Vegan Tofu Balls in Tomato and Basil Sauce

Submitted by Keryn Wolff

Vegan Tofu Balls in Tomato and Basil Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes


Tofu Balls:

  • 1 large block of firm high protein tofu (300-400g)
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic or minced jar garlic equivalent
  • 1 onion
  • ¼ cup almonds ground finely or to texture of your choice. It helps to pre soften by soaking in water for an hour or 2. You can sub these nuts for pecans. The nuts are for their nutritional content.
  • 2 slices of bread torn into crumbs or ¼ cup of crumbs (cornflake crumbs are ok)
  • 2 tablespoons of wholemeal flour to bind.
  • 2 generous tablespoons of Ketjap Manis which is an Asian sweet soy sauce.
  • 2-3 tablespoons each of fresh cut parsley, chives and basil. Chives can be the dried type but the Basil is best fresh or minced type in the tubes.
  • A pinch of salt.


  • 1-2 tablespoons of fresh basil ( or minced type in the tubes)
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic or minced equivalent
  • 2 x 410g cans of diced tomato (stewed tomato) plus 1 can extra of water or stock
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • salt to taste


  • Vegan Tofu Balls in Tomato and Basil Sauce (7hours total cooking time)
  • Preamble: I am a meat eater but was raised on a predominantly lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. I believe it doesnt hurt to try new foods and when you crave that fresh veggie and herb taste this is the recipe for you. It has been modified for the slow cooker (and my tastes) from a CHIP (Coronary Health Improvement Program) recipe book Simple, Tasty, Good , 2012 Signs Publishing Co.
  • If you are not quite full vegan, you can add some grated cheese as a garnish if you like, or swap the tofu for cottage cheese.
  • 1 make the balls first; place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it looks like bread crumbs. You can do this by hand it will just look a little more rustic.
  • 2Mould into golf ball sized balls and carefully place into baking paper lined slow cooker. This step can also be done by placing into a stove top pan to cook. You need to have room to carefully turn at least once or twice through the cooking process to brown evenly.
  • 3Cook on high, or low if your low runs hot, for around 2hrs. remove from slow cooker.
  • Once you put the sauce on youll have a few hours free to do other things
  • 4 make the sauce; place onions and garlic into a food processor and pulse until medium to small size.
  • 5 Add the rest of the sauce ingredients except water and pulse lightly to blend. Warm this sauce a little to reduce temperature difference from slow cooker.
  • 6 Pour into slow cooker and stir through the extra can of water. The sauce wont make extra juices while its cooking but can rather lose some via steam escape so the extra water ensures a good consistency. If you think it may make it too thin just add half at start of cooking and the other half at the end. My cooker looses steam so I add the water at the beginning of the cooking.
  • 8 cook on low for up to 4 hours. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • 7 30mins prior to serving, place the balls carefully into the sauce. Do not stir at this point as they will fall apart. While they are heating up boil your pasta.
  • Serve on pasta or cauliflower rice with some crusty bread and some fresh herbs to garnish
  • TIP: if serving to a meat eater, just dont advertise it is vegan. Lol. That seems to be a swear word!! Lol.

2 thoughts on “Vegan Tofu Balls in Tomato and Basil Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this a few times now. The recipe is quite involved. But I think it is well worth the effort. If you’ve got vegans coming over and don’t know what to cook, I promise they’ll be impressed. Does it taste like meat? well kinda. I’m probably not the best judge since I haven’t eaten meat in years. More importantly it doesn’t taste like tofu!!! We are a house of half vegans, half meat eaters and I quite honestly think if my hubby didn’t have an allergy to soy I could quite easily sneak it into the weekly rotation as one of the vegan meals I serve the whole family. Might I suggest making sure you don’t make the balls too big. Also since it’s just me and my daughter, I cook up a whole batch of balls and put all the left over in the freezer and then just cook them up in the air fryer. Brilliant!

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