Easy Lentil Meatballs (Vegan + GF)

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Bowl of carrot ribbons topped with our easy vegan lentil meatballs recipe

Did you see my Instagram of these meatballs? Did you laugh? Do you like my jokes? Please be my friend.

Food processor with ingredients for our protein-packed vegan lentil meatballs recipe

You guys know I’m on a roll with meatballs.

First were my Easy Vegan Meatballs featuring tempeh, then my Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Meatballs featuring chickpeas. I can’t leave lentils out of the party, so this is my take using green lentils!

Parchment-lined baking sheet with freshly rolled vegan lentil meatballs

Origin of Meatballs

These days, meatballs are enjoyed all over the world and come in many different forms. But it’s believed that the idea originated from Persian meatballs known as kofta.

Our plant-based take on meatballs most closely resembles the flavors of Italian-American meatballs which are made with breadcrumbs and herbs. The story of Italian-American meatballs says that Italian immigrants served them with spaghetti and tomato sauce to make the dish more filling without much additional cost.

How to Make Lentil Meatballs

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes to prepare (when you start with cooked lentils).

It’s the perfect way to utilize leftover cooked lentils in an exciting, new way. In my opinion, if you put anything atop pasta and red sauce, it’s exciting (what does that tell you about my social life?).

Browning vegan lentil meatballs in a cast-iron skillet for a delicious plant-based meal

In addition to being simple, these meatballs are also vegan and gluten-free, and packed with flavor thanks to fresh parsley, dried herbs, tomato paste, and vegan parmesan cheese.

They get their golden brown crust from vegan parmesan cheese and a quick sauté in a skillet, before finishing off in the oven to help them crisp up even more. While that’s happening, prepare your accompaniments. I went for carrot noodles – because, love – and store-bought marinara sauce to save time.

Dinner bowls filled with carrot noodles topped with our easy vegan lentil meatballs recipe

I hope you all love these meatballs! They’re:

& Delicious

Make these for a weeknight meal when you’re looking for something hearty that doesn’t require too much work. Per 4 meatballs, these pack 10 grams of protein! And if you pair them with a quinoa- or brown rice-based gluten-free pasta, you’ll get another 5-10 grams protein per serving.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Rate it, leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Our lentil meatball recipe served over carrot noodles with marinara for a healthy plant-based meal
Top down shot showing the hearty texture of our gluten-free vegan lentil meatballs

Easy Lentil Meatballs

Lentil meatballs made with just 10 ingredients in 30 minutes! Savory, tender, flavorful, and perfect atop gluten-free pasta or carrot noodles!
Author Minimalist Baker
Big bowl of carrot ribbons with marinara and Easy Lentil Meatballs
4.73 from 95 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 (meatballs)
Course Appetizer, Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) + 1 tsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 medium shallot (minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic* (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax egg)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp water (to make flax egg)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked + cooled green lentils* (cooked in vegetable stock)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried Italian seasonings (dried basil + oregano)
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 5-6 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for coating)
  • ~1/4 tsp Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour (optional // or gluten-free oat flour or panko bread crumbs*)

FOR SERVING optional


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or more if increasing batch size).
  • Once skillet is hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil (amount as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), shallot and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden brown (being careful not to burn), then remove from heat and turn off stove top.
  • To a food processor, add flaxseed meal and water and let set for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cooked, cooled lentils, 1 tsp olive oil (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), sautéed garlic and shallot, Italian seasonings, parsley, tomato paste, vegan parmesan cheese, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Pulse, mixing until combined, but not puréed, leaving a little texture.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or herbs for flavor, vegan parmesan for cheesiness and to dry out, or more olive oil to moisten. The texture should be dough-like. If the mixture is still too wet, add coconut or oat flour, or panko bread crumbs if not gluten free.
  • Use a Tablespoon or cookie dough scoop (like this one), to scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough and carefully form into balls. The mixture is moldable, but fragile, so the best way to do this is to rest the dough in the palm of one hand, while using two fingers from the other hand to gently mold/form into a meatball. If it cracks, moisten your fingers with a little water to help reform/bind them. Repeat until all meatballs are formed – about 12 or 13.
  • Roll/coat in vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and arrange on baking sheet.
  • Heat the skillet from earlier over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and half of the meatballs (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Brown for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown, shaking the pan or using a wooden spoon to roll the balls around to cook evenly on all sides.
  • As they are done cooking, transfer to your prepared baking sheet and set in the preheated oven. Repeat process, adding remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to the skillet and sautéing remaining meatballs, then transfer to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, while you prepare your carrot noodles, pasta and/or marinara sauce.
  • Remove meatballs from oven and let cool slightly – they will firm up the longer they are cooled. Serve over carrot noodles or pasta with marinara sauce.
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through.



