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30 Minute Vegetarian Meatballs

92 reviews / 4.9 average

These vegetarian meatballs are abundantly accessible and cool versatile! Arranged with cauliflower, quinoa, amber rice, garlic, and spices. Accrue these in your freezer and your approaching cocky will acknowledge you.

Here they are! The meatballs of the hour that are, in fact, not meatballs.


Made after beans (!!) and after basics (!!) but featuring cauliflower and amber rice and quinoa.

I know, right? Sneak-ayyy.

As abundant as I adulation a acceptable MEAT-ball meatball from time to time, today we’re talking about these little vegetarian meatball nuggets of assertive nutrition that are aggressive from the (here comes the awe-inspiring zone) spicy cauliflower burgers.

They’re fabricated with cauliflower, amber rice, quinoa, panko, eggs, and a nice big compression of garlic and spices. And they don’t crave hours of prep. That’s it! It’s aloof simple, straightforward, COOL YUM plant-based advantage in the anatomy of vegetarian meatballs fabricated weeknight-dinner-friendly, because absolute aliment that matches absolute life is area it’s at.

And don’t we apperceive it, guys? DON’T WE APPERCEIVE IT.

Ingredients for 30-minute cauliflower vegetarian meatballs.

We’re Alive with Accessible Capacity Today

Here is your affably do-able additive list:

  • panko breadcrumbs
  • brown rice
  • eggs
  • cauliflower florets OR aloof a bag of arctic cauliflower rice
  • spices


Cauliflower vegetarian meatballs on a sheet pan being scooped up with a spatula.
Meatless meatballs in a pan with sauce with wooden spoon.

Why I Actually Adulation These Vegetarian Meatballs

There are a few things that I anticipate we can all accept of with these vegetarian meatballs:

  • INGREDIENTS: Basic, whole, wonderful –> Cauliflower // Amber Rice // Quinoa // Garlic // Spices // Eggs // Panko. Additionally – no beans. Which is affectionate of nice, right? back a lot of vegetarian meatballs are bean-heavy. All hail the versatility of cauliflower!
  • TIMING: 30 minutes. The cauliflower is not aerial aliment here. Just a quick simmer in some hot baptize to abate it up, and then as a benefit on actuality speedy, you can use those amazingly convenient garlic amber rice/quinoa packages from Seeds of Change that you buy en masse at Costco – you apperceive the ones, right? – and again your cauli and your rice and aggregate else gets pulsed about in our admired apparatus of all time THE ALIMENT PROCESSOR in adjustment to accomplish the mixture. If you can admit the advice of a few vegetarian meatball rollers (this is why bodies accept children, right?), you will accept vegetarian meatball banquet on the table AND vegetarian meatball accrue built-up in your fridge in no time.
  • ADAPTABILITY: Cook once, eat abounding times. This compound makes a actor and a bisected meatless meatballs which agency that you can use them with abounding altered sauces in abounding altered recipes for years to come. Er, no. Not years. But actively – you will accept a TON of meatballs with this recipe, so alpha brainstorming confined and/or booze account (and amuse let the almanac accompaniment that I acerb recommend LIFE ALTERATION MASALA SAUCE).
Close-up of cauliflower vegetarian meatballs.
Cauliflower vegetarian meatballs stacked in a container.

When I brought these to my sister afterwards she had a baby, she declared them to be absolute feel aliment for her two-year-old back he loves things he can authority and dip and crumb on at his own slow-eating pace.

UM WHAT. How beautiful is the beheld of your admired two-year-old dipping a veggie meatball fabricated with cauliflower and quinoa and amber rice into ketchup, marinara, or agronomical (not aloft it) or – for the foodie toddlers out there – a little ambrosial masala sauce?

It’s like a craven asset meets veggie burger in kid-friendly admeasurement and adult-friendly tastes.

White hand holding a plate with cauliflower vegetarian meatballs, white rice, and fresh herbs sprinkled on top. There is a fork on the plate with greens.

I cannot get abundant of these vegetarian meatballs with a few gallons of the life-changing 30 minute masala sauce, but you will be blessed accomplishing aloof about annihilation with these. They are allurement for some artistic confined combinations and a acceptable deluge in a delicious sauce, and as we know, booze is life.

Go get em, dinner-makers!

30-Minute Vegetarian Meatballs: FAQs

The meatballs aren’t basic able-bodied for me. The admixture seems too wet. What should I do?

If the admixture doesn’t stick calm in a brawl aback acclaim pressed, add about 1/3 of the admixture aback into the aliment processor and beating until it’s added the bendability of hummus. That should advice it authority together. If that still isn’t enough, aloof add a little added of your “dry ingredient” till you get a bendability that you can acclaim cycle amid your easily to anatomy brawl shapes.

Can these be arctic for later?

Absolutely! These accomplish for a abundant freezer meal! Aloof adapt the compound as-is, benumb the meatballs in a freezer-safe bag or container, and rewarm them in the oven or in the microwave.

What affectionate of pre-cooked amber rice/quinoa mix do you use?

I acclimated Seeds of Change pre-cooked garlic amber rice and quinoa for this compound (1 packet = about 1.5 cups). Back this has garlic acidity already in the mix, if you are application your own pre-cooked quinoa and/or amber rice, accomplish abiding to add some minced garlic or garlic powder.

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30 Minute Vegetarian Meatballs

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Absolute Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 50 meatballs (so, like, 10 or added servings) 1x


These vegetarian meatballs are abundantly accessible and cool versatile! Arranged with cauliflower, quinoa, amber rice, garlic, and spices. Accrue these in your freezer and your approaching cocky will acknowledge you. 


Units Scale
  • a 1012 oz bag of cauliflower rice or 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/2 cups adapted quinoa and/or amber rice (I use one 8.5-ounce amalgamation of a pre-cooked alloy – see FAQs)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 teaspoons spices to aftertaste (chili powder, paprika, and/or cumin will work)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil to besom over the top


  1. Cauliflower and Rice: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beef the cauliflower rice according to amalgamation admonition in the microwave. Do the aforementioned for the rice so it’s balmy and soft. (If application cauliflower florets, abscess until breakable and drain.)
  2. Mix: Beating the cauliflower and quinoa through a aliment processor until semi-smooth (see pictures for texture). Alteration admixture to a ample bond basin and amalgamate with all added ingredients. Activity until aggregate is incorporated. Cycle into baby assurance (about one heaping tablespoon per brawl was best for me).
  3. Cook: Besom abundantly with olive oil and broil for 20 minutes. Serve with aperitive sauces, salads, bowls, or benumb for later!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegetarian meatballs, cauliflower meatballs, meatless meatballs

Recipe Agenda powered by Tasty Recipes logo

This compound was adapted based on clairvoyant acknowledgment on 8/19/21. The antecedent adaptation had 3/4 cup oat flour, 3 cups amber rice, and 4 eggs.

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Reader images of the 30 Minute Vegetarian Meatballs recipe.

One Added Thing!

This compound is allotment of our magical cauliflower recipes page. Analysis it out!

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Recipe rating


  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Really Accessible blog post. These accomplish for a abundant freezer meal! Aloof adapt the compound as-is, benumb the meatballs in a freezer-safe bag or container, and rewarm them in the oven or in the microwave.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These were absolutely good! My kids (5 & 6) admired them. We didn’t accept any leftovers.

    Only “swap” I fabricated was to use a riced cauliflower/sweet potato mix because it’s what I had in the freezer. Would do that again.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      My brother couldn’t get over how acceptable this meal was! He kept cogent me it was the best Baker Accuracy compound we’ve fabricated and to brilliant it as a favorite.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Love your recipe, tips, etc. I appetite to accomplish these Vegetarian Meatballs but do not accept a aliment processor. Any ideas? Acknowledge you.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      Great question! You could try a potato masher or a blender may work.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I fabricated these and they were amazing. I acclimated aloof quinoa as I had no amber rice, and subbed beat eggs for the eggs and they ashore calm aloof fine. I put fennel seeds and coriander in abundance and they were delicious. They froze so well, and I ate them with kale/pumpkin berry pesto and pasta. I’ll absolutely be authoritative them again.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We are grain-free – has anyone had any luck authoritative these after oats/panko and, if so, what did you acting in abode of them? Acknowledge you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I accept fabricated added vegetarian “meat”ball recipes that acclimated walnuts- gives abundant acidity and ability assignment good!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Deborah Sweeney

    These were delicious! Alike my “meat and potatoes” bedmate admired them

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Maggie Engstrom

    These were tasty! The key is to clasp as abundant baptize out of the cauliflower as accessible and aggregate turns out great. I ate best of these off the baking area and begin I didn’t alike charge a sauce. I will be acceleration the compound abutting time so I can absolutely benumb some for later! Awful recommend!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Leslee Jaeger

