Finally… Meatless meatballs with unbelievable texture and flavor. Best of all, they are loaded with veggies and fiber.
Servings: 4 Print Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms (preferably vitamin-D enhanced variety)
- 8 cups pre-cleaned baby spinach, 2 cups for meatballs and 6 cups for pasta
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 can (15 ounces) lentils, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
- Cooking spray
- 6 ounces uncooked quinoa pasta, cooked
- 2 cups jarred marinara sauce, warmed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In hot skillet, sauté oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, mushrooms and 2 cups of spinach for about 6 minutes or until most of the water is released from the mushrooms and spinach. Season with salt & pepper.
- Blot mixture dry with a paper towel.
- In food processor, pulse rolled oats until they are a course flour consistency. Set aside.
- In food processor (no need to wash the bowl from remaining oat dust), pulse cooked mushroom-spinach mixture with a 1/2 can of lentils. Note: Mixture should have texture, do not puree smooth.
- Stir in flaxseeds and the remaining lentils. Add oats gradually until mixture holds together into a dough.
- Shape dough into 24 Tablespoon-size meatballs, place on baking sheet, mist with cooking spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned.
- Serve meatballs on cooked pasta tossed with warm marinara and remaining baby spinach.
Nutritional Facts for Lentil Meatballs
Daily Value %*
* Daily Value % based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Linda Quinn says
Can these meatballs be placed in a crockpot of sauce and cook all day instead of baking them?
They taste best baked in the oven. And then you can freeze the oven-baked lentil meatballs and reheat them in a crockpot w/ sauce whenever you want them.
Does it matter what colour of lentils?
You can use any color, BUT I use brown so they look more like meatballs. 😉
This looks AWESOME! Could you forgo the mushrooms (allergy) or replace with something else?
Here’s another recipe I have for LENTIL MEATBALLS WITHOUT MUSHROOMS. I made this recipe because it’s just a little faster than my original recipe. And it has NO mushrooms. 😉
Lentil Meatballs [V+, GF]
Makes 2 servings (with extra lentil meatballs)
Lentil meatballs are a smart way to add plant protein to simple pasta marinara meals. You can use any color lentils, but I usually use brown because they really end up looking like meatballs. You don’t need a food processor to make them, so cleanup is a breeze.
1 cup cooked quinoa pasta (or your favorite whole-grain pasta)
3 cups chopped steamed broccoli
1 cup jarred marinara sauce
8 Lentil Meatballs (recipe below)
Assemble: Top pasta with broccoli, marinara, and meatballs.
Nutrition (1 serving): 410 calories, 8g total fat, 70g carbs, 19g fiber, 19g protein
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons warm water
1.5 cups cooked lentils
1/2 yellow onion, very finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
6 brown rice crackers, smashed into crumbs (2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon each: Italian seasoning, cayenne, sea salt, black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flaxseed and water together and let sit for 5 minutes until the blend forms the gooey texture of an egg. In a medium bowl, mash lightly together flax egg, lentils, onion, garlic, crackers, parsley, Italian seasoning, cayenne, salt, and pepper, until it holds together. Using a small 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, make 12 balls. Place balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Do not use a dish with sides because they will be too soggy. Bake for 30 minutes. Eat them immediately or freeze cooked meatballs for up to three months. Makes 12 meatballs. Nutrition (1 meatball): 45 calories, 0g total fat, 7g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g protein
OH YEAH, ONE MORE THING…
– Time-saver: Use steamed, ready-to-eat lentils found in the produce section.
– Marinara sauce: Look for marinara with a simple ingredient list and no added sugar (it will have some sugar naturally from the tomatoes).
Where can I find can lentils or how would I modify the recipe using dry?
You definitely can make your own lentils for this recipe. 1 can lentils = 1.5 cups of cooked lentils.
Hi Dawn, what is the total fat g amount for the recipe? It is not currently listed. The meatballs are very good! Thanks!
I’m so glad you enjoy the meatballs. Thanks for spotting the missing fat gram info. I updated it. Here’s the breakdown: This recipe has 5 grams total fat per serving. That means each meatball has 0.8 grams fat…and remember it’s almost all the heart-smart kind from olive oil & flaxseeds. No need to be afraid of fat, it’s actually a critical part of a healthy diet, especially when it’s from superfood sources like this recipe! PS: There’s an even easier recipe for lentil meatballs in my new book, The Superfood Swap on page 196. xx
I’m so glad you enjoy the meatballs. Thanks for spotting the missing fat gram info. I updated it. Here’s the breakdown: This recipe has 5 grams total fat per serving. That means each meatball has 0.8 grams fat…and remember it’s almost all the heart-smart kind from olive oil & flaxseeds. No need to be afraid of fat, it’s actually a critical part of a healthy diet, especially when it’s from superfood sources like this recipes! PS: There’s an even easier recipe for lentil meatballs in my new book, The Superfood Swap on page 196. xx
can I use cooked quinoa instead of quinoa pasta?
Yes, you can serve these lentil meatballs w/ quinoa…although quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta make this a fun Italian meal!