*3 garlic cloves is equal to ~1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic.
*2/3 cup (128 g) dry lentils yields ~1 1/2 cups (297 g) cooked.
*If not gluten-free, add 1 Tbsp panko bread crumbs (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to the filling instead of coconut flour, and mix it with vegan parmesan cheese to coat the outside before cooking, as seen here. This will add a little more texture and flavor!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of vegan parmesan cheese and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 meatballs Calories: 87 Carbohydrates: 7.3 g Protein: 3.4 g Fat: 5.3 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.81 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 166 mg Potassium: 155 mg Fiber: 2.1 g Sugar: 0.6 g Vitamin A: 143 IU Vitamin C: 2.82 mg Calcium: 19.21 mg Iron: 1.51 mg

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  1. Miranda says

    Hello! to clarify, is this 1.5 cups cooked lentils I’m determined to master this recipe, but last time I think I made 1.5 dried which makes a whole lotta lentils and my mixture was pretty wet.

    thanks for clarifying! Love your recipes.

  2. Laura says

    I love this recipe. I used nutritional yeast in place of the vegan Parm. I had to add about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs to get the right consistency. I will definitely make these regularly.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Laura! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications. xo

  3. JC says

    Delish! I’ve made other lentil meatballs but this far exceeded them. I used store bought gf breadcrumbs and served them over Banza Penne with marinara. Adding these to my make again recipes. Thank you!

  4. Elizabeth says

    These were kind of dry, but very tasty! The only change I made to the recipe was to use the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes rather than plain olive oil, and it was a good swap.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth! We’re surprised they were dry. If you added the coconut flour, we’d recommend omitting for next time. Hope that helps!

  5. Elle says

    Made these for the vegetarian in my family and although I personally prefer meat in my meatballs, these were tasty! I accidentally left out the parsley, used a real egg (since we’re not vegan), 2 T. nutritional yeast and more to roll the meatballs in (because I was too lazy to grate parmesan), and panko as recommended, and they tasted great. They started to fall apart while I was panfrying them, but I just squished them into shape and put them on the cookie sheet to bake. They ended up looking more like meat “cubes” but honestly that’s how all my meatballs look because I can’t make a ball to save my life apparently. Thank you for another great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the result, Elle! Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

  6. Ellie says

    I made these at work for our vegetarian clients, they were well liked, had great texture, lovely taste, I did use bread crumbs, parm cheese, and I kept some of the lentils on side to make the balls firmer, If I found the mixture to wet. I did not make full on vegan as it was not for Vegan clients, so, I did use eggs not flax seed, I actually now, will be making them for myself at home, TY for sharing, was quite delish !!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Ellie. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Summer, you can omit the vegan parmesan but we’d recommend adding a bit more salt, and maybe some extra dried herbs or garlic powder for more flavor. You may also need more coconut flour if the mixture is too wet. Let us know how it goes!

  7. Stephanie says

    These are very delicate to brown on all sides but the flavor is awesome! Some of mine fell apart but I don’t care if they’re pretty! I doubled the recipe and I’m glad I did, I used red lentils because that’s what I had and they still turned out! I’ll be making these again!

  8. lyn says

    Made this tonight for my daughter. She said it was the best. She loved the flavour. Well done minimalist baker. Just love your recipes

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Andrea, they won’t have a crispy, browned exterior, but it should work okay. Let us know if you try it!

