic - 2cloves, finely minced
Cayenne Pepper - to taste
Eggs - 2 large (I used 2tbsp egg replacer whisked with 6tbsp water)
Salt & Pepper - to taste

For the Garlic-Tomato Sauce:
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Garlic - 1~2 cloves, finely minced
Crushed Tomatoes - 1 28oz. can
Salt & Pepper - to taste

  • To make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Steam broccoli florets 10 minutes or until tender and bright green. I microwaved them for 6~8 minutes. Cool.
  • Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Pulse the steamed broccoli in food processor until chopped. Transfer to bowl with ground almonds along with parmesan, basil, parsley, garlic and cayenne. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Whisk in eggs (or egg replacer) in small bowl, then stir in the eggs into the broccoli mixture.
  • Shape the mixture into 12 big meatballs or 28~30 smaller appetizer size meatballs, pressing firmly to ensure that they hold their shape. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • For the Garlic-Tomato Sauce: Heat 1tbsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and their juice and cook for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Season with salt & pepper.
Broccoli Meatballs

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook ChallengeApril -- Week 3'.



  1. vegetarian times recipes seem to impress you a lot, Pavani !! these look scrumptious !

  2. These look delicious and does not require deep frying. Bookmarked the recipe

  3. I second, Usha. If it doesn't need to be fried, It goes on my wish list. Your veggie meatballs look scrumptious, Pavani :)

  4. Wow pavani ..these meatballs look so sinful..what a fantastic way to use those broccoli!..must try


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