When John told me he had no idea these were meatless meatballs my jaw almost hit the floor. These vegan lentil meatballs have become a fan favorite in our house. They taste great and they also leave me feeling great because they don't have any dairy or gluten in them.
What's the best type of pasta and tomato sauce to use?
Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce - I LOVE this tomato sauce. It's super tasty, available in most grocery stores, made of natural ingredients, low carb and low sugar.
Jovial Gluten Free Pasta - I have tried many many gluten free pastas and this one is hands down my favorite. It tastes exactly like pasta and the only ingredients are organic brown rice and water... need I say more?
Banza Chickpea Pasta - If you are looking for a gluten free pasta option with more protein and fiber, Banza pastas are delicious. The pasta is made of only 3 ingredients - chickpeas, tapioca and xanthan gum.
Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles) - Zoodles are a great low carb option made by taking a spiralizer to turn zucchini into noodles. I think the key to great noodles is to find a spiralizer that makes very thin noodles. Many people cook the zucchini noodles in oil but I substitute the oil for water. Lacey Baier of A Sweet Pea Chef has a great post with great zucchini noodle tips!
Spaghetti Squash - Another low carb pasta option, spaghetti squash has a great angel hair texture and it doesn't have a strong veggie taste. I love baking the spaghetti squash in rings by following Rachel Cook's spaghetti squash recipe. However, spaghetti squash is cooked with a good amount of oil and I try not to eat fats (oil) with my fiber (lentils) in order to get maximum nutrient benefits. So spaghetti squash isn't my first choice to use with lentil meatballs but I love it for all other pasta dishes! Especially with my pesto.
How to store lentil meatballs:
Once cooked you can store the lentil meatballs in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze lentil meatballs?
Yes! I usually make a double batch and freeze the leftovers which makes for a super easy meal on a night that I'm crunched for time but still want to have a nourishing meal. To freeze the lentil meatballs wait until they have cooled and put them in a airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the meatballs overnight in the fridge or in the microwave. Warm up the meatballs in the oven, microwave or on the stovetop with sauce.
Savory Lentil Meatballs (vegan + gluten free)
- 1 ½ cups green lentils canned or cooked. must be drained and cooled
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 6 tablespoons gluten free panko
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ cup basil fresh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 flax "egg" or 1 chicken egg if not vegan
- ¼ cup parsley fresh
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 350° F
- Dry and cool lentils: Make sure the lentils are drained of any excess liquids and cooled. If there is too much liquid or if the lentils are still warm the mixture will not be firm enough to form balls. Try and drain your lentils and refrigerate them for at least a few hours or overnight. You can also refrigerate your lentil meatball mixture before you roll out the balls for the same firming effect.
- Sauté: Sauté onion in olive oil for 3 mins then add garlic and spices and sauté for 1 more minutes on medium heat.
- Blend: Combine the remaining ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend for a few seconds until everything is combined. I like to leave the mixture a little chunky so that it has a meaty texture.
- Roll & Bake: Roll the mixture into balls and place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper, tinfoil or you can lightly oil the pan. Bake on 350° F for 30 minutes.
- Serve: Serve with gluten free or veggie pasta, tomato sauce and basil!
- Gluten free panko substitutions: any type of breadcrumbs if not gluten free, almond flour, oat flour
- Nutritional yeast substitutions: vegan parmesan, parmesan if not dairy free