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vegetarian bitterballen spicy bitterbal recipe vegan vegetarian antillean snacks

Vegetarian 'bitterbal' with vegetables & cheese

door Linda Terrizzi

You can make these vegetarian bitterballen with different vegetables and grated cheese. We also add a large spoonful of curry (massala) powder, so that they get nice and spicy!

Very occasionally it happens… then you get an idea for a new snack which you immediately have crystal clear on your retina. A cross between different 'existing' recipes that together make something new and unique.

So that was the case with these spicy vegetarian 'bitterbal'. With a good amount of grated cheese, they look a bit like our traditional ones cheese balls. But on the other hand, there are also a lot of vegetables 'hidden' in it. In addition, we make them as you would a delicious croquette or bitterbal, so with a homemade roux.

vegetarian bitterballen spicy bitterbal recipe vegan vegetarian antillean snacks

Vegan bitterballen

If you want to take it one step further, I think this recipe can also be 'veganized'. If you swap the milk with plant-based milk and opt for margarine and vegan cheese, you've come a long way.

You can then do the breading with a so-called 'flax egg' instead of egg; that is 3 tablespoons of ground linseed + 1 tablespoon of water per egg.

If you want of course… you can also make them 'just' like we did: vegetarian!

I made 30 bitterballen from this recipe.


  • 500 ml of whole milk
  • 1/2 leek, cut very finely
  • 1 large winter carrot, in small cubes
  • 200 gr cauliflower florets
  • a sprig of celery
  • 1 stock cube (for 500 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 250 gr grated cheese
  • 1 tbsp curry / massala
  • optional: 1/2 Madame Jeanette pepper, chopped
  • 50 gr butter
  • 50 gr wheat flour

And further:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 50 gr wheat flour
  • about 300 gr breadcrumbs
  • frying or sunflower oil, for baking

Preparation of vegetarian bitterballen

Start cooking the vegetables. For this you cut the leeks, carrot and cauliflower florets very fine. Then heat the milk in a pan and dissolve the stock cube in it.

Add the vegetables to the milk and add the pepper. Let the vegetables cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the cubes are tender and soft.


Now continue to make the roux: for this you heat the butter together with the wheat flour in a pan. After a while, the butter has absorbed all the flour and you can hear the mixture hiss a little.

Now add the milk and vegetables to the roux and beat well with a whisk. Heat the mixture until it boils again and thickened nicely. You now have a thick sauce, which (when hot) is as thick as Greek yogurt. Then remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Now add the cheese and curry powder to this 'sauce' and stir well until it is an even mixture. Add the finely chopped Madame Jeanette pepper, if desired. (Only if you like hot of course!) The cheese will melt due to the heat of the mixture.

Cover the bitterball mixture with a layer of plastic wrap and let it cool completely. It is intended to be very cold and firm, so when it has reached room temperature, it can be put in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours to set.

Now place 3 dishes: one with flour, one with the three beaten eggs and one with breadcrumbs.

vegetarian bitterballen spicy bitterbal recipe vegan vegetarian antillean snacks

Take the dish with bitterballen filling from the freezer and roll balls of the mixture. I got exactly 30 bitterballen from this recipe.

First roll the bitterballen through the flour, then through the beaten eggs and finally through the breadcrumbs.

Tip: for an extra crispy layer, you can put them through the egg and the breadcrumbs again!

When you have breaded all the bitterballen, it is time to fry. To do this, heat the oil to 170 degrees. Bake a (small) number of bitterballen at a time in the pan until they are golden brown and cooked. This takes about 5 minutes.

Finally, serve the bitterballen with mustard or your favorite sauce – enjoy your meal!

vegetarian bitterballen spicy bitterbal recipe vegan vegetarian antillean snacks

Also try

Do you love bitterballen? Then try our Antillean bitterballen with a filling of ham and bell pepper!

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Spicy vegetarian bitterballen - with vegetables and cheese
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