Walnut Polpette

Have you ever felt like you're missing out on those classic Italian dishes? Fear no more, these walnut meatballs (polpette) are rich and meaty. Enjoy with pasta or as a starter with a Napoli-style tomato sauce and a side of crusty bread. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 15 Balls
Author Nadia Fragnito


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 slices seeded bread or your favourite bread
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegan ‘chicken’ or ‘beef’ stock powder I use Massel
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ¼ cup water
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • several generous dashes of liquid smoke or 1 tablespoon if you want a stronger smoky flavour


  1. Into a blender or food processor, pulse walnuts and bread briefly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except the water and process until it begins to resemble mince. Now with the blender still running, add the water. The mixture should now be moist and malleable.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls the size of a walnut shell (or slightly larger if you like) and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes. Turning over carefully half way through.
  5. Once out of the oven, stir the polpette gently through a simple Napoli-style tomato sauce and simmer on low for a few minutes so the balls soak up some of the liquid.
  6. Buon appetito!