These easy vegan meatballs are comforting and satisfying when you want something hearty and substantial. They are perfect with pasta or zoodles and marinara sauce!
I am excited to share this recipe for easy vegan meatballs with you! What led me to make this recipe is a friend reminiscing about some delicious vegan lentil walnut meatballs she had in the past. When I heard her talk about how much she enjoyed them and missed having this comfort food, I knew I wanted to create a recipe.
These plant-based meatballs take a little over an hour to make, including cooking the lentils, assembling, and baking. Most of the time is inactive! This is an excellent recipe for cooking during the week, or for meal prep over the weekends. It's sure to become a favorite!
All you need to make these Mediterranean style easy vegan meatballs are:
- small saucepan for cooking the lentils
- wooden spoon
- food processor
- 2 baking sheets
- medium-large mixing bowl
- spiralizer for zucchini, if serving
- dry green lentils
- fine sea salt
- walnut halves
- fresh parsley
- coconut oil
- flaxseed meal
- psyllium husk, a binding agent common in gluten-free baking/cooking
- fennel seed
- poultry seasoning
- pitted Medjool date
- black pepper
Refer to the recipe below for all the details. Here's a brief overview:
First, you will cook the lentils on the stovetop, unless you have some that you previously prepared. While the lentils are cooking, measure and assemble the rest of the ingredients, and turn on the oven. Set aside a baking sheet for cooling the lentils.
Set aside another baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper liner for the meatballs.
Chop the walnuts in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, saving the cooled lentils for last. Pulse several times for a couple of seconds each time, until the mixture comes together.
Place the mixture in a bowl and start assembling the meatballs. Roll them up to the size of a golf ball, 12 portions for hearty meatballs, or make 16 slightly smaller meatballs. Place in the oven to bake.
After 30 to 35 minutes, the meatballs will be golden brown on the outside. Time to take them out of the oven! Let them cool briefly before adding them to zoodles or pasta. Then top with a healthy serving of marinara!
These meatballs stay together well, they do not fall apart, and they are very tender on the inside. They are delicious by themselves, but I enjoy them the most with marinara.
If you are going serve them with zoodles, prepare the zucchini noodles, one zucchini per person. This can be done while the meatballs are baking. I use this spiralizer; the green attachment is perfect for zucchini.
How to serve
Enjoy these easy vegan meatballs with your favorite pasta! This recipe makes twelve hearty meatballs. They are more filling than they look.
For a gluten-free alternative that is perfect for summer, serve them on top of zoodles (zucchini noodles) as I have in the photo and my Vegan Marinara Sauce. The sauce is hearty, flavorful, and slightly chunky, making it the perfect accompaniment to these meatballs.
How to store
Let the meatballs cool and then place in a glass container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.
To freeze them (without sauce), let them cool first, place it in a glass container, and then in the freezer for up to 1 to 2 months. To thaw them, put them in the fridge several hours before you plan to eat them. Reheat them in the oven at 350F for approximately 20 minutes.
If you try these Easy Vegan Meatballs, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I would love to hear what you think!
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Easy Vegan Meatballs
- 2 baking sheets
- cookie scoop
- 1 cup dry green lentils rinsed until water runs clear
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt divided
- 2 cups walnut halves
- 4 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed (leave whole)
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 Medjool date pitted
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot minced approx. ⅓ cup
- ½ teaspoon black pepper fresh ground
- Place lentils in a medium pot and cover with 2 cups of water, add ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover loosely. Simmer until lentils around 20 minutes, until lentils are soft but not falling apart. If they are not done at this point, check every 5 minutes until done. Strain any liquid. Let cool on a baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
- Place 2 cups walnuts in the food processor. Briefly pulse a couple of times. Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt, parsley, coconut oil, flaxseed meal, psyllium husk, fennel seed, poultry seasoning, date, black pepper, garlic, shallot, and black pepper in the food processor. Add 2 cups of the cooked lentils, Process in bursts until the mixture holds together. Place the mixture into a bowl and stir the ingredients briefly to make sure they are combined.
- With a cookie scoop, make balls that are approximately 2 inches in size. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until they start browning. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Love Your Body Feed Your Soul.