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.
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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, 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.
Let’s just talk about this sauce for a second.
It’s 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 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 noodles or rice or mashed potatoes or heck, just eat it on it’s 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!
What You’ll Need
So we’ve already broached the meatballs subject. You’ll need some vegan meatballs.
This gravy recipe makes 4 cups, so you can use a lot of meatballs, or not so many if you just like it extra saucy. You could also freeze extra sauce for later! Thin it out with some water over the stovetop after thawing it.
But this is different. This is Swedish meatballs gravy and it is creamy and delicious.
Though traditionally made with a roux (butter + flour), my method is a bit different. You’ll see, but yeah--it’s different but I like to think it’s a bit easier and still delicious.
So, it starts with vegetable broth. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon Roasted Vegetable Base--which you just mix with hot water.
The Better Than Bouillon brand 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.
For a lot of flavor, I added some nutritional yeast, a splash of reduced sodium gluten-free tamari (substitute soy sauce if not gluten-free, or No Soy if soy-free), a bit of Dijon mustard, some black pepper, and lingonberry jam (more on this in a sec).
You don’t need to put the jam IN the gravy, 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, 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.
Finally, to thicken it up and give it a richness, I mixed arrowroot powder (or substitute cornstarch just as easily) with canned coconut milk. YUM.
Instead of coconut milk you can use any unsweetened non-dairy milk from the refrigerator section, but the coconut milk adds a lovely creamy richness to the gravy and I cannot recommend it enough.
Oh, and for the vegan Swedish meatballs pictured, I’ve served it over eggless egg noodles. If you’re confused, don’t worry, so am I.
Walmart of all places sells Egg-Free Wide Ribbon Pasta. Which is basically eggless egg-noodle style pasta. Crazy. Can’t find it anywhere else, just Walmart.
You can also use any other type of pasta you like. Or serve it over rice. Or mashed potatoes. Or mashed cauliflower. Or whatever you like!
Tips for Making Delicious Vegan Swedish Meatballs
- If serving this over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes, get that going first. The sauce part is actually pretty fast!
- To a large, wide pot (to simmer your meatballs), add your vegetable broth, half of the canned coconut milk, nutritional yeast, reduced sodium gluten-free tamari, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and lingonberry jam if you want it *in* the sauce. Whisk everything together and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Whisk together the remaining coconut milk and the arrowroot powder / 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.
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)!
- Vegan Stew with Dumplings
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Hamburger Helper
- Chinese Curry
- 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!