Have you seen my Instagram post of these meatballs? Did you laugh at my jokes? Do you enjoy my jokes? Please be my friend.
The first was my Easy Vegan Meatballs using tempeh. Next was my Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Meatballs using chickpeas. This is my version of lentils using green lentils.
Meatballs are a popular food in many countries.
Meatballs can be found in a variety of forms around the globe. However, it is believed that the idea came from Persian meatballs, known as kofta.
Our meatballs are made from breadcrumbs and herbs, which closely match the flavor of Italian-American meatballs. The Italian American meatballs story says that Italian immigrants used them to fill up spaghetti with tomato sauce.
How to Make Lentil Meatballs
This recipe requires only ten ingredients and 30 minutes of preparation when you begin with cooked lentils.
These meatballs, in addition to being easy, are also vegetarian, gluten-free, and full of flavor, thanks to fresh herbs, dried parsley, tomato paste, and vegan Parmesan cheese.
The golden brown crust is made from vegan parmesan and a quick saute on a skillet. They are then finished in the oven for an even crispier result. Prepare your side dishes while you wait. I chose carrot noodles because, well, love. And store-bought sauce marinara to save time.
These meatballs are a great weeknight dinner when you want something filling and easy to prepare. These meatballs have 10 grams of protein per 4! If you serve them with quinoa or brown rice-based gluten-free pasta, they will add another 5-10 grams.
- Divide the olive oil into 3 Tbsp (45ml) and 1 tsp each.
- One medium shallot (minced)
- Three cloves garlic* (minced)
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax egg)
- Use 2 1/2 Tbsp of water to make flax eggs.
- Green lentils cooked in vegetable stock, 1 1/2 cups (cooked + cooled)
- Use 1 1/2 Tbsp of dried Italian seasonings (dried oregano + basil)
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 5-6 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for coating)
- To taste, add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and black powder
- 1 Tbsp Coconut flour
Optional FOR SERVING
- Carrot noodles (or gluten-free pasta)
- Marinara sauce
- Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add shallots and garlic to the hot skillet. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful not to burn. Remove from heat, and turn the stove off.
- Add flaxseed and water to a food processor and let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked and cooled lentils. Also, add 1 tsp of olive oil (as written in the original recipe // adjust for batch size), garlic and shallot sauteed, Italian seasonings, and parsley. Mix well, but do not puree. Leave some texture.
- Add more seasoning as necessary. You can add more herbs or salt for flavor. Or, you can use vegan parmesan to make it cheesy and moisten. The texture is most similar to dough. If the mixture still seems too wet, add coconut flour or oats, or if you are not gluten-free, add panko breadcrumbs.
- Use a Tablespoon ( similar to this) to scoop out small amounts of dough. Carefully form them into balls. It is best to use two fingers of the other hand and gently start the meatball by resting the dough on the palm you are using. If the mixture cracks, wet your fingers to reform/bind it. Repeat this process until you have formed all the meatballs – approximately 12 or 13
- Roll/coat in vegan parmesan (optional), then arrange on a baking sheet.
- Heat the skillet you used earlier on medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and half the meatballs. (Amounts are as written in the original recipe // adjust for changes in batch size). Then, brown the meatballs for 4-5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Use a wooden or metal spoon to turn the meatballs around and cook them evenly.
- Once they’re done cooking, place them on the baking sheet that you have prepared and put them in the oven. Repeat the process by adding 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the skillet (the amount is as written in the original recipe // adjust for batch size). Sauté remaining meatballs and transfer to oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes while you prepare carrot noodles, pasta, and marinara.
- The longer the meatballs are allowed to cool, the more they will harden. Serve with marinara over pasta or carrot noodles.
- The best is to eat them fresh. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month. Reheat the leftovers in an oven at 350 degrees F (176 C).