  9. Jen says

    Hi! How long can you leave these in the fridge before cooking. Could I prep today and cook tomorrow for dinner?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amanda, Yes! You can rinse and drain them, then add in step 4 in place of the cooked and cooled lentils. You’ll need approximately one 15-oz. can. Hope you love it!

  10. Laur says

    I am new to lentils and vegan cooking. I love all kinds of meatballs and based on the reviews, I want to try this version but I am allergic to flaxseed. Is that ingredient necessary? Is there something I can replace it with.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laur, the flax egg helps hold it together, but maybe a chia egg? Or another reader mentioned using flour to help with binding. Hope that helps!

  11. meg says

    WOWZA! these are so tasty and hearty!
    but really i came here to give 5 stars (like everything on this site!) and say: if you air fry these, do 375° for 15 min, flip half way!
    i got an air fryer for christmas so i’ve been air frying anything and everything.. planned to air fry these veggieballs.. read in a comment below someone air fried for 30 min at 400° flipping half way… DUDE! i did this, went to flip them half way @ 15 min and they were HELLA CRISPY! i took them out and luckily they were not too burnt, and the insides were still soft and perfect texture, but another 15 min would have burnt these to a crisp. maybe my air fryer is different but don’t burn your balls in the air fryer folks!

    • Kate Taylor says

      Delicious, only request is that I (stupidly I now realise) cooked 297g of lentils missing it being the cooked weight.. could you add the uncooked weight? Might just be a UK thing but we have dry lentils so it would be total guess work to figure out how many to cook. Subsequently ended up with 16 meatballs, they were very tasty enev with so much lentil, glad I over cooked as the leftovers are amazing!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so glad it turned out well, Kate! Thank you for sharing your experience! We’ll add a note regarding the measurement of dry lentils. Thank you for the suggestion!

  12. Monique says

    Absolutely delicious. Very easy to follow the recipe. I used my highspeed blender and it worked well (and cleaned out well!!). I subbed oregano and basil for Italian seasoning since I had none. Mixture was quite sticky, I used gluten free breadcrumbs to dry them up a bit. I also used nutrtional yeast instead of vegan parm. But I did use less than the recipe called for because I thought it might be too overpowering. I opted not roll them in anything before returning them to the stove top. I wasn’t able to get them evenly browned in the skillet but I wasn’t trying very hard to be honest :) I served them over chickpea pasta and a chunky veggie marinara.

    I can’t wait to make these again for my vegan gluten free daughter, mother in law and brother in law!!!!

  13. Sara says

    Any chance red lentils would work here? Dried red lentils are all I have at the moment and I’m avoiding a special trip to the store for as long as possible.

  14. Deborah says

    One of the best vegan meatballs ever!! So easy to make and very tasty. These are going to be a regular in my household. So glad I made it, thank you for sharing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jen, they won’t be quite as rich, but yes you can. We’d suggest using less of it (maybe 1-2 Tbsp) so it isn’t overwhelming. Hope that helps!

  15. Naledi says

    I stocked up on non-perishable foods during the recent violent unrest in Gauteng, South Africa. I have an abundance of lentils and other dry beans in my cupboards. So I was looking for a non-soup, non-stew recipe for lentils and found this one. It ticked all the right boxes: easy to make? Check! Yummy? Check! Uses ingredients readily available in most kitchens? Check! I had mine with zoodles. This will become a staple in my home.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Naledi! A great way to use pantry staples. Thanks for the great review! xo

  16. Diana Demianczuk says

    Hi there,

    I wanted to prepare the meatballs and store them in the fridge for an hour before cooking them. Will they hold in the fridge or will the texture make them fall apart?

