Friday, 28 April 2017

Vegan Meatballs in Paprika Mushroom Sauce

I am having a thing about veggie meatballs at the moment, its features in my diet three times this month. Not that I am grumbling, the weather in this part of the world has turned a little cold, that we have had to scrape ice of the car most mornings.  And coming home to comfort food that sticks to your ribs has been welcoming.
The vegan meatballs in this dish are steeped in a thick mushroom sauce served with mashed golden swede enhanced further with fresh thyme from the garden plot.
This recipe was actually inspired from Nigel Slater's recipe for Braised Pork Meatballs with Rib Ragu Saucei that was featured in The Guardian early on in the month.  I  adapted it to make it suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.   Look I even copied his style of presentation, yes I am a fan of Nigel Slater - who isn't?!

But the vegan meatballs are made in a completely different sauce.  D enjoyed this meal very much.  He liked the thick deep mushroom sauce and how it enveloped the meatballs.   Of course you can make your own meatballs, but sometimes out of convenience I like to use a vegetarian packet mix.
Vegan 'Meatballs' in Paprika Mushroom Sauce
Serves 4 – 6
For the Vegan Meatballs
Use a well known vegan or vegetarian brand that takes your fancy 
175g of vegetarian Sausage mix
1 teaspoon smoked paprikaMethod
In a large bowl, stir Sausage mix and paprika.
Then carefully pour in 300ml cold water, stir well to combine and then let it sit for 30 minutes to thicken.  
Set aside, while you get on with making the  base  
Assemble the Meatballs
The sausage mix should be thick now, with you hands scoop out around a large tablespoon and roll into small round balls, keep doing this until you have used up all the mock sausage meat. I managed to make around 16 with my hands, but you may make more or less, just bare in mind that this will be divided between 3 - 4 people. When done, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry them, ensuring all sides are golden and done.  Drain and set aside.

Ingredients for the Paprika Mushroom Sauce
400g chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
2 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
4 celery stalks, finely sliced
40g plain flour
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon cayenne
400ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a wide pan, add the onion and celery and fry gently until the onion is soft and lightly coloured.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms mixture, stir until well incorporated, then add the paprika, thyme and cayenne.
Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the stock. 
Return to the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened and smooth.
at Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the cooked vegan meatballs to warm through, then serve with mashed swede or potatoes.
This recipe is inspired from Nigel Slater's recipe for Braised Pork Meatballs with Rib Ragu Sauce as featured in The Guardian.


  1. I think I would much prefer your mushroom sauce to Nigel Slater's rib ragu and I am a fan of vegie meatballs so this looks delicious.

    1. Thanks Johanna, Very rich - the sauce that is - not me (sadly!)

  2. Sounds great Shaheen, can i do it in the slowcooker?

    1. Sue, I don't know. I have always done it on the hob.

  3. Ice! I know people joke about Welsh weather but that is a bit tough going a month into spring. You definitely need dishes like this - it looks very comforting and warming.

    1. Yes - really we have had ice and hailstones. But some places have had snow, so I guess we are lucky. Dishes like this just make me want to stay at home.

  4. I love mashed swede and I love vegan meatballs. I'm pretty sure I'd love this! I think paprika is the spice I use most of all things - sweet and smoky perfection. Let's hope the good weather comes back soon.

    1. Thanks Joey, so pleased you like this very vegan 'meaty' dish. Yes, lets hope it warms up soon - I really want to get my plants into the ground.

  5. We've been going wild with fresh local mushrooms coming into season. Matt wanted mashed potatoes tonight and I'm thinking they'll have paprika mushroom sauce. Sounds very nice indeed!

    1. Wild mushrooms are awesome , I prefer them to chestnut mushrooms. Paprika Mushrooms sounds lovely, i'll make a version next time.

    2. We indeed had wild mushrooms with a paprika sauce, inspired by your sauce above. We didn't have celery, but other than that followed the recipe pretty well (which is hard for us!) It was great--and not at all like any of the gravies/sauces that I usually make. I'm fairly new to smoked paprika--such a unique, wonderful flavor.

  6. Beth, I am so happy to read that you made this, no worries on omitting the celery, you could always up the onion ratio. I am like you that its hard to follow a recipe sometimes when your a tweaker :) I am the same, but now you tried it you can adapt further to suit your tastes. I find the sauce quite 'meaty' my husband loves it. I do like smoked paprika, hope you experiment with it more - do try a facon bacon recipe, people say it adds that 'smoky bacon flaovur', i can't confer as I have never had bacon in my life, but its a wonderful ingredient smoked paprika. Have a good weekend

  7. ohmygosh this looks SO GOOD! You know I'm always down for mushrooms. I have yet to find packaged store bought veg meatballs that I like, so maybe that means I need to make my own! You're inspiring me to try =)

    1. So pleased you like Kimmy. My husband really enjoyed this, but he likes mushrooms more than me, and I guess you do too.


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