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:
- Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Crispy Black Beans
- Easy Homemade Baked Beans on Toast
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
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- 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
- 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.
- 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.