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Big bowl of carrot ribbons with marinara and Easy Lentil Meatballs
4.72 from 64 votes

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
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 12 (meatballs)
Category: Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) + 1 tsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 medium shallot (minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic* (minced)
  • 1 batch flax egg (1 Tbsp (7g) flaxseed meal + 2 1/2 Tbsp (37 ml) water as original recipe is written)
  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. To a food processor, add flaxseed and water and let set for 2-3 minutes.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Roll/coat in vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and arrange on baking sheet.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Notes

*3 garlic cloves is equal to ~1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic.
*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 Per Serving (1 of 12 meatballs)