Polpette With Pomodoro Sauce (Vegan Meatballs) ★★★★★1 review

Polpette (meatballs) are traditionally made with ground meat. Of course, you could use a store-bought vegan mince, but I love the rich and meaty texture of walnuts. Not only are these polpette simple to make, they’re also nutritious and oil-free. If you’d like this to be a completely oil-free dish, cook the garlic in the passata instead of frying in oil beforehand. You will need a food processor or high-powered blender. You can purchase liquid smoke at most gourmet grocers and vegan food stores.” ~ Nadia

Serves 18-20 balls | Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins


Walnut Polpette

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 slices of bread (approximately 90g)
  • 1 Tbsp ‘beef’ style stock powder (Massel’s ‘beef’ style is vegan)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • few drops of liquid smoke
  • handful of fresh parsley

Pomodoro Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 700g/24.7oz tomato passata
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • few basil leaves (optional)



  1. In a food processor, pulse walnuts and bread briefly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until it begins to resemble the texture and size of mince. With the processor still running, pour in 1/4 cup of water. The mixture should now be moist and malleable.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C/355F.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls the size of a walnut shell and place on a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 25 minutes and carefully turn over half-way through.

Meanwhile, make the pomodoro sauce.

Pomodoro Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over a low-medium heat and add the garlic. Turn down the heat. Allow the garlic to infuse for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, ensuring it doesn’t brown.
  2. Stir through the passata, salt and basil leaves. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once out of the oven, drop the polpette gently into the pomodoro sauce and simmer on low for 5 minutes so the polpette soak up the liquid.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir through your favourite pasta or enjoy on their own as a side or starter dish.

COOKING TIP: These can easily be made gluten free – just replace with slices of your favourite gluten free bread.

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Guest Blogger Nadia – The Vegan Italian Kitchen

Nadia is a cookbook author, recipe creator, presenter and vegan Italian expert. She has been creating vegan recipes since 2001 and loves to share her passion for recreating Italian classics through her blog The Vegan Italian Kitchen and her cookbooks Discovering Vegan Italian and A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy. See all recipes by Nadia

Leave a Rating or Comment

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  • Monique ★★★★★
    9 February 2021

    So delicious and very filling- felt nourished :)

    • Vegan Easy
      9 February 2021

      We’re so glad you liked it! We’ll let Nadia know too.