Advertisement

The Top 7 Frozen Plant-Based Meatballs, Ranked

Bags of plant-based meatballs
Bags of plant-based meatballs - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

In an era marked by a profound shift towards sustainability and health-conscious dining, the culinary world has witnessed a remarkable transformation. Plant-based alternatives have emerged as a force to be reckoned with, redefining the way we approach our plates. Among these transformative innovations, frozen plant-based meatballs have earned their place as a versatile and convenient choice for discerning consumers seeking delicious, eco-friendly, and meat-free options.

We embarked on a meticulous exploration of the frozen plant-based landscape to guide you through the ever-expanding freezer section, where an array of brands vie for your taste buds' attention. With our carefully curated ranking, you'll gain valuable insights into the top seven frozen plant-based meatball brands currently available. From taste and texture to ingredient quality and sustainability, we'll dissect every aspect to help you make informed choices on your journey toward a more mindful and plant-forward palate.

Let's take a deep dive into this culinary odyssey, highlighting the leaders in the realm of frozen plant-based meatballs. Welcome to a world where innovation meets conscientious dining.

Read more: Why Aren't You Already Buying These Foods From Trader Joe's?

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat meatballs
Beyond Meat meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

When it comes to plant-based meat alternatives, Beyond Meat has earned a reputable position for pushing the boundaries of flavor and texture. Their Italian-style meatballs, crafted from pea protein, certainly piqued our curiosity. One notable aspect is their allergen-friendly composition. Completely devoid of soy and gluten, these meatballs are a suitable choice for individuals with dietary restrictions. The utilization of pea protein as the primary ingredient is commendable, as it aligns with the brand's commitment to sustainability. However, our tasting experience left us with mixed impressions.

The flavor profile felt somewhat unconventional. While we anticipated a harmonious blend of spices and a familiar meaty essence, we encountered a taste that was, for lack of a better term, "off." It was evident from the first bite that these meatballs did not mimic the taste of traditional Italian meatballs, nor did they evoke the expected seasonings. The texture was acceptable, albeit slightly chunkier than one might anticipate.

While demonstrating praiseworthy efforts, Beyond's meatballs left us with an impression that was less than stellar. The distinctive taste, deviating from the expected Italian flavors, may not resonate with those seeking a traditional experience. However, the commendable avoidance of soy and gluten and the reasonable texture may appeal to some plant-based enthusiasts. Overall, these were fine.

Earth Grown

Earth Grown meatballs
Earth Grown meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

In the realm of plant-based dining, Earth Grown by Aldi has made strides in offering an array of vegan options, including their soy-based meatballs infused with garlic and parsley. While these meatballs exhibit certain commendable qualities, they ultimately veer away from the conventional meatball experience.

In terms of flavor, these meatballs offer a unique profile. While they lack the "traditional meatball taste," the incorporation of garlic and parsley adds a welcome layer of flavor complexity, which is essential in the world of plant-based cuisine. However, the texture of these meatballs is where they diverge from the typical meatball standard. While some plant-based options aim for a meat-like chewiness, Aldi's vegan meatballs fall short.

Aldi's vegan meatballs may not align with the expected meatball texture and flavor, but they offer a decent alternative for those open to experimentation in the plant-based realm. With the right sauce and preparation, these meatballs can certainly find their place in creative dishes.

Gardein

Gardein meatballs
Gardein meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

Gardein has carved a niche for itself by offering a wide range of innovative meat alternatives. Their plant-based meatballs, which are proudly non-GMO, dairy-free, and suitable for vegans, certainly caught our attention. With a nod to traditional Italian-style meatballs, Gardein's rendition brings both delights and nuances to the table.

The ingredient list includes soy as the primary base. This is further augmented by a medley of added ingredients which, although extensive, contribute to the meatballs' complex flavor profile. Gardein has managed to capture the essence of Italian-style meatballs with remarkable precision. The prominent notes of fennel and garlic provide an authentic taste that is both familiar and comforting, making these meatballs a standout choice for those seeking a traditional flavor.

Texture-wise, these meatballs do deviate from the classic experience. They lean slightly towards the dry side, which could potentially be improved to better mimic the desired texture. Add your favorite sauce, and these will fare better in your dish.

Overall, Gardein's meatballs are a noteworthy addition to the world of plant-based alternatives. While they may not replicate the texture of conventional meatballs, the addition of fennel and garlic creates an authentic Italian-style flavor, making them a great choice for those who prioritize flavor over texture.

Hungry Planet

Hungry Planet meatballs
Hungry Planet meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

Coming in fourth place is Hungry Planet with their Pork Thai Meatballs, crafted from soy and wheat. While they may not align with the conventional experience, these meatballs offer a unique and appealing twist that earned them a notable position on our list.