  17. Mallory Nüesch says

    I’ve tried several Lentil meatball recipes (from various books / sites) and these are the best! A great base recipe that can be flavored to the particular dish! I made these with the intention of using them in a Thai Noodle dish and they were superb. I will make them again with the Italian flavors from the original recipe another time :) Here are the swaps I made:

    In addition to the shallot, I added 1 bell pepper and 2 serrano chiles

    I omitted the Italian Seasonings and instead used a bit of tumeric, cumin, salt, pepper and Korean chile flakes

    I didn’t have Parsley or Cilantro on hand but if I did, I would have swapped in Cilantro for Parsley

    Instead of Tomato Paste, I used Red Curry Paste

    I used coconut oil instead of olive oil

    I used a combo of oat flour and almond meal in place of coconut flour (did not have any on hand)

    Cooked them the exact same way and they were awesome! And I served them over cold carrot and zucchini noodles that I had tossed with a lime vinaigrette.

    Thanks for a banger recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you enjoy them, Mallory. Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  18. Azza Al Sajdi says

    If I am to skip browning the meatballs with a skillet and just baking them straight away, should i be increasing baking time?

    Also, can i sub the ‘one batch flax-egg’ suggested here with an egg? My toddler doesn’t take any eggs in her diet as she doesn’t like them so i try to include them whenever i can.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      An egg should work well here. They won’t be as crispy with just baking, but it should still work. Yes, we’d say bake slightly longer. Let us know how it goes!

  19. Ezra says

    These are AMAZING! I coated mine with breadcrumbs (I’m not GF) and nutritional yeast, sprayed with olive oil, and put them in the air fryer at 400 for 30 minutes, flipped them once halfway through. Highly, highly recommend air frying if you have the ability. I made them last night for me and my partner and there were no leftovers :)

  20. Mariam Khalifa says

    I made this today for my sister, dad and I and it was absolutely delicious! I just recently became a vegetarian and found myself craving the flavor of meat after weeks of mostly eating beans and lentils. This dish very skillfully satisfied my craving and will be a go-to vegetarian ( I made it using eggs and dairy cheese) meal from now on. We ran out of olive oil so I used flaxseed oil instead, I also used onion in place of the shallot and ketchup in place of the tomato paste since we didn’t have it. I also added some dried coriander because why not, and the end result was still scrumptious. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe!

  21. Maya Jozefczyk says

    DELICIOUS. EASY. VEGAN. FLAVORFUL. CHEEZY. SAVORY. What else do you want? This is PERFECT!!! I added a 1/4 teaspon of thyme, boiled the lentils with mushroom bouillon, and rolled them in nutritional yeast instead of vegan parmesan. Minimalist baker knocked it out of the park again!!! 🥰 had this on a bed of marinara covered spaghetti and it was my favorite dinner this week. 🥰❤

  22. Bayla Haskel says

    Can I just soak the lentils over night instead of cooking them like with falafel? I used cooked lentils already but want we’re soft.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Bayla, not sure I’m understanding your question! If you’re wanting softer lentils, you could soak them before cooking and/or cook for longer with more water. Hope that helps!

  23. JB says

    This came out really good. My meatballs looked a little dry after taking them out the oven so I put a light coating of oil on my hands and rolled the meatballs (gently) between them. I didn’t have the Italian seasoning nor did I have nuts/seeds for the vegan parm. I used jerk seasoning instead, and some onion/garlic powder. The flavor was great. The texture had a nice chew to it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and modifications!

  24. Dominic says

    Totally awesome ! Great vegan meatball recipe ! Didn’t have flax seeds so used good old flour instead to bind, no problem with the balls falling apart. As with all recipes , don’t blame the recipe itself if it goes wrong , a good non-stick pan is essential to a happy meatball life , as is adjusting the consistency before you decide to cook them with breadcrumbs or flour ! Excellent recipe, every tasty , will use it again. thank you for sharing :-)

  25. Marah says

    Soooo good! The dough was a bit tricky so I highly recommend testing one ball before making the entire batch, and make adjustments as necessary. I added around 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of cooked bulgur for some more texture and protein, turned out absolutely fantastic. My sister is an avid meat eater and she LOVED those!

  26. Tiffany says

    This recipe blew my mind, it is incredible! I wish I made it sooner. 10000000x better than meatballs.

