© 2016 Green Kitchen Stories vegan_polpette_01

Vegan Meatballs

Hey friends! We’re happy to be back with a new post after some away-time. The reason for our absence is that we have been busy cuddling with our new family member. We are calling him Little Brother until we have decided on his real name (so difficult this time!). We are all feeling well and are mighty happy (even though our mornings have become a tad more chaotic)


He’s a sleepy little fella.


For today’s recipe we decided to revive a section on the blog that we started last year and then forgot all about. We call it Homemade Whole Food Staples and today’s recipe fits right in. In our preparations for little brother’s arrival we have been filling our freezer with food and these vegetarian meatballs/ vegan polpette have proved themselves really useful. They are quick to make, freeze well and are easily heated. We use them as a protein rich supplement to many dishes (see a few examples below) or as a simple main dish with pasta and a sauce. 


Since we have so many egg-based patties in the archive, we made these vegan, using chickpeas as the protein source and binder. They are literally filled with vegetables and have almond flour and potato starch as thickener. Kind of like a vegetable packed baked falafel. Not only are they really healthy but they are absolutely delicious too, with sweetness from the carrots and peas a savouriness from the spices. 

Just like with our apple cake recipe, we have been experimenting quite a bit to get the amounts right as we wanted to have the option to both cook them in a frying pan (for times when you just want to fry up a few) or in the oven (for larger batches). They get smoother texture in the frying pan but it is a bit more fiddly to get them evenly fried. My favorite method is however to make a huge batch (double batch if you can fit it into your blender), roll them and place on two trays. I then under bake them slightly and let them cool entirely before filling the freezer with them. Because they are slightly under baked, I can reheat them without risking that they get dry and boring. They can be reheated either in a pan or in the oven.


Here we have served them with some quinoa and a vegetarian lentil bolognese. They work really well with a pesto sauce as well.


Here they appear in one of our #gksbowls with, golden krauts, garlic-fried kale, carrot ribbons, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, a sunny egg, za’atar and a drizzle of tahini. Insanely good!


And here we’re about to roll them inside a wrap. There are lots of other possibilities. Isac prefers munching on them as a hand-held snack (although he is pretty tired of them at this point as we have served them with almost every meal for the past couple of weeks …).

Vegan Polpette
Makes 30

We use nutritional yeast to add extra depth to the flavour. It can be found in health food stores or online. If you are not vegan, it can be replaced with some grated cheese. Or simply leave it out. We kept the spices quite simple but you can try adding cayenne, sumac or curry to them for different flavour variations.

1 onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 inch / 2,5 cm fresh ginger, peeled
2 medium carrots or 3-4 smaller (200 g / 7 oz), peeled

1 cup / 130 g frozen sweet peas, slightly thawed
1 x 400 g / 14 oz tin chickpeas OR 1 ½ cup / 230 g cooked chickpeas, rinsed
a handful kale, coarsely chopped and thick stems discarded 

½ cup / 50 g almond flour (can be replaced with breadcrumbs)
4 tbsp potato starch (can be replaced with cornstarch, arrowroot or chickpea flour)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp allspice
black pepper

Set the oven to 360°F / 180°C (if you are baking them) and cover a baking sheet with baking paper. Grate onion, ginger and carrots on a box grater or using the grating attachment on a food processor. Switch to the regular knife attachment on the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and mix until the chickpeas have been mashed, with small bits and pieces of the peas and carrots still intact. With moist hands, roll into balls using roughly 1 tbsp of mixture for each ball and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. You can flip them a few times if you like them rounder but I usually skip this and settle for one slightly flatter side. It’s easier. If you are freezing them right away, let them bake for a few minutes shorter, then let cool completely (they firm up as they cool down), transfer to freezer containers or bags and place in the fridge or freezer.

To make them in a frying pan, simply fry with a little oil on low/medium heat (they melt and get flat on too high heat) for about 10-15 minutes. Flip/roll them often to get them evenly fried.

PS! Make sure to check back next week as we have an exciting give-away coming up together with Vitamix!


  1. Agnelia
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 15:02 | #

    All the best for you and your beautiful family… Just wanted to ask, if you could place some recipes which are dairy free. I’m ok with milk from goats and sheep, but sometimes I can’t enjoy food with cow milk in it…

    Again – all the best. Looking forward for Little Brothers name and also for the new website with a new logo :-)

    Greetings from Austria

    PS: Maybe you can place your products also in Suisse, German or Austrian shops ;-)

  2. Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 17:22 | #

    Congratulations on your new family member – how beautiful he is! These look so delicious – can imagine they would be so delicious with pesto or a rich tomato sauce! x

  3. birgit
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 17:48 | #

    yeah thanks for the recipe
    love these staples for everydaylife
    and again all my best wishes for you all
    he is sooooo cute <3
    lg birgit

  4. Chantal van Lieshout
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 20:11 | #

    Congratulations with Little Brother! I am happy for you all. Is Luise allright after giving birth? (’cause it can be hard) I am sure you will find a nice name for the little guy. I wish you a lot of happiness together

  5. Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 21:55 | #

    I absolutely love this recipe, so simple and looks so yummy! Huge congratulations on your gorgeous baby boy, much Love to you all! x

  6. Sally
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 21:59 | #

    Your son is beautiful! A lovely photo’ ☺️ Congratulations to you all! And thanks for finding the time to post a great looking recipe.

