Eggplant and Lentil Vegan Meatballs


WHY WE LOVE IT: You can fool a skeptic with these meatballs because they have a similar thick texture to regular meatballs.  Serve them with spaghetti or stuff them in a pita wrap and drizzle a tahini sauce or red sauce on top for a meatball sandwich.


Prep: 30 Minutes Cook: 20 minutes


MAKE IT FOR: These meatless meatballs taste delicious on their own but make them for lunch or dinner depending on what you serve them with.

SPECIAL NOTE: Add more oats to the mix if the texture is too wet, and if it’s too dry add a small amount of water. (If you need to start prep the day before or order ingredients online, we will let you know that here. Otherwise, assume the dish can be shopped, prepped and served the same day with readily available ingredients.)


Eggplant and Lentil Meatballs:

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 eggplant (about 425g)
  • 1/2-1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • 1/3 cup black olives , pits removed and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
  • pinch sea salt and pepper

Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti

  • 3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 jar organic tomato puree (700g)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • splash red wine (optional, but I love it)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
  • more sea salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1 packet whole wheat spaghetti noodles (450g)


For the meatballs:

  1. Finely chop garlic and onion and add to skillet with coconut oil. Bring to medium-high heat and cook to soften (10 mins). Chop eggplant into bite sized pieces and add to the skillet. Cook until softened (15 mins).
  2. Pour oats in a food processor until  flour substance, then transfer to a bowl. Transfer the eggplant mixture to a food processor with lentils, olives, lemon juice, tamari and tahini. Pulse to combine.
  3. Spice meatball mixture with cumin, nutritional yeast, cayenne, and pinch salt and pepper.  Add 1/2 cup of ground oats. Pulse to combine. (The oats will help to thicken the meatballs. Texture should be moist, but you want it dry enough to handle with your hands. I needed only 1/2 cup ground oats, but add more if needed).
  4. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Shape meatball mixture into little balls and place on a tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are golden.
  5. Make tomato sauce: add chopped garlic and coconut oil to the saucepan. Bring to medium-high heat and cook until softened (3 mins). Pour in tomato puree and cook on a gentle simmer. Add a generous pinch of salt, lemon juice, and splash red wine. Sprinkle with cayenne, more salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add meatballs to sauce and gently mix to combine. Keep meatballs on low heat while you cook spaghetti.
  7. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of water for 7-8 minutes, or until al-dente. Strain and divide into bowls. Top with saucy meatballs.