Vegetarian Meatballs

In the June/July 2016 issue of School Nutrition, Contributing Editor Kelsey Casselbury showcased how numerous cultures around the globe each have their own versions of meatballs. From the Indonesian bakso to the Italian polpette, “It’s a Small World…When It Comes to Meatballs!”

But what if your students want to place an order of meatballs—but hold the meat?! Because meatballs have the word meat in the name, it seems obvious that all meatball recipes must, in fact, contain some traditional meat—but that’s not necessarily the case. “Meatball” can be a catch-all term, and vegans and vegetarians, too, enjoy this simple culinary pleasure.

Consider menuing a vegetarian meatball made of any number of meat-free proteins, whether tofu, seitan, beans, legumes or nuts and seeds. Add some flavor with vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and/or liquid smoke, as well as a binder in the form of breadcrumbs or other grains. Learn more about making vegan meatballs at

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