Spaghetti and Mushroom “Meat”balls

March 25, 2021

You won’t believe how satisfying and delicious these vegetarian “meat”balls are, especially when paired with spaghetti and a quick homemade tomato sauce. The yondu seasoning sauce added to the “meat”ball mixture adds a depth of flavor to these veggies that will make you completely forget about the lack of ground beef. The “meat”balls themselves are great on top of spaghetti, but could also be paired with a salad and a lemony yogurt dip, or flattened for inside a bun. The possibilities are endless! 

Serves 2


For the “meat”balls:

½ pound white button mushrooms, cleaned

½ small yellow onion, minced

2 cloves organic garlic, minced

1 organic carrot, minced

2 stalks celery, minced

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tsp cumin, toasted and ground

2 tsp. coriander, toasted and ground 

1 pasture-raised egg

⅓ cup finely ground bread crumbs 

2 tbsp. olive oil 

2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil 

2 tsp. Yondu 

For the spaghetti sauce:*

14 oz can of crushed tomatoes 

½ onion, minced

2 cloves organic garlic, minced

2 tbsp. Olive oil 

2 large leafy stems of basil + more for garnish


½ box of spaghetti 

*sub homemade spaghetti sauce for ugly tomato sauce!



  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the coriander and cumin and fry in the oil for 20 seconds. 
  2. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are soft and slightly brown.
  3. Meanwhile, finely dice the mushrooms. 
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is dark brown and the water is evaporated. 
  5. Turn off the heat and add the Yondu, parsley, and stir. 
  6. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. 
  7. Add the whisked egg and breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly to combine. 
  8. The mixture should be a little sticky and you should be able to easily form balls, about the size of ping pong balls, with your hands. If the mixture feels too wet, add breadcrumbs a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. 
  9. Transfer the “meat”balls to a plate and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  10. While the “meat”balls are resting in the fridge, get a salted pot of water going for the spaghetti, and make the tomato sauce. 
  11. In a large pan, heat olive oil. 
  12. Add minced onion and garlic, and sauté until soft and slightly brown. 
  13. Add tomatoes, and ½ cup of water and continue cooking until the sauce begins to simmer. 
  14. Add two whole sprigs of basil to the sauce, with the stems and leaves attached and continue to simmer. 
  15. Salt to taste, and turn on low while cooking the “meat”balls.
  16. Heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large sauté pan until almost smoking. 
  17. Add the cold meatballs to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes a side, ensuring a dark brown crust on all sides. 
  18. Finally, add your “meat”balls to the marinara sauce and allow them to soak up the sauce. 
  19. Cook your pasta according to the package instructions. 
  20. Drain the pasta, top with plenty of sauce and meatballs, and garnish with basil. 

This recipe was created by Local Roots Recipe Contributor Sachi Nagase /

Rather have a taste first?

Local Roots Experiences are fun, pop-up events where we bring the farm to you!

Become a Harvest Club Pick Up Location

Are you a NY based cafe, bar, or neighborhood business? Become a Harvest Club pick up location and have community members come to your establishment each week to pick up their Local Roots harvest.