Vegetarian Meatballs

5 from 6 votes
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These crispy vegetarian meatballs with a refreshing garlic-mint yogurt sauce are an easy Mediterranean appetizer or main dish. Dip them in creamy sauce or serve them in warm tortillas for the perfect bite!

Vegetarian Meatballs arranged on an oval platter, with a white dipping sauce in a bowl.


Why I Love This Vegetarian Meatballs Recipe

Whether it’s a weeknight or special gathering, veggie meatballs with a golden breadcrumb coating are always a hit.

  • Freezer-friendly. Keep some in the freezer for last-minute appetizers or dinners.
  • Mediterranean-style. Simple seasonings and the garlic-mint sauce give these meatballs their Mediterranean flair.
  • Hearty. They’re loaded with potatoes, yellow onion, sweet carrots, and peas.
  • Versatile. Dip them in yogurt sauce or serve them in tortillas with more fresh veggies.
Ingredients for vegetarian meatballs.

What You’ll Need

The garlic-mint yogurt sauce adds a refreshing, creamy, and herby touch to each bite. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

For the Meatballs

  • Olive oil – Avocado, vegetable, corn, and canola oil work too.
  • Onion – Yellow or white are best.
  • Russet potatoes – They need to be peeled.
  • Carrots – Don’t worry if they’re not crisp.
  • Garlic – Feel free to use garlic paste.
  • Peas – Thaw them if they’re frozen peas.
  • Salt and Pepper – Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper are best.
  • Chili powder – You can use cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • Lemon juice – Reduce the amount by half if you use limes.
  • Corn flour – Use your favorite.
  • Breadcrumbs – Panko works too.
  • Oil – It’s for frying so it needs to be corn, canola, or vegetable oil.
  • Tortillas – Go for corn or flour.
  • Lettuce – Add your favorite kind or a salad mix.

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • Plain yogurt – It needs to be unsweetened.
  • Garlic – Avoid garlic powder because it’ll make the sauce grainy.
  • Salt – Use kosher salt.
  • Dried mint – Fresh mint works too.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – This is also referred to as “EVOO”. Avocado oil is a good swap.

How To Make Vegetarian Meatballs

With this recipe, creating delicious vegetarian meatballs is a breeze. Follow my simple steps, from cooking the veggies to frying the meatballs and preparing a savory yogurt sauce, for a great meal that’s sure to impress.

  1. Cook the veggies. Add the olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook them until softened. Stir in the potatoes and carrots. Cook for another 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and peas. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir well and sautée for another 3 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
  2. Prepare the mixture. Mix the lemon juice, corn flour, and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs with the veggies until well combined. Set it aside until completely cooled.
  3. Shape them. Use your hands to roll the veggie mixture into 15-20 meatballs. Chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll them. Press the chilled meatballs into the remaining breadcrumbs until completely coated.
  5. Fry them. Add the frying oil to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Lower one meatball at a time into the oil. You can fry 4-5 at a time. Fry them for 3 minutes, flip them, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove them from the oil. Set them on paper towel-lined plates to drain excess oil. Repeat for all the meatballs.
  6. Make the yogurt sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to the blender. Process it until smooth. Set it aside.
  7. Serve. Spread yogurt sauce on a flour tortilla or pita bread, followed by lettuce, meatballs, and anything else you like. Enjoy!
A hand holding up a veggie meatball with white sauce on the end of it.

Tips & Variations

  • Make them spicy. Chop up 1/4-1/2 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili and sautée it with the veggies for a kick of heat.
  • Check the portions. Use a small ice cream scoop to help you measure how much mixture you’re adding to each meatball. They must be more or less the same size to ensure even cooking times.
  • Swap the spices. Add 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning into the meatball mixture for a different flavor profile.
  • Prep ahead. Prepare and shape the meatballs a day in advance so all you have to do is fry them the next day.
  • Use leftovers. Chop up leftover Roasted Vegetables. Add them to the mixture or swap half of the fresh veggies for them.
  • Add legumes. Mash 1/2 cup cooked lentils or chickpeas and add it to the mixture for plant-based protein.
  • Make them cheesy. Mix in 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese or 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese for extra savoriness.
  • Test the oil. Drop a teaspoon of the meatball mixture into the oil. If it sizzles right away, the oil is ready for frying. If it sinks to the bottom with no sizzle, you need to let it heat for 1-2 more minutes.

Serving Suggestions

These crispy vegetarian meatballs double as an appetizer or main dish. I love them with a side of Tomato and Cucumber Salad or Bulgur Salad. My Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes and Stuffed Grape Leaves are other great options. For main dish ideas, go for my Air Fryer Salmon or Chicken Vesuvio.

