These Italian-inspired lentil meatballs are a healthy, vegan alternative to traditional meatballs. With minimal steps, they’re simple to make and delicious eat!
If it is a goal of yours to eat more plant-based meals in 2020, this recipe is for you! These lentil meatballs are just as easy to make as traditional meatballs. And in my opinion, they’re even more delicious!
This recipe was inspired my Minimalist Baker’s lentil meatballs. Her original recipe called for cooking the meatballs in both a pan and in the oven. However, I wanted to simplify my recipe and shorten the cooking process by cooking them only in the oven.
I know making plant-based or meatless dishes can be intimidating if you’re just starting out. However, this recipe requires only a few simple steps that I’ll walk you through in this post.
Why Make Lentil Meatballs?
First off, if you’re not someone who often eats lentils, its a wonderful way to diversify your diet. Lentils are a fantastic source of plant-based protein. Whoever said plant-based eaters don’t get enough protein hasn’t heard of lentils! 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein! Boom.
They’re also a good source of fibre. 1 cup of cooked lentils contains approximately 16 grams of fibre! Fibre helps us feel fuller longer, balance blood sugar levels, regulate digestion, and improve blood cholesterol levels.
Going meatless – whether it’s 100% vegetarian or vegan, flexitarian (like me!), or just a day or two per week is one way that many people are trying to make more sustainable choices. Choosing lentil-based dishes over beef or poultry-based ones can contribute to those more sustainable efforts.
Lentil Meatball Ingredients:
To make this Italian-inspired lentil meatball recipe, you’ll need:
Lentils, of course. Green or brown lentils will do!
Onion and garlic. I’ve used red and white onion, both work!
A flax egg. To make, just mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water and let sit for 5 minutes.
Tomato paste. This adds flavour and helps the meatballs stick together.
Spices/seasoning. Including salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and nutritional yeast.
Bread crumbs. This helps absorb moisture and keep the meatballs together. If you don’t have these, you could try oats or cooked rice instead.
How to Make the Lentil Meatballs:
It all comes together in a food processor or high-speed blender.
You’ll add the lentils, onion, and garlic, flax egg, tomato paste, salt and pepper, Italian seasoning and nutritional yeast to the food processor and pulse until combined.
Add breadcrumbs to the mixture and pulse once again to combine. You may need to add a little more depending on the texture you get so pay attention to this!
Roll the mixture into balls, arrange evenly on a lined baking sheet and then bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the meatballs halfway through.
Once the meatballs are done, serve with pasta, rice, and whatever sauce you please. How simple was that?
Other Recipes You May Like:
Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!
And if you make one of my recipes, snap a photo and tag me @hannahmagee_rd so I can see. Or let me know in the comments below!
Simple Vegan Lentil Meatballs
These Italian-inspired lentil meatballs are a healthy, vegan alternative to traditional meatballs. With minimal steps, they're simple to make and delicious eat!
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils green or brown
- 1 flax egg
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs add up to 3/4 cup as needed
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor or high-speed blender, add all ingredients except for the breadcrumbs. Pulse, mixing until combined, but not pureed.
Add whole wheat breadcrumbs and pulse again. If the mixture is still too wet, add more breadcrumbs up to 3/4 cup as needed.
Scoop 1 tbsp mixture at a time, rolling into balls with clean hands. Arrange evenly on the lined baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown all around. Serve with pasta, rice, and a sauce of your choice!
To make a flax egg, combine 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
If you don’t have breadcrumbs handy, you can use oats or cooked rice instead!