  27. Jessica says

    These are hands down the best vegan meatballs. The vegan parmesan gives this a meatiness that not a lot of other vegan meatballs give. First batch I made according to the recipe, and it disappeared in 5 minutes. I knew I had to make more. Next batch I added a bit of teff flour (because I had like 1/3 cup I needed to use up) cilantro instead of parsley because I ran out, and curry seasonings instead of Italian. I can’t describe how good my kitchen smelled. This is my go-to meatless meatball recipe now and I can’t wait to cook it again and again and keep adapting it to what we are feeling like each night

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jessica. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for letting us know about the error! We’ll recalculate and modify, as needed.

  28. Ali says

    Hi!! Stumbled upon this recipe and was going to attempt but I don’t have flax.. can I sub with anything.. I have gf oats or Bob’s Red Mill, Organic Corn Grits .. thx in advance ! Been searching for a veggie meatball!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ali, the flax egg helps hold it together, but maybe a chia egg? Or you may be able to omit it, but we aren’t sure how well they will hold together.

  29. Trinity says

    Hi there. I would like to know: can I use flax flour instead of flax meal? I unfortunately only have that and I am stuck in lockdown.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Trinity, we aren’t familiar with flax flour. If it gets an “eggy” texture when mixed with water, it should work!

      • Christy says

        I have made these twice now trying to replace a favorite with wfpb substitute. The first time they crumbled. This time was better and they tasted good but wasn’t fond of the texture. Maybe I cooked the lentils too long or over processed but I don’t think I’ll try again.

  30. alltogethertravels says

    Thank you so much for the quick vegan recipes! I really liked these lentil meatballs. I made a mistake by not sautéing them long enough because the plan was too hot and they kept sticking to the pan. I did bake them a bit longer which help make up for it just a bit. They still tasted awesome and next time I’ll have a cooler pan! Both my husband and I also loved the 5 ingredient energy bites. They were all gone the same day I made them.

  31. Chelsea says

    Made this today as a filling for a hand-pie/empanada type thing and it was perfect! I made it exactly as written (except I forgot the flax egg) and was super easy and delicious.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great idea! Thanks for sharing, Chelsea! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  32. Christina says

    Made this recipe for New Year’s Day dinner and am so pleased with these lentil meatballs. They were easy to make and delicious with carrot noodles, Rao’s marinara and vegan Parmesan cheese. Will make these again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Christina. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  33. Nigel Thompson says

    I’m not vegan, but we are concentrating on a plant based diet. This recipe inspired me to make a delicious meat ball served with a carrot and courgette pasta. I didn’t mess about with the flax seed egg sub, I used channa flour instead. A couple of tablespoons bound this recipe together and they fried up beautifully. Thanks for the inspiration, my celiac partner loved them

  34. daisy says

    Made these for the weekend. They are quite tasty, and so the fact that they didn’t stay together too well didn’t really faze me. Every morsel was gone…
    They have been added to our family recipe book. Thank you, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them! Making sure they are very well puréed/mixed and then drying out with bread crumbs to the point of a firm dough should help with them falling apart! Refrigerating may also be helpful.

  35. Pia says

    Hi Dana.
    Unfortunately frying before baking did not work out at all. The cheese got stuck in the pan and have to be scraped loose and they got messy and it was not possible to fry then around. Also the parmesan came off and didn‘t stay on the balls. So the 2nd half I only baked, next to to the pre-fried, and that turned out really well. So next time I will only bake for 30 minutes. Those were great both in flavor and consistency. And of course low fat. So if they had all turned out that way to start with I would have given them a higher score. So this way I can highly recommend them. Thanks for this recipe. I will make them again. Wanted to add a photo of them but doesn‘t work.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Pia! The feedback is helpful. We’ll see if we can clarify the cooking instructions!

  36. Michelle says

    Impressively good! I actually prefer them to meat! My husband thought they were great. I’ll definitely make these, freeze them and then fry them up for our meatball Mondays!

    I didn’t have any parsley so I just added a bit more Italian seasoning. Substituted leeks for the shallot because I needed to use one up! Also, omitted coconut flour because I just forgot !

