Main dish

Meatless Meatballs in a Cheesy Tomato Sauce

A tasty meatless meatball recipe simmered in a rich homemade tomato sauce with garlic, oregano, and fresh basil! Serve with thick slices of garlic bread!

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meatless meatballs
Recipe insights & TIPS
meatless meatballs

Meatballs with tomato sauce are a classic combination and always a crowd-pleaser at the dinner table. Whenever I’m looking for a simple and easy family dinner I always turn to pasta, but I felt like getting away from the carbs and trying out meatballs and cheesy tomato sauce on its own - but with a plant-based twist! This is a great way to skip the meat in a meal without even noticing that it’s missing. Gardein Meatless Meatballs are so juicy and have that perfect ‘meaty’ texture, and one 12oz bag is enough to feed a whole family of four. However, if you can’t find Gardein, you can use any meatless meatballs that you want. 

While you can buy your sauce at the grocery store if you’re in a pinch, this homemade sauce is super easy to make, and you’ll avoid all those extra preservatives and random ingredients that we can’t pronounce. You cook the meatballs on their own first and then simmer for 10 minutes in your sauce, letting them soak in all that tomatoey and herby goodness. Then broil for a few minutes with a hefty sprinkling of cheese before serving alongside some thick garlic bread. Our family loves to dip the bread right into the sauce. You could also spoon the sauce and meatless meatballs onto a baguette for a Subway-style plant-based version of the classic meatball sub. 

meatless meatballs


How do I store meatless meatballs?

This meatless meatball recipe can be either stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or frozen in a freezer safe container or bag. 

Can I freeze meatless meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze this Gardein meatballs recipe. The sauce may become a bit watery when you heat it up again, so it could be necessary to add a bit more tomato paste. 

What can I serve with meatless meatballs?

I always serve this with garlic bread and dip it right into the sauce. These meatless meatballs also make the perfect addition to a classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe. Or to avoid the carbs, you can serve along a fresh green salad. 

Can I make this recipe plant-based?

Yes. Simply leave out the cheese, or substitute it for a plant-based cheese option.

Can I use a different type of meatless meatball? 

Yes, any brand of plant-based meatballs will work. Just follow the cooking instructions on the package.

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A classic pairing with a plant-based twist! These juicy meatless meatballs are simmered in a rich homemade tomato sauce with garlic, oregano, and fresh basil. Serve with thick-cut garlic bread for dipping!

Main dish
25 minutes
Total TIME:
50 minutes
25 minutes


  • 12oz bag of Gardein Classic Meatless Meatballs
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Ingredient Swaps

  • Instead of using cheese, swap out for plant-based mozzarella and parmesan options to make the recipe cholesterol-free. 
  • If you can find fresh, seasonal tomatoes, they will kick your sauce up a notch.


  1. Cook the plant-based meatballs as per the instructions.
  2. In a large pan, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and basil.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.
  4. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and pulse for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Add salt and pepper to the sauce.
  6. Preheat your broiler to high.
  7. Place the meatballs in an oven safe casserole dish and pour the sauce over them.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place under the broiler until golden and melted.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately with garlic bread.
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