Hooray for meatballs without the meat. No soy, no gluten, no seitan; simply made from lentils and almonds. These lentil meatballs are a new favorite around here; perfect to add to our Magical no-cook tomato sauce.
In addition to being high in protein these meatballs are full of fiber. Each meatball has about 5 grams of protein. That's 20 grams in the bowl shown above. Add that to a bowl of pasta and you got all kinds of healthy "good" carbs, vitamin C, micronutrients, fiber, essential enzymes and protein. No dairy or meat needed.
These meatballs are so easy, no need to sauté any onions or garlic and the only fat I used was vegan butter. I'm obsessed with Miyoco's European style cultured vegan butter. Have you tried it yet? Holy moly. And it's Free of cholesterol, lactose, egg, gluten and palm oil and made without GMOs.
I just threw all the meatless meatball ingredients into a food processor and once it turned into a dough paste type of thing it was ready to cook up. So simple. And you can play around with your own spices and herbs.
These meatballs taste light and airy but also hearty and spicy. They are drop-the-mic delicious. Simple, fresh and easy to whip up. Tip: try using the Trader Joes already cooked lentils to save you time! If you do that, you just made your life a whole lot easier and dinner prep time so much more tolerable.
Your kids will love them, too. Store them in an airtight container and throw them in your kids' lunch boxes along with some tomato dipping sauce or leftover pasta. Eat them on top of salads or inside a big collard green like a taco. They are versatile little meatballs.
Lentil Meatballs Recipe
Yields approx 12-14 balls
- 1 cup almond meal/flour
- 2 cups black or green lentils, pre-cooked and cooled
- 3 Tbsp shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 handfuls cilantro sprigs
- 1 1/2 tsp garam masala spice
- 1 tsp chunky sea salt or 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter + extra for sautéing
- 1/3 cup young coconut meat (approx one young coconut)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a food processor bowl add all of the ingredients.
- Pulse and scrape the ingredients over and over until you have a smooth dough. Not too wet and pasty but more like a clumpy dough. I know when my dough is ready because the dough starts to ball up and roll around in the food processor as one large blob.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough by forming small balls using your hands. If it seems too wet (it shouldn't stick to your fingers) then add a touch more almond flour. Place balls onto the lined cookie sheet.
- Before you bake them you'll first want to sauté / cook them in a large skillet using butter or olive oil. You will want to toss them to be sure they roll around and cook evenly. About 5 minutes or until they start to brown.
- Place the balls back onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake the meatballs for about 30 minutes. Keep checking on them. You want them cooked all the way through.
- In the meantime prep your noodles and marinara or your salad.
- Once thoroughly cooked, let them cook before serving.
- Store leftovers in the freezer until ready to use. Bake them at 375 degrees F until they are warmed all the way through.
note: recipe adapted from http://minimalistbaker.com/easy-lentil-meatballs/.