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Appetizers/ Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs
I think it’s time for more meatballs. (Or maybe it’s always time for more meatballs? I’m not sure.)

I’ve done Lentil Mushroom Meatballs before and if there’s one thing I learned from that post, it’s that you guys love meatballs. And that’s good, because I do too. In a world full of veggie burgers, veggie meatballs are a little harder to come by, so I think I’m going to make it my personal mission to post as many meatless meatball recipes as I can.

All meatballs! All the time!

Okay, no, that won’t happen. So: Some meatballs! Some of the time! Like theseΒ broccoli parmesan meatballs.

Coarsely Ground AlmondsBroccoli Parmesan Meatball Mixture

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs

Although it’s not in the name of the recipe, the star ingredient of these meatballs is ground almonds. You don’t want to process them into a flour and you don’t want them chunky enough that you know these meatballs are made with nuts–they need to be a coarse crumb. These crumbs are what give my Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs their meaty texture. Well, maybe meaty isn’t quite the word I’m looking for, but without the ground almonds, these would be a little soft and mushy. The ground almonds are combined with chopped broccoli and shredded Parmesan cheese, formed into cute little meatballs, and then baked in a mini muffin tin.

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs
Why a mini-muffin tin? Well, it helps the meatballs hold their shape! And it keeps them from rolling all over the place too. If you don’t have a mini-muffin tin, don’t worry–a regular muffin tin will do just fine. Since this recipe makes 12 meatballs, you might want to double it if you have a meatball lovin’ household. (And if it’s just you lovin’ meatballs, you can still double the recipe and freeze the leftovers–yes, these freeze well!)

Like all of my vegetarian remakes, these broccoli parmesan meatballs aren’t really meant to taste like actual meatballs. They just share the shape and function of meaty meatballs. They’re much tastier than the bland faux meat versions you can buy at the grocery store and I feel like I can say this with authority because Chris used to be hooked on those things and after I started making them myself, he completely changed his mind.

Broccoli Parmesan Meatball Sub
With the broccoli and Parmesan, these meatballs are an obvious addition to pasta, but we used some of ours to make meatball subs. I put them on a sub roll and topped them with chunky marinara sauce, some shredded cheese, and chopped basil. Β Broccoli parmesan meatballs are total comfort food.

This post was originally published June 3, 2013

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs

Vegetarian meatballs made with raw almonds, broccoli, and Parmesan cheese. Perfect for adding to your next bowl of pasta!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 meatballs


  • 1/2 c. raw almonds
  • 1 large head broccoli cut into florets and steamed (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • Olive oil mister or cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 350ΒΊF.
  • Place the almonds in a food processor. Process until they're coarsely ground (see image in post--it's important to not under- or over-process!). Transfer ground almonds to a medium bowl.
  • Now place the broccoli florets in the food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the chopped broccoli, cheese, and garlic to the almonds and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the egg.
  • Spray a mini-muffin tin with olive oil or cooking spray. Form the broccoli mixture into 12 balls, squeezing them a little to make sure they hold their shape, and place each one in its own cup in the muffin tin. Bake until meatballs are golden on the outside and heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove tin from oven and run a butter knife along the edges of each muffin cup to loosen meatballs before gently popping them out.
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  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 8:41 am

    yes please! I love a faux meat ball, and broccoli too. I went through a little meat ball phase too – and Jason just asked when I was going to make them again – perhaps I need to try this recipe…

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Yes! Make more meatballs! And then post the recipes so I can make them! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    June 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

    These look awesome! They remind me of arancini. Matter of fact, I might just slip a wee block of mozz or fontina in the middle…don’t tell.

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      That would definitely be tasty!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

    These ‘meatballs’ sound totally doable! I never would have thought to use crushed almonds!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Ohhh these look fab – I’m totally sick of veggie burgers too so meatballs is a fun idea. I’ve only been vegetarian for about 5 months now but I’m trying to avoid a lot of meat substitutes so these are a great real food idea.

    Love your blog – so many ideas πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    June 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

    You have officially done it again! I love everything you post here, and these “meatballs” are no exception. Lovely recipe!

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    June 3, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Amazing! I love broccoli, even moreso when it’s cheesy πŸ™‚ these look great!

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    June 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I was scrolling thru my RSS feed of blogs, and I saw the title of this and immediately skipped down to it! I LOVE meatballs. There’s just something about popping meatballs into your mouth with spaghetti that is SO freaking delicious.

    I’m making these….tonight!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Woo hoo! I hope they turned out well! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    skoraq cooks
    June 3, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’m so making these “meat”balls πŸ™‚ In a sandiwch they look soooo delicious! yum yum πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

    What parmesan do you use that is made without animal rennet? I haven’t been able to find any as of yet.

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    June 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Yes, I’d love this combination. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Alissa N
    June 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Wow, these are incredible looking! I can’t believe how simple that list of ingredients is!! Even my hubby just said “did you see those broccoli meatballs? they look awesome!” I’m going to have to make these, you are also so smart for the mini muffin tins!!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      I hope you like them if you make them! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    these look phenomenal! i love meatless remakes when they DON’T taste like their meaty counterpart πŸ˜‰

    love the idea of using the muffin pan!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Yeah, I don’t like things that taste like meat either. But sometimes I get people complaining, like, “This doesn’t taste like beef!!!” Well yeah, it’s made with mushrooms. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Sylvia @
    June 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    These look amazing! I love the use of almonds instead of breadcrumbs – perfect for those that are gluten-free ;). Thanks!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    June 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I love these vegetarian meatballs with almonds!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    def giving this a whirl.

  • Reply
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health
    June 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    i never thought about mini muffin tins – what a brilliant idea and please keep as many meatballs recipe as you can – i love the versatility of it

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    What fabulous meatballs! Almonds and broccoli how healthy and clever.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    June 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    These look awesome! You are inspiring some veggie meatball action for me soon!

  • Reply
    Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ
    June 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Meaty texture thanks to ground almonds… sounds extremely intriguing!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Do you think these would do well in the freezer? I just made some and it was AWESOME! But now I need more!! If you think they’ll be fine in the Freezer- Would you recommend freezing them before or after cooking? Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      These freeze really well! You’ll want to bake them first (so they hold together) and then freeze them after they’ve cooled. You can reheat them in the microwave (this works best) or pop them back in your mini-muffin tin and heat them at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, until they’re warmed through.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    June 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I love broccoli, these meatballs sound so good!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    June 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    These are so genius! I love sneaking veggies into pretty much everything…especially veggie meatballs!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you for the recipe, I’m intrigued. I’m not necessarily a meatball fan but I live broccoli and almonds! I don’t have any fresh broccoli on hand, do you think frozen broccoli steamed would work?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Yes! Frozen broccoli would work just fine. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
    June 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Unbelievable. Yesterday I just made your lentil mushroom meatballs. Now I have to make THESE beautiful ones!!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Ooh, I’m making the Lentil Mushroom Meatballs for dinner tonight! πŸ˜€ So! Many! Meatballs!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    too good to be true.

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