These are the best vegan meatballs you will ever eat! Served with a side of creamy tomato fried cabbage for an extra boost of flavor and comfort, this textured vegetable protein meatballs recipe makes for one delicious and easy meatless monday meal option.
This has to be our most favorite meatless meal recipe. We’ve been making this for many years and it is so versatile in meeting both food preferences and diet options. It’s simple and delicious.
I remember making this when we were following the keto diet and now this has become a staple for us for “Meatless Mondays.” This recipe in particular follows the TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) method for making “meat” balls but you can absolutely use ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken for this.
The cabbage in this recipe is just as fulfilling–if not more (dare I say!) than noodles. There’s a slight level of crunch but tenderness at the same time. To fry the cabbage, we are simply using butter or ghee so you really get an amazing buttery satisfaction, almost comparable to an egg noodle. We are taking healthy comfort to new heights with this TVP meatballs and creamy tomato fried cabbage recipe!
What is textured vegetable protein (TVP)?
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is soybean flour that has been defatted, cooked and dehydrated. It comes in a variety of shapes (crumbles, flakes, chunks and strips) and is often used as a meat substitute. It has almost no flavor on its own and is therefore super versatile in recipes. I have found that the best broth to mix into TVP for flavor is Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic.
TVP is fairly inexpensive, especially compared to other mock meats on the market these days, so it’s an excellent option for anyone on a budget. TVP is also very high in protein and fiber while being free of fat and cholesterol. Like myself, many health-conscious omnivores use it to replace all or part of the meat in some dishes to make them lower in fat and overall calories–or as an excellent choice for Meatless Mondays!
You’ll find it most commonly as TVP crumbles, which are a good replacement for ground beef in recipes like chili, sloppy joes, bolognese, etc. Truly, the options are endless!
TVP crumbles are a great substitute for ground meat. You can use them as a 1:1 substitute by volume for ground beef in recipes like sloppy joes or chili. However, in recipes that must hold their shape (e.g. meatballs, sausages, nuggets and burgers), you will need to add an ingredient to bind the crumbles together.
Ingredients for textured vegetable protein TVP meatballs
This recipe uses almond flour, but you can also use breadcrumbs. Additionally, I have used an egg in this recipe which can be replaced by a Flax Egg (mix one tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water). For added flavor, I used a combo of feta and mozzarella cheeses which can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Here’s what we are working with for this recipe:
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP) : This is a meat substitute. Any ground meat will work perfectly for this recipe.
- Cabbage: Any kind and color of cabbage!
- Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic: This is my choice of broth to add in with the TVP. it is so rich and flavorful. You can choose to add a beef or vegetable broth.
- Tomato paste
- Feta and Mozzarella Cheese
How to make textured vegetable protein TVP meatballs
Divide the mixture into about 10 meatballs. These can be either baked or pan-fried. I personally prefer them cooked on the stovetop in a small amount of oil, because they stay a bit more moist that way and then put into the broiler for 2-3 minutes. If you want to keep the recipe as low fat as possible, baking (or even air-frying) may be the way to go.
Is tvp low carb?
The carbohydrates in TVP tend to vary between brands. For this recipe I used Bobs Red Mill Brand which has net carbs of 4 grams per ¼ cup serving (25 grams) making it a great low carb option.
Can I meal prep tvp meatballs and creamy tomato fried cabbage?
While I have not made TVP meatballs and creamy tomato fried cabbage for a meal prep yet, I think this recipe would work well. The TVP meatballs make great leftovers and seem to soak up more of the flavor as they are stored. This recipe would make a great meatless low carb meal prep!
That’s all I’ve got for tvp meatballs and creamy tomato fried cabbage recipe!
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TVP Meatballs and Creamy Tomato Fried Cabbage
- LCLow Carb
- SFSugar Free
- 1 cup Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- 1 cup broth Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, or ¼ cup mozzarella or feta cheese
- ¼ cup almond flour or breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley , to mix in meatballs as well as for serving
- 1 flax egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the tomato sauce
- 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, or cream
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the fried cabbage
- 1 pound shredded cabbage
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the TVP meatballs
- Bring broth to a boil and pour over TVP. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes until completely absorbed.
- Add the remaining ingredients and combine into a thick dough that holds together when squeezed in your palm. Depending on the type of flour you use, you may need to add a bit extra. If needed, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir thoroughly after each addition.
- Shape mixture into 1 to 2″ balls.
- To bake, cook in preheated 400°F for 20 minutes.
- To pan-fry, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry meatballs for 5 minutes, tilting the pan to roll them around occasionally until they are evenly browned. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
For the tomato sauce and fried cabbage
- Pour the tomato paste and cream into the pan when the meatballs are almost done. Stir and let the cream boil together; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Shred the cabbage with a knife or use a food processor.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan.
- Sauté the shredded cabbage over medium heat for at least 15 minutes or until the cabbage reaches desired color and consistency.
- Stir regularly and lower the heat to simmer towards the end. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Immediately serve with sauce and meatballs; sprinkle chopped parsley on top.
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