Nov 16, 2013

Vegan Swedish Meatballs + Apricot Dipping Sauce

I blame thank IKEA for giving me the idea to make these meat(less)balls. When I used to go there (prior to eating a plant-based diet) I would gorge on their little Swedish meatballs. I’m sure they aren’t as good as homemade, but they’re the only ones I’d ever eaten and I ate way too many…

Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are made from ground beef and pork, fried and then served in a heavy, sour cream gravy with a beef-stock base. They’re also usually enjoyed with Lingonberry jelly, which I’ve never had but sounds amazing.

I decided to serve these with a simple apricot dipping sauce (another reader-inspired recipe idea—thanks again, Jeannie!) and this lends the dish to being prefect as a holiday appetizer. I’m sure they’d be fantastic with a creamy mushroom gravy, as well.

prior to baking


Swedish Meatballs are usually very tender and light. I think my recipe achieves that great texture through the use of Soy Curls. If you haven’t tried these yet, I highly recommend them! They’re a perfect substitute for chicken in soups like in my Greek Lemon Chik’n Soup and in meatballs, such as these. Not much flavor on their own, since they are made of soy and nothing else. So, like tofu (Totally Out of Flavor Undeniably), they pick up the flavors of the other ingredients. I used ground chia seeds as a binding agent. That may have also played a part in the texture.

However you want to serve them, you will love these little guys. Great flavor and lots of nutrients!


~ for the balls

  • 2 cups soy curls, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and rough chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 3 TBS miso
  • 2 TBS ground chia seeds
  • ½ cup flour of your choice (I used whole spelt)
  • 1 TBS fruit-sweetened apricot jam
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 TBS chopped parsley

~ for the sauce

  • 1 cup dried, unsulfured, unsweetened apricots, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce

NOTE: You can also use fruit-sweetened apricot jam in place of the water and apricots, in which case you would omit the dates and not need to do any blending.


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain the soy curls. Squeeze out as much of the water as you can and set aside.
  4. Water sauté the mushrooms and shallots until tender. Let cool.
  5. Place the mushrooms, shallots and remaining ingredients (except the parsley) into a food processor and process until smooth.
  6. Stir in the parsley.
  7. Shape into 1½” balls and bake for 30 minutes, turning them over once at the 15 minute mark.
  8. For the sauce, place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  9. Serve with the dipping sauce or whatever gravy you like!
Makes about 25 meat(less)balls. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,


4 responses to “Vegan Swedish Meatballs + Apricot Dipping Sauce”

  1. Can you use TVP for this recipe instead of the soy curls do you think?

  2. Helyn says:

    Yup. Good substitute idea. Though I haven't tried it myself. I just had someone else ask me the same question!

  3. Sharon says:

    You say you used ground chia as a binding agent, but I don't see that in the recipe itself. Am I missing something?

  4. Helyn says:

    Oh my. Yes you're right. It's 2 TBS ground chia seeds. Sorry for the omission!!

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