Get ready for a vegan twist on the classic Swedish meatball! Our plant-based version of Ikea's famous Köttbullar is full of flavor and made with wholesome ingredients like beans, oats, bulgur and spices. Not only are they nut-free, oil free and soy free - these tasty vegetarian balls have all the texture you'd expect from your traditional favorites too!
Plus, don't forget to serve them up with an authentic vegan Swedish gravy that'll transport you right back to Sweden itself. Before going vegan, I was always partial to some good 'ol Ikea Köttbullars, but this veggie update has definitely won me over!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links. Read More
Check out the quick list of ingredients you will need to make these veggie meatballs the whole family will love.
You can find the ingredients with quantities and the recipe to print out on the recipe card below.
Vegan Meatballs Ingredients
- Black Beans, cooked
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Baking Powder
- Bulgur Wheat
- Sea Salt
- Smoked Paprika
- White Pepper
- Dijon Mustard
- Nutritional Yeast
- Coconut Aminos or Tamari
- White Wine Vinegar
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- All spice
- Thyme, Rosemary
- Flaxseed Powder
- Tomato Paste
- Tahini or Nut Butter
Vegan Gravy Ingredients
- Garlic Cloves
- Vegetable Broth
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Aminos or Tamari
- Smoked Paprika
- Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- Marmite, opt.
- White Pepper or Black Pepper
- Sea Salt to taste
Let's take a step-by-step look at the preparation.
Start by grinding the oats. To do this, place them in a high-performance mixer or in a food processor.
Cook the bulgur and rinse the black beans.
Now put the oat flour, baking powder, beans, flaxseed, tomato paste, water, and molasses in a food processor until you have a coarsely chopped meatball mixture.
Now add all the ingredients except for the bulgur and mix it with the pulse function until everything is mixed. Now lift the bulgur under the beans without crushing it any further.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Take a tablespoon and take one tablespoon worth of dough. Now form balls approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm) in size. Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them for about 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven. Take them out of the oven and let them stand for about 5–10 minutes.
Now prepare the cream sauce. To do this, dice an onion and the garlic cloves very finely. Sauté them in a large skillet on medium heat until golden brown. Always add a sip of water when you notice the bottom is turning brown.
Blend the cashews with the vegetable broth and almond milk in a high speed blender to a cream. There shouldn't be any pieces left.
Add the cream with the remaining ingredients to the onions and stir well. Season it again with coconut aminos, pepper and sea salt. Let it boil briefly until the desired consistency is achieved.
Now add the slightly cooled vegan meatballs to the creamy gravy sauce.
Let's take a look at which ingredients can be replaced by other ingredients without losing the texture and taste of the vegan swedish meatballs.
- Black Beans: Black Beans serve as a source of plant-based protein in these vegan Swedish meatballs. What you can do is replace them with kidney beans or lentils.
- Vital Wheat Gluten: The gluten flour helps to bind the meatballs and does not make them too dense, but rather tender. If you want a gluten-free version, I recommend replacing the gluten powder with potato starch or arrowroot starch. It may be that the balls differ slightly from the texture.
- Oat Flour: If you can't find any oat flour, just grind oatmeal in a high speed blender. You can also replace the oats with other flour.
- Bulgur: The bulgur is used to ensure the perfect consistency of the Swedish meatballs. You can also use TVP or couscous here.
- Coconut Aminos or Tamari: These are alternatives to soy sauce. You can also use equal amounts of soy sauce.
- Tahini: This is a sesame butter. If you don't like that, you can also use almond butter or cashew butter here. I have to add, if you reach for a nut butter, then your vegan Köttbullar are no longer nut-free.
- Molasses: Instead of molasses, you can also use sugar beet syrup. This gives the meatballs a special touch.
- Cashews: If you want to make the traditional gravy nut-free or cheaper, I recommend that you use sunflower seeds. This also makes a simple gravy. Adjust the amount of milk a little here.
- Almond Milk: Instead of almond milk, you can also use soy milk, rice milk or one of your favorite plant-based milks. I do not recommend oat milk for this creamy sauce, as it is relatively sweet and has a slightly stronger taste of its own.
- How to Refrigerate: The leftover meatballs can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Simply heat the vegetarian swedish meatballs in a pan. I recommend only adding as many to the sauce as you plan to eat. Otherwise, they will become soggy and mushy. This way, you can store the remaining beanballs in the fridge separately from the sauce.
- How to Freeze: You can easily freeze the balls in portions. Here they last for about 2 months. To serve, simply put the meatballs in the fridge overnight and heat them up in the pan on medium-high heat.
You can also prepare and freeze the vegan Swedish meatballs in large quantities. To do this, simply leave out the brown sauce and place the Köttbullar without sauce on a tray and freeze it on the tray.
Once these are frozen through, you can add them to a bag or container. This prevents them from freezing together.
The Köttbullar can be served as a great dinner or lunch. These can also be easily prepared for work.
You can serve with the Swedish meatballs, for example, french fries, potato wedges, pasta, homemade spaetzle (German egg noodles), mashed potatoes. Quinoa, cauliflower rice and rice are low-carb or gluten-free options. Traditional Swedish meatballs are served with little lingonberry jam, instead serve it with some cranberry sauce.
If you let the meatballs rest briefly before serving, they will be a little firmer in consistency. That's how I like them best.
This recipe is great to prepare in double the amount and then freeze. For a serving I usually calculate 6 - 8 balls.
Swedes use different spices for their meatballs than other cultures. For example, you can find spices such as allspice, nutmeg and sometimes ginger in classic recipes.
And it is precisely these spices that we use in our vegan version of the swedish meatballs.
The balls are also relatively small compared to other balls. They are rolled with a diameter of approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm).
In addition, the Köttbullar is traditionally served in a cream sauce with Lingonberries and pickled cucumbers.