These "meatballs" made from fermented soy will satisfy the red sauce cravings of vegans and omnivores alike.


  • 1 pound tempeh (plain)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ounce panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 jar marinara sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Spray a 9 x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Crumble the tempeh into a large skillet. Add the water, ketchup, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Set the skillet over medium heat and bring to a low boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the water is completely evaporated.
  4. Transfer the tempeh mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Use a large fork to mash the tempeh until it resembles the texture of ground meat. Add the panko, nutritional yeast, salt, and black pepper, to taste. Stir the mixture with a fork until the ingredients are combined and it holds together.
  6. Using clean hands, roll the tempeh mixture into balls about 1” in diameter, or 1.5 oz. each.
  7. Set a skillet over medium high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray, and pour in the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the tempeh balls. Sear the tempeh balls, flipping them occasionally with a rubber spatula, for 3-4 minutes, until they are golden brown on all sides.
  8. Transfer the tempeh balls to the casserole dish. Pour marinara sauce over the balls and stir gently to coat.
  9. Transfer the casserole dish to the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  10. Bake the tempeh balls for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce is heated through.
  11. Remove the casserole dish from the oven.
  12. Serve the tempeh balls and sauce immediately.
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