I’m excited to share this lentil “meatballs” dinner recipe, but first I wanted to ask : How are you doing ? Hope you are all hanging in there with the current circumstances in our world right now. It’s a challenging and confusing time for all of us, but I know it’s helping me to make the most of being at home by keeping a few simple routines, going outside briefly each day, and staying in touch with people. Oh, and getting creative with cooking.

If you’re staring into your kitchen cabinets wondering what you can make these days with all the nonperishable food you stocked up on, then chances are you already have what you need to make these lentil “meatballs”. They are a great way to jazz up a boring bowl of spaghetti and get some nice plant-based protein into your dinner.

Lentil "meatballs" with spaghetti

Pasta is is definitely getting us through dinner these days so I’m trying to mix it up each time. I have to mention I made this Bon Appétit recipe last week for pasta e ceci and it was SO good and absolutely worth a try (basically just pasta, canned chickpeas, and canned tomatoes. See ? You already have all you need!) Anyways back to the lentil “meatballs” …

To make these vegan lentil “meatballs”, we start by cooking the lentils, sautéing some onion and garlic and combining it all together. We throw in a flax egg, purée some of the mixture and shape into meatballs. Throw them in the oven while you boil some pasta and there’s dinner. It won’t be beautiful, but it’ll be tasty!

Just a couple quick things to keep in mind though is that these “meatballs” can be a bit fragile. So you’ll want to let them cool just a couple minutes on the sheet pan before using a spatula to place them on your spaghetti. There are also best the day they are baked, because the next day they will tend to break apart more easily. So if you don’t want that and don’t want to eat these all at once, then you could prepare the batter and set some aside to shape and bake the next day.

If you try out these lentil meatballs, let me know what you think! And I’d love to hear any creative ideas you have for making pantry staples more interesting!

Thanks for stopping by A Veganable Feast!

Ingredients :

(Makes about 16 “meatballs”)

  • 1 cup green lentils, dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, thyme (or whatever dried herbs you have)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water)

Directions :

  1. Prepare the lentils by rinsing them and pouring them into a medium sized pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the lentils have softened.* Place in a large bowl and spread out to cool.
  2. In the mean time, chop the onion and place in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until they soften and become translucent. Mince the garlic and add to the onions as well as the dried herbs. Stir and let cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F. Prepare the flax egg by combining the ground flax send and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the flax egg, the onion mixture, and salt to the lentils. Stir to combine. Using an immersion blender*, purée the lentil mixture until roughly half is puréed and half the lentils are still whole.
  5. Using your hands, shape spoonfuls of the lentil mixture into balls and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before handling to prevent the “meatballs” from breaking. Serve with some spaghetti and tomato sauce for a simple meal.*

Notes :

  • Cooking time may vary, so be sure to check every so often and give them a stir to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Alternatively, scoop about half of the mixture into a food processor and process until a purée is achieved. Then, mix back in with the rest of the lentils. 
  • These “meatballs” are best the day of, as they are more likely to break apart the next day.

Need more dinner inspiration ? Check out this butternut squash soup, sweet potato and kale bowl, or this cauliflower steak!