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.
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.
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 veggie spaghetti and meatballs.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS?
- Vegetable Oil
- Aubergine (Eggplant)
- Parmesan Cheese - Use up leftover in this one pot pasta
- Basil - Add any extra to this caprese pasta salad
- Dried Oregano
- Salt and Pepper
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Keep scrolling to get the full recipe for vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs...
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS
- Heat the oil and fry the aubergine (eggplant) followed by the onion and garlic and cook until the aubergine is soft.
- 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.
- Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Equipment you need to make this recipe...
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The spaghetti 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. Obviously if you want this recipe to be fully vegetarian then leave it out.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE TOMATO SAUCE FOR SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS?
- Olive Oil
- 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
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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).
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Simply heat the olive oil over a medium heat and fry the onion until soft then add the garlic followed by the red wine, tomatoes, pasta water, oregano, tomato puree and seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes until ready to serve.
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!
Expert tips for making vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs...
You can add extra veggies to the sauce if you like. Spinach, broccoli or kale would be delicious.
If you're strictly vegetarian make sure you get a version of parmesan or equivalent hard cheese which is definitely vegetarian as not all of it is.
Want more? Get all my other vegetarian recipes before you go or try one of these:
- Easy Mushroom Risotto
- Mushroom Burger with Pearl Barley
- Grilled Cauliflower Steak
- 15 Minute Noodle Salad with Peanut Sesame Dressing
- General Tso's Tofu
- Cauliflower Salad with Hummus
- Roast Vegetable Salad with Halloumi
- 15 Minute Chickpea & Spinach Curry
- Easy One Pot Vegetarian Lasagne
Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon Garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce leave out for vegetarian version
- 2 tablespoon Red Wine
- 1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 150 ml Pasta Water
- 2 teaspoon Oregano
- Salt and Pepper
For the Vegetarian Meatballs
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Aubergine chopped
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1 clove Garlic crushed
- 75 g Breadcrumbs
- 20 g Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese grated
- 2 tablespoon Parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoon Basil chopped
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Egg
- Salt and Pepper
- Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese
- 300 g Spaghetti cooked according to packet instruction
- 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.
If you like the sound of this recipe, don't forget to pin it!