Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice made of vegan black bean meatballs, drizzled with a sweet & sour sauce served on an oven-baked mushroom rice pilaf.
This dish is plant-based comfort food at its best and is vegan as well as gluten-free. It doesn’t have any weird ingredients and is super easy to make!
My Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice are a twist on my The Best Vegan Meatballs recipe (which has a bbq sauce with mint leaves). The meatballs themselves are the same black bean based recipe, but instead this new twist on the recipe has a homeade sweet & sour sauce, and a baked rice dish on which to serve the meatballs.
Ingredients in Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice
This recipe has three parts: vegan meatballs, a sweet & sour sauce, and a mushroom pilaf. Let’s look at the ingredients:
- Rolled oats (Oats are used to bind together the ingredients and as a sort of flour (along with the ground flax).
- Black beans (Black beans give a meaty colour and taste to these plant-based meatballs).
- Tomato puree and hot sauce (These add juiciness and flavour to the meatballs).
- Ground flax (The flax must be ground, as it’s used to keep all the ingredients together).
- Salt, pepper, garlic, onion (To bring out the flavours).
- Paprika (To add a touch of heat and savoury flavour.)
- Olive oil (For cooking your meatballs on the stovetop).
- White long grain rice (I use white rice and haven’t tested this recipe with brown rice, which takes much longer to cook).
- Vegetable broth and water (To flavour and add moisture in order to cook the rice).
- Butter and olive oil (For fat and flavour)
- Dried thyme, garlic powder, minced garlic (To season the rice).
- Salt and pepper (To enhance the flavours).
- Fresh mint (Optional to garnish the dish).
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Vegan sugar (I use Wholesome brand vegan and organic sugar).
- Apple cider vinegar (You could instead use white vinegar if you prefer).
- Ketchup (I use 365 Everyday Value Organic Ketchup which is conveniently marked vegan right on the bottle!)
- Soy sauce and water (To flavour and add volume to the sauce).
- Garlic and ginger (To season the sauce).
- Cornstarch (Used to thicken the sauce).
Shop vegan ingredients:
Making your Baked Mushroom Rice
This rice pilaf takes about 45 minutes to cook in the oven. This leaves you plenty of time to prepare your meatballs and sweet and sour sauce while the rice is baking. Be sure to use white rice in this dish, as brown or wild rice has not been tested (and typically takes longer to cook).
Your Mushroom Rice Pilaf does not need to be covered in the oven. The layer of mushrooms act as a natural lid, to keep the heat in the bottom and cook the rice.
Making your Vegan Meatballs
These vegan meatballs are super quick and easy to whip up while your mushroom rice pilaf is baking in the oven! You can even make up the mixture in the morning if you choose and store it in the fridge until you are ready to make this Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice recipe for dinner. Then you can simply grab the meatball mixture out of the fridge once you’ve placed your rice in the oven.
To get these meatballs a bit firmer, be sure to pan fry them with enough heat that they get golden brown. It’s also a good idea to flip them frequently to try to get an even colour and firmer texture.
Making Your Sweet & Sour Sauce
This sweet and sour sauce is tangy with the right sweetness. It might seem like this recipe doesn’t yield much sauce, but it’s actually more than needed to give your vegan meatballs a generous amount of glaze.
It takes just moments to mix up the sauce and heat it on the stovetop. Its glossy and slightly sticky texture tops the vegan meatballs in this recipe beautifully.
Assembling Your Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice
To assemble your Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice, first scoop out a generous portion of the mushroom rice and add it to a plate or pasta bowl.
The fluffy and savoury mushroom rice can be used as a side, or if you prefer, use it as a bed or base. Next add a few vegan meatballs to the plate.
Next, using a ladle or gravy spoon, pour a generous amount of sweet and sour sauce over the meatballs.
Finally, garnish your plate with a small handful of fresh mint leaves!
Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Mushroom Rice
Mushroom Rice Pilaf
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice , uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 650 grams (1.3 lb) mushrooms quartered
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 can black bean (400 ml) drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup white onion chopped
- 2 Tbsp ground flax to bind the meatballs (must be ground)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 3 Tbsp slivered almonds optional to add texture
- extra virgin olive oil for cooking
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1/4 cup vegan sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp ketchup
- 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1/2 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
Mushroom Rice Pilaf
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Add mushrooms to a large bowl. Pour over hot melted butter, add garlic, salt and pepper. Toss well.
- Place remaining ingredients in a large baking dish approximately 9 x 13".
- Mix to spread the rice out evenly in the pan.
- Spread the mushrooms over the rice to cover the whole surface area (keep them on the top of the rice, rather than mixing into the rice, as this help the rice underneath cook). Drizzle over olive oil.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until mushroom is golden. While your rice is cooking, prepare your meatballs and sweet and sour sauce.
- Add the ingredients for your meatballs into a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend until well combined.
- Begin rolling the mixture into meatballs. (You may want to use a small ice cream scoop to grab the mixture portions). Your balls will cook differently depending on the size you roll them. Aim for about 1 1/2 inch round meatballs.
- In a large non-stick pan heat your olive oil for 1 minute then add your meatballs and cook for 15 minutes on medium low to brown each side.
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Add apple cider vinegar, vegan sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, cold water, garlic, ginger, and corn starch to a small saucepan.
- On medium heat stir frequently until it starts to boil. Allow sauce to boil for about 30 seconds then remove from heat.
- Serve vegan meatballs on top of a healthy portion of the mushroom rice, then drizzle the meatballs with sweet and sour sauce. Garnish with fresh mint and serve!
Looking for more vegan dinner recipes? Try my Sun-dried Tomato Jalapeño Olive Pesto on pasta tonight!