A Taste of Thanksgiving Meatballs from Mindful Vegan Meals

A Taste of Thanksgiving Meatballs from Mindful Vegan Meals


It is never to early start thinking about your Thanksgiving and holiday menus. I am so happy to be able to share this recipe by Maria Koutsogiannis’s, founder of FoodbyMaria, new cookbook, Mindful Vegan Meals

This recipe drew me to this book instantly! The depth of flavors and the heartiness of this dish is magical! It is perfect for your Thanksgiving or just any night of the week! 

​See below for the full recipe! 

A Taste of Thanksgiving Meatballs 

“There is really just something to be said about eating a “meat” ball but without the meat, and it still looking and tasting just as good as the “real” thing. I love eating this dish with pasta but feel free to swap that out and enjoy it with quinoa, barley or chickpeas. I also like to pair every dish with loads of greens, like salads or steamed vegetables, so enjoy this alongside a gorgeous green salad, green beans or broccoli. I find that if I pair my heavier pasta dishes with light, airy salads, my mind finds a comfortable safe space in that meal and I don’t freak out about the fact that I am eating a nutrient-dense dish that society has made out to seem like the enemy.” ~ Maria Koutsogiannis


  • 1 cup (25 g) cremini mushrooms, dehydrated
  • 2 tsp (5 g) onion powder
  • 2 tbsp (34 g) sea salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) dried sage
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) parsley
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) basil
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) celery seasoning
  • 1 tbsp (13 g) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • Dash of Worcestershire (there are vegan brands on the market; I use Wizard)


  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil + more for cooking
  • 1/4 cup (37 g) small sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp (35 g) no-beef base
  • 1 cup (84 g) rolled oats, divided
  • 1½ cups (228 g) white kidney beans, drained
  • ½ cup (30 g) fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup (50 g) walnuts
  • Juice of ½ a lemon


  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups (192 g) cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (120 ml) red wine
  • 3 cups (720 ml) coconut cream or almond milk (if you prefer a lighter consistency)
  • 2 tbsp (36 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp (16 g) arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Lemon zest

The no-beef base is optional, but highly recommended as this stuff is amazing! It’s perfect for soups, stews, potpies, meatloaves and more. Note that you must use dehydrated mushrooms; fresh won’t work! Place all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until well-combined. Put in a jar and store in the refrigerator for future meals. This base will last you a few months in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed container.

For the meatballs, in a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil for 30 seconds. Lower the heat and add the onion, garlic and no-beef base and sauté until translucent and slightly golden. While the onions are cooking, add ½ cup (42 g) of oats to a food processor and pulse until they develop a flour-like consistency. Then add the beans, cilantro, walnuts, lemon juice and the onion mixture (excluding the remaining ½ cup [42 g] of oats), and blend until the mixture is well-combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the remaining ½ cup (42 g) of oats and stir until well-combined. Using a spoon, create tiny “meatballs,” making sure to roll them really nice and tight, so they stay in good form! You should have about 24 meatballs. Cook them in the pan you previously used to cook the onions, using as much oil as you desire (I use around 3 tablespoons [45 ml]). Cook the meatballs over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, then put a lid on, turn it to low and give it a shake every couple of minutes.

For the sauce, sauté the olive oil, onion and garlic in the same way you did previously for the meatballs, on medium-to-low heat, until translucent and slightly golden. Add the mushrooms and let them cook down for at least 10 minutes. When your mushroom and onion mixture has reduced by half or more, add the red wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook down, without a lid, until all of the liquid has absorbed. When the liquid has absorbed into the mushroom mixture, add the coconut cream or almond milk and reduce heat to low. Add the nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder, vinegar and salt and pepper, stirring constantly until you notice a thicker consistency developing. The longer you cook down the arrowroot, the less you will be able to taste it in the sauce. Add the sauce to a blender (I use my Vitamix), and blend until completely smooth and creamy.

Add the sauce to the pan with the meatballs and stir until hot throughout. Garnish with parsley, walnuts and lemon zest. Enjoy immediately and be prepared to fight for these bad boys!

Reprinted with permission from Mindful Vegan Meals by Maria Koutsogiannis, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Maria Koutsogiannis and Chris Amat.

(Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book. I was not paid to write this post and all the opinions are truly my own.)

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