Creamy, rich, and flavorful, Vegan Swedish Meatballs is an easy-to-make dish you’ll be proud to serve family, guests, or enjoy all to yourself. My easy vegan meatballs are slathered in a lush and heavenly gravy and served with traditional lingonberry jam.
This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.
Hey Internet, so I just published this recipe for vegan meatballs and the whole reason I did that is because I was craving Swedish meatballs.
It’s funny because I LOVED Swedish meatballs growing up but my mom or dad never made them. I’ve had them from restaurants, I’ve had them from IKEA, and I’ve even had them as frozen dinners!
And, obviously, I could have gone to the store and bought vegan meatballs. There are many delicious brands out there. Even Aldi and Trader Joe’s have their own vegan meatballs.
But they do all have oil and I prefer not to eat it. It upsets my stomach and it’s not great for health, so I prefer not to eat oil at home.
So I made my own (they happen to be gluten-free too!), and they’re so fast, delicious, and easy to make that I am now working them into my regular meal prep schedule so I always have some on hand in my freezer. It’s great for my husband (who works at home) to have lunch options when I work, well, not at home.
Anyway, I digress. Whether you use homemade vegan meatballs or store-bought, these vegan Swedish meatballs are SO DANG GOOD.
It's funny, actually the first time I posted this recipe, I got so many people jumping down my throat because I served it on top of pasta.
Apparently the only acceptable starch to serve vegan Swedish meatballs with is mashed potatoes. LOL anything will work!!
I will say it was pretty amazing with the mashed potatoes... especially the gravy.
Why This Recipe Works
This vegan Swedish meatballs recipe is so easy. Once you have the vegan meatballs, all you do is add some veggie broth, reduced sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari if needed), salt, pepper, full fat canned coconut milk (it won't taste like coconut!), and a little of the lingonberry jam (clutch) to a pan, bring it to a boil, add a slurry of cornstarch or arrowroot powder, stir until thick, add your meatballs, and serve!
There's enough gravy for 24-26 meatballs here, so either you can store some for later or have enough for 4-6 generous servings.
Let’s just talk about this gravy for a second. It’s SUCH a creamy gravy. Let that roll around your mouth for a second.
Creamy and gravy--both great things in my book. Put them together? DANG.
This super flavorful but quick vegan gravy can be thrown together just over 5 minutes, and then you can add your vegan meatballs and simmer them in it for a few more minutes to infuse all that delicious goodness.
Then serve the whole thing over vegan mashed potatoes noodles or rice or heck, just eat it on its own because it’s THAT GOOD.
Can you tell I love this gravy? I was slurping it right out of the pot with the wooden cooking spoon while my husband was taking all the photos. Sorry hubs, it was goooood.
Anyway, enough blabbering, let’s get to cooking!
Never miss a recipe! Join my mailing list to receive a free copy of my e-book on my go-to plant based recipes as well as vegan tips, NEW recipes straight to your inbox. I promise to NEVER spam you or sell your information.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- 3 cups vegetable broth: Use your favorite vegetable broth here. I love Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base mixed with hot water. You can control the saltiness by reducing the amount of concentrate you use, if desired. It is much more economical than prepared broth, has better flavor in my personal opinion, and lasts forever in the fridge. However, vegetable bouillon cubes or prepared vegetable broth will also work.
- ¾ cup full fat canned coconut milk: Shake up the can before you use it! The coconut milk makes the vegan Swedish meatballs gravy very rich and thick so I highly recommend this. It won't taste like coconut, I promise (just use a good brand of coconut milk like Nature's Harvest or Thai Kitchen). If you can't have coconut, use plant based heavy cream, unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy creamer, or a homemade thick nut milk. Carton non-dairy milk is too thin wand watered down for this recipe.
- 2-3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce: This adds a lot of nice flavor. Feel free to use gluten-free tamari if you are gluten-free or serving someone who can't have gluten.
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard: Just a little also adds nice flavor!
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast: Or as vegans affectionally call it "nooch." This will add a savory nutty flavor to the vegan Swedish meatballs.
- Salt + pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons lingonberry jam + more for serving: You don’t need to put the jam IN the gravy like I do, you can serve it on the side if you like. I’m obsessed, so I put it in the gravy AND on the side. I just love that sweet, tart, and savory flavor combo. Lingonberry jam is a traditional jam served with Swedish meatballs. It’s delicious, and I found some at my regional chain grocery store, but you can also buy it online. If you can’t find any, vegan cranberry sauce or raspberry jam will also work well. I’d recommend buying the less-sugar varieties, as lingonberry jam is quite tart and that’s why it goes so well with the savory gravy.
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch: To thicken it up and give it a richness, I mixed arrowroot powder (or substitute cornstarch just as easily) with a bit of water.
- 20-25 vegan meatballs: I used my homemade (gluten-free) vegan meatballs for this recipe, but please use your favorite plant based meatballs. Store bought are fine for this. Just make sure that if the packaging says to brown the meatballs first, definitely do that in a separate pan and then add them. My vegan meatballs were fully cooked (baked) before I added them to my gravy.
- Vegan mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice and more lingonberries for serving
- Chopped parsley for garnish
Tips for Making Delicious Vegan Swedish Meatballs
- If serving this over vegan mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice, get that going first. The sauce part is actually pretty fast!
- To a large, wide pot (to simmer your meatballs), add your vegetable broth, canned coconut milk, nutritional yeast, reduced sodium gluten-free tamari, Dijon mustard, salt + black pepper, and lingonberry jam if you want it *in* the gravy. Whisk everything together and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Whisk together the water and the arrowroot powder or cornstarch in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Pour it into the boiling liquid and whisk well for about a minute. Turn the heat down to medium and let it continue to thicken for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the vegan meatballs in a single layer, turn the heat down by just a notch, and allow them to simmer for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over drained noodles, cooked rice, mashed potatoes or just on its own with an extra spoonful or two of the gravy, a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a few spoonfuls of lingonberry jam.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. The sauce keeps great too, so if you have leftover sauce you could freeze it flat in a freezer bag on a pan, then store it easily, or throw it in a freezer-safe jar.
Did you know I have books? Visit my shop page to see the various e-books I have available. My best seller is Plant-Based Jewish Recipes, and I’m in the middle of a second volume of that as well as a new book in the works that focuses on one of my favorite gluten-free vegan proteins.
Frequently Asked Questions
I never pretend that my recipes are authentic. I didn't use a roux because I felt this was an easier method. You're welcome to use the roux method instead if you prefer.
Yes, the gravy itself can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container. In the refrigerator, you can store the leftovers for up to 4 days.
That's OK! Feel free to substitute your favorite heavy and thick non-dairy milk substitute. A homemade nut milk that's thick will work quite nicely, as will store bought heavy cream or an unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy creamer. Just don't use carton non-dairy milk as I feel it is too thin for this recipe.
More Quick and Cozy Vegan Dinners
Like quick, but cozy? It’s all about feeling warm on those chilly fall and winter nights in my household, but we also just don’t have a lot of time especially on weeknights.
That’s when I turn to my arsenal of quick vegan meals. Here are some of my favorites right now (i.e. super cozy and comforting) just like these vegan Swedish meatballs!
- Vegan Stew with Dumplings
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- One Pot Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Vegan Hamburger Helper
- Vegetable Stew with Vegan Dumplings
- Vegan Goulash
- Vegan Spinach Noodle Kugel
- Chickpea Florentine
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. It’s rare that we both lick the bowl.
These vegan Swedish meatballs are:
- And perfect for a family dinner or a holiday meal. It’s a crowd pleaser!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!