Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs

74 reviews / 4.7 average

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs are FOR REAL! Meatballs made with wild rice and mushrooms, served with savory brown gravy. Easy and yummy!

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs are here and they are so savory, luscious, meatless, and scary-delicious.

Swedish meatballs, as described by Wiki, are just meatballs with a brown gravy. This is not news to me. We live in Minnesota. I grew up eating Swedish meatballs. Bjork love-love-loves them (yes, his name is Bjork) and he hardcore campaigns for a gravy-loaded meatball splurge every time we’re at IKEA. So to that Wiki description, I say: yes.

I also say: define meatballs, exactly. Because I think I might have just made meatballs … with wild rice and mushrooms… without meat. I rolled them and baked them and put them in brown gravy. They are extra-yummy. Does that count? Am I in?

Okay, here’s what we have going on in those little non-traditional veg balls of joy:

  • wild rice (YAS)
  • mushrooms
  • breadcrumbs
  • yogurt or mayo to keep em from drying out
  • eggs to hold it all together

How To Make Our Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs:

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs in pan with gravy.

Hello, little tasty bites of goodness. And then you go and put them in a pan of brown gravy-like business? Things are about to heat up.

Here’s your VERY LOW KEY meatball process.

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs ingredients in bowl.
Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs ingredients mixed in bowl.
Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs rolled on baking sheet.

That’s it. Takes maybe 15 minutes, start to finish, especially if you use pre-cooked wild rice, which you should, because ain’t nobody got time to sit around and wait for wild rice to cook when you are hangry for vegetarian Swedish meatballs. I described some pre-cooked wild rice options in the recipe notes and you should take advantage.

For those of you taking the POY Sugar Free January challenge with us, you are in luck: it’s very easy to sub whole wheat breadcrumbs and whole wheat flour so you can get away with zero refined grains here. The gravy in the pictures is made with whole wheat flour – you can see it’s a little less smooth than a traditional gravy, but I’ve always been a fan of interesting food textures, so that is of zero concern for me when I’m dealing with all the flavors of Swedish meatball heaven.

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs in pan with gravy.

Can I declare 2018 the year of the Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs? WHO EVEN KNEW. ♡

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Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs in pan with gravy.

Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-ish servings (6 meatballs per person) 1x


Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs are FOR REAL! These little meatballs are made with wild rice and mushrooms and they are served up in a simple and savory brown gravy. Yum!



Vegetarian Meatballs:

  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 heaping cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil (optional)

For the Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and/or garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 425. Mix the meatball ingredients together. Roll into balls (1-2 tablespoons each) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm when you press them.
  2. Gravy: Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and flour. Let it bubble for a few minutes to remove any floury taste. Slowly add broth, whisking after each addition, to make a smooth sauce. Stir in sour cream. Adjust consistency to taste with more broth. Season to taste.
  3. That’s all! Place your cooked meatballs in the gravy and get them all nice and saucy. Serve with potatoes, salad, or roasted veggies.


Gluten Free: Gluten free flour and almond flour are both great substitutes for the breadcrumbs. However, almond flour does NOT work for the gravy – gluten free flour should be used for that.

Pre-cooked wild rice will save you a lot of time. I used a can of wild rice (!!) for one of my test batches and was great – tasted awesome and it saved me a lot of time. The canned wild rice I bought contained just cooked wild rice, water, and salt – I drained the water before using it. Whether you cook your own wild rice or use pre-cooked, in terms of flavor I’d STRONGLY recommend 100% wild rice as opposed to a “wild rice blend” which is usually made up of primarily white or brown rice with only a few sad and lonely specks of wild rice.

If you don’t want to bake, these meatballs can also be pan-friend until firm.

If you’re looking to cut back on refined sugars, whole wheat flour works as well.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Swedish

Keywords: vegetarian swedish meatballs, wild rice swedish meatballs, mushroom meatballs


One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our coziest comfort food recipes page. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Your blog is my lifesaver. My teenage daughter has been a vegetarian for a year. But this really means that she’s simply been a carbatarian. The way she does it (sans vegetables) is super unhealthy and is taking it’s toll on her. I’ve been integrating your food lately and she loves it.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I just hate when I make a recipe when it is scored a 4.9 and it’s a 1/5 for me. Will not remake this.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These look fantastic! But I hate mushrooms; is there anything I could sub in place of those? Thanks!!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Kelly, I’ve had fantastic luck with tempeh – just run it through a box grater and you have ground “beef” that tastes fantastic. For this recipe though, it may need an egg to hold it all together, tempeh will be drier than mushrooms.

