Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lentil Meatballs (Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

Happy Saturday! It's kind of a gloomy Saturday here, but gloomy days are perfect for snuggling up with a good book, napping, and of course baking! You really didn't expect my answer to be anything different did you? 

I am still going strong with not eating meat (except for fish). One of my vegetarian friends said I was a cross between a pesceterian and a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I simply shrugged. Don't get me wrong I LOVE animals, but I started this journey because I hated how meat made me feel. Fish is the only meat that doesn't feel like a brick in my stomach. I have felt so much better without it and I've loved discovering plant-based sources of protein.

Lentils have become a favorite of mine recently because they taste so good, plus they are packed with nutrients. These delicious lentil "meatballs" are definitely one of my favorite things I have made- even my meat loving friends liked them! They are loaded with protein, low in fat, low carb, low cal, and only contain 1 gram of sugar- and it's natural sugar, no artificial sugar. Next time you feel like having a spaghetti night make it a meat free spaghetti night! 

Lentil Meatballs
  • 2 cups ready to eat lentils
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten free oat flour (any type of gluten free or regular flour works)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free nutritional yeast (gluten free active dry yeast also works)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor combine 1 cup lentils, 1/2 cup diced sweet onion, 1/2 cup gluten free yeast, and 1/2 cup ground flaxseed.

Process until a paste forms.

In a mixing bowl combine remaining 1 cup lentils, remaining 1/2 cup diced onion, 2 Tablespoons oat flour (or flour of choice), dried basil, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and ground black pepper. 

Add mixing bowl ingredients into the food processor. 

Process all ingredients only long enough to combine. You want to distribute the remaining lentils, onion, and spices throughout. This will help absorb some of the moisture too. You still want the "dough" to be chunky.

When everything is combine you can cook the meatballs one of two ways. You can bake them in the oven or you can cook them in a skillet.

If you cook the meatballs in a skillet spray a skillet with nonstick cook spray or coconut oil. Heat to medium. 

Scoop 1 tablespoons of the lentil mixture into the pan. Cook until browned on all sides. Repeat with remaining mixture.

If you bake them line a baking sheet with tinfoil and then spray with nonstick cook spray or coconut oil. 

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. 

While the oven is preheating scoop 1 tablespoon of lentil mixture onto the baking sheet. 

Bake at 400F degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until browned throughout. Cook time will vary depending on your oven. 

Allow the meatballs to cool slightly before removing from baking sheet. If you remove them too soon they will break apart and crumble. 

I served the lentil meatballs over zucchini noodles as a vegan spaghetti, but they are great in salads and can be used countless ways! It's a great dish to make for Meat Free Monday or your vegetarian/vegan friends!

I think I am going to try to recreate the quinoa veggie burgers I made as lentil veggie burgers. 

*Regardless of how you cook the lentil meatballs, when you use 1 tablespoon of "dough" you will get 32 lentil meatballs.

*NOTE- this "dough" is very wet and sticky. You will definitely want to use a tablespoon and a regular spoon to form the meatballs. It will make your life much easier and will save you from having to clean up a mess (trust me)!

Nutrition (per meatball), makes 8 servings of 4 meatballs:
MACROS (per meatball): 6C/2F/3P
Nutrition Facts
Servings 32.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 54
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g4 %
Saturated Fat 0 g1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 33 mg1 %
Potassium 103 mg3 %
Total Carbohydrate 6 g2 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g13 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 3 g7 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C1 %
Calcium2 %
Iron7 %


  1. where do you find nutritional yeast? I am totally making these this week :)

    1. I actually found nutritional yeast at my regular grocery store (Meijer) by the baking supplies. I also baked a batch with active dry yeast (just make sure it's gluten free), and they turned out just as delicious- you couldn't tell the difference. I hope that helps and I hope you like them!