Lentil & Quinoa “Meatballs” – Gluten Free, Vegan
These gluten free and vegan Lentil and Quinoa “Meatballs” taste amazing and have a wonderful texture! They are the perfect plant based meatball substitute!
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When I first heard the term “meatless meatballs” I thought it sounded a bit crazy. I mean, what does that even mean, “meatless meatballs”?
It wasn’t until I started making things like falafel and black bean burgers that I really could see how a meatless meatball might work.
If those bean based dishes could be so tasty and have a great texture then surely you can have something similar in meatball form.
So after doing some research, I realized that people are making meatless meatballs out of all kinds of different ingredients. Black beans, mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa, just to name a few.
Coincidentally I had been wanting to find more recipes to use lentils in so I went with a lentil and quinoa recipe.
Part of the reason I wanted to use quinoa in addition to the lentils was because I have used it in chili and it really can give a meat-like texture to vegan recipes.
At this point, I was getting really excited to try out this recipes and with a few adjustments, the results were amazing!
The texture was very similar to a traditional meatball for me which was really exciting and they had SO much flavor.
I feel like anytime you stumble across a recipe that is a healthier version of something and it tastes similar to the original recipe, that is a huge win.
What are some wins you have had in your kitchen making a traditional dish healthier? These “meatless meatballs” are one of my favorite meatless meals and I hope they become that for your family as well!Print
Lentil and Quinoa “Meatballs” – Gluten Free, Vegan
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 30–34 1x
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth to cook lentils and quinoa
- 1 Tbs olive oil for sauteing onions
- 3 Tbs olive oil for cooking “meatballs”
- 1/2 medium red or yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 1/2 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup gluten free oats (or gluten free breadcrumbs)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a small pan, add green lentils and 2 cups vegetable broth and cook according to the package directions.
- In a separate small pan, cook quinoa and 1 cup vegetable broth according to the package directions.
- Mince the onion and saute in olive oil over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until tender.
- Add lentils, quinoa, oats, and garlic to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- If the mixture is too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time until smooth.
- Transfer the lentil and quinoa mixture to a large bowl and add the cooked onion, Italian seasoning, salt, and stir to combine.
- Using your hands, scoop the mixture and form medium sized balls.
- Heat 3 Tbs of olive oil over medium to high heat in a large skillet.
- Add the “meatballs” to the skillet and cook 8-10 minutes rotating the balls occasionally to brown evenly*.
- Serve over gluten free pasta, gluten free bread to make “meatball” subs, or just with some pasta sauce.
- *Be careful when you are rotating the meatballs, they are very soft during cooking. I find rolling them around using a fork to get underneath them has been the easiest for me.
I call mine “bean balls” … after many years vegetarian i became tired of referring to things by what they’re not (i.e. “meatless”) and prefer to call them by what they ARE 👍 great recipe!
Thanks so much!
Loved this recipe! Super easy!
Do you know how many calories are in these?
Hi Ali, thanks so much for sharing! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I’m so sorry I don’t know the calories in these. Calories are not something I keep track of, but I know there are some sites that you can plug the ingredients into to get that information. Sorry I could be more helpful with that!
could i bake them ???
Hi Georgette, you can definitely bake them they just may not be as crispy as they are when pan fried. I would recommend 350°F for 20-30 minutes. I would also flip them halfway through to help them get a little crisp. Hope this helps!
Can these be air fryer?
Hi Ken, I do not have an air fryer yet so I have not tested this but imagine it would work just fine.
I did half right out of the processor but refrigerated the other meatballs , the refigerated balls were easier to cook because they were chilled.
Hi David, thank you for sharing that helpful tip! I will have to try that next time I make this.