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
Course Main Course
Cuisine Gluten Free, Italian, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Baking Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 83kcal
Cost $


  • 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
How many Ounces Are in a Cup?
How many Grams are in a Cup?


  • 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
Cristina C. RD LDN

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