Here is my
favorite vegetarian meatballs recipe. Serve them with pasta and marinara sauce,
or with mashed potatoes and gravy, in a sandwich with red-beet salad, or any way
vegetarian I can sometimes long for traditional comfort food, which
many of us grew up with, although I don’t miss the real thing with meat.
It is the texture, the nibble-bite-size, and
the versatility I would miss. But I don’t. Because there are vegetarian meatballs like these! But don't be fooled- there is nothing «meat-y» about these veggieballs!
Trying to imitate meat is not usually a good
idea in vegetarian cooking, but these vegetarian «meatballs» are using
rice and lentils for texture and protein, as well as herbs and spices in such a
perfect blend to make them delightfully tasty as «veggieballs», and may be loved by both vegetarians and meat eaters
Vegetarian Meatballs Recipe
- ¼ cup brown
- ½ cup
- 2-3 garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium
yellow onion, grated
- ¼ cup
grated Parmesan (or other hard cheese)
- ½ cup
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. basil
- ½ tsp. oregano
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- Olive Oil
- Rinse the rice
and place in a small saucepan with double the water. Bring to a boil, lower the
heat, cover and let cook on medium-low heat for about 45 min. Add more water if
- Pick the
lentils for stones, rinse and put in a larger saucepan and cover with water.
Add the garlic cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let
cook on medium-low heat for about 35-40 min until soft.
- Add the
onion, spices, breadcrumbs and egg to a mixing bowl. When the rice is done, drain
and let dry a little, then add to the mix.
- When the
lentils are done, drain and discard the bay leaf. Put the lentils and garlic in a mixer or
blender to mash them up a bit. If the lentils are very soft, you can mash them
with a spoon. Add the lentils-garlic
mash to the rice mixture and mix it all well together. Let it cool.
cooler, place in the fridge for about 20 min. This will make the veggieballs
easier to shape.
- With a
tablespoon, shape the mixture into about 16 balls.
- Heat oil in
a skillet on medium-high. Add the
veggieballs a few at a time and fry for about 3-4 min on each side until golden
brown and crisp.
- Place on a
plate with kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil. Then transfer to a baking
tray lined with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
- When all
the veggieballs are fried, bake in the oven for about 5 min. This will cook
them better in the middle.
vegetarian meatballs freeze well, so you could also double the recipe for a larger
batch to save for busier days!