    Thank you so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your husband both enjoyed them, Michelle! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

    • Maggie jackson says

      Hi please can you tell me at what stage you froze the meatballs ? I’d like to make a batch and pop some in the freezer
      Thank you :)

  37. diane says

    These meatless lentil balls came out wonderful! I made them following your recipe with a few minor adjustments for spices available on hand, followed your excellent directions and voilà! We are just starting to go meatless and the success of this recipe gives us great enthusiasm for the transition. Again, thank you for the excellent directions, it is so appreciated.

  38. Abi says

    Loved these. They were quite wet and I added some oats instead of flour to dry them out. Like others I didn’t bother to fry them, just baked for around half an hour turning in the middle and they came out beautifully. I also added around a cup of chopped raw mushrooms to the mixture before blending which worked well. Probably the first veggie meatball/falafel recipe I’ve tried that isn’t mushy on the inside! Thank you!

  39. Carly says

    Hi. Would you be able to freeze these? If so, would you freeze before or after they are baked?
    Thank you

  40. Dawn says

    Hi Dana, can I use a whole egg instead of the flax egg in the recipe? We are gluten free but not dairy free.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dawn, we haven’t tried that, but it should work well! Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Anj says

      Can aqua fava from canned chickpeas be used instead of the flax egg? Do you think that would work to bind the mixture? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  41. Kari says

    Hi. I can’t wait to try this recipe, the only question i have is can I omit the vegan parmesan cheese? Will it come out good still?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I think it’s pretty essential for flavor and binding. But if you try it let us know how it goes!

    • Linnea says

      I have always made these with regular eggs and parmesan cheese and they still taste delicious! (I also generally use red lentils instead of green but that is just my personal preference)

  42. Megan says

    This recipe blew me away. It was so easy and will definitely be something I make over and over. I ended up adding a lot more nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan, and bread crumbs (I made it in my vitamix rather than a food processor, so it was a little more challenging to get an even blend). I also kept them in the oven for much longer; probably 15-20 minutes. I think my mixture was a little more smooth/less textured than the pictures, but I loved it–they looked and tasted like meat-based meatballs! They heat up super easily on the skillet and hold their shape almost better than meatballs. Super impressed!

    *Also: the recipe doesn’t really say to add the flax egg into the blender, but I assumed to anyway. Turned out great.

  43. Kirsten says

    I can’t remember if I reviewed this recipe or not and they definitely deserve another shout out…

    These meatballs are a staple at my house. The flavour is great (I have a heavy hand with garlic and seasoning) and once you figure out drying the dough sufficiently the texture is great and they hold together nicely. I skip the initial fry and just bake them. They get fried in a skillet at time of use. Not just great in pasta, but excellent cut in quarters on a pizza, and the fabulous basis for a delicious vegan meatball sub.

    Thanks for another winner.

  44. Elvie says

    Hi, I’d like to try this recipe but I can’t find dried apricot (nor fresh) where I live. Can I use dried dates instead? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Elvie, are you referring to a different recipe from our site? This recipe doesn’t contain either. Let us know and we’d be happy to help!

    • Elvie says

      Sorry for the wrong question which I meant to for a meatball recipe in another website. ?

      But, I’d like to know if the lentil meatballs can be frozen for future use.

      I’d greatly appreciate your advice.

  45. Lorraine Grech says

    My kids and my hubby loved it. I also gave it to my friend to try and he said they were the best ‘meat’ balls he has had in ages. He wants me to do them again for him :) thank you

  46. emily says

    this recipe is so delicious and easy to make! great vegan recipe and VERY tasty!! although I couldn’t quite get them to stay in little ball shapes so I just ended up mixing it all together in the skillet but it still tasted so good. I had it along with rice :)

  47. Nicole Mcdermott says

    These are amazing! I love them every time and the flavor is perfect! I eat them plain a lot- or with quinoa. Great for vegan momma and toddler!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Nicole. We are so glad you enjoy these! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  48. Monica says

    This looks amazing! I’m wondering if you can use any type of lentils? In general with the different dishes you make with lentils does it have to be the specific one you link to or can it be a different one (black lentils, green, red, etc)?

