Chef John’s Meatless Meatballs

These were easy to make (although they do take at least 4 hours to make). They were good, but I liked these better. My 8 year old hates mushrooms, but he said these meatballs were okay. This recipe gave me about 12 meatballs.

rating: 8

Chef John’s Meatless Meatballs
(All Recipes magazine, Feb./March 2015)

serves 9


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 ounce very finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, packed
2 eggs, divided
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch dried oregano
3 cups pasta sauce
1 tablespoon very finely shredded
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, or to taste


1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to the hot oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook and stir until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Stir butter into mushrooms, reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir mushrooms until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir onion into mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir garlic into mushroom mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
3. Mix oats into mushroom mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently stir 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into mixture. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1 egg; season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix together with a fork until crumbly. Stir in remaining 1 egg. Mixture should hold together when pressed.
4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. For best flavor and texture, refrigerate overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

photo (14)

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