Easy Vegan Baked Cheesy Meatless Meatballs
Wow! That’s a mouthful, but once you make and eat these saucy cheesy delights, you will see there is no other title for them. You don’t have to spend a million dollars and slave in the kitchen all day to make a perfect vegan meal. Not everything has to always be completely homemade. Let’s face it, we are busy people with jobs, and families, and schedules to uphold.
Yesterday was your typical Monday! Neither the Captain nor I were in the mood to go to work. The weekends just fly by. By the time we both arrived back home, the dinner hour had come and gone. We, along with our 13 year old son who had just returned from football practice in the 90 degree heat were exhausted and starving. We were all craving cool showers, our air conditioned home, and comfort food, but no one really felt like cooking.
Then I remembered our haul from Trader Joe’s over the weekend. I had the perfect solution to please everyone and not take up the rest of the evening cooking all night.
I grabbed a few ingredients, did a little prep work while the oven was preheating, and threw it all together for a delightful vegan meal. It turned out lovely. It was the perfect comfort food; saucy, cheesy, meaty. Adding the nutritional yeast not only kicks up the flavor a notch, but gives your B12 a boost. The meatballs are a great source of protein. Happy campers all around.
We all want to eat healthy, include as many fruits and vegetables as we can, but sometimes we might just have a hankering for some plant based meat and cheese alternatives.
No need to feel guilty because no animals were harmed to allow us to enjoy our meal. I am happy to share this recipe with you! I know you will enjoy it as much as we did.
VEGAN BAKED MEATBALLS
1 16 oz. Pkg Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs
1 24 oz. Jar Reggano Marinara Pasta Sauce (Aldi’s)
1 24 oz. Jar Reggano Mushroom Pasta Sauce (Aldi’s)
1 Onion Diced
8 oz. Mushrooms Diced
1 t Garlic Salt
1 t Italian Seasoning
½ c Nutritional Yeast
¼ c Fresh Basil
¼ c Fresh Chives
1 8 oz. Pkg Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella Shreds
Lots of Cracked Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F
Layer diced onion and mushroom on bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Next layer the meatless meatballs on top. Pour both jars of sauce into pan and slightly mix to get the sauce to the bottom layers too. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. The sauce should be starting to bubble. Take out of oven.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast, garlic salt, some black pepper and the Italian seasoning evenly over the meatballs and sauce. Next spread the mozzarella shreds and top with the basil and chives. As usual, I added more cracked black pepper. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 400 F until melted and starting to brown.
We ate these on some leftover hotdogs buns from our grilling adventures the night before. We had to eat them with a knife and fork. They were a messy delight. You could just eat them out of a bowl, or add pasta.
We love Aldi’s pasta sauces as most of them are vegan without a lot of additives. They are cheap too which is always great for our family budget. These 24 oz. jars were only 97 cents apiece. What a deal! We usually have a stockpile on hand for quick meals, including using for pizza. You can use whatever sauce you like. Homemade would be the best, but I just didn’t have the time last night. Trader Joe’s meatballs are another favorite of ours, but again, use the brand you like. Their Vegan Mozzarella Shreds are one of the best melting cheeses alternative products out there.
I wish I could say you will enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day, but I swear if I would have allowed it, the Captain and the kid would have licked the pan clean. The meatballs were gone in a heartbeat. Guess we will have to head back to Trader Joe’s soon. I should have bought more packages of meatballs.