Meatless Monday Mission ImPASTAble accomplished! Indulge in these delightfully “meaty” plant based balls made 100% from lentils and veggies – I promise, you will please the whooooole fam with this vegan spin on an Italian favorite. They’re loaded with protein and incredibly healthy, especially compared to traditional ground beef meatballs. Much LOWER in cholesterol and saturated fat, and much HIGHER in calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, potassium, and folate. Nutrition stats aside, they’re also DELICIOUS.
If you haven’t used lentils and mushrooms for a meat substitute before, you’re in for a treat! The texture and flavor profile is a perfect meaty, umami taste and you won’t be skimped on protein! Lentils are full of it, and not just any protein – a complete protein meaning they have every essential amino acid. The combination of mushrooms and lentils in this recipe is the perfect match for a meatball.
The recipe below makes about 25 meatballs, and they’re TOTALLY freezer-friendly for grab-and-thaw meals later on. ENJOY!
- Food Processor
- Baking Sheet
Vegan Gluten Free Lentil Meatballs (Makes 25 meatballs)
- 3/4 C green lentils
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 1 TBSP ground flaxseed + 3 TBSP warm water mix with a fork and let sit for 10 minutes. acts as an "egg" for a binding agent.
- 1 TBSP italian seasoning
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 C fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 3 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1/4 – 1/3 C coconut flour
- pasta of choice, cooked according to package
- red sauce
- roasted tomatoes optional
- fresh basil
- vegan parmesean
- Add lentils to a small saucepan with 3 C water and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
- Sauté garlic, onion, and mushrooms until golden and fragrant.
- Add all ingredients including lentils and sautéed veggies to a food processor. Start by adding 1/4 C coconut flour. Pulse 8-10 times to combine. DO NOT puree. The mixture should still be fairly chunky with some lentils still in tact. If you puree too much you will end up with a mushy wet mess. Add a little more coconut flour if needed and use a fork to mix. Mixture should be sticky but not wet.
- Roll into balls and brown in a cast iron skillet over low heat for 3 minutes per side. Optional: Transfer to a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes for the PERFECT texture.
- Serve atop pasta with red sauce, fresh arugula, and basil.