Rachael Ray's Vegetarian Meatballs with Red Sauce
HOME > Recipes > Rachael Ray's Vegetarian Meatballs with Red Sauce

Rachael Ray's Vegetarian Meatballs with Red Sauce

Thanks to frozen riced cauliflower and broccoli (or just good ol’ leftover veggies), meatless balls are possible in 30 minutes.



  • ¾ cup skinned hazelnuts or sliced almonds

  • 4 cups (two 12-oz. bags) mixed frozen riced broccoli and cauliflower, thawed and drained; or 4 cups leftover cooked broccoli and/or cauliflower, blitzed in a food processor until finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • ½ to 2/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. (1/3 palmful) dried thyme

  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest or 1/2 tsp. dried lemon zest

  • 1 tsp. (1/3 palmful) ground cumin

  • 1 tsp. (1/3 palmful) crushed red pepper

  • Cooking spray for spraying, or olive or canola oil for brushing


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

  • 1 can (about 14 oz.) crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

  • Hot sauce (such as sriracha or Chipotle Tabasco)


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2

In a small skillet, toast the nuts over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Pulse into finely ground crumbs, but not into a paste. (You should have about 1 cup.)

Step 3

Place the drained cooked broccoli and cauliflower in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the nuts, cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, and crushed red pepper. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a large walnut. Arrange on the baking sheet; spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil. Roast the meatballs, turning once, until golden, 15 to 18 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Reduce heat. Let simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Before serving, add a little hot sauce to taste.

Step 5

Serve the meatless meatballs with the sauce for dipping or topping.

The Tools You'll Need

You May Also Like

These meatballs taste like beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce but are easier to eat—and a...