These lentil meatballs are a high fibre, vegetarian take on the weeknight staple spaghetti and meatballs. They come together quickly and keep you full through until bedtime. Also, being made from lentils, they are loaded with fibre to support healthy gut bacteria and bowel health. They are a great source of B vitamins like folate which promote healthy brain function and plays a role in energy production.
I like to load up my tomato sauce with onions, shredded carrots, chopped spinach, and mushrooms. You can blend it all together so picky littles have no idea how healthy it is for them.
I’d also recommend swapping out regular pasta noodles for whole grain, quinoa, or legume-based versions and serve with it fresh steamed broccoli or beans for even more fibre and nutrients. For fast weeknight assembly, batch cook your meatballs and sauces so you can just pull them out of the fridge/freezer, boil some pasta and eat!
Top it with a homemade vegan parmesan made from nutritional yeast (good source of B12) and hemp hearts (rich in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids) to make it next level.
Time: 40 minutes prep, 40 minutes bake
- 1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup rolled oats (optionally gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F and lightly oil a baking sheet or cast-iron skillet*
- Place the oats into a food processor and blend into a flour
- Add the lentils, cooked onion and garlic, garlic, tomato paste, tamari, red wine vinegar, oregano, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, liquid smoke, salt and pepper to the food processor
- Pulse a few times until well incorporated — too much and the mixture will quickly turn to mush. You can test it to see if it will hold together in a ball, if not return it to the food processor and pulse another few times.
- Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 24 of them), and arrange them on the baking sheet or in the skillet. I find it helpful to keep your hands a little damp so the mixture doesn’t stick to them.
- Lightly brush or spray the balls with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until firm and lightly browned, flipping halfway through.
- Serve with your favourite sauce or pasta. They even make a great meatball sandwich if that’s your jam!
- If pan-frying you don’t need to turn on the oven, just heat some oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch.