Dinner/ Pasta/ Recipes/ Vegetarian

Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Spaghetti and meatballs is an all time classic comfort food and now you can have a vegetarian version that everyone will love just as much! 

Since I first tried making these vegetarian meatballs a few weeks ago I’ve been obsessed with recreating them in every recipe possible.

First up, it seemed like the most obvious choice to try a vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs and this has quickly become one of my all time favourite aubergine recipes.

Vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs in a blue bowl on a white wooden background

I know spaghetti and meatballs is a family staple for a lot of people growing up but I don’t remember having it as a kid. It’s a shame because it is just such a good combination.

Anyway, now that the nights are drawing in (sob) and it’s getting chillier with each passing day it seems like the perfect moment to roll out all my comfort food recipes.

I kicked off with a vegetarian shepherd’s pie the other day and now we’re moving on to vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs.

Overhead shot of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs with a striped cloth on a white wooden background

Side on shot of a blue bowl of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs on a white wooden background

These vegetarian meatballs are made of aubergine (eggplant) and they have such a good meatiness which makes them the perfect thing to use in a vegetarian version of spaghetti and meatballs.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS?

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Aubergine (Eggplant)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Breadcrumb
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Egg
  • Salt and Pepper

Keep scrolling to get the full recipe for vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs…

Bowl of vegetarian meatballs with a stripy cloth

Overhead shot of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs on a white wooden background

HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS

  1. Heat the oil and fry the aubergine (eggplant) followed by the onion and garlic and cook until the aubergine is soft.
  2. Place the mixture in a food processor and pulse until chopped then tip out into a bowl and add the egg, breadcrumbs, herbs and seasoning. Mix and form into balls.
  3. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Equipment you need to make this recipe…

Blue bowl of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs with a striped cloth

Vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs with a fork on a white wooden background

The sauce in this recipe is a simple tomato sauce which I like to toss with the spaghetti in a bowl before serving so that every single strand of spaghetti gets coated in the sauce.

This sauce has one very special secret ingredient which we love to add to all kinds of different recipes to get that extra special umami flavour.

And that ingredient is fish sauce. I know, I know, it sounds really weird but just a tablespoon of fish sauce gives that amazing saltiness that takes the sauce to a new level.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE TOMATO SAUCE FOR SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS?

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fish Sauce – I know it sounds weird but I promise it’s so good. Of course you can leave it out to make the recipe completely vegetarian.
  • Red Wine
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Tomato Puree
  • Dried Oregano

Overhead shot of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs in a blue bowl on a white wooden background

Blue bowl of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs on a white wooden background

Despite the fact that this looks like it takes hours to make it’s actually pretty simple. Start off by making the meatballs and then while they’re baking make the sauce and cook the pasta.

This whole delicious vegetarian meal can be made in about 45 minutes so definitely weeknight worthy (my cut off is usually an hour for a weeknight).

CAN I FREEZE VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS?

To freeze these meatballs the best way would be to bake them and then leave to cool. Then you can put in a bag and freeze. Defrost on the day you want to use them and then pop them in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat through.

These meatballs are great for meal prep!

Side shot of vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs in blue bowls on a white wooden background

Vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs in a blue bowl

Want more? Get all my other vegetarian recipes before you go.

Keep scrolling to get the full printable recipe.

WONDERING WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER INGREDIENTS YOU’VE GOT FROM MAKING THIS VEGETARIAN SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS?

If you’re anything like me then you’re always looking for ways to save money and avoid food waste so I want to make sure you’ve get plenty of ideas on how to use up any ingredients that are leftover from my recipes!

One Pot Pasta with Chicken, Spinach and Mushrooms

Use up parmesan by sprinkling it over this easy one pot pasta

Overhead shot of one pot pasta in a white bowl on a blue background

Caprese Pasta Salad with Basil Dressing

The dressing for this pasta salad is the perfect way to use up leftover basil

Overhead shot of caprese pasta salad with salad servers

Vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs in a blue bowl on a white wooden background

Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is an all time classic comfort food and now you can have a vegetarian version that everyone will love just as much! 
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 592kcal
Author: Amy

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce leave out for vegetarian version
  • 2 tbsp Red Wine
  • 1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 150 ml Pasta Water
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Vegetarian Meatballs

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Aubergine chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 75 g Breadcrumbs
  • 20 g Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp Basil chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt and Pepper

To Serve

  • Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese
  • 300 g Spaghetti cooked according to packet instruction

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the aubergine. Cook for 5 minutes then add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5-10 minutes until everything is softened.
  • Place the mixture in a food processor and pulse until mostly blended then tip out into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil, parsley, oregano and a sprinkle of salt and pepper then mix together until everything is combined. Add the egg and mix together again. Shape into small balls, I got about 20 out of the mixture and place on a greaseproof paper lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • While the meatballs are cooking heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook for five minutes then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the fish sauce (leave out for vegetarian version), red wine, tomatoes, pasta water, oregano, seasonings and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti and tomato sauce to a bowl and toss until the pasta is coated. Serve topped with the vegetarian meatballs and grated parmesan.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 592 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 744mg 31%
Potassium 817mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 87g 29%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 12g
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 10.2%
Vitamin C 24.2%
Calcium 18%
Iron 22.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact ingredients used.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jessica Formicola
    03/10/2018 at 1:55 PM

    This would be the perfect dish for Meatless Monday! My family would love this!

    • Reply
      Amy
      03/10/2018 at 7:45 PM

      Thanks Jessica 🙂

  • Reply
    Caroline
    03/10/2018 at 2:03 PM

    I’ve meant to make vegetarian meatballs with eggplant/aubergine for a while as I both love eggplant and can see them being great as ‘meatballs’. This looks a delicious way to enjoy them as well!

    • Reply
      Amy
      03/10/2018 at 7:45 PM

      They’re so good, definitely try them!

  • Reply
    ali randall
    03/10/2018 at 2:20 PM

    What a great alternative to traditional meatballs. This pasta dinner looks delicious and easy to make. Yum!

    • Reply
      Amy
      03/10/2018 at 7:44 PM

      Thanks Ali!

  • Reply
    Catherine Brown
    03/10/2018 at 2:33 PM

    Mmmm, I love these healthier meatballs! and who doesn’t love a steaming bowl of spaghetti with saucy meatballs?? I’ve never tried them with eggplant before, so I’m looking forward to giving these a go!

    • Reply
      Amy
      03/10/2018 at 7:44 PM

      Thanks Catherine!

  • Reply
    Katie
    03/10/2018 at 3:07 PM

    This looks delicious! And I love the idea of doing the meat balls as a meal prep- you could use them for so many things!

    • Reply
      Amy
      03/10/2018 at 7:44 PM

      Definitely, they’re great in sandwiches too!

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