Although I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I have a deep love and appreciation to vegetables. Also, I have been quite fascinated by how nutritious lentils are and how yummy meatballs made of them can be. I had vegetarian friends over for the dinner and I had researched for a week before that what I can make for them. It is so interesting to realize how hard it is to get out of thinking that dinner is meat, carbs and veggies (as you can see on one of the below photos I didn’t manage to get out of that way of seeing the meal BUT I am so motivated to work on that and get more open minded perspective on food!)
Anyway, these lentil meatballs not only so good for you but totally delicious. Give them a try and let me know what you think. My little one loved them too so I count my vegetarian friends visit as an overall win.
Total Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Ingredients 3/4 cup dried lentils (I used crimson) 1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup diced yellow onion 1 cup shredded carrots (about 1 large carrot) 2 gloves garlic ½ cup old-fashioned oats ¼ cup chopped parsley 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 1 large egg
- Rinse under the cold water and drain the lentils. Remove any shriveled lentils or small pieces of debris.
- Cook the lentils: add them to the medium saucepan with the vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer over the medium high, then reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Let gently simmer for 20-30 mins, until the lentils are tender. Keep an eye on them, you want the lentils to always be just barely covered with water, we don’t want them to dry out. If the liquid has been absorbed but the lentils are not yet tender, add more water and continue to cook. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Meanwhile, over medium-low heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Once hot, add the onion and cook until onion is lightly brown, about 6-8 mins. Add the carrots and cook for another 2 mins, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more min.
- Place the oats and parsley in the bottom of a food processor. Pulse a few times for oats to begin to break up. Add cooked lentils, onion mixture, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times to start combining the mixture. Crack in the egg. Pulse a few more times until the mixture is combined but the lentils still have some texture.
- Roll the lentil mixture into balls that are roughly 1 1/2 inches across, about the size of a golf ball. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 mins, then turn and continue to bake for 10 additional mins, or until the meatballs are browned and lightly crisp.
- Serve warm.