      Also fantastic in lasagna.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Carolyn…do you grate the tempeh straight from package or steam it first? I made it today with mushrooms but may try next with tempeh.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          These were delicious. I don’t like mushrooms, but gave it a go for a holiday meal. Glad I did. Add some lingonberries and you’re set!

          I was really worried they would crumble, as they didn’t stick together well when I formed them, but they baked up nicely.

          My carnivore partner ate seconds. I may make them again tomorrow!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I tried it with tempeh, I boiled it for 10 minutes before grating it and it worked perfectly (did not add an extra egg)
      Tasted very good 🙂

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        We haven’t tried using canned mushrooms, but we think they will work! Just make sure you drain them well. Enjoy, Tony!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve really been into adding mushrooms instead of meat – seriously so GOOD! I’m excited to try this one!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      These sound amazing! Is there anyway to make them dairy free so I can have them?! 😊

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I made DF – used DF yogurt (or could use Mayo), some DF butter + some olive oil, & the sour cream recipe below:
        1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight) unroasted, unsalted
        1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
        1 Tbl lemon juice or juice of 1 small lemon
        1/8 cup water
        salt to taste
        1. Soak the cashews overnight. (in bowl, top with 1 inch water, cover, put in frig overnight)
        2. Drain & rinse them the next day.
        3. Add the cashews to a blender & blend for 1 minute.
        4. Add in the lemon juice & vinegar & keep blending.
        5. Lastly, add in the water & salt. Blend until it’s smooth.
        If the consistency is a little thick, you can add a little more water until you reach a desired consistency.
        I got this sour cream recipe from

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These look great! Thank you for posting so many vegetarian recipes that don’t call for large amounts of beans & lentils. I love eating meatless several days a week, but can’t digest beans very well. Can’t wait to try them.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum! I love Swedish meatballs! We are also on a 13 year streak of not fighting in Ikea #couplegoals (can I be my own #couplegoals?). These look so good! I love the idea of non-soy product meatless meat substitute. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tofu scramble, but I don’t love the idea of soy products too often. Can’t wait to try this one!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These look amazing! One question, you mention eggs in the post but I don’t see them listed in the recipe ingredients? Is it just 2 eggs?

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    1. I am participating in sugar-free January and cannot believe that I have even made it this long!!
    2. Being in MN, I am loving all of your wild rice recipes. I am making your instant pot wild rice soup tonight and I can hardly wait to go home and eat it!
    3. Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs?? Genius, cannot wait to make these also!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You mentioned “See Notes” next to the bread crumbs, but see no reference. Anything we need to know?

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Could the meatballs be made the same without the mushrooms and adding no replacement for it?!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You show eggs in your photos but there are none listed in the ingredients list??

    Help please!!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I always make homemade Swedish meatballs (my husband is Swedish), which contain 3 meats (his mothers recipe). I love them- they are WAAAY better than Ikea market meatballs, and hands down above any meatball in the freezer section at a grocer. But, my heavens, how nice to have a meatfree option once in a while. What do you think about using Red Quinoa in place of the wild rice? I have a bag in the freezer that needs to be used.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Do you think these little balls of goodness would hold up in a tomato sauce? Im not a huge fan of gravy but i have have been searching for a vegetarian option for traditional meatballs. Thay sound amazing!!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi there…the recipe is for Swedish meatballs! Different flavors from Italian in tomato sauce. Gardein makes a wonderful veggie meatball that is incredible in medditeran sauces.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    hi! awesome recipe. I was wondering if there is any paleo/no carb substitute for the breadcrumbs or flour 🙁 sorry for being that person

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Try flax meal instead of breadcrumbs, and maybe an almond flour? The nuttiness of the almond flour might be nice with the mushrooms 🙂

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Mmmmm! Definitely going to try this soon, sounds delicious! I’m not a vegetarian, but I am trying to only eat meat about once or twice a week, so all of your vegetarian recipes that get thrown in are so appreciated!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    No lie…these look amazing! I am definitely going to try this. Just by the pictures, this one might be one of my favorite recipes you post yet 🙂