Lentil – Not Meat – Balls

lentil not meat balls from above 1

These lentil – not meat – balls are delicious and full of flavour. They are umami-forward and accompanied by a rich tomato sauce.

The purpose of this recipe was not to try and resemble the texture or flavour of meat in a meat ball. However, these lentil – not meat – balls can be used exactly the same way as you would have used meat balls. They’re a super tasty, healthy, vegan (and gluten free!) alternative. If you like the idea of meat balls, but not meat or meat substitutes, then you’ll love them!

Personally, I was never a big fan of meat and certainly not of mince. However, I do like the idea of “spaghetti and meatballs” or a “meat ball sandwich”. So this recipe is doing exactly that. These lentil – not meat – balls can be eaten with pasta, in a sandwich or even on its own with some greens or a salad.

If you like what lentils, then you might also like to try these recipes:

I hope you like this recipe. Please let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to share your creations with me on Instagram @nothangryanymore.


lentil not meat balls from side close up
lentil not meat balls from above 1

Lentil – Not Meat – Balls

These lentil – not meat – balls are delicious and served with a rich and flavourful tomato sauce. Perfect with pasta, in a sandwich or by themselves. They're also great for meal prepping.
5 from 2 votes

(Click on the stars to vote!)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine vegan
Servings 4 (assumes 3 balls per serve)


  • Food Processor*


Lentil – not meat – balls

  • 2 cans lentils (or about 500g cooked lentils)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15 g tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp molasses (or rice malt syrup)
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat flour

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 15 g fresh parsley
  • 25 g capers
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 can chopped tomato (400g)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Lentil – not meat – balls

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
  • Drain and thoroughly rinse the lentils and add them to a food processor.
  • Add the rest of the "lentil – not meat balls" ingredient to the food processor, i.e. ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt, tomato paste, molasses and buckwheat flour.
  • Pulse the food processor a few times. The mixture should stick together, but should not be completely smooth.
  • Take out a tablespoon of mixture at the time and roll it into a ball. Place the balls onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake the balls for 25 minutes at 180°C fan.
  • Once baked, let them cool down for 2-3 minutes until they are easily peeled off the baking paper.

Tomato Sauce

  • While the lentil – not meat – balls are in the oven, dice the onion and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Finely chop the celery.
  • Heat up a cast iron pan (or large fry pan) and add the olive oil.
  • Add the onion, garlic and celery and fry until the onion is golden in colour.
  • Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar once the onions start to stick to the pan.
  • Finely chop the parsley (including stalks) and roughly chop the capers.
  • Add the chopped parsley and capers as well as the chili flakes to the pan and stir to mix.
  • Empty the tin of chopped tomato into the pan. Then, fill up the tin half-way with water and swirl before adding the water into the pan too.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper and cook the sauce for a further 5 minutes.


  • Once the sauce is cooked and the lentil – not meat – balls are baked, remove the lentil – not meat- balls from the baking paper and add them into the sauce.
  • Turn the lentil – not meat- balls in the sauce to fully cover them.
  • Enjoy them by themselves with a side salad or serve them with pasta or in a sandwich.


* I have the Breville Kitchen Wizz 11 Food Processor. I’ve used mine for the past 4 years and have never had any issues with it.
Links marked with * are affiliate links. You won’t pay any more than normal when you purchase a product through this link, but I may get a small commission from the sale.
Keyword lentils, plant based meat balls, tomato
Nutrition Facts
Lentil – Not Meat – Balls
Amount Per Serving (300 g)
Calories 271 Calories from Fat 71
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.9g12%
Saturated Fat 1.1g7%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.2g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 468.9mg20%
Potassium 903.9mg26%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 10.8g45%
Sugar 8.3g9%
Protein 13.5g27%
Vitamin A 1067IU21%
Vitamin C 23.7mg29%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 6.5mg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Share your creation with us on Instagram @nothangryanymore


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