These Tempeh Meatballs are easy 1-bowl vegan meatballs with delicious Greek flavors and 10 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
They are delicious, gluten-free, vegan meatballs to make Greek meatballs, gyros, or salads.
What Is Tempeh?
Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans 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 for creating vegan meat-substitute recipes with flavors and texture.
Also, most tempeh you can buy is fortified in vitamins B12. It’s a great nutritional addition for people on a vegan diet as vitamin B12 is quite rare in plant-based foods.
Greek tempeh meatballs are the most flavorsome made with only 10 simple ingredients:
- Tempeh – I used vitamins B12-fortified organic tempeh.
- Red Onion – you can also use yellow or white onion, but the best flavors come from red onions in this recipe.
- Garlic – I prefer fresh crushed garlic, but if you only have garlic powder, it works as well.
- Parsley – I used Italian flat parsley.
- Mint Leaves – Fresh mint leaves will give much better flavors than dried leaves.
- Dried Oregano – for flavor.
- Tomato Paste – Tomato Paste is slightly thicker than Tomato Passata,
- Vegetable Stock
- Tabasco or chipotle sauce – this is optional but great to spice up the meatballs.
How To Make Tempeh Meatballs
Tempeh meatballs can be flavored with any combo of spices. However, if you’ve been reading me for a while, you know I am French, and I have a passion for Mediterranean flavors.
- Using a food processor equipped with the S blade attachment, combine all ingredients for the meatballs, excluding the chickpea flour. Process the mixture on high speed for approximately 20 seconds, ensuring the tempeh transforms into a paste while maintaining small food bits.
- Pause the food processor, scrape the bowl’s sides, and introduce the chickpea flour. Blend the mixture for an additional 10-15 seconds on high speed, aiming for a harmonious combination without overdoing it. Retaining some fine food particles enhances the meatballs’ texture. Alternatively, transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and gently stir in the chickpea flour with a spoon.
- To form the meatballs, take one tablespoon of the batter and roll it between your hands. Place the resulting balls on a plate, repeating the process until you have 18 meatballs.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Once the oil reaches a high temperature, carefully add the meatballs, using tongs to rotate them and ensure even frying on all sides. Add more oil as needed, up to a total of 4 tablespoons. Perfectly frying the meatballs typically takes between 8 to 12 minutes.
- Serve the meatballs immediately, either atop a salad of your choice or inside a Lebanese flatbread accompanied by diced cucumber, quartered tomatoes, black olives, red onion slices, and a generous portion of mint coconut yogurt sauce.
Tip: Experiment with frying times to achieve your preferred level of crispiness.
Greek tempeh meatballs are delicious and served in a Lebanese flatbread along with diced cucumber, tomatoes, black olives, and red onions.
I recommend generously covering the bread and meatballs with mint coconut yogurt sauce or my Miso Tahini Dressing.
You can also serve them on my delicious pupusas for a blend of flavors.
Making A Tempeh Meatballs Salad
Tempeh meatball salad makes a delicious vegan, low-carb lunch. Simply combine the vegetables below into a plate or glass container:
- Diced cucumber
- Tomatoes – cut in quarters.
- Black olives
- Red onions sliced
- 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 them on top of the salad.
There are plenty of delicious sauces to drizzle or dip your meatballs. The best choices are :
- Mint coconut yogurt sauce – this tastes like Greek tzatziki sauce. It’s thick and creamy with a delicious mint, lemon, and garlic flavor. It’s ready in 2 minutes. See the recipe below.
- Vegan aioli or mayonnaise
- BBQ sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Vegan cheese sauce – my vegan nacho cheese sauce pairs really well with these meatballs!
More Vegan Lunch Recipes
If you liked these meatballs, try the following recipes:
Did You Like This Recipe?
- 9 oz Tempeh - cubed
- 3 tablespoons Red Onion - finely chopped
- 2 Garlic - crushed
- ¼ cup Parsley - fresh, finely chopped
- 6 Mint Leaves - finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil - or any vegetable oil
- ¼ cup Vegetable Stock
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- ¼ cup Chickpea Flour - see note for options
Mint Coconut yogurt sauce
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 bits of 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 bits of food and give more texture to the meatballs. Don't worry. The recipe will also work if you blend for too long. You will just lose some texture. Otherwise, you can also transfer the meatball batter to a mixing bowl and stir in the chickpea flour with a spoon.
- Take one tablespoon of meatball batter and roll it between your hands. Place the balls onto a plate and repeat until you form 18 meatballs.
- Warm 2 tablespoons of grapeseed 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 sides.
- Add more oil as they fry, up to 4 tablespoons in total. It takes 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 prevent them from drying. If uncooked, fry as usual. If already cook, rewarm in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes at 150°C (300°F).
- Freeze the meatballs in an airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the container to prevent the meatballs from sticking to the storage box. Leave half a thumb of space between each meatball. Defrost for 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 them in a hot oven at about 120°C (250°F) for a maximum of 30 minutes to prevent them from drying out.
Baking your meatballs
- The meatballs can be baked at 200°C (400°F), and 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 bake them evenly.
- You can replace chickpea flour with 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.