I made yellow lentils the other day, and after my fourth meal of reheated lentils, knew that I needed to try something new. The rest of the family had meatballs cooking, so I went for the vegetarian option – lentil meatballs!
They are delicious! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and just a little spicy. These vegetarian meatballs are dairy-free and can be made without gluten or egg, making them vegan!
The recipe is pretty simple. You can toss everything into a food processor if you prefer, but I just mixed it all by hand to save dishes.
4 cups of lentils (cooked)
1 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Dried basil
1 tsp Chili flakes
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (or substitute flax egg)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic (pressed into a paste)
1 onion (roughly chopped)
2 cups of cooked brown rice
Yield: 24 small lentil balls.
Active time: 25 minutes
Start with the lentils. Cook them with the onion and diced garlic for about 20 minutes and then add the rice. It might seem soupy at first, but the rice will really help to give it some body. Then bring it to a boil. After about a minute, turn down the heat and simmer for three minutes.
Take the lentils off the heat to cool some while you prepare the other ingredients. Once the lentils are warm to the touch, but not hot, you can add the breadcrumbs, egg, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and spices. Mix everything until it is thoroughly combined (or start up your food processor).
Warm about 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and roll the lentils into balls. I used a small ice-cream scoop, but a melon-baller or teaspoon work just as well. Put a little oil onto whatever you are using to shape the lentils, and the mixture will come off very easily.
Give the lentil balls a little reshaping in your hands and gently put them into the oil. Brown them on all sides.
Once they are nice and crispy, go ahead and add your favorite sauce if you like, or just leave them plain. They are delicious either way! I have not tried freezing them yet, but they keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.