Lentil Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles: You have never seen spaghetti and meatballs like this! Tender, spicy lentil meatballs are perfectly paired with zoodles and homemade marinara, creating a spin on a classic comfort dish that is usually rich in carbs and fat. This is one vegan meal that will even please the meat-eaters!
My husband left me for Vegas–well, just for the weekend, but I had to get your attention!
While my husband the mid-western meat eater who prefers meat centric meals like Homemade Hamburger Helper and Pot Roast was away, my kids and I love to dine on more veggie centric meals like Grilled Vegetable Lasagna or Eggplant Ratatouille.
Lentils really are a great substitute for meat in so many dishes, as they are full or protein and have a great hearty texture.
Lentils also come with the added benefit of being gluten-free, full of fiber and iron.
And when blended up in a food processor, lentils are the perfect base for meatless meatball.
How to Make Vegetarian Meatballs
Step One: Make lentils.
I like to simmer my lentils in vegetable stock, and some Italian seasonings for these meatballs–as the dried oregano and garlic flavor marry perfectly with homemade marinara.
Step 2: Mix up the Meatless Meatball Mixture
Blend the cooked lentils that have cooled slightly with a flax egg, gluten-free oats and tons of garlic and spices.
I use a flax egg to keep these vegetarian meatballs vegan as well, but you can use a regular egg.
They were extremely easy to roll together.
Step 3: Roll the meatballs
Using a cookie scoop, portion out 1 tablespoon of lentil mixture out and roll into ball and place on greased baking pan.
Step 4: Bake the Meatballs
Just like my traditional meatballs, you want to bake vegetarian meatballs at a high temperature so they become crispy on the outside quickly.
Step 5: Make the Zucchini “Noodles”
It seems spiralized veggies are all the rage right now.
They are a great way for anybody to get more vegetables into their diet and perfect alternative for gluten-free, low carb diets.
I have yet to buy a spiralizer, but this frugal mama made the best of it by using her food processor grater! The zucchini and yellow squash were shorter noodles than a spiralizer makes, but they turned out great.
Step 6: Cook the Zoodles
I sauteed the “noodles” in a bit of olive oil and minced garlic just to warm through (I didn’t want the squash to give off all it’s liquid making a soggy noodle.)
Step 7: Serve
I placed a large heaping mound of “noodles” on each plate and topped with meatballs. Then I smothered the dish in my homemade marinara sauce.
My son, daughter and I all licked the bowl clean.
These vegan meatballs are awesome! I actually may have even teared up when the dish was gone, I wanted to eat more and more!
I am even pretty sure my meat-loving husband will love these meatless meatballs.
How to Make Meatless Gluten-Free Meatballs
Lentil Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
A recipe for gluten-free, vegan, meatless meatballs made with lentils and served with zoodles.
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 1 flax egg
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic minced and divided
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 large zucchini and/or yellow squash
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- marinara sauce
Prepare lentils according to package directions and allow to slightly cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly brush sheet pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
Process lentils, oats, flax egg, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, onion powder, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon garlic together in food processor until just combined.
Shape mixture into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just browned.
Grate the zucchini by hand or using a food processor.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add "noodles" and toss for 1-3 minutes, or until just warmed through.
To serve, place "noodles" on dish and top with meatballs and ladle over the marinara sauce.
A flax egg is made by mixing together 1 tablespoon flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water.
If you liked this recipe for Lentil Meatballs, you may also like:
Easy Lentil Tacos with Avocado Cream