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4.87 from 22 votes

Vegan Swedish Meatballs

These Vegan Swedish Meatballs are so meaty, that you might just fool a meat eater! Delicious homemade seitan meatballs are covered in a rich and creamy gravy for the ultimate comfort food. These taste better than IKEA's!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 (makes 18 - 20 meatballs)


For the Meatballs:

For the Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon light oil (canola or vegetable oil) for frying
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegan "beefless" broth or mushroom broth
  • ½ cup vegan culinary cream (or sub cashew cream or full-fat coconut milk)


  • To a food processor add the lentils, onion, walnuts, and garlic and pulse until you reach a slightly crumbly paste-like texture. Add the vital wheat gluten, water, soy sauce, parsley, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg and pulse, stopping to scrape the sides as needed until combined into a crumbly dough.
  • Pinch off some of the dough and roll into a vegan meatball about the size of a golf ball and set aside on a plate or dish. Repeat until all the dough is used up and you have made about 18 meatballs.
  • Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the meatballs to the steamer basket, cover and steam for 25 - 30 minutes. Once the steaming is done, you can either prepare them right away (see below), or allow them to cool completely and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze them for later. *Note, I always find seitan has the best texture if chilled in the fridge overnight, but it is still great freshly made.

To serve the meatballs and make the gravy:

  • In a large skillet or non-stick frying pan, heat the light oil over medium-high heat. Fry the meatballs until golden brown and heated through, 5 - 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside on a plate.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the vegan butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour to make a paste. Cook the flour paste while whisking, then pour in the broth and the cream and mix. Bring to a simmer and cook until the gravy begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Return to the meatballs to the pan with the gravy, and heat through for another minute or two. Serve hot on mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles.


Vital wheat gluten is essential to this recipe, and there is no substitute. Therefore this recipe cannot be made gluten-free. For a vegan gluten-free meatball recipe try my bean ball recipe in Fuss-Free Vegan which has a gluten-free option.
Steaming tips: you need to steam the vegan meatballs before using them. I recommend getting a steamer pot if you plan to make seitan often, or you can use a DIY method if you do not have a steamer.
Cleaning tips: vital wheat gluten is very sticky and can destroy dish brushes and cloths. So what I like to do is save old clothes, sheets, or towels that are too shabby to donate, and cut them into rags. I use these rags to clean up after preparing a seitan recipe and discard the rag once finished.


Serving: 1serving (recipe makes 4 servings) | Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1077mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 674IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg

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