Eggplant and Lentil Vegan Meatballs
These Eggplant and Lentil Vegan Meatballs are everything we could hope for in a non-meatball. They are full of flavour with a perfect meaty texture. They can charm even the vegan skeptics into reaching for another.
Servings Prep Time
25meatballs 30minutes
Cook Time Total Time
20minutes 50minutes
Servings Prep Time
25meatballs 30minutes
Cook Time Total Time
20minutes 50minutes
Ingredients
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion
  • 1(425g) eggplant
  • 1/2-1cup gluten-free oats
  • 1cup cooked green lentils(you can also use black lentils)
  • 1/3cup black olives, pits removed and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice
  • 2tsp liquid smoke(you can also use tamari)
  • 2tbsp tahini
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 3tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4-1/2tsp cayenne pepper flakes
  • pinch sea salt and pepper
For the tomato sauce and spaghetti
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1tsp coconut oil
  • 1jar (700g) organic tomato puree
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • splash red wine(optional, but I love it)
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper flakes
  • more sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1packet (450g) whole wheat spaghetti noodles
Instructions
For the meatballs
  1. Finely chop garlic and onion and add to skillet with coconut oil. Bring to medium-high heat and cook until onion is translucent in colour (5-10 minutes). Chop eggplant into bite sized pieces and add to the skillet. Cook until softened (10-15 minutes)
  2. Pulse oats in a food processor until it’s a powder like form. Transfer to a bowl. Then add the softened eggplant mixture to food processor along with cooked lentils, black olives, the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, liquid smoke (or tamari) and tahini. Pulse to combine.
  3. Next add spices: cumin, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper flakes. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Finally, add 1/2 to 1 cup of ground oats. Pulse to combine. (The oats will help to thicken the meatball mix. The texture should be moist, but you want it dry enough to handle with your hands. I needed only 1/2 cup ground oats. If the mixture is too dry add a bit of oil or tahini).
  4. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Shape meatball mixture into little balls, about the size of a pingpong ball and place on baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until meatballs are crisp and golden in colour.
To serve in Classic Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti
  1. In a skillet add chopped garlic and coconut oil. Bring to medium high heat and cook until softened (3-4 minutes). Then pour in tomato puree. Add a generous pinch of sea salt, lemon juice, and splash red wine. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper flakes and more salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Gently add Eggplant and Lentil Vegan Meatballs to the sauce and mix to combine. Remove from heat. Serve over cooked whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
Recipe Notes

These meatballs are so delicious you can enjoy them on their own. Or, they can be stuffed into pita wrap with some lettuce and tahini to drizzle. But my favourite way to enjoy them is tossed into my classic tomato sauce and scooped over spaghetti noodles.

The ground oats in this recipe will help to thicken the meatball mix. The texture should be moist, but you want it dry enough to handle with your hands. I needed only 1/2 cup ground oats. If the texture is too wet add more oats, if the mixture is too dry add a bit of oil or tahini.

Tomato puree means that it’s made up of 100% tomatoes. Often tomato sauces will have added sugar and other seasonings. Try to buy 100% organic tomatoes, either in a can or jar, and use the recipe above to season at home.