- Prep time 1 hour
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Serves 2 to 4
We've teamed up with Impossible Foods to highlight delicious ideas for using their Impossible™ Burger 12-ounce pack at home. Impossible Burger is meat made from plants for people who love meat. It can be cooked just like the ground beef that comes from animals—meaning you can use it to whip up burgers, chili, tacos, and more. Here, we're showing you why it's perfect for making juicy, crispy-crusted meatballs. The folks at Impossible Foods have identified the iron-containing molecule—it’s called heme—that makes meat taste like, well, meat. This molecule is found in abundance in animal protein, and their scientists have figured out a way to re-create it using yeast fermentation (a process similar to making beer). Their plant-based protein tastes big and beefy, with an umami richness. Lucky for us at home, it cooks up like ground beef, too.
These Italian-American-inspired meatballs are everything you want a meatball to be—and then some. They are plush, moist, and cheesy, with a kick of fennel and Calabrian chile paste that’ll give you all the spicy Italian sausage feels. But these little beauties, made with plant-based ground beef, satisfy meatball cravings for both herbivores and omnivores alike.
Serve these meatballs, browned and hot, straight out of the pan. Think: tucked into a sandwich with sautéed broccoli rabe and ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese or served as an appetizer with warm marinara sauce for dipping. And, for all you spaghetti lovers, they are equally delicious gently simmered in your favorite tomato sauce. Just add the browned meatballs to the sauce and let them burble away for about 30 minutes. Spoon them over pasta and you’ll be in spaghetti and meatball heaven. —Asha Loupy
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is shared in partnership with Impossible Foods. —The Editors
whole milk or oat milk
finely grated Parmesan (or plant-based equivalent)
large egg, lightly beaten (or flaxseed egg replacement or 3 tablespoons plant-based yogurt)
large garlic clove, grated
finely chopped parsley
Calabrian chile paste or 1 large pinch of red pepper flakes
fennel seeds, coarsely ground
(12-ounce) package of Impossible™ Burger
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- In a large bowl, combine the panko and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, allowing the breadcrumbs to absorb the liquid. Add the cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, salt, chile paste, and fennel and mix well to combine. Add the Impossible Burger and, using your hands, mix until fully combined. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
- Drizzle a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil and rub a little oil on your hands (this will make for easier, less sticky rolling). Divide the panko mixture into 14 portions (about 2 ounces each) and roll into balls between the palms of your hands. Place the formed meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil for 30 seconds. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the skillet and cook for 1 to 1½ minutes per side, until browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. These meatballs are ready to eat or simmer in your favorite marinara sauce (homemade is great, but store-bought is equally delicious).