Tempeh meatballs are easy 1-bowl vegan meatballs with delicious Greek flavors. They are delicious gluten-free vegan meatballs to make Greek meatballs gyros or salads.
Tempeh what is it?
Tempeh is made of fermented soy beans using a fungus called tempeh starter. It has a dense and firm texture compared to tofu. The fermentation process binds the soybeans into a hard block and adds up protein, fiber and vitamins.
It has a strong earthy flavor, perfect to create vegan meat-substitute recipe with flavors and texture. Also, most tempeh you can buy are fortified in vitamins B12. It’s a great nutritional addition for people on vegan diet as vitamin B12 is generally not found in plant based foods.
Greek tempeh meatballs
Tempeh meatballs can be flavored with any combo of spices. However, if you read me for a while, you know I am French and I have a passion for Mediterranean flavors. Greek tempeh meatballs are the most flavorsome made with only 10 simple ingredients:
- Tempeh – I used vitamins b 12 fortified organic tempeh
- Red onion
- Parsley – I used italian flat parsley
- Mint leaves
- Dried oregano
- Tomato Paste
- Vegetable stock
- Tabasco or chipotle sauce – this is optional but great to spice up the meatballs
Tempeh meatballs gyros
Greek tempeh meatballs are delicious served into a Lebanese flatbread along with diced cucumber, tomatoes, black olives and red onions. I recommend to generously cover the bread and meatballs with mint coconut yogurt sauce.
Tempeh meatballs salad
Tempeh meatballs salad makes a delicious vegan low-carb lunch. Simply combine together those vegetables into a plate or glass container:
- Diced cucumber
- Tomatoes – cut in quarters
- Black olives
- Red onions slices
- Lemon juice – simply squeeze fresh lemon juice on your salad and olive oil if desired
- Hot tempeh meatballs – add the hot meatballs on top of the salad with mint coconut yogurt sauce
If you intend to take away the salad, store the meatballs separately from the salad. Rewarm the meatballs in a warm saucepan or sandwich press before serving on top of the salad.
Which sauce for Greek Tempeh meatballs ?
There is plenty of delicious sauce to drizzle or dip your meatballs. The best choices are :
- Mint coconut yogurt sauce – this taste like Greek tzatziki sauce, it is thick creamy with a delicious mint, lemon and garlic flavor. It is ready in 2 minutes, see recipe below
- Vegan aioli or mayonnaise
- BBQ sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Vegan cheese sauce – my vegan nacho cheese sauce pair really with those meatball too !
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Your friend, Carine
- 9 oz (250 g) tempeh cubed
- 3 tablespoons red onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley , finely chopped
- 6 large mint leaves , finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or any vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour – see note for options
Mint Coconut yogurt sauce
- 1/2 cup dairy free coconut yogurt
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 large mint leaves finely chopped
To fry the meatballs
- 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil or high smoke point oil of your choice
- In a food processor using the S blade attachment, add all the meatballs ingredients except the chickpea flour !
- Blend on high speed for 20 seconds or until the tempeh starts to turn into a paste but you still have bites or food.
- Stop the food processor, scrape down the side of the bowl and add the chickpea flour. Blend on high speed for 10-15 seconds to combine. Don't overdo it, this will keep some tiny bites of food and give more texture to the meatballs. Don't worry, the recipe will work too if you blend for too long, you will simply loose some texture. Otherwise, you can also transfer the meatball batter in a mixing bowl and stir in the chickpea flour with a spoon.
- Take one tablespoon of meatball batter and roll between your hands. Place the balls onto a plate and repeat until you form 18 meatballs.
- Warm 2 tablespoon grape seed oil on a frying pan. When the oil is very hot, add the meatballs and fry evenly, using a tong to rotate the meatballs into the oil and fry on all the surface.
- Add more oil as they fry, up to 4 tablespoons in total. It take between 8-12 minutes to perfectly fry the meatballs.
- Serve immediately on top of a salad of your choice or in a Lebanese flatbread with diced cucumber, quarters of tomatoes, black olives, red onions slices and a generous amount of mint coconut yogurt sauce.
Storage and freezing
- Store the meatball, cooked or uncooked, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure you store them in an airtight container to avoid them to dry. If uncooked, fry as usual. If already cook, rewarm in a ot oven for 5-10 minutes at 150C (300 F).
- Freeze the meatballs in an airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the container to avoid the meatballs to stick to the storage box. Leave half thumb space between each meatballs. Defrost 3-4 hours before frying or baking.
Coconut yogurt sauce
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until it forms a creamy sauce.
- Store in the fridge for at least 1 hour, to enhance the flavor or serve immediately if desired.
- Sore up to 1 week in the fridge in a glass mason jar.
- If you fry the meatballs ahead, you can keep them warm in the oven. Place the fried meatballs on a baking tray. Place in hot oven around 120 C (250F) for a maximum of 30 minutes to avoid them to dry out.
Baking your meatballs
- The meatballs can be baked at 200C (400F), the texture will be softer and less juicy. Place the meatballs on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the meatballs halfway to evenly bake them.
- You can replace chickpea flour by the same amount of all purpose flour or oat flour. The outside of the meatballs is slightly crumbly if you use oat flour.
- Keto options, replace by 1/2 cup of almond flour