Impossible Meatballs squeeze into Walmart freezers this month

Impossible Foods is colonizing another lunch menu item, with the plant-based food company launching its own meatballs that don't actually use meat. The new Impossible Meatballs Made From Plants will be headed to Walmart stores this month, initially, and after a pre-release nibble I can tell you that even dedicated carnivores might not notice the difference.

It's a big launch for Impossible Foods, and not just because meatballs are a popular item. Walmart isn't just stocking the new product on its regular shelves, but setting up a whole new "plant-based destination" in the frozen food aisle. There, the new Impossible Meatballs will take pride of place alongside Impossible Burgers and other products.

It comes hot on the frozen heels of Impossible Chicken Nuggets, which launched back in September. They promised not only the taste but the texture of regular nuggets, only without the actual chicken. Turned out, you didn't even need dipping sauce for them to be convincing.

Much in the same way, Impossible Meatballs are uncannily close to their real meat cousins. You can cook them in an oven – I found that gave me the best exterior texture – or go for the faster option and microwave them. Impossible also suggests stovetop or air fryer as other possibilities.

They're actually a combination of some familiar, existing products. Impossible blends up a mixture of Impossible Burger and Impossible Sausage, plus its own homestyle meatball seasoning blend. The result has 12 grams of protein per serving, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and a claimed 30-percent less sodium than the best-selling animal meatballs.

As with the nuggets, they come in a resealable bag. They also have a much smaller environmental footprint, Impossible claims: 75% less land required, 85% less water needed, and 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional meatballs. That's not to say they're quite a health food: eating in moderation is still advised.

Opt to do that with a sauce involved, and frankly you'd be hard-pressed to notice the difference between Impossible Meatballs and animal ones. They'll go on sale later in November at Walmart – with other retailers later in 2021 – priced at $6.48 for a bag.