Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs

These Italian-seasoned meatballs are completely vegetarian, but packed with protein!  Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs It’s been...

These Italian-seasoned meatballs are completely vegetarian, but packed with protein! 

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs

It’s been hard for me over the years to find reliable veggie meatball recipes. This one is it! It’s an adaptation of my lentil falafel balls, made with Italian seasonings, some optional Parmesan, and perfectly suited for serving over pasta.

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs

They don’t crumble, they’re firm like a fluffy meaty meatball, and they absorb sauces well. I make these a lot and freeze them, so they’re certainly a freezer staple and meal prep friendly.

The secret here is the use freshly cooked lentils – don’t use pre-made or canned cooked lentils, the texture just won’t be the same. And don’t skimp on the refrigeration period – that is also key to a perfect texture!

Otherwise, these meatballs are pretty fool proof and I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 10 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cup rolled oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Place the lentils, 1.5 cups of water, and bay leaf in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and let cook until water evaporates and lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • While the lentils cook, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Once oil is shimmering, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once lentils, onions, and garlic are all cooked, transfer to a food processor with the rolled oats, egg, Italian seasoning,Parmesan (if using), and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until able to be formed into balls. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lentil mixture from the fridge and roll into balls, placing the finished balls on the baking sheet.
  • Cook the balls for 10 minutes, turn, and cook another 8 to 10 minutes or until balls are browned and firm.
  • Serve the lentil balls over spaghetti or enjoy as preferred.

with love, Ali

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comments

  • Do I have to use brown lentils? I have tons of yellow that I would like to use
  • Any thoughts on making these egg free? Would that be a total bust?
  • These were so so good. Even though you said not to use precooked lentils, I did…because I had them on hand. They were so delicious! I added a tbsp of tomato paste and these were incredible. Definitely a recipe I’ll add to my rotation.
    • Love to hear that! So glad you gave that a shot - thanks for the feedback!
  • Really delicious recipe. I love it yummy!!! It's really awesome
  • Delicious recipe. But you can use ready-made sets of spices “for meatballs” or “for meat”. Also, if you wish, you can add any spices to the minced meat that you like. Thank you!