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This homemade vegan meatballs recipe is healthy, satisfying, quick and also so easy to make! In addition, it's gluten-free, made from lentils, customizable and is simply the best!
When I was testing this recipe, it was very surprising how hearty and comforting the meatballs tasted just like my chickpea meatballs! Also, lentils are very filling and healthy, you really get full eating these meatballs just like my red lentil soup or red lentil dal!
This recipe makes a lot of meatballs so you can easily meal-prep or freeze them. They bake so beautifully and also make this recipe very healthy.
But, before we jump into the recipe, let's talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
How to Make Vegan Meatballs Recipe Step by Step
Lentils are healthy, filling and versatile so I love using them in recipes. I used green lentils for these delicious meatballs and also here some health benefits of lentils.
To keep this dish gluten-free, I used gluten-free oats but you can use regular oats. Oats help with giving texture to the meatballs and also they are healthy!
Onion & Garlic
I used a yellow onion but you can use white and red onion if you like. Lots of garlic cloves make this recipe very aromatic as well.
Tomato paste gives a sweet flavor and also that umami taste. In addition, it complements the pasta sauce so it really works in this recipe.
Coconut Aminos (Sub for Tamari or Soy sauce)
I love using coconut aminos because it's less salty, soy-free and gluten-free. But you can sub for tamari or soy sauce, just keep in mind it will be saltier.
Oregano & Parsley
Fresh herbs give so much flavor to these vegan meatballs but you can sub for dry herbs if needed. You can also change up the herbs and use your favorite Italian herbs.
To bind all the ingredients together and keep it vegan, we will be using flax egg. So, you just add water to ground flax seeds and let it sit for 5 minutes until you reach gel consistency. You can also sub for chia seeds if you don't have ground flax seeds.
I personally like adding raw walnuts because it gives that crunch and provides healthy fats. But you can omit it if you like.
Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
I think red pepper flakes work great with meatballs and also gives a little spicy taste. I also like garnishing it with red pepper flakes but you can omit if you like.
How to Make Vegan Lentil Meatballs
- If you haven't cooked the lentils first, cook them by adding the dry lentils into a pot, add water to cover the lentils. Bring the pot to boil and cook for 20 minutes.
- We will start by making the flax egg so it has a chance to sit and gelatinize while gathering the other ingredients. You will just add the ground flax seeds into a small dish and add water and then let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Next, we will need to make the oat flour by adding the oats into a food processor or a blender and then blend until flour consistency.
- In the meantime, we'll quickly sautee the onion and then garlic until translucent.
- We'll add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse it until combined but not pureed! It is very important that you leave some texture so it's not mushy.
- Lastly, gently roll/form the dough into meatballs. The texture is soft but it will get hard as it bakes so don't worry. Bake them 18 to 20 minutes at 400 F and that's it!
- If you want, you can also air-fry them in your air-fryer at 400 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Tips & Variations
- It is important that you don't overcook lentils so they are not mushy. Also, when you are pulsing the ingredients in the food processor, don't overprocess. You want to leave some texture.
- If the dough is too soft, you can add more oat flour but the dough will have a soft texture. They will get hard as they cook so keep that in mind.
- If the dough is sticky and you are having a hard time shaping the meatballs, wet your hands. You can also put some oil in your hands and then roll them.
- You can add nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor or some sauteed mushrooms to change it up!
- Garnish with parsley, oregano or red pepper flakes and sprinkle vegan parmesan cheese.
Uses for vegan meatballs recipe
- You can eat these delicious and hearty meatballs with gluten-free spaghetti and pasta sauce.
- To make it even healthier, add them to vegetable noodles (zoodles)
- They are also great for meatball sandwiches!
How to store and reheat the Homemade Vegan Meatballs
You can store them in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 to 5 days. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the freezer, covered up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350 F oven until warm.
This quick vegan meatballs recipe comes together in 30 minutes and it is very easy and versatile. It is also :
- Gluten-free & soy-free
- Also so delicious!
More healthy vegan recipes to try
- VEGAN PAD THAI (EASY & HEALTHY)
- EASY VEGAN FALAFEL BOWL (GLUTEN-FREE)
- THAI PEANUT NOODLES (VEGAN & EASY)
- VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE (EASY & GLUTEN-FREE)
- LENTIL BOLOGNESE
- PASTA SALAD (EASY & QUICK)
So did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This homemade vegan meatballs recipe is healthy, satisfying, quick and easy to make! It's gluten-free, made from lentils, customizable and is simply the best!
- 1 cup green lentils (cooked and cooled)
- 1 cup oats (gluten-free if preferred)
- 1 onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- 2 tbs coconut aminos (sub for tamari or soy sauce)
- 3 tbs chopped fresh parsley (sub for dried)
- 1 tb chopped fresh oregano (sub for dried)
- 1 flax egg (1 tbs ground flax seeds + 3 tbs water)
- ¼ cup raw walnuts (optional)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbs plus 1 tsp oil (divided)
- ¼ tsp salt to taste (adjust as needed)
- If you haven't cooked the lentils, cook them by adding the dry lentils into a medium size pot. Add water to cover the lentils. Bring the pot to boil. Cook for 20 minutes. Drain, rinse and dry well.
- Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil.
- Make the flax egg by adding ground flax seeds into a small dish and add water. Let it sit for 5 minutes or longer until you reach gel consistency.
- Make the oat flour by adding the oats into a food processor or a blender. Blend until you reach flour consistency.
- In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbs oil and sautee the diced onions for 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pan and sautee another 1 minute until onions are soft.
- Add all lentils, oat flour, sauteed onion and garlic, tomato paste, coconut aminos, fresh herbs, flax eggs, 1 tsp oil, walnuts (optional), red pepper flax (optional) and salt into a food processor. Pulse until combined but not pureed or mushy. Leave some texture.
- Gently roll/form the dough into meatballs. Bake them 18 to 20 minutes at 400 F.
- Garnish with parsley, oregano or red pepper flakes and sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.
- Air-fry the meatballs in your air-fryer at 400 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Don't overcook lentils, don't overprocess the ingredients in the food processor, leave some texture.
If the dough is too soft, add more oat flour. Dough will have a soft texture. Meatballs will get hard as they cook and cool.
If the dough is too sticky, wet or oil your hands roll the meatballs easier.
Add nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor or sauteed mushrooms to change up the flavors.
Check put the post for uses and storage.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 255
- Sugar: 2.6g
- Sodium: 206.3mg
- Fat: 7.4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 36.2g
- Fiber: 6.4g
- Protein: 11.4g
- Cholesterol: 0g
Keywords: vegan meatballs, vegan lentil meatballs, vegan meatballs recipe, vegetarian meatballs