Meatballs with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time


Prep Notes

Perfect for chilly evenings, this comforting bowl of meatballs is full of vegetables and flavor. Meat-eaters won't even realize they're eating meat-free balls!

Cooking Time





For the Spaghetti Squash

1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half, de-gooped 
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
4 chard leaves, shredded

For the Tempeh Balls

2 packages tempeh (measure out four servings)
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
2t thyme
1/2t paprika
1t fennel seeds
1t dried sage
1t cumin

For the Gravy

2 cups dried shiitakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1T white wine vinegar
2 cups water
3T white miso
3T nutritional yeast
3T brown rice flour
1t onion powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 50 minutes, or until tender. Allow to cool.

While the squash is cooking, add the dried shiitakes to a bowl of water. Make sure they're submerged. 

When the squash is cool enough to touch, shred it using a fork. Set aside. 

In a pan, add about an inch of water and bring to a simmer. Add the tempeh and simmer for about five minutes. Drain in a colander. To the same pan, add a little olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Once fragrant, remove from heat and add to a food processor. Pulse just a bit. Add the tempeh and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until full combined. 

Reheat the pan with a little bit of olive oil, on medium-low heat. Grab a bit of tempeh batter and roll into a ball. (Think the size of a golf ball.) Add the balls to the pan. (You may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding.) Cook the balls about three minutes on all sides, until golden. Set aside cooked balls on a plate, but keep warm. (You should be able to get 16 to 20 tempeh balls.)

Grease the bottom of a sauce pan, and bring up to medium-low. Drain the shiitakes. (You can reserve two cups of the soaking liquid to use as the cooking liquid.) Slice the mushrooms thinly and ad to the pot. Cook for about five minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Deglaze the pan using the white wine vinegar. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil. The gravy will naturally thicken.

As the gravy is cooking, reheat the big pan and add the remaining onion. Cook until soft, then add the collards, garlic and spaghetti squash strands. Cook until the collards are tender.

The gravy should be thick and have reduced. 

To four bowls, split up the spaghetti squash. Top with balls, then equal portions of gravy.