These vegan Salisbury steak meatballs are made from a savory base of chickpeas, served over mashed potatoes and smothered in mushroom gravy.
A few weeks ago I needed yellow potatoes for another recipe. I only needed one or two, but my supermarket only sold giant bags of them, so that’s what I got stuck buying. To use up the rest of the potatoes, I thought mashed potatoes would be nice, and specifically, something all saucy and sloppy served over mashed potatoes.
There are lots of dishes that get served over mashed potatoes, but most of them aren’t vegan, so I couldn’t think of what I wanted, and I consulted Google for recipes that get served over mashed potatoes.
One of the first things that popped up was Salisbury steak meatballs. Vegan Salisbury steak meatballs? Yup! I was sold pretty quick on that one.
So that’s how we ended up with this crazy dish. It actually touches on a number of other topics that I’ve been hitting hard this winter, like meatballs, gravy, and comfort food in general. These things all seem to go over pretty well with you guys, so I’m hoping you’ll be all about these meatballs.
I debated what to make my meatballs out of, and since chickpeas are my answer to everything, I went with them. It’s been a while since I had any kind of Salisbury steak, so I had to call mom and ask what it tasted like. “Kind of like a meatloaf, but with gravy instead of ketchupy stuff on top,” is the answer I got from her. I’ve done chickpea meatloaf before, so I thought I could handle that. It worked out beautifully.
I’m filing this one under ultimate vegan comfort food. My husband and I enjoyed it on a freezing cold night.
Tips for Making Awesome Vegan Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Make ahead option: You can save time on the day of serving by making each of the components of this recipe in advance, and then reheating. The gravy might thicken up during storage — just thin it with some water when you reheat it!
- Try to keep the mushrooms in an even layer when you cook them (cook in batches if needed), and don’t stir them around. Just flip them halfway through cooking. Piling mushrooms up in the skillet and stirring them around too much will prevent browning.
- For those people that hate mushrooms: just leave them out! you can also cut the amount of oil used to make the gravy to 1 tablespoon, since you don’t need to sauté the mushrooms.
- Switch things up by serving this over something other than mashed potatoes, like rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles!
Vegan Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Mushroom Gravy
For the Vegan Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspooon liquid smoke
- Olive oil
For the Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes, like Yukon gold, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Gravy
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley
To make the vegan Salisbury steak meatballs, preheat the oven to 400°. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well chopped and combined, being careful not to overdo it.
Lightly oil a baking sheet or large oven-safe skillet, then roll the chickpea mixture into 1 inch balls (you should get about 30) and arrange on the baking sheet. Lightly brush or spray the balls with oil. Bake until lightly browned, flipping half way through, about 30 minutes total.
While the meatballs bake, make the mashed potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash with potato masher. Stir in the milk and garlic. You can add a bit more milk if you'd like a creamier texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the meatballs bake and the potatoes boil, make the gravy. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook 5 minutes more, until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Once hot, add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and sprinkle in the flour, flipping to coat the mushrooms.
Pour in the broth, stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and soy sauce. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, until it thickens up to a nice gravy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the meatballs to the gravy and stir a few times to coat with the gravy.
To serve, divide the mashed potatoes onto plates. Top with meatballs and gravy. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve.