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Bottom-Friendly Vegetarian Meatballs & Risotto


For Meatballs:

  • 1 pound of plant-based ground "beef" I use beyond meat

  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs

  • 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning

  • 5 cloves of minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley

  • 1 egg

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 diced onion

  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 tbsp of crushed red pepper flakes OR to taste

For Risotto:

  • 2 tbsp of butter

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • 3 tbsp of minced shallots OR onion

  • 1 1/2 cup of arborio rice

  • 6 tbsp of dry white wine

  • 4 cups of chicken stock or veggie stock

  • 1 cup of fresh peas

  • 1 cup of vegan parmesan

For Vegan Parmesan:

  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp of garlic powder

  • 1/2 cup of cashews

  • 1/2 tsp of salt


  1. To a mixing bowl, add plant-based ground beef, panko bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, onion, nutritional yeast, crushed red pepper, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

  2. Using an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup, spoon out about ¼ cup of the meatball mixture and roll into a ball using your hands. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the meatball mixture has been used. Set the baking sheet aside.

  3. Place a dutch oven or similar pot over medium-high heat and add butter and olive oil. Once hot, add shallots and cook until glassy, about 5 minutes. Add arborio rice and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and let cook down for two more minutes, continuously stirring.

  4. Starting with one cup at a time, add veggie broth to the risotto and never stop stirring. Once the stock has been fully absorbed by the arborio rice, add another cup of stock. Repeat until all the stock is gone.

  5. Once the stock has been absorbed and the risotto is cream and al dente, add peas and vegan parmesan (to make the vegan parmesan, add nutritional yeast, garlic powder, cashews, and salt to a blender and blend until fine like grated parmesan). Mix well and cut the heat. Set the risotto aside.

  6. Place the meatballs under the broiler and cook for 5-7 minutes per side. Flip the meatballs and repeat. If you’re not feeling rushed, you could give the sides of the meatball another flip and cook the sides for another 1-2 minutes for an all-around crispy meatball.

  7. Place risotto and add finished meatballs on top. Bottoms up!

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