vegan meatballs

Vegan Swedish meatballs everyone will love you to make at home

Swedish Meatballs aka Vegan Burgers

As with most things in the Life Diet Health kitchen, these started out without a clue what they would become! After tasting the diced vegetables as they cooked, I knew with that wonderful flavour they could easily become something much greater than the bolognese I had planned. So my dinner plans went out the window and there was the usual trial and error to get the textures and flavours just right. A few more tweaks and these were perfect. Now, it is time to share!

vegan meatballs
Vegan meatballs by Jason Leung on Unsplash

The Meatball Recipe

This is one of my new favourite recipes! I have made these a few times, using different lentils, and the outcome is still great. Initially I used green lentils, but I have also tried black and red which work by slightly adjusting the water content. The other ingredients include onions, aubergine and mushrooms, with a load of herbs, all bound together with some oats. This recipe is a little more time consuming than others, but only because you need to chop everything nice and small. Once all the flavours and ingredients are combined, the result is a meaty textured ball of umami.

Vegan Swedish meatballs
Course: main
Keyword: meatballs, swedish meatballs, vegan meatballs, veggie meatballs
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • splash of oil of choice
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 giant mushrooms diced (or 5-6 medium sized)
  • 1 medium aubergine diced
  • 1/2 whole garlic diced (or 2-3 cloves)
  • 100 g lentils (green, black or red)
  • 500-600 ml water
  • 1 small handful of fresh sage leaves finely chopped (or an extra 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • *pinch of salt to taste (as desired)
  • 100 g oats
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion. Cook for a couple of minutes until translucent, then add the mushrooms and aubergine. Allow to cook through, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and mix in.

  2. Rinse the lentils in a sieve then add to the pan. Stir in and cook for a couple of minutes, before adding 500ml of the water. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and leave for 20 minutes.

  3. Regularly check the pan to ensure there is still liquid, add the extra 100ml if needed. If there is any foam, scoop this out. Check the lentils are soft, then add all of the hearbs and seasonings. Mix through well, then taste test.

  4. Add the oats to the pan and mix in thoroughly. The mixture should form into meatballs (or small patties) and stick together well. Make your desired shapes and set aside.

  5. Your choice how to cook these. Shallow fry in a non-stick pan. Bake in a medium oven for 20-25 minutes, or start in the pan to get colour, then move to the oven. Alternatively, cook in the air fryer for 10-15 minutes.

  6. Serve & Enjoy!

What do I need?

You can play with these meatballs and make them round, flat, quenelle shaped, sausage shaped, bitesize or burger bun size! You can make these easy by roughly making spoonfuls, or complicated getting them all symmetrical and perfectly identically formed!

However you choose to shape these, if you are new to cooking or your kitchen needs a refresh, here are a few useful things for this recipe. I receive a small commission if you click and purchase through these links (this is at no additional cost to you)!


You can serve these in many different ways! Stuff them in some pitta bread to make a tasty sandwich with a dollop of fresh houmous and some homemade coleslaw. Serve them up with some rice and roasted vegetables to make a veggie kofte type meal. Serve them over pasta with a tomato based sauce, or even like real Swedish meatballs with a creamy gravy sauce. Eat them hot, eat them cold, add your favourite sauce, eat them plain, dunk them in barbecue relish, or drizzle them with a minted yogurt dressing.


These are great to make ahead as they store very well, either in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months. If freezing, portion or separate with greaseproof paper, label and freeze.


I really hope you make these delicious Swedish meatballs and wonder how you coped without them! I love seeing your adaptions and interpretations of my recipes and I’d love to see your photos of these! What are you going to serve yours with?

If you do make these or any of my other recipes, please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or Twitter.

Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

I hope to speak with you soon

Laurena x

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