The Washington Post

Mushroom Walnut 'Meatballs'

Mushroom Walnut 'Meatballs' 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 6, 2019

With an earthy flavor and firm but moist texture, these are not your typical vegan "meatballs." Eat them stewed in marinara sauce over pasta or zucchini noodles, over a salad, in wraps and on sandwiches, or by themselves as a grab-and-go snack.

Using rice flour also makes these gluten-free and makes for good texture; when we tested with all-purpose flour, they were gummy.

To read the accompanying story, see: Mushroom-walnut ‘meatballs’ add a plant-based dose of retro comfort to your pasta game.

Make Ahead: Refrigerate the cooked meatballs for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 5 months; defrost and reheat in a 300-degree oven, pan-fry or simmer in tomato sauce.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes 18 meatballs

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stemmed), caps chopped
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1/4 medium onion)
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup brown rice flour (may substitute white rice flour)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make a chia "egg" by stirring together the chia seeds and water in a small bowl. Let it stand and thicken for at least 10 minutes.

Combine the shiitakes, creminis, walnuts, onion, parsley, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are combined and evenly chopped, but not pureed. Add the chia egg and pulse just until incorporated.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the flour, using your hands as needed to make sure the flour is evenly distributed. The mixture will be a little sticky.

Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture, shape into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat to make 18 balls of equal size. Lightly brush each ball with oil. Bake (middle rack) for 25 minutes, until firm and browned on the bottom.

NOTE: Toast the walnuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Living Kitchen: Healing Recipes to Support Your Body During Cancer Treatment and Recovery," by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman (Appetite by Random House, 2019).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 250

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 17g 26%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 190mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 24g 8%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 6g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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