This Gal Cooks

Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs

Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs - appetizer or main dish

Today we’re gonna get crazy about meatless meatballs. Or as Ken said about them, “those aren’t really meatballs.” My response was that they are a great meatball-like alternative meatball for those who don’t eat meat.

Farro, chickpeas and oats form the base of these vegan meatballs and flax egg holds them together. Flax egg equals 1 tbsp of ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp of warm water. Some Asian style seasonings such as Chinese 5 spice and sesame oil season the vegan meatballs. A toss of the meatballs in a spicy sauce made with ketchup, mirin, tamari and sriracha finish these meatballs off nicely. You can enjoy these vegan meatballs solo (a great appetizer) or over rice for a nice main course. Lunch or dinner, they’ll work either way.

Lots of things going on in my life right now so I’ve been extremely busy. Work has been busy. The personal life has been busy – Ken and I went shopping over the weekend, did some grilling and I’ve been working out every day. OH and tomorrow is my birthday. The digits that form the age I’ll be add up to 7. Can you guess how old I’ll be? After I leave work on Friday, we are heading to Fort Myers Beach for a fun-filled birthday weekend. ♥︎

Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs - appetizer or main dish

A few things I like about these Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs

  • they’re full of flavor.
  • they’re easy to make.
  • they’re vegan.
  • they don’t fall apart.
  • they’re made with ingredients that are typically stocked in any pantry, which means no trip to the store in order to make them.
  • they’re great as an appetizer or served over rice for a main dish.

Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs

Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs

Yield: 14 meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


For the meatballs

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 C cooked farro
  • 1/4 C old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1/4 C thin sliced green onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

For the sauce

  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Mirin (rice wine)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • Pinch salt
  • Green onion and sesame seed for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Wipe away excess spray with a paper towel.
  2. Place all meatball items in a food processor or blender. Been until just combined. It's okay to have full pieces of farro. It gives the meatballs texture.
  3. Roll into 1 tbsp balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Makes the sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients.
  5. Dip each meatball into the sauce to coat. Alternatively, you could place the meatballs in a bowl with the sauce and carefully toss to coat.
  6. Garnish with green onion and sesame seed


Sauce and vegan meatball seasoning loosely adapted from this meatball recipe by Gimme Some Oven.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 155 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 490mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 5g Protein: 7g

Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs - appetizer or main dish

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59 comments on “Spicy Asian Vegan Meatballs”

  1. You are so clever to come up with this recipe from scratch and it is vegan! They look great! Happy Birthday.

  2. These are the kind of meatless meatballs that I actually WANT to eat. And, I can’t lie, I’m a HYOOGE meat eater, so that is saying’ SOMETHING! I am addicted to Asian flavor, so these are BOMB! Pinned!

    • Haha, I used to be a huge meat eater too but now I’m only eating seafood. But I will admit, in the four months since I ate chicken, I have dreamt about it many times. And sometimes I really REALLY crave a cheeseburger. :) Thanks Taylor!

  3. Dear Julie, I am so intrigued by these! They sounds like the real deal to me…and I love that they don’t fall apart. Perfectly delicious. I would love to give these a try sometime. xo, Catherine

  4. I haven’t made meatballs in SO long. This needs to happen asap! I know my family would love them. :)

  5. I’m never drawn to regular meatballs with actual meat, but these sound and look fantastic. Perfect for football parties too! :)

  6. What an awesome looking vegan meatballs. Loved that you shared this fabulous recipe on a weekday. Would give it a try soon!

  7. Delicious, Julie and I love how they don’t fall apart! A triumph! Happy Birthday my dear… I’m thinking 34? Maybe 25? First time here and I just love your space… !

    • Thank you, Traci! Haha, 25…that happened 9 years ago ;)
      I’m so happy you enjoyed your visit. Have a lovely day!

  8. I’m with Traci – happy early 25th birthday!! These vegan meatballs look great!! Their shape holds up so well, too!

    • LOL, well thank you, Lisa! I may have heard that line 9 years ago. ;) I really like that these vegan meatballs don’t fall apart and that they hold their shape!

  9. they look incredible! I never would have guessed they were vegan. and Happy Birthday!!

  10. They do look like real meatballs and I’m sure they taste delicious! Love everything you used in the recipe! Cab’t wait to try them!

  11. LOVE these! I haven’t had meatballs since cutting meat out over 9 years ago!!! this is a great recipe ;-) I totally need to try these!

  12. Yum! Meatballs are my favorite! Love that you made them vegan! Genius!

    • I love meatballs and love that I can still eat them, even though I don’t eat meat anymore! Thank you, Kelley! :)

  13. This looks so delicious! I cannot wait t try making it.

  14. These look delicious and such a great alternative for those that don’t eat meat! Thanks so much for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!

  15. Hands down the best Asian meatballs I have seen!

  16. OMG !! What a wonderful recipe!
    I’m a vegetarian, and this is simply genius
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe

  17. I love veggie based meatballs! They might not be “meatballs” but I’m not sure what else we would call them! I love this Asian version! I bet they are amazing :)

  18. It’s all about the spice!! Thanks for joining us on Oh My Heartsie Girl Wordless Wednesday!

  19. Thank you for linking up to last weeks Tasty Tuesday linky. I have pinned your recipe to the Creative K Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board. I hope that you’ll join us again tomorrow.

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  22. I would love to try these. They sound and look awesome. What can I use in place of the mirin?

    • Hi Ann,

      You could replace the mirin with rice vinegar or even dry sherry. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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  24. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

  25. These arent vegan meatballs there’s an egg
    on the ingredients, they may be vegetarian bot not vegan. Apart of that mistake the recipe is quite good but please learn the diference between vegan and vegetarian

    • Hello,

      Thank you for your concern but there isn’t egg in this recipe. The recipe calls for “flax egg” which is a binder made out of ground flax seed, not egg.

      Have a wonderful day.

      • I’m so sorryfor the useless coment, but thank you for teaching me something new i didn’t knew about it thanks for explaining by the way the recipe is wonderful.

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  28. These look so yummy! Thanks for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It :)

  29. My family is vegetarian but I haven’t got around to making vegan meatballs or anything like that yet. These look so good!

    Thanks for linking up at #bloggerspotlight

  30. These meatballs look so good! I would never guess they were vegan just by looking at them.? I recently tried soy meat and I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of meat I eat. I’m going to try out your meatballs on my next meatless dinner night!? Just a reminder, don’t forget to add links to this week’s Fiesta Friday post, as well as Petra’s blog and my blog so you can be considered for features next week!? Thanks for sharing! Happy Fiesta Friday!!?

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  32. I love trying Asian inspired recipes at home. This looks amazing. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight Party. Pinned & shared.

  33. Happy Valentine Day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome talent with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  34. These look like the real deal and I’m sure they taste great too! Thanks for sharing with Funtastic Friday!

  35. Love this twist on meatballs. Thanks for sharing at the Monday Funday Party. – Emily

  36. Sauce variations: Ketsup, a jar of apricot preserves, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, Ground ginger or ginger paste, molasses, garlic fresh or powder

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  38. Lots of comments here but did ANYBODY actually make this recipe?
    I read the reviews before I try something new.
    While I’m here, I check out your recipes to see if anyone has actually made something.

  39. These are amazing!

    I’m hosting a brunch soon with a GF person – what would you suggest subbing for the farro this next time?

    Rating: 5
    • Hello, you could try quinoa or brown rice. You may need to alter the amount used because the consistency of both differ from the consistency of farro.