Make Ahead

Lentil and Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs

November 26, 2013
Author Notes

This vegetarian meatball recipe goes well with anything that you can pair meatballs with – tomato sauce, pesto or even on its own as finger food. The eggplant in the recipe acts as a binder replacing eggs in the traditional meatball recipe, and also gives a meaty flavor. This is a light and healthy recipe while the warm spices like cinnamon and cumin make the dish taste like a real hearty meatball dish.

I really hope you try out this recipe! Buon appetito! —Medha | Farm on Plate

  • Serves 20 golf size meatballs
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked french lentils (1 cup dry lentils = 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked)
  • 4 medium eggplants (or 1 cup of cooked eggplant)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts crushed
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese / cottage cheese / paneer
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Chop the eggplants in small pieces.
  2. Put a large pan on high heat, pour in 3 tbsp olive oil. Add eggplant pieces and season with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 5 - 8 minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if pan is getting too dry. Cook until eggplants are golden on all sides. Let it cool down.
  4. In a food processor, pulverize the cooked lentils, eggplant mixture, garlic cloves, crushed walnuts, cheese, fresh oregano leaves, breadcrumbs, cinnamon powder, black pepper, cumin powder and salt.
  5. Roll the mixture in round balls between your palms. The balls should not fall apart. If the mixture is too sticky , you can add some more breadcrumbs. Put them in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  7. Line meatballs on a baking sheet with parchment paper and back for 15 -20 minutes until golden brown. Alternatively you can also cook these meatballs in pan with a little olive oil until golden brown.
  8. These delicious meatballs can be eaten by themselves or pair with green pesto or tomato sauce.

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