Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs

These Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs are a healthy combination of quinoa and cauliflower and smothered in simple cream sauce. No need to go furniture shopping to have a taste of Sweden.

It was only a matter of time, right? Before I started taking inspiration from the innumerable trips to IKEA we’ve made in the process of renovating our new house. Because a trip to IKEA is not complete until you’ve eaten something of vaguely Swedish origin.

I’ve created my take on Swedish meatballs with a vegetarian version that is *the real deal*.

These vegetarian meatballs have a simple ingredients list that doesn’t involve any mystery meat alternatives. They’re just: quinoa. cauliflower, breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings. They would honestly be delicious with any sauce you throw on them. Today, that sauce is an easy, fool-proof sauce that’s rich and creamy (without any cream!)

I go true IKEA-style, serving these over a heap of fluffy mashed potatoes cauliflower (recipe for the fluffiest mashed cauliflower here!) Add a dollop of sour berry jam and you’re good to go.

Click here for the cream sauce recipe.

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Swedish-inspired
Serves: 4 servings
Vegetarian Meatballs
  • ⅔ cups dry quinoa 150 g, + 1⅓ cup water
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cauliflower about ½ head
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs 50 g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp each salt and smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil 60 mL
Cream Sauce
  • Click the link above for the cream sauce recipe.
Make Meatballs:
  1. Combine quinoa and water in a pot and simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a large pot of water and simmer until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Strain both and add to a food processor. Blitz a few times until mostly broken down. Add breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, and seasonings, stirring to combine. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls.
Cook Meatballs:
  1. Heat a dash of oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Fill the skillet with a batch of meatballs and cook, flipping them often to evenly brown all sides (about 5 minutes per batch). Continue heating new oil and cooking batches until meatballs are all cooked. Place on a paper towel when finished.
Make Sauce:
  1. Click the link above.
  1. Serve meatballs warm with cream sauce on top of mashed cauliflower!
This recipe was inspired by Pinch of Yum's wild rice Swedish meatballs!


Sarah Bond

An Alaskan self-taught cook and nutritionist by trade, I love all things food and health. When I'm not exploring new ways to cook up healthy ingredients, I'm romping around the Netherlands, my new stomping grounds!

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