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Albanian Meatballs Recreated with Vegan Alternatives

Discover the perfect blend of tradition and innovation with our Vegan Albanian Meatballs recipe, offering a compassionate twist on a beloved classic.

Albanian cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition, with dishes like qofte (meatballs) holding a special place in the hearts of many. However, as the world shifts towards more sustainable and compassionate eating habits, there’s a growing demand for vegan alternatives that honor both tradition and innovation.

This is why we created the recipe by adding a hearty blend of white short-grain rice, mushrooms, and a flavorful spice mix. Coated in breadcrumbs and pan-fried perfection, the vegan meatballs can be served over hot rice, making for a satisfying and compassionate twist on a Balkan classic.

Vegan Albanian Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 25 min 

Total Time: 40 min 

Servings: 4


Albanian Meatballs Recreated with Vegan Alternatives 11
  • 1 cup white short-grain rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, coarsely chopped 
  • 6 shitake mushrooms, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp dried spice mix (ground cumin, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and salt) 
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs 
  • Mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

How to Make Vegan Albanian Meatballs (Step-by-Step)

Albanian Meatballs Recreated with Vegan Alternatives 12
  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions; it will take about 15 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, blend the ingredients, except the oil and breadcrumbs, in your blender or food processor. 
  3. Shape the mixture into meatballs (golf-ball-sized). Roll them over the breadcrumbs. 
  4. Heat the olive oil in the skillet and fry your meatballs until they are cooked through or about 5 minutes. 
  5. Garnish your meatballs with fresh mint leaves, if using, and serve over hot rice, if desired. 
Albanian Meatballs Recreated with Vegan Alternatives 13

Bon appétit!

Cook’s Note

People in the Balkans prefer white rice over the other types. You can substitute white rice with brown rice or even buckwheat for a healthier version of Balkan-style meatballs. 

Fresh parsley can be a great substitute for mint in this vegan dish with Balkan flair. 

If you love Albanian cuisine but want to try vegan recipes, check out how to make the famous traditional byrek.

Nutrition Facts About Vegan Albanian Meatballs

* Optional items are not included 

(Amount per 200g = 1 serving)

Vitamins Values
Vitamin A 134 IU

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) 0.417 mg
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 0.366 mg
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) 5.807 mg
Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic acid) 2.022 mg
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) 0.02 µg
Vitamin D 9 IU
Vitamin E 1.07 mg
Vitamin K 5.9 µg
Minerals Values
Calcium 24 mg

Magnesium 31 mg
Phosphorus 155 mg
Iron 3.13 mg
Potassium 414 mg
Sodium 30 mg
Zinc 1.31 mg
Copper 0.374 mg
Selenium 17.2 µg
Manganese 0.761 mg
Other nutrients Values
Calories 308
Total Carbohydrates

53.4 g

Protein 7.2 g

Total Fat 7.5 g

Sugars 4.2 g

Fibre 3.7 g
Folate, total 125 µg
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