Go meatless with these easy, allergen-friendly vegetarian lentil quinoa meatballs! They are a delicious meatless substitute to top your pasta or salads.
Eating less meat has been surprisingly easy.
It has been a little over one month since I’ve started focusing on more plant-based meals and incorporating less meat into my diet. Actually, I should say lifestyle because I plan on this being a permanent change with the way I eat.
The real truth? I don’t miss meat as much as I thought.
Skipping meat at meals does not mean a salad for every meal. Granted, I do choose salads pretty frequently. However, there are so many ways to jazz up plant-based food sources to ensure you’re getting some variety when it comes to food.
Take these vegetarian lentil quinoa meatballs for example! I eat a lot of quinoa in general, but lentils are a relatively new-to-me food. I have incorporated them in meat as a partial substitute in taco meat. I’ve also seasoned them on their own for bowl and salad toppers.
Here, they are part of the glue holding my quinoa meatballs together. I was a little nervous that this recipe would be too intricate. But after making them a couple times, I decided they are actually pretty easy! They don’t take too long to make either, if you have the lentils and quinoa cooked ahead of time.
The other good thing? This recipe is food allergen-friendly, and is approved for an elimination diet! It uses a flax egg instead of real eggs, and no typical allergen nuts or foods.
Vegetarian Lentil Quinoa Meatballs Grocery List
If you’re missing any of these items at home, be sure to put them on your list for your next grocery trip! You will definitely want to use fresh basil in this recipe over dried basil, because the fresh basil really stands out in these meatballs!
- Dry lentils
- Red onion
- Minced garlic
- Ground flax seed
- Tomato paste
- Fresh basil leaves
- Garlic salt
- Coconut flour (or flour of choice)
- Extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
Kitchen Utensils and Appliances
Some important supplies you’ll want to make sure you have.
- Food processor—I recently purchased this Ninja set and it comes highly recommended! You do have the option of making this without a food processor, but it would take more time. You’ll need to finely shop all ingredients, and mash the lentils in order to get a mixture with the proper consistency, similar to the photo below.
- Parchment paper
There are two ingredients you need to have prepared ahead of time for the day you are ready to make this recipe.
- Quinoa is always on my weekend food prep list. This is a great ingredient to have on hand to throw into recipes, add to a salad, or eat with roasted veggies in a bowl! You can cook your quinoa according to its package, or use my method.
- Lentils are a new addition to my weekend prepping. They are now a must-make in my new plant-based recipe world. They are incredibly easy to ‘set and forget’ in a crockpot. You can follow my method for how to make lentils in a crockpot before you make these meatballs!
Now that you’ve got your list, let’s start cooking!
Vegetarian Lentil Quinoa Meatballs
Yield 20 meatballs
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (0.5 tablespoons separated)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 2.5 tablespoons water (for flax egg)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 5 large fresh basil leaves (or more if desired)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Begin by making the flax egg. Mix flax seed with water in a small dish, stirring to mix well. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, until it becomes viscous.
- While flax egg is setting, put a large skillet over medium heat. Slice entire onion, and saute with 0.5 tablespoons oil and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent. Once cooked, set skillet aside.
- In a food processor, combine 1/2 of the sauteed onion, flax egg and all the ingredients except oil. (The rest of the onion can be used for pasta or salad toppings!) Pulse conservatively, less than a minute. The result should be a sticky mixture but with a chunky consistency.
- Roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. Place the skillet back on heat, and add remaining olive oil. Brown meatballs on a couple sizes to give them some color. You may find it easy to use a tongs to flip them in the pan.
- Brown for a couple minutes until you have the color you want. Then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes until heated through.
- Serve as desired!
Serving Size 1 meatball
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 1.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Unsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Sodium 64.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 0.5 g
Protein 1.6 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Disclaimer: There is an Amazon affiliate link for the food processor I used for the recipe in this post. I make a small commission from any purchases made using this link. I appreciate your support! 🙂