  7. Kelly
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 22:12 | #

    Is there any way I could remove the garlic and onion as I can’t eat these with my IBS? Should I replace with more of sornehting else or a different veg? ☺️

    • Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 23:36 | #

      Kelly, have you tried using the green tops of scallions/green onions in place of onion and garlic in recipes? The green tops are fodmap friendly, so should not bother your IBS. Works for me, but of course everyone’s digestive system is different!

    • Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 01:04 | #

      Hi Kelly, yes I think you can skip the onion and garlic entirely and still end up with a pretty tasty result.

    • Gillian
      Posted 6 Nov ’16 at 09:45 | #

      My daughter has that problem – I use chives for flavour and chopped up celery to replace the bulk of onions. If you can eat these 2 things they might work.

  8. Sam
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 01:01 | #

    So intrigued to try this! Love that they are heavy on on veg!

  9. Maja
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 01:03 | #

    Hi luise and David! First of all; congrqtulations to your new family member. Secondly; do you think it would be possible to swap the potato starch for grounded flax seeds?

    • Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 02:01 | #

      Hi Maja, I haven’t tried. Maybe it could work. I found that they needed the starch to hold together better and make them firmer. You can also use arrowroot, cornstarch or chickpea flour.

  10. Marje
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 03:16 | #

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! He will grow up strong and beautiful with your great cooking! Thank you for this recipe, I look forward to making it!

  11. Elke
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 05:18 | #

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your gorgeous little man. I look forward in making your polpette recipe.

  12. Justine
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 09:01 | #

    Luise and David, l’m an enthusiastic follower of your blog now for years (!), and it’s so great to see your family grow! Congratulations to this little gorgeous chap!! Have 3 kids myself and now how busy you are. Love your recipies, they allways work & and I get ask frequently about them, so am allways happy to recommend your blog to meat eaters, who cannot believe, that veggie food can be that diversivied!! All the best to you and your family and thank you for being so inspirational!!

  13. Mona
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 09:18 | #

    So excited for those two big news. New baby brother and the homemade staples are back! Yay! (I would very much appreciate a recipe for coconut yoghurt) Still trying to figure out a way on how to make these meat balls without a food processor. Maybe by grating everything super small and mashing together with the chickpeas, sort of like making hummus? I assume that the ‘dough’ would be very tasty anyway, in case I end up eating the mess out of the bowl ;) By the way I wanted to give you a huge thank you. Out of the 10 most recent recipes (not including the meatballs) I cooked 8 of them (several times even) and I can’t even pick a favorite because they all turned out so delicious. The biggest surprise was probably the yoghurt soup. Thanks for your endless inspiration and all the hard work that you put into this blog. I am very grateful!

    • Kate
      Posted 8 Nov ’16 at 03:15 | #

      I’d be interested to hear how you go without a food processor, because I’ve been wondering about that too!

  14. Stef
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 09:25 | #

    Hooray on the new baby! Congratulations and all the best for the five of you!! Even without personally knowing you guys I kept thinking of you and your baby-to come quite recently lately. Do hope also that Luise is alright and feeling well!
    Will certainly try the polpettes – can’t know enough fall-back options for every-day-meals. :-)

  15. Mimi
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 10:12 | #

    What a cute little guy! Congratulations! Well done. I hope Luise is fine too! One question though, could I swap the chickpeas for lentils? Have s great time all of you together !

    • Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 20:11 | #

      Hi Mimi, yes I think you should be able to use lentils instead. Let us know how it goes!

  16. Carly
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 11:42 | #

    I made these for dinner tonight – seriously the YUMMIEST things I’ve eaten in a long time! They were also super easy to make! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 💗💗

  17. Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 12:14 | #

    Love the look of this recipe. Can I just check – is the batter just the almond flour and potato starch mixed together (the salt/spices and nutritional yeast go in the main mix?) Do you make them into balls and then roll them in the flour or do you mix it all up. First time making something like this so I want to get it right!
    Congratulations on your gorgeous little boy!