    • emily says

      I used brown lentils with mine because i didn’t have green. They still tasted great so I don’t think it really matters what sort :)

  49. Lise says

    Made these for the first time. I only wish I tripled the recipe because they were soooo good! I’ve made a couple meatless ball before but these are perfect. Flavourful, easy to make and stick together beautifully. I followed the recipe exactly – had no issue with the flax “egg”. I’m always looking for good appetizer ideas for a party. Think I will try this one next time I have a party with a side of marinara dipping sauce. Will definitely make again!

  50. Lawanda says

    Thanks so much for sharing.. the lentil meatballs were better than I imagined.. They were so good I’m mad I hadn’t tried it before now.. The best recipe ever.. ❤️❤️ I always make a huge pot of lentils but after a few days I’m tired of eating them. Now they will NEVER go to waste.

  51. Guadalupe says

    I have made these a few times and love them (with real eggs, the time I tried flax egg it did not work). Delish!!

  52. Hoku says

    Hi these look delicious. I have a question. I don’t have a food processor but I have a vitamix and a potato masher. Could I use either of these instead? Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm you could give it a shot, though we can’t guarantee the results. Let us know how you make out!

      • Hoku says

        These were bomb! I have never made lentils before so I cooked them in my pressure cooker for 10 min on High after sautéing onion and garlic in olive oil and added veggie broth in place of water. Then I strained and cooled and followed the directions. I didn’t have a food processor so I just put everything into a large bowl and used my potato masher. It worked beautifully. It was crazy how much it looked like meat. I also added worsteshor sauce and used both panko and bread crumbs. And totally spaced the flax egg so that got omitted. Rolled them into balls. Pan fried them and then baked them. Absolutely perfect. My husband eats meat and made sausage meatballs for himself and couldn’t stop eating my meatballs!! Thank you!

  53. Polly says

    Add o disapointed. Th o moist. After reading other reviews about lack of flavor. I added bay leaf , garlic, Italian seasoning. Recipe was tasty, too moist. We tried rolling them in bread crumbs. Better but a big fail. We served them with linguine, veggies and sun dried tomatoes. I will keep searching for the perfect recipe.

  54. Maria Walton says

    Just a question. Do you mean 1 1/2 cup dry lentils and then cook and cool them. Or do you mean they should measure 1 1/2 cups after they are cooked?

  55. Morgan says

    How did you get the nutrition info? I didn’t use oil but even still my meatballs came out to be around 30 calories each you’ve got yours at almost 160…

  56. Samantha says

    I made these becaue I’m always trying to get our son to eat more healthy. I thought if they didn’t taste good then it wouldn’t matter because the sauce would cover it.(that ended up not being a problem, they tasted great!!)

    My only real problem was the meatballs fell apart and it ended up being a meatball scramble BUT no one minded and it tasted just fine.

  57. Winnie says

    I’m curious about making vegan Giant meatballs, like one meatball crowning a bowl of spaghetti.. any advice on how to tweak the cooking time to allow for this? I assume I’d sear them in a pan but then just transfer to a lower heated oven and cook for longer, but I’m not sure! Thanks!

  58. Chantell Horn says

    Good day, I am from South Africa. Vegan parmesan cheese isn’t available here. Can I just leave it out? Or should it be substituted? If yes, any suggestions on how?

  59. rachel says

    Delicious! the batter was too wet so i just dropped spoonfulls of it on the baking sheet and it came out delicious and so flavourfull! i skipped the parmasan cheese.
    thank you

  60. Andrea says

    I made this tonight and the meal was delicious! They were actually lentil patties instead of meatballs but my family didnt need to know that! I accidentally put too much water in my blender when the mixture was too thick to blend. Still turned out very tasty especially with the vegan parmesan cheese.

  61. Joy Warren says

    I made these in a hurry and they were DELICIOUS!!! Skipped the fry part and also didn’t catch the directions about what to do if the mixture was too wet (until after the fact.) Mine turned out less round and very soft on the inside but oh so good!!! I cannot wait to make them again! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us!! xoxo

  62. Shannon says

    I have a question, do you think these would hold up if added to a soup at the last minute to serve? I really want to try a soup with them but I’m afraid they’ll get soggy and fall apart. Thanks!

