Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs4 min read
This vegetarian twist on the classic Swedish meatballs is a wonderful alternative that still hits all the flavor high-notes of the original. Meaty mushrooms and protein-rich lentils form the base of these meatless meatballs, which pair deliciously with creamy mashed potatoes, bright cucumber salad, and rich mushroom gravy.
Traditional Swedish lingonberry jam adds a sweet counterpoint to this savory dish. Lentils provide an excellent source of plant-based protein, as well as fiber, folate, and polyphenols that can boost heart health. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, studies have shown the benefits of eating plant-based meals, both for your health and the environment. This filling and tasty recipe is sure to convert even the most staunch carnivores in your life!
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 3 cups cooked green lentils
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- olive oil, to cook
- 5 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into large cubes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ – ½ cup milk (use regular milk or your favorite unsweetened plain non-dairy milk)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- 1 cup reserved cooked mushrooms
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
To Serve: Lingonberry jam & fresh chopped dill
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- To make the meatballs, first, cook the mushrooms. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the mushrooms, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to brown. Add the garlic, onion, and parsley, and cook for 2-3 more minutes until softened. Reserve 1 cup of the cooked mushroom mixture for making your gravy.
- In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the lentils, ½ cup of cooked mushroom mixture, the pepper, and salt. Blend for 1-2 minutes, until almost completely smooth, scraping down the sides if needed.
- Transfer the lentil mushroom mixture to a large bowl, and add the panko, eggs, cream cheese, and mustard. Work the mixture together until everything is smooth and combined.
- Using wet hands, roll the meatball mixture into 1 tablespoon size balls (using wet hands helps keep the meatballs smooth). Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until firm and slightly golden brown.
- While the meatballs bake, prepare the mashed potatoes, cucumbers, and gravy.
- Put the cut potatoes into a large pot, and cover with water by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring up to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until easily mashed. Drain, and return to the pot. Add the butter and milk, along with salt and pepper, and mash until smooth. Cover and keep warm.
- To make the cucumber salad, combine the sliced cucumber, salt, pepper, vinegar, and dill. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- To make the gravy, combine the reserved cooked mushrooms and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the thyme and flour, and stir for 1 minute to cook the flour. Add the vegetable broth, and stir 1-2 minutes until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
- To serve, plate the mashed potatoes with meatballs on top, and spoon over the gravy. Plate the cucumber salad alongside, with a spoon of lingonberry jam and a sprinkling of dill for garnish. Enjoy!