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Neatballs: The Recipes

Food Fitness. Nourish your body.

The Original Neatball

1/2 cup soymilk
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 cup white wine or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 pound soft tofu, mashed

Mix all ingredients, except tofu, in a medium bowl until combined. Gradually add tofu and mix until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tofu Balls:

Vegetable oil spray
1-1/2 pounds firm tofu, crumbled into very small pieces
1 cup diced onions
11/3 cups canned or fresh sauerkraut, well drained
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 cup soymilk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon paprika

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Spray frying pan with vegetable oil spray and saute tofu, onions, sauerkraut, and mustard until onions are soft (about five minutes). Place sauteed mixture in a blender and add soymilk and tomato paste. Blend for one minute or until just combined. Add breadcrumbs and paprika and blend for 30 seconds or until just combined (if overblended, mixture will not hold shape). Roll mixture into about 20 balls. Spray baking sheet with oil; place balls in single layer on sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until browned. Pour half of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Place tofu balls on sauce, and top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 375-degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Note:  This recipe is high in calcium, iron, and zinc.

Recipe makes four servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 502
Fat: 22 grams
Carbohydrates: 44
Protein: 41g
Sodium: 1188mg
Fiber: 9 grams

Mushroom and Hazelnut Snacking Balls

The dough from this recipe can be shaped into balls and served as a cold appetizer on a bed of baby greens or cold couscous, pressed into a loaf pan and sliced (as a vegan pate), or spread on veggies or crackers or used as a sandwich spread -- your choice!

Vegetable oil spray
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whole hazelnuts (also called filberts)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (see note)
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


In a medium frying pan, spray vegetable oil and heat. Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic until soft (about four minutes). Place vegetables and all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Mixture will be very thick. Form into small balls or patties and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  Red Star Nutritional Yeast# is a good source of vitamin B12.

Recipe makes six servings.

Per serving:  Calories: 134; Fat: 12g; Carbohydrates: 5g; Protein: 4g; Sodium: 59mg; Fiber: 2g

Walnut Lemon Balls

These "neatballs" go well with a tomato or pesto sauce, served over pasta, or used as a "neatball" sandwich in pita or on crusty French bread.

1-1/2 cups walnuts
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups drained and mashed firm tofu
1 cup dry breadcrumbs or matzo meal
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon miso

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Arrange walnuts on an ungreased cookie sheet, place in oven, and allow to toast for about five minutes. When cool, place them in a food processor, blender, or food mill, and grind into a fine meal. In a medium-sized bowl, mix nut meal, rice, tofu, breadcrumbs, basil, and thyme until combined. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in the lemon juice. Stir and add miso. Add cornstarch mixture to the main mixture. Use your hands to thoroughly moisten the dry ingredients; work with the mixture until it holds together. If the mixture is too dry or dense, add small amounts of water until the consistency will hold together, and is not too dry. Roll mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet (if not nonstick, line with baking parchment or spray with vegetable oil). Bake at 350-degrees for 15-20 minutes, until hot.

Notes:  This mixture can also be pressed into a small loaf pan and baked at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Allow to cool (about nine minutes) before slicing. This recipe is very high in iron! Recipe makes eight servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 357
Fat: 19g
Carbohydrates: 35g
Protein: 17g
Sodium: 220mg
Fiber: 4g

Veggie Balls

This is a great "pantry" recipe, as many of the ingredients should already be on your shelf. This is also a terrific way to use leftover veggies. Serve with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for a hearty meal.

1 16-ounce can (or 1-1/2 cups) sliced carrots, drained (reserve liquid)
1 16-ounce can (or 1-1/2 cups) cut green beans, drained
1-1/2 cups cooked pinto or red beans
2-1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted vegan margarine
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
2 tablespoons silken tofu
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Place carrots, green beans, and pinto beans in a blender or food processor, and puree until almost smooth. Put mixture in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until well combined. If mixture is too thick, add some of the reserved carrot liquid; if it is too thin, add additional breadcrumbs. Roll mixture into small balls and place on nonstick cookie sheet (or spray with vegetable oil spray). Bake at 325-degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until heated and lightly browned.

Note:  This mixture can be pressed into a small loaf pan and baked at 325-degrees for 20 minutes or pressed into patties and fried or baked as burgers. Recipe makes six servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 316
Fat: 8g
Carbohydrates: 53g
Protein: 10g
Sodium: 1170mg
Fiber: 6g

Whole Wheat Neatballs

This recipe requires some prep time, as the wheat needs to sit for at least six hours. They can be fried in a small amount of oil or baked in the oven. These go well with pasta as an entree, can be crumbled and used as a pizza topping, or chopped and served with barbecue sauce as a sloppy joe. Make an extra batch and freeze for later use.

1 cup uncooked whole wheat
1/2 cup peeled, diced potato (uncooked)
1/2 cup peeled, sliced carrots (uncooked)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/4 cup chopped radishes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 clove garlic, minced
Oil for frying (about 1/4-cup)

Combine whole wheat with 2-cups of boiling water. Cover and let sit for at least six hours. You can make extra wheat and store it in the fridge to use as a side dish or as a cereal. Measure out 2-cups of cooked whole wheat for this recipe. In a food processor, blender or food mill, grind the wheat, potatoes, carrots, onions, corn, and radishes together until smooth. Stir in onion powder and garlic. Form into small balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Either heat the oil in a frying pan and fry balls until heated and browned, or place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes or until browned.

Note:  For a Southwestern flavor, add 2-tablespoons chopped chilies to the wheat mixture and garnish with salsa; serve with steamed tortillas and rice. If whole wheat grain is not available, you can substitute bulgur and reduce the soaking time to one hour. Recipe makes eight servings.

Nutrition information per serving fried:
Calories: 161
Fat: 7g
Carbohydrates: 22g
Protein: 4g
Sodium: 5mg
Fiber: 4g

Nutrition information per serving baked:
Calories: 101
Fat: Less than 1g
Carbohydrates: 22g
Protein: 4g
Sodium: 5mg
Fiber: 4g

Tofu Balls

These crunchy, toasty balls also make good burgers. You have the option of frying or baking. Make a double batch and freeze one batch; this makes a great quick dinner. Just heat the tofu balls in tomato or mushroom sauce and serve with rice or pasta or in pita, tortillas, or rolls as a hot "neatball" sandwich.

2 cups drained and crumbled firm tofu
One clove garlic, minced
1/8 cup minced onions
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup water or 1/4-cup carrot juice
Oil for frying (about 1/8-cup)

In a large bowl mash tofu until almost smooth. Add all ingredients except water and combine until well mixed. Slowly add water or juice until mixture is thick enough to form balls. Form into small balls and re-frigerate for 30 minutes. Fry in oil until browned or bake (at 350-degrees) for 20 minutes, until heated and browned. Recipe makes five servings.

Nutrition information per serving fried:
Calories: 290
Fat: 16g
Carbohydrates: 20g
Protein: 21g
Sodium: 321mg
Fiber: 5g

Nutrition information per serving baked:
Calories: 242
Fat: 11g
Carbohydrates: 20g
Protein: 21g
Sodium: 321mg
Fiber: 5g

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