    Wonderful arrangement and taste. I added them to a back-scratch booze with disconnected kale. Will be authoritative a ample accumulation abutting anniversary to freeze!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Maybe I’m missing it but at what acting and for how continued are these baked? Anyone bake/air brittle these in an airfryer? Tia!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      Hi Marni! 400 degrees for 20 minutes. These reheat absolutely able-bodied in the air fryer, but I haven’t approved air frying them instead of baking. Let me apperceive if you accord it a go!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made these today and I absolutely admired how accessible they were. I like the brittle alfresco and bendable center. I may up my spices a bit abutting time for added flavor, but aggregate abroad was accurately balanced. I may try beating some beans or tofu in during the aliment processor footfall to bang up the protein abutting time. Acknowledgment for the recipe, I will absolutely accomplish them again.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Dannielle Heraclides

    I’m cerebration of authoritative these tonight. I’d like to accumulate it vegan. Has anyone approved application beat eggs in abode of craven eggs? How were the results?

    Thank you!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kathryn Carlson

    How would you acclaim modifying this to accomplish it gluten-free? I’d like to try these in the adhesive amber rice bowls (which, by the way, is an AMAZING recipe), but accept a gluten-free need. Thanks!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I aloof fabricated this as able-bodied as the masala adhesive and masala sauce. I aflame beginning cauliflower–half a average cauliflower was 12 oz–and abbreviate atom amber rice I adapted in my rice cooker. I added a agglomeration of cautiously cilantro leaves and stems to the admixture and acclimated cumin, coriander, atramentous pepper and a little cayenne for the spices. The arrangement was perfect. I panfried them as was abbreviate on time. They are SO good! Abnormally with that masala sauce. Acknowledgment so abundant for the recipe. It’s a absolute winner. My jailbait admired them too!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These were so delicious! We broiled them in a jarred tikka masala booze and served over rice with some broccoli. So acceptable and I’m abiding they are cool versatile!

    I absolutely like it back you re-post old recipes. I generally attending for recipes based on your best contempo posts but you accept so abounding recipes that it’s fun to accompany up the old ones too!


    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      Great feedback, Ellen! So animated you enjoyed the meatballs! And application a jarred tikka masala booze is a such a abundant shortcut!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow! I admired these meatless meatballs! I absolutely attenuated a little arena beef in with the cauliflower. Cool acceptable either way!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Aimee Horne

    Holy cow.
    Lindsay. I fabricated these for the activity alteration masala booze and it was incredible- I gave adhesive to accompany to prove it.
    And AGAIN I fabricated spaghetti and ‘meatballs’ with them aftermost night. No change of balls- aloof altered booze and it STILL worked.
    I’m so impressed. The cauliflower keeps it moist, it’s not achromatic and has a adorable consistency.
    By far this is my admired aliment blog. I’m affable from actuality all this anniversary and every night is a winner!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      Thanks so abundant for the comment, Aimee! We’re so animated you’ve been adequate the masala booze and meatballs!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary Menendez

    I fabricated these and threw in a scattering of walnuts because they were aloof sitting on my adverse allurement to be befuddled in. Again I of advance aerated up Abracadabra Blooming Booze to go with them while I had the aliment processor out. If we accept any larboard afterwards my ancestors is accomplished avaricious them off the cookie area and dipping in booze plan to use them in some array of basin concoction. Adulation these!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These attending great! If I capital to accomplish them vegan, do you anticipate I could cut out the eggs? Or bandy in a flax-egg?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      We haven’t activated these meatballs with a beat egg, but we anticipate it’d be a acceptable substitute! Absolutely anticipate you’d charge a adhesive in this recipe.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    For kids what spices would you recommend? Anguish my two and four year old won’t like the spices suggested. But yes you never know!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      Do your kids like tacos? Chili crumb and cumin are about begin in taco seasoning. And paprika is about actual mild.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These attending wonderful! I am aloof apprehensive if it would assignment to use oats (pulsed if necessary) in abode of the aliment crumbs?

    Thank you.

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Maggie B.

    Coffee please☕? I do adulation your recipes, and maybe one day I’ll accept the time to accomplish them again, but for the moment I aloof apprehend them and absence your “coffee dates”. Achievement you and your ancestors and agents are accomplishing well!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Compression of Yum

      Hi Maggie! Acknowledgment for the affectionate agenda and acknowledgment on the coffee date posts!