Recipe: Grönsaksbullar (Swedish Vegan Meatballs)

Grönsaksbullar Swedish Vegan Meatballs

Those clever people at my favourite Swedish flat-packed furniture chain are so good at knowing just what you will fancy after a few stressful hours measuring up wardrobes and working out how much you can actually fit in (or balance on) your car.  Last year they got huge kudos for launching vegan ‘meatballs’ onto their menu, and jolly nice they are too.

Since first trying them I’ve been trying to make my own at home, and this chickpea-based version is definitely my favourite: moist, packed with vegetables and slathered in a mustardy sauce.  Perfect served with some oven chips or rice.

Grönsaksbullar Swedish Vegan Meatballs

These freeze really well before cooking, so you could make up a double, (or triple!), batch, and then spray with oil and oven-bake from frozen for half an hour until cooked through.

Grönsaksbullar Swedish Vegan Meatballs

4.8 from 5 votes
Grönsaksbullar Swedish Vegan Meatballs
Grönsaksbullar (Swedish Vegan Meatballs)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Swedish
Servings: 20 meatballs
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
For the 'meat'balls:
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil (plus extra for frying)
  • 1 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • large handful curly kale
  • 400 g tin chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • a little plain flour for dusting
For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free margarine
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 200 ml dairy-free milk (soya, nut or oat)
  • 125 ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 125 ml dairy-free cream (soya or oat)
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • soy sauce
  1. Cook the peas in the microwave or small saucepan for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Peel the onion and cut into quarters, then use a mini-chopper or food processor to chop it finely, (or chop as finely as you can by hand).
  3. Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan or casserole, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat.
  4. Peel the carrots and cut roughly into 4-5 chunks, then chop finely in the mini-chopper/food processor and add to the pan with the onions. Next, de-seed and chop the peppers in the same way, followed by the cooked peas and curly kale. Let all the vegetables cook over a medium heat.
  5. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then blitz to a smooth purée along with the olive oil in the mini chopper or food processor. Add to the pan, then sprinkle over the nutritional yeast flakes, stock powder, gram flour and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together, then remove from the heat, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  6. Sprinkle a chopping board and your hands with a little flour, then scoop up a heaped teaspoon of mixture, roll it firmly into a ball in your hands and place on the chopping board. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up - you should have around 20 'meat'balls.
  7. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with rapeseed or sunflower oil, and fry the meatballs, turning regularly until they are golden brown all over. Remove from the frying pan to a plate covered in kitchen paper, to drain excess oil.
  8. To make the sauce, heat the margarine in a small saucepan, stir through the flour and cook over a gentle heat for 2 minutes. Add the dairy-free milk , water, stock powder and dairy-free cream, and cook stirring continually until a thick, glossy sauce consistency has been reached. Add the mustard and stir, then add a few drops of soy sauce at a time, tasting as you go, until a good level of seasoning has been reached.
  9. Serve the meatballs with the sauce poured over the top, with mashed potato or oven chips.


These vegan 'meat'balls are as near as you can get to those served in your favourite Swedish flat-packed furniture chain - totally delicious!For more vegan ‘meat’ball recipes from blogging friends, take a look at:

Once again, I”m linking this post to Meat Free Mondays over at Tinned Tomatoes – hop over for your weekly meat-free meal inspiration!

Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later, or to share with friends → → → → →

Vegan in 15 Cover | Kate FordThere are plenty of similarly quick and easy recipes in my new book, ‘Vegan in 15‘*. Hop over to Amazon for a look.  Thanks for your support!

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  1. I don’t envy you the Ikea flat packs, but I am eyeing up your ‘meatballs’. I made some tofu ones a very long time ago and they were so much faff I swore I’d never do it again. But you’re inspiring me to give them anther go. Great idea to freeze a batch too.

  2. Oh excited about these! Great recipe Kate. Shared 🙂
    Jacqueline Meldrum recently posted…Roast Potato and Double Red Onion BakeMy Profile

  3. I do love a vegan meatball and I am doing a cookery demo featuring vegan alternatives to meatballs so I shall defintely talk about these ones Kate!
    Laura@howtocookgoodfood recently posted…Beetroot Fennel Seed & Orange SoupMy Profile

  4. Oh my god i have to try this!

  5. Wow! These look so impressive. I shall have to try these. Have never made a successful meat free burger or meatballs before.

  6. They look delicious. I like the “meatballs” from that furniture chain too, I bought frozen ones from them, but I would love to make them at home too.
    Anca recently posted…Tudor PieMy Profile

    1. Thanks Anca – yes they are really good, almost makes all the queuing and general stress of shopping for furniture worthwhile!!

  7. I strongly believe the best meatballs comes from IKEA, period. BUT, these do look yummy – after all, how many days a week you can have meat for dinner..
    Seasoned Events recently posted…Perfect props!My Profile

  8. These were very good. I served them on mashed potatoes with lingonberry sauce and green beans on the side and the flavours were superb. I did have a few issues, however, with the recipe First, it took much longer for the prep than indicated, and I am a pretty fast and experienced cook. Second, a whole can of chickpeas barely fit into my mini chopper, and certainly didn’t become a puree. I had to scoop them out and process them in batches. Perhaps because they weren’t pureed as much as they should have been, the balls were very fragile and some fell apart when cooking. Nevertheless, they tasted so good that I would definitely try them again and make a big batch with the big food processor and freeze them.

    1. Many thanks for the feedback Vivian, that’s really useful to know. My mini-chopper is probably not that ‘mini’ after all, so I’ll have a look at re-wording the instructions – as you say, a food processor would make everything much quicker. Glad you liked the recipe though! Kate

  9. Does dairy free cream mean sour cream?

    1. Hi Rebecca, no sour cream isn’t vegan – I use either soya cream or oat cream, both widely available in supermarkets. Enjoy! Kate x

  10. Made this for dinner tonight and was a hit with everyone. will defiantly make again x

    1. Fantastic! Great to hear x

  11. Hi! These look great and thankyou so much for the recipe. I would call these vegetable balls though, as vegan meatballs should have some meat substitute in them, like mince or sausage. Infact, the translation of grönsaksbullar is veggie balls in this case.

  12. Allspice, Caraway seeds and Nutmeg are the three spices in classic Swedish Meatballs. This “Vegan Ball” recipe may be from Sweden, but its flavor is NOTHING like traditional Swedish Meatballs and is in no way a vegan variation of the classic Swedish Meatball recipe. Naming this recipe something like, “My Grandmother’s Balls” would better describe the recipe OR add those spices and a coagulant, such as; ground Chia Seeds, to keep the balls from falling apart. Chopping ingredients smaller will also help.

    That said, nice photo, nice flavor, had better Vegan Balls.

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