What sets these meatballs apart is their exceptional texture. Among the products we sampled, Hungry Planet came the closest to replicating the texture of real meat, offering a satisfying and hearty mouthfeel that could easily deceive the discerning palate. Flavor-wise, these meatballs take a bold departure from traditional Italian-style fare. Instead, they embark on a journey of unique tastes that begin with fruity notes on the front end, accented by ginger, and then transition to the unmistakable warmth of Thai spices, with lemongrass imparting its distinct aroma. Needless to say, these plant-based meatballs are a vibrant and exciting taste experience.

While Hungry Planet's Pork Thai Meatballs may not be your typical meatball, they possess an undeniable appeal. Their robust texture, closely resembling that of real meat, and their bold fusion of Thai-inspired flavors make them a standout choice for those looking to infuse creativity into their plant-based dining. These meatballs could shine as delightful appetizers at a party or as an intriguing addition to your culinary repertoire!

365 Whole Foods Market

365 meatless meatballs
365 meatless meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

Whole Foods' 365 brand has been a trusted source for a range of culinary innovations. Their plant-based meatballs, while not without their quirks, have garnered attention for their commendable texture and authentic Italian-style flavor.

One of the standout features of these meatballs is the texture. While not a perfect mimic of meat, they manage to achieve a level of meat-like quality that is commendable. The satisfying chewiness and structure make them a reasonable choice for those who appreciate a meatball with a hearty bite.

But where Whole Foods truly shines is in the flavor profile. These meatballs deliver a genuine Italian-style taste that is undoubtedly their crowning glory. Rich in familiar seasonings, they transport your palate to an Italian kitchen with every bite. However, it's worth noting that some may find the overall flavor to be subdued compared to other options on the market.

Whole Foods offers a compelling option for those seeking a plant-based, Italian-inspired culinary experience. Their commendable texture and authentic flavor make them the perfect option for a classic spaghetti dinner. Eat up!

Jack & Annie's

Jack & Annie's meatballs
Jack & Annie's meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

Taking the number two spot is Jack & Annie's Classic Jack Meatballs. Crafted from jackfruit, these gluten-free, vegan meatballs have managed to strike a harmonious balance between texture, taste, and adaptability, earning them a well-deserved position as the runner-up on our list.

One of the standout features is the texture, which astutely replicates the mouthfeel of traditional meatballs. These meatballs set a high bar when it comes to mimicking the texture of meat, making them an enticing choice for those seeking an authentic meatball experience.

While the ingredient list highlights jackfruit as the star of the show, it's the absence of traditional meatball spices and flavors that distinguishes these meatballs. Instead of relying on a rich tapestry of seasonings, Jack & Annie's has opted for a more neutral approach. However, this decision doesn't leave them lacking in flavor; rather, it allows these meatballs to serve as a versatile canvas ready to be enhanced by various sauces and culinary creations.

Overall, Jack & Annie's Classic Jack Meatballs are an exemplary representation of the evolving landscape of plant-based dining. Their impeccable texture sets them apart, and their neutral flavor profile makes them the perfect partner for a myriad of sauces and culinary endeavors. Whether dressing up a plate of pasta or serving as an appetizer, these jackfruit-based meatballs offer a versatile and satisfying plant-based option that can elevate any meal.

Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods meatballs
Impossible Foods meatballs - Jenn Carnevale/Static Media

Clinching the first-place title is Impossible Foods, a brand that has consistently set the bar high with its innovative and delicious offerings. The Homestyle Meatballs, which boast an impressive list of accolades, have earned the coveted top spot on our list.

One of the standout features is their flawless texture. Crafted from soy and devoid of animal hormones, antibiotics, and gluten, these meatballs have achieved a remarkable feat in mirroring the texture of their meat-based counterparts. The bite and chewiness are so strikingly meat-like that they would fool even the most carnivorous eaters.

While some plant-based options rely on a barrage of spices to compensate for the absence of meat, Impossible's approach is refreshingly different. These meatballs offer a blank canvas for culinary creativity, free from the confines of overwhelming Italian zest. This neutrality makes them a versatile companion for an array of sauces, allowing home cooks and chefs alike to craft a wide range of sweet or savory masterpieces.

Impossible has achieved a remarkable feat with their Homestyle Meatballs. Their adaptability and neutral flavor profile offer endless possibilities for culinary creativity, allowing cooks of all levels to shine in the kitchen. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to impress, Impossible's meatballs are your new go-to option for elevating any dish from good to extraordinary!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.