These Vegan Swedish Meatballs are delicious and deceptively decadent. The meatballs have great flavor and texture from mushrooms, beans and oats, and the creamy, silky, velvety sauce is mostly made with beans but it’s so tasty, your family and friends will lick up their plates. Guaranteed.
Our home has been alive with the sound of sneezing these last few days. Jay has been under the weather with a cold, and yesterday he finally succeeded in passing it on to me.
After wallowing in self-pity for a day, I decided I deserved a treat. Like these Vegan Swedish Meatballs in the creamiest, silkiest gravy possible.
And don’t tell anyone, but that gravy is made mostly with beans.
If you’ve ever eaten Swedish Meatballs (likely at an Ikea, if you live outside Sweden ;)), you know they are not an everyday indulgence. The meatballs, made with beef and pork and other meats, are served in a sauce made mostly of cream. The great thing about this vegan version is that not only do you not have to slaughter every animal on the farm to make them, you could have them every single day of your life if you wanted to, and still look as svelte as can be.
That’s because everything in here is plant-based, of course, and good for you. Every. Single. Thing.
Beans. Oats. Mushrooms. More beans. Cashews. What’s not to love?
Before you ask me if you can sub the cashews with more beans, let me say that I wouldn’t really advise it. The cashews not only add the creaminess that is such a great feature of this sauce, but they also keep the sauce from drying out, as many creamy vegan sauces tend to do. You could serve this one hours after you make it and you can be sure the sauce will be as creamy as when you just took it off the stove.
I am majorly in love with this gravy — I think I’ll be making it everyday. 🙂 The meatballs are great served by themselves with some mashed potatoes and a salad, or you could serve them on top of a luscious pile of papardelle pasta, like I did. The silky sauce sticks to every fat, flat strand and the chunky meatballs add a pop of texture and delicious flavor.
Sprinkle a little parsley on top and you’ve got a dish that’s as pretty to look at as it is tasty to eat.
If you make these vegan Swedish Meatballs and gravy, and I hope you do, don’t forget to come back and let me know if you liked it.
Vegan Swedish Meatballs
For the meatballs:
Make the meatballs:
- Pour a cup of boiling water over the dry shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and let them steep for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze out as much water from them as possible. Reserve the stock for use in the gravy.
- Place the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse five or six times until they are broken down into small bits. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, to the food processor and pulse a few times until they are thoroughly mixed and the mixture holds together when you form a ball.
- Shape into 20 meatballs. Heat the oil in a large skillet and fry the meatballs, turning them to brown all over. Remove the meatballs to a plate and use the skillet to make the sauce.
Make the gravy:
- Place the cannellini beans, cashews, liquid aminos, nutmeg, garlic and onion powders, rosemary, salt and ground black peppers in a blender with 1 cup of water. Blend until very smooth.
- Heat oil in the same skillet you used to fry the meatballs. Add the flour to make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour becomes a light brown.
- Add half the reserved mushroom stock to the skillet and, using a whisk if necessary, mix quickly to form a smooth paste. Add the remaining stock and mix.
- Pour in the bean-cashew mixture and bring the gravy to a simmer. Continue heating for a couple more minutes. If it appears too thick at this point, thin out with some water or vegetable stock. Check for salt and ground pepper and season with more if needed.
- Add the meatballs back to the skillet and warm through. Garnish with parsley and serve.