You won’t believe how flavorful these plant based meatballs are! Made with lentils and spiced to perfection, these Lentil Meatballs are vegan friendly and gluten free. But even meat eaters approve!
Meatballs have long been one of my favorite foods ever.
In an effort to eat more plant based meals, I set out to create a vegan friendly meatballs that could stand up to my favorite Italian Baked Meatballs.
I must say, I was VERY skeptical. While I love so many plant based recipes like Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili and Vegetarian Fajitas, I was a bit skeptical I would be able to enjoy a vegan meatball as much as traditional meatballs.
But friends, I hit this one out of the park!
These Vegan Meatballs are full of Italian flavor and are a bit crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They also happen to be gluten free! While the texture is not an exact replica of meat-based meatballs, these plant based meatballs won me AND my picky husband and kids over!
These vegan meatballs are made with pantry staples. There is no need to purchase tempeh or tofu or stabilizers, making these meatballs economical and the perfect go to recipe when you have nothing fresh on hand.
- Lentils: 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 this meatless meatball. Be sure to use GREEN lentils for the best texture.
- Oats: To keep these meatballs gluten free as well as vegan friendly, I use oats in place of bread crumbs. By all means you can use bread crumbs instead, but I love the texture that the oats provide in these meatballs.
- Flax Egg: Instead of eggs, mix together ground flax seed and water, which will help be the glue to keep these meatballs together.
- Spices: Spices are KEY in these meatballs. And I add in A LOT of dried spices, along with minced garlic.
How to Make Vegan Meatballs
Step One: Prepare Lentils
Prepare lentils according to package directions. And then let them cool. This is a great recipe to use leftover lentils you may have in your fridge.
Step Two: Make Flax Egg Substitute
While lentils are cooking, mix together one tablespoon ground flax seed with three tablespoons of water. Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken.
Step Three: Process Meatballs
These meatballs come together easily in a food processor. Place all the ingredients in the base of your food processor and process by pulsing until the mixture just comes together. You want there to still be some texture to the meatballs.
Step Four: Form Meatballs
Prepare a baking sheet, by greasing with an thin layer of olive oil or baking spray. To keep meatballs even, so that they bake up at the same time, use a cookie scoop to portion out lentil meatballs. Then with slightly damp hands, roll the mixture into balls and place on baking sheet.
Step Five: Bake Meatballs
More Recipes using Lentils
- 1 cup dry green lentils
- 1/4 cup gluten free oats
- 1 flax egg
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxmeal
- 3 tablespoons water
- Prepare lentils according to package directions and allow to slightly cool.
- While lentils are cooking prepare flax egg by mixing together flaxmeal with water and let sit for 15 minutes.
- 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.
- Serve meatballs with marinara sauce if desired.
- Feel free to use regular egg in place of flax egg.
- Use certified gluten free oats to keep these meatballs gluten free.
- Be sure to use green, not red lentils, for the best texture.