Vegan Recipe - Spaghetti and Wheatballs

shared by Laura Theodore
  • Vegan Recipe - Spaghetti and Wheatballs

    • Prep Time : 20 minutes
    • Cook Time : 60 minutes
    • Servings : 12 - 14 wheatballs (3-4 servings)
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    This easy vegan recipe was shared by P.B.S. vegan chef Laura Theodore, The Jazzy Vegetarian, from her recent cookbook Jazzy Vegetarian Classics!  Laura says, “Easy enough to make for a special weeknight meal, but fancy enough to serve when hosting a casual dinner party, this dish will become a staple in your house.” 

    When Laura was asked for her advice for folks who are thinking of giving up meat or dairy products, she shared, “In a pinch, meat analogs are a good way to give a meaty flavor and texture to casseroles, stews lasagna and chili. Although I do not recommended meat analogs for every day use, they can be a good solution when you crave a meaty taste. In general,  I like to use mushrooms, mashed cooked beans, ground nuts or ground seeds to replace meat.  Here is an example of a delicious recipe where I have done just that …my Spaghetti and Wheatballs taste like the real deal!”

    Learn more about Laura: read our interview with The Jazzy Vegetarian!


    1⅓ cups lightly packed, fresh, soft whole-grain bread crumbs (from about 3 to 4 large slices) (see note)
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ cup chopped walnuts
    2 cups chopped mushrooms
    ½ cup diced onion
    ¾ pound organic spaghetti (see note)
    3 cups prepared vegan marinara sauce or your own homemade sauce


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

    2. Put the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender, and pulse to process into coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir gently to incorporate.

    3. Put the mushrooms and onion in a blender, and process to a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut–bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Spoon out about 1½ tablespoons of the mushroom mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue in this way with the remaining mushroom mixture. Arrange the wheatballs on the lined baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Gently rotate each wheatball and bake for 12 to 16 minutes more, or until they are crisp and golden.

    4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the spaghetti well.

    5. Meanwhile, pour the marinara sauce in a medium sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Gently add the wheatballs to the sauce, one at a time, cover, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.

    6. To serve, put one-quarter of the spaghetti into each of four pasta bowls, and top with three or four wheatballs. Ladle marinara sauce over the top and serve immediately.

    Chef’s Note: To make fresh bread crumbs, put 3 to 4 slices of wholegrain bread in a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Gluten-free option: You may use your favorite gluten-free pasta in this recipe. The wheatballs make a sensational base for a terrific hero-style sandwich too!

    Let us know what you think of this easy vegan recipe: Spaghetti and Wheatballs!

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