Meatless Meatballs Recipe
I have a huge and amazing Italian family. Each year about 50 of us from all over the U.S. truck down to Cape Cod in Massachusetts to celebrate our family for a week long 4th of July extravaganza. This Messina filled week comes with different nightly dinner themes, beach bonfires, smores over a fire pit, and lots of fun. Although my family is very supportive of my lifestyle, I like to come prepared to each dinner with something that meets my dietary needs. The second night of our Messina Fest this year was Italian night, a night that is always crucial that I bring my own food because it consists of lots of pasta, meat, and cheese. This year I decided to make my own meatless meatballs, and they were a hit! Even the meat eaters thoroughly enjoyed them! They were easy to make and went great with noodles made from summer squash. I got to enjoy my family AND my dinner!
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 4 ounces eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 3/4 cups)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 12 ounces crumbled tofu, broken into small pieces
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Tablespoons aquafaba
- Make sure the oven rack is in the middle position and pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with olive or coconut oil spray. Pulse the mushrooms in a clean, dry food processor until the pieces are no larger than 1/4 inch, 5-7 pulses and transfer to a bowl. Pulse the eggplant, onion, and garlic in the empty food processor until finely chopped, 6-8 pulses and transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the processed vegetables, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have released their liquid. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until the veggies are well browned. This should take about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the crumbled tofu, panko, parsley, and aquafaba to the bowl with the browned veggies and toss to combine. Using your hands, knead the mixture well until cohesive and sticky, about 1 minute.
- Shape mushroom mixture into 24 meatballs and space evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until browned and firm, 25-30 minutes, gently turning the meatballs and rotating the sheet halfway through baking.
- Add your favorite sauce and enjoy!!