Falafel in pita bread.

Proper Storage

  • Fridge: Store the meatballs and sauce in separate airtight containers. The meatballs will last for 3 to 5 days, and the sauce for up to 7 days.
  • Freezer: This only works for the meatballs before frying them. Spread them out on a large plate or baking sheet. Freeze them for 1-2 hours or until firm. Transfer them to a freezer-friendly bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and fry as usual.
  • To reheat them: Sprinkle the meatballs with 1/2 teaspoon water. Microwave for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat them in a pan over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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5 from 6 votes

Vegetarian Meatballs

This recipe for crispy vegetarian meatballs served with a creamy garlic-mint sauce, offers a simple yet delicious appetizer that doubles as a main course when nestled inside flour tortillas.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 16 Meatballs


Veggie Meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,, diced
  • 2 medium russet potatoes,, shredded
  • 2 large carrots,, shredded
  • 1 clove garlic,, minced
  • 14 ounces can of sweet peas,, rinsed and drained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons corn flour
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs, plus more for coating the veggie meatballs
  • ¼ cup oil for frying
  • flour tortillas or pita bread,, optional

Yogurt Sauce (optional)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic,, minced
  • salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mint
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  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the diced onion; cook for 2 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the shredded potatoes and carrots and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Mix in the garlic and peas. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder; continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the lemon juice, corn flour, and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs; set aside until the mixture is cooled.
  • Shape the veggie mixture into 15 to 20 meatballs and chill them in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
  • Heat the oil for frying.
  • Roll the balls in breadcrumbs and coat them on all sides.
  • Add them to the hot oil, 4 to 5 meatballs at a time. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, turn and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until nicely browned.
  • Drain on paper towels and repeat the process with the remaining veggie balls.

For the Yogurt Sauce:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse a few times, or just enough to mix it all together until smooth.
  • Spoon the yogurt sauce into a bowl. You could also spread the yogurt sauce on a pita or tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, and the veggie meatballs; roll and serve.
  • You can also skewer the meatballs and serve as an appetizer with the yogurt sauce on the side.


  • Serving These Veggie Meatballs. You could spread the yogurt sauce on a pita or tortilla and stuff it with lettuce, tomatoes, and veggie meatballs; roll them up and serve. You could also spoon the yogurt sauce into a bowl. Skewer the meatballs and serve them as an appetizer with the yogurt sauce on the side.
  • Storage. Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. You could also freeze the veggie meatballs before frying them.


Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1674IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Catalina says:

    I made your Vegetarian Meatballs last night, and I’m officially obsessed! They were so hearty and flavorful that I didn’t miss the meat at all.

    1. Elizabeta Micevska says:

      That’s fantastic to hear! I’m thrilled you loved the vegetarian meatballs and found them hearty and full of flavor. Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says:

    It is so good! I made this last night and my family really loves it!

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s great to hear! I am very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  3. Amanda says:

    These were so good and full of flavor. I cannot wait to have them again!

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m happy to hear you enjoyed them so much! Thank YOU! 🙂

  4. Sandra says:

    These veggie meatballs were really good! They’re perfect healthy appetizer! And the sauce was amazing!

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the veggie meatballs and loved the sauce too! They do make a perfect, healthy appetizer. Can’t wait for you to have them again! Thank YOU! 🙂

  5. Beth says:

    These are really good. I’ve been branching out and making more vegetarian recipes lately, so I whipped up some of these last night for dinner. They’re super tasty!

    1. Katerina says:

      Great to hear you enjoyed them! It’s awesome that you’re trying more vegetarian recipes. Thank YOU! 🙂

  6. Jesse B says:

    Absolutely a disaster. I guess she forgot to include egg so they don’t fall apart. Although they look crunchy on the outside, fact is, the inside is a mess. The taste is good but nothing to hold it all together.

  7. Olivia says:

    tried this and added them to my spaghetti bolognese…it was so good! Just wondering, would it be fine to leave the meatballs in the fridge overnight and fry them the day after that? 🙂

  8. gia p says:

    O my goodness, I tried these tonite and served it in a wrap (2pieces per wrap), Iade homemade wraps too, to go with these and added chopped cucumbers,chopped tomatoes,and chopped onions to the yogurt along with fresh grated garlic, and drizzled some tamarind and date chutney( which is available at any Indian grocery store, readymade bottles)………me and hubby were in heaven… ate it with some ketchup instead chutney and they loved it….
    Serving it again for lunch to my teen who comes home for lunch!!!! Thank you sooooooo much for this awesome, delishhhh recipe!!!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I’m so happy you all enjoyed them! These are by far my favorite “meatballs”. 🙂

  9. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    It looks so crisp! And that yogurt sauce? Yes please!