Grandma’s Meatless Ball Recipe {One of My Favorites}

I come from several generations of vegetarians.  Until the last 15 years that was REALLY weird.

Yep, I was the teenage girl at Wendy’s ordering a burger without the burger.

Even though my family and I do eat meat, nostalgic comfort food remains meatless for me. Today I am sharing one of my very favorite recipes.  It comes from my grandma and my mom still makes it for family gatherings today.

Grandmas Meatless Ball Recipe on Kids Activities Blog
Let’s make a yummy meatless dish!

Now that I have sampled many of the meated foods that vegetarian food tries to mimic, I truly believe that these veggie versions stand on their own.  If you try this recipe, don’t think of it as meatballs, but as a completely different food that you and your family can enjoy.

Grandma’s Meatless Ball Recipe ingredients

Meatless Ball Recipe Ingredients featured on Kids Activities Blog
Grab your ingredients!
  • 1 cup of nuts {I use pecans}
  • 1 cup Special K breakfast cereal
  • 1 cup Wheaties breakfast cereal
  • 5 slices of Whole Wheat bread
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 3/4 cup grated Cheddar Cheese {I like sharp}
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 46 oz. jar Spicy Vegetable Juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley

How to make Meatless Balls recipe

Step 1

Thoroughly chop nuts. We like ours very fine. Just stop it before you end up making pecan butter!

Step 2

Fully grind the breakfast cereals into crumbs. It is OK if there are still some flake-like parts.

Step 3

Make breadcrumbs out of the 5 slices of Whole Wheat bread. If you have dense or dry bread, then start with 3-4 slices. I used commercially popular whole wheat bread that was very soft with thin slices.

Step 4

Finely chop the onion & leek.

These first 4 steps use a food processor. Then dump each chopped/ground ingredient into a large mixing bowl.

Step 5

Add the 2 kinds of cheese and 5 eggs to the chopped ingredients.

Meatless ball recipe mixing ingredients - Kids Activities Blog
These are now ready to be mixed!

Step 6

Mix with a large wooden spoon {or your hands}.  Don’t over-mix or it will be hard to form into balls.

Let’s talk texture here:  If you can easily create a palm-sized ball with the mixture that doesn’t go immediately flat, then you have exactly the right texture.  If it is too wet then add some additional bread crumbs or cereal crumbs.  If it is too dry, then add an additional egg.

Meatless Ball Recipe frying and baking - Kids Activities Blog
These meatless balls are ready to be eaten.

Step 7

Make a meatless ball and then drop immediately into pre-heated oil on high or medium-high. Continue making and dropping meatless balls into the oil until the pan is full. Use tongs to turn over the meatless ball – just make sure that it is lightly brown on the outside. If they are sticking on the bottom, use a spatula to gently dislodge. They usually cook for about 4 minutes total. Drain on paper towels.

Step 8

Place all the fried meatless balls in a baking pan with a cover {or use aluminum foil on a coverless dish}.  Pour the jar of Spicy Vegetable Juice over the meatless balls trying to nearly cover all the meatless balls.

Step 9

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hr.

How our meatless balls always turn out

I’ve been having this since I was a little girl, and I would say this is really good comfort food for me. The savory smell invites everyone to just dine and enjoy the dish! The good news is that this is meatless balls recipe can be left in the oven for a longer period of time if the temperature is decreased. It also stores well and can be reheated easily. (But usually we don’t reach the reheating part because my family finishes it in just about 15 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings

Grandma's Meatless Ball Recipe

Grandmas Meatless Ball Recipe on Kids Activities Blog

This is my grandma's very own meatless balls recipe that is just so good. If your family is transitioning from meat to less meat or no meat diet, this recipe is so perfect for you!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of nuts {I use pecans}
  • 1 cup Special K breakfast cereal
  • 1 cup Wheaties breakfast cereal
  • 5 slices of Whole Wheat bread
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 3/4 cup grated Cheddar Cheese {I like sharp}
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 46 oz. jar Spicy Vegetable Juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

    1. Please note that the first 4 steps can be done with a food processor. Take your nuts and chop them finely.
    2. Grind the breakfast cereals into crumbs. Bits of flakes are okay to have too.
    3. Make breadcrumbs out of the 5 slices of Whole Wheat bread.
    4. Chop the onion & leek finely. Put all the chopped ingredients into a big bowl.
    5. Add cheese and 5 eggs into the mixture.
    6. Mix with a large wooden spoon {or your hands}. Be sure to not overmix it to avoid having hard balls.
    7. Form the balls from the mixture and drop them into a pre-heated oil on medium-high heat. Fry them for around 3-4 minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Continue doing this process until all of the mixtures are cooked. Drain on paper towels.
    8. Put the fried meatless balls in a baking pan and cover them with tin foil.
    9. Pour the jar of Spicy Vegetable Juice over the meatless balls nearly covering all the balls.
    10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes – 1 hr. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Check your mixture's texture. If you can form the balls easily without them getting deformed, you're good. If it's too wet, add some bread or cereal crumbs, if it's too dry, add an additional egg.

Have you tried my grandma’s awesome meatless balls recipe? How was it?

This article has been updated and was originally sponsored.

12 Comments

  1. Christina says:

    This looks so great! I can’t wait to try with my family. I am always looking for vegetarian recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh so glad! We love them.

  3. oooo! Those look good too. They are similar to a recipe we make – I can’t wait to try!

  4. Thanks! I hope you can try them.

  5. I’m fascinated by this! I need to try them now, just to know how they taste. Thanks, Holly! (we just won’t mention the whole “meatless” part to my carnivorous family!)

  6. It would be interesting to see if they miss the meat. The texture is different than a traditional meat ball, which is why it seems to me like an entirely different food :).

  7. These look great and the recipe just in time for my vegetarian BIL visiting this w/e but as a reader in the UK what would be the equivalent of Wheaties? TIA

  8. Any flake cereal works that isn’t too sweet. You can double the Special K or increase the bread crumbs as well if you can’t find something like Wheaties.

  9. Hi Holly,

    As I was checking out pics of all the foods I would like to try, I was particularly delighted to see your meatless balls….beautiful display of healthy eating. I am going to surprise my daughters with these meatless balls this week….I can hear them now, “cool”!

    Belinda

  10. Oh I am so glad!!! Good luck with it. They really have a lot of leeway in how to make them so don’t worry if things don’t look exactly like mine at each step.

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