  63. Sarah-Beth says

    Subbed basil for parsley and chia for flax- amazing flavour, texture and taste! Seriously tasted like MEATballs!

  64. Heidi says

    Just made these meatballs! So flavourful! Wonderful recipe! My husband and I literally ate these saying “mmmmm”. So yummy!!!

  65. Kristal says

    Thank you for the recipe! I had some green lentils that I needed to do something different with and came across this recipe. I found the lentil balls to have a little flavor on their own but will definitely be better with some sauce. I made them as instructed, but when I make them again – Yes, I plan to make them again. – I will probably add a little more panko to hold them together better.

  66. Cristin O'Neal says

    Maybe I’m looking at this wrong? But the calories per serving look like they are per meatball? Right? I can’t figure out how that would be 243 calories per meatball. I plugged everything into MFP and got ~80 calories per meatball. What am I doing wrong?

    I can’t comment on how good it is because I’m just getting ready to make it now! But I’m sure they’ll be great, like all your recipes!!

  67. Suba says

    My kids devoured them!!! Huge hit! I served them with zoodles and a capers salad on the side. Great dinner, thank you for the recipe!

  68. Kayla says

    I made this for my vegetarian mom and boyfriend. Both are pretty picky about faux meat type meals and stick to store brands. I made these balls and they were a hit! They even asked me to make them again. I am gonna make a double batch and leave them in the fridge for emergency pasta nights.

    I never remember to use the cheese but they taste fine without.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  69. Andree says

    These were great!used the pre-cooked lentils in the vacuum pack from Trader Joe’s to make it easy. I didn’t have tomato paste so I used a Tbs of tahini annnnd served over carrots and steamed spinach. So goood??

  70. Laura B says

    I really want to make these tomorrow but have no desire to fry them…just bake as we are a low oil household for my health. Do you think baking them a bit longer would work just the same to cook them/keep them together?

  71. Samantha says

    This recipe was fantastic tasting. I did end up putting breadcrumbs in it to make the balls stick together a little better, but this recipe is worth the try. Tastes similar to Italian sausage.

  72. NICOLE KLEIN says


    So I love the flavor and everything about these except mine stayed mushy even after being cooked. They kind of smushed and fell apart. Any advice? I’d like to use the recipe as a staple.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nicole! These “meatballs” are a bit more tender than say a chickpea meatball, but making sure they are very well puréed/mixed and then drying out with bread crumbs to the point of a firm dough should help! I would also think refrigerating them would help! Hope this helps!

  73. Patty Loughlean says

    Delicious! Even the uncooked mixture was so good that I kept some of it aside, spread it on toast and topped with sliced avocado, vegan lime crema and hemp hearts. Two meals in one! Thanks for the great recipe!

  74. Jen @ What Jen Does says

    Great Sunday night recipe! I’m a big meatball lover but this is refreshing and lighter – also very filling!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  75. Poppy says

    I made this tonight and it’s good. My lentil mixture was too wet so I added a few tbsp of bread crumbs to dry it up a bit. I did bake mines mainly because I was lazy. I will make this again. Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Just follow the directions as written in step 4, as it calls for cooked and cooled lentils and use your canned lentils from the can!

  76. kenda says

    Question about the amount of lentils. Is it 1.5 cups of cooked lentils or 1.5 cups of dry lentils (that would then be cooked). If it is 1.5 cups of cooked lentils, about how much dry lentils would I need to cook?
    Thank you!

  77. Amy says

    These turned out so well ! Served with garlic sauteed mushrooms.. wow ..my 2 yr old grandson loves them ! i’m going to try them as little sliders ❤️

  78. Jessi Summers says

    Hi Dana,

    I’ve made these several times, most recently for a party, and they are a huge hit with both my vegetarian friends and the meat eaters! I was wondering if you had made a version of vegan meatballs that could go with any sauce before? Your website and your food are so great, so I’d love to try any suggestions from you!