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Vegan Swedish Meatballs in a Cream Sauce in pan

IKEA-Style Vegan Swedish Meatballs

These IKEA-style vegan Swedish meatballs would be a fantastic main course over mashed potatoes or a saucy finger food that can be eaten with toothpicks. The gravy is inspired by my buddy Jessica Murnane’s book One Part Plant.


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • Sea salt
  • large eggs or two flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal + 1/4 cup water)
  • teaspoon  smoked paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices Little Northern Bakehouse wide loaf bread
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar + 1/2 cup vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 5.4 ounces 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter see note


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a medium pot, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and rapidly simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente. Drain in a fine mesh sieve and shake out any excess water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs or flax eggs, paprika, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt until combined.
  • Add the bread to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Transfer the crumbs to the mixing bowl with the egg mixture. You should have approx. 1 1/2 cups of fluffy crumbs.
  • In a medium skillet or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots. Sauté until the veggies are tender and beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the mushroom mixture to the food processor (it’s ok if some scraps stay behind in the pan). Pulse until the mushrooms are finely chopped. Remove 3 tablespoons of the mushrooms mixture and return to the pan.
  • Add the cooked lentils to the food processor bowl with the remaining mushrooms. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and mix until well combined.
  • With clean, greased hands, form the lentil mixture into 1-inch balls (you can use a cookie scoop to portion, about 2 tablespoons in each). You will need to squeeze and roll the balls to make sure they are tightly packed. Arrange the balls on two parchment-lined baking sheets ½ inch apart. You should get about 16 meatballs. Bake for 25 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • While the meatballs bake, make the gravy: return the mushroom pan to medium-high heat. Once sizzling, add the wine and scrape up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine until half has evaporated, then pour in the vegetable stock, coconut cream, tamari, and cashew butter, whisking to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking throughout, until the gravy can coat the back of a spoon.
  • Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper as necessary.
  • When the meatballs are finished baking, toss them with the gravy and serve immediately as an appetizer with toothpicks or over mashed potatoes as a main course.


Note: If you don’t have cashew butter, you can soak 1/4 cup cashews overnight. Puree with the 1 cup vegetable broth in a high-speed blender until creamy and proceed with the recipe.