Last night I was in the mood for something comforting. A pasta and meatball kind of comfort. I’ve made tempeh meatballs in the past, but I’ve never been satisfied with their moisture level; they were always so dry. Flavorful, but dry.

Tempeh meatballs

So rather than baking or pan frying them, I decided to cook them in a liquid medium, aka, tomato sauce. My mom does this with our family recipe for Italian meatballs (real meatballs that is) and they are always so moist- why didn’t I think of this before?!

vegetarian meatballs

It worked like a charm. Succulent and flavorful tempeh meatballs at their finest.

healthy meatballs

David LOVES orzo so I opted out of spaghetti and cooked up some orzo instead. A great combo, we thought.

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Tempeh Meatballs

Great for a meatless yet comforting pasta dinner. Use whatever sauce and pasta you like. Garnish with basil, rosemary and/or thyme.

1 package of Tempeh, crumbled

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup each of diced carrot, onion, celery

3/4 cup panko breadcrumb (or any breadcrumb you like)

2 eggs

1 TBS fresh chopped rosemary (or 2 tsp dried)

2 tsp dried oregano

1 TBS cooking oil

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)

-Saute crumbled tempeh, onion, celery, carrot and garlic in oil over medium heat until translucent and fragrant. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn of heat and stir in herbs.

-Allow mixture to cool before adding eggs or they will cook! Heat up pasta sauce on stove in the meantime.

-Once mixture is cool, mix in eggs and breadcrumbs. Roll into whatever size balls you like and drop into simmering sauce. Allow 3-5 minutes of cooking for each meatball.

-Remove from sauce and enjoy over pasta or as they are.

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