These easy, vegan and gluten-free lentil meatballs are amazing served with tomato sauce, pasta and fresh basil.
- dietary needs: vegan and gluten-free
- nutrition features: high in protein and fiber, low in fat
- healthy comfort food: serve with your favourite pasta and tomato sauce for a healthy and comforting meal
- easy to