    • Posted 12 Nov ’16 at 00:38 | #

      Hi Helen, sorry if the description was a bit unclear. All ingredients are supposed to be mixed together – flour, chickpeas and vegetables. Mixture is probably a better describing word for it than batter, I will change it in the description. Hope you like the recipe!

  18. Carolyn
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 14:47 | #

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby!!! I
    We are due next month with our first, and I was just thinking about getting started with freezer meals! Adding this one to my list! Thanks!

  19. Sarah
    Posted 5 Nov ’16 at 22:03 | #

    Congratulations, he is a beauty! Did you know that in Germany, we are all such huge fans of Astrid Lindgren people actually call their sons lillebror like in “Lillebror and Karlsson on the roof”? So maybe you already found his name ;)

  20. Posted 6 Nov ’16 at 02:10 | #

    These look divine!! I have made a ton of different vegan burgers and ‘meatless’ balls (that sounds odd, lol!) but I always seem to be missing something! I’ve used many of the same ingredients that you have too. I’ll just have to try yours!!

  21. Jacqui
    Posted 6 Nov ’16 at 02:37 | #

    I just made these and they are so delicious! Even despite forgetting to add the garlic cloves. I used chickpea flower instead of potato starch and they still turned out great, yummier than falafels. I will definitely be adding these to my regular recipes. Will be great to have s frozen supply.

  22. Amelia
    Posted 6 Nov ’16 at 09:34 | #

    Congrats David and Luise. I will put my two cents in: “Flynn” Elsa and Isac sound beautiful together. I’m sure you will chose something perfect for your baby though. And lovely recipe, I will try it soon.

  23. Posted 7 Nov ’16 at 14:28 | #

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I thought your post was beautifully written. Thanks for guide!

  24. Posted 7 Nov ’16 at 17:08 | #

    Congratulations! He is adorable, Have you figured out a name for the little nugget yet? Seriously adorable! This is a wonderful recipe, I love things with a quicker cook time..Sometimes you just don’t have all the time in the wolrd!

  25. Posted 8 Nov ’16 at 11:22 | #

    So beautiful….and the baby’s pretty cute too.

  26. Posted 8 Nov ’16 at 12:48 | #

    It’s a good receipie

  27. Posted 8 Nov ’16 at 12:58 | #

    Thank you for sharing the great article

  28. Shellagh
    Posted 8 Nov ’16 at 15:28 | #

    As Helen said …… I don’t understand which is ‘batter’. Is it everything after the kale or is every ingredient mixed in ?

    • Posted 12 Nov ’16 at 00:36 | #

      Hi Shellagh, All ingredients are mixed together. I am sorry if this was unclear in the description. Maybe batter isn’t the ideal word as it has a rather thick consistency, I think mixture describes it better. Hope you like it!

  29. Lærke
    Posted 8 Nov ’16 at 20:02 | #

    Hej- sååå lækker mad i udvikler og deler, tak for det. Blir nød til at spørge hvordan i løser at spise med børnene..? Altså det klart alle spiser og alt er godt😉 Men har selv to piger på henholdsvis 2 år og 9 månd. Og 9 månd. Jeg synes det kan være svært at lave aftensmad som passer alle.. Den lilles mad skal stadig være ret blød og for os er det nyt at vi stort set ikke spiser kød, så vi spiser mange nye retter, hvilket lader til ikke at passe den store særlig godt.. Så hun vil ret tit i øjeblikket ikke andet end blot at smage..hvad gør i, for at alle er glade og mætte? Og hvis der ikke bliver spist til aften, hvad gør i så? Mvh Lærke

    • Shellagh
      Posted 9 Nov ’16 at 11:41 | #

      Very sorry but can only speak English.

  30. Mary
    Posted 9 Nov ’16 at 04:58 | #

    Is there another option to replace the green peas? I have one child who detests peas – it’s the only veggie she won’t eat. I was thinking about diced green pepper instead. Not sure that flavor would be nice with the recommended spices. Looking for a good alternate suggestion. Thank you for such a beautiful recipe. Congrats on little brother!!

  31. Shellagh
    Posted 9 Nov ’16 at 11:42 | #

    Very sorry but can only speak English

  32. Posted 9 Nov ’16 at 21:51 | #

    This recipe was simple to make and freezes well! Thanks for the share. I love to have another simple recipe in my back pocket.

  33. Shellagh
    Posted 11 Nov ’16 at 10:55 | #

    Hello, I’m still wondering about the ‘batter’. Please could someone explain this. Thank you.

    • Shellagh
      Posted 12 Nov ’16 at 12:09 | #

      Thank you very much.

  34. Posted 13 Nov ’16 at 15:17 | #

    Dear luise and David,
    This recipe is so good! I made it with 3 kinds of spice blends (Italian, Dutch meatball spices and Mexican): they are the best! I froze parts of the mixture uncooked and defrosted them a day before i wanted to make a batch. Worked perfectly!

    Tip for the fodmappers: onion and garlic with garlic oil and a bit extra carrot. And maybe some psyllium or xanthan gum for extra binding.

    Love, Mirte

  35. Emma
    Posted 13 Nov ’16 at 23:30 | #

    Tips på vart man kan hitta nutritional yeast? Vad heter det på svenska? Vad ska man söka på… supermumsiga recept!

  36. Posted 23 Nov ’16 at 08:46 | #

    Looks so simple and looks so delicious! I think I’m gonna try this with a twist or make something personalized. Thanks for this recipe! And congratulations to your baby boy!

  37. Sarah
    Posted 23 Nov ’16 at 11:44 | #

    These are delicious! Thank you for sharing. I just made them and they turned out a lot greener than yours – maybe my hand can grab more kale than was intented…

    The only thing is that it turned out to be a nuisance to make the mix with my blender because it is so dry. Next time, I might just process the vegetables and spices first and add starch and almond flour to the mix after blending.

    I will surely make them again!

  38. Marina
    Posted 26 Nov ’16 at 20:07 | #

    Thank you so much for this absolutely wonderful recipe – Just made them for my boyfriend and we both loved it! :-D

  39. Posted 3 Dec ’16 at 18:48 | #

    Hej! Do you know where in Sweden I can find nutritional yeast? I live in gothenburg, which is not as big as Stockholm, but any tips could help! Thanks :)

    • Posted 4 Dec ’16 at 22:36 | #

      Hi Laura, We live in Stockholm and find it in most health food stores. You should be able to find it in health food stores in Gothenburg as well. Ask for Näringsjäst or Bjäst.
      Good luck!

  40. Pat Cbgo
    Posted 7 Dec ’16 at 10:08 | #

    Hello favourate cooking duo,
    I wanted to ask you whether anyone or yourselves had tried replacing almond flour for buckwheat as it tends to get pricy….

  41. Posted 7 Dec ’16 at 21:05 | #

    Really enjoyed reading this, thank you for posting and congrats

  42. Posted 8 Dec ’16 at 17:39 | #

    LOVE this recipe! The colors are so beautiful!

  43. Posted 12 Dec ’16 at 04:38 | #

    What a nice quick staple for a vegetarian family. I remember those days of stocking up the freezer! I hope your staples are giving you a good “babymoon.” Enjoy your new little one, he looks so sweet!

  44. Victoria Taylor
    Posted 13 Dec ’16 at 19:09 | #

    What a great idea to put them in a wrap. A great lunch option for healthy, delectable sandwiches. Thank you for sharing and providing such lovely images, especially the one of your little baby boy.

    I like using this recipe with chickpea flour. Thank you again for the post.

  45. Gustavo Woltmann
    Posted 31 Dec ’16 at 12:47 | #

    I really like this recipe, so simple and so delicious! Thank you for sharing. Gustavo Woltmann.

  46. Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 11:36 | #

    Nice idea for people who start being vegan. Thanks!

  47. Posted 9 Jan ’17 at 13:42 | #

    This recipe is a great combination of various healthy ingredients. Recipes like this are really helpful for vegans!

  48. Bianca
    Posted 31 Jan ’17 at 00:41 | #

    They are delicious and they tasted really good cooking them after being frozen too! I think I will double batch next time because they are really handy to just pull out of the freezer and cook.

  49. Posted 4 Feb ’17 at 14:58 | #

    Your vegan meatballs are very very beautiful ! I will try do them for my children. Thanks you !

  50. Christina
    Posted 5 Mar ’17 at 17:50 | #

    Thanks for the great recipe! My food processor doesn’t seem to be strong enough. The mix doesn’t really come together so that I had to add water. I tried afterwards to even out the added water with two handfuls of oats. The balls didn’t really firm up, though. Any tips what I can do instead?
    Thanks! Christina

  51. Posted 7 Mar ’17 at 08:46 | #

    Wow! that is a great recipe. I love the fact that you maintain the same tone to the photos you post on the blog. Also, congrats on your baby.

  52. Posted 22 Mar ’17 at 15:55 | #

    I am a Registered Dietitian and am always looking for new creative recipes. Made these last night with a girlfriend. Was such a fun experience. They came out amazing, so flavorful and nutty tasting. I brought the leftovers into work today, great snack!

  53. Bri
    Posted 18 May ’17 at 19:36 | #

    Nutrional Analysis from Edamam.com:

    47 calories per poplette (excludes nutritional yeast in calcuation). Sub-in 1 tbsp grated cheese will get you 50 calories/poplette.

  54. Posted 21 Feb ’18 at 20:12 | #

    Just made these today but replaced the carrot with beetroot and chickpea with green lentils… delicious!

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