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  • Tim Sinnaeve

Vegan Swedish Lentil Balls

Growing up and enjoying my Great Grandmother's Swedish Meatballs (Kottbullar) was always something the family looked forward to. Having transitioned to a whole food plant-based lifestyle, the traditional Kottbullar was no longer an option. Trying different recipes, I came across a recipe by Sam Turnbull, a vegan recipe blogger. Her recipe closely resembles the traditional Kottbullar, in texture and taste, that my great grandmother use to make.

The best Vegan Kottbullar I've cooked.

Vegan Swedish Lentil Balls

Lentil Ball Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked lentils ((I used canned))

  • 1/2 yellow onion (quartered)

  • ½ cup walnuts

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)

  • 1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten ((there is no substitution for this))

  • 6 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 tablespoon light oil (for frying)

Gravy Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos (or use tamari or traditional soy sauce)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


1. To a food processor add the lentils, onion, walnuts, and garlic and pulse until you reach a slightly crumbly paste-like texture. Add the vital wheat gluten, water, soy sauce, parsley, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg and pulse, stopping to scrape the sides as needed until combined into a crumbly dough.

2. Pinch off some of the dough and roll into a vegan meatball about the size of a golf ball and set aside on a plate or dish. Repeat until all the dough is used up and you have made about 18 meatballs.

3. Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the meatballs to the steamer basket, cover and steam for 25 - 30 minutes. Once the steaming is done, you can either prepare them right away (see below), or allow them to cool completely and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze them for later. *Note, I always find seitan has the best texture if chilled in the fridge overnight, but it is still great freshly made.

4. In a large skillet or non-stick frying pan, heat the light oil over medium-high heat. Fry the lentil balls until golden brown and heated through, 5 - 10 minutes. You are only browning the lentil balls in this step.

5. Add all the gravy ingredients to a medium-sized pot, mix together, and bring to a boil. Whisk over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, until the gravy thickens. Once it reaches desired consistency, pour over lentil balls and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

6. Serve and enjoy.


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