Mum Mum’s Meatballs, Vegan and Gluten-Free

The best recipe for Mum Mum's Meatballs
best recipe mum mums meatballs vegan gluten free

Since becoming a vegetarian there aren’t many things I miss.  Except my Grandma Josie’s meatballs! She was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known.  In typical Italian Grandma fashion, she cooked with a lot of love!

I never thought I would be able to enjoy her meatballs again.

Until now….

My mom (mum mum to Noah) created the most delicious vegan meatballs!  I almost spit out the first bite I took because I thought she was playing a horribly mean joke on me!  They tasted legit!

The original recipe uses eggs and parmesan cheese.  To veganize the recipe we used a “chia egg” instead and omitted the cheese.  I will give the recipe for both! To make them gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free pasta. You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own.  Here is one of my favorite sauce recipes from Giada.  It is packed with veggies and flavor!

This recipe is a bit involved as you need to prepare the ingredients and let them sit over night.  It’s worth the wait…trust me 🙂

Ok, enough talking…here it is!

We’ve made these a few times and learned a few things along the way…

  • Make sure you chop the mushrooms very, very fine.
  • Don’t skip the cayenne pepper.  You don’t need to add much, just a hint!
  • Bake them until a little crispy on the bottom for a more savory flavor.
  • Make a double batch as they disappear quickly!
best recipe mum mums meatballs vegan gluten free

Mum Mum’s Meatballs

The best recipe for Mum Mum's Meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Baking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Italian, Vegan
Servings: 10
Calories: 83kcal
Cost: $20


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh white mushrooms very finely chopped (around 6 cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oats GF if needed
  • ½ cup bread crumbs GF if needed
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 “eggs” 2 tablespoons chia or ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water, set aside for a few minutes so gel can form
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • for a non-vegan option, use real eggs and add 1 ounce of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups of marinara sauce
  • pasta of your choice


  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and season with salt. Cook until golden brown and all liquid has been evaporated.
  • Add chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic, stir and cook until fragrant. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
  • Mix in oats (cheese if desired), bread crumbs, parsley, “eggs,” sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix well until combined. If pressed, mixture should hold together.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Measure out 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls. Place on lined baking sheet.
  • Bake until meatballs are lightly golden brown, around 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
  • Bring marinara sauce to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat to low. Gently stir meatballs into sauce until coated. Simmer meatballs in sauce until cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (this step is really important…don’t skip!)
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package.
  • Serve meatballs and sauce over cooked pasta.
  • Enjoy 🙂


This is a perfect way to introduce a plant-based meal to a meat-eating crew on meatless Monday 🙂


Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 802mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 614IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Cristina Cavanaugh RD LDN
Latest posts by Cristina Cavanaugh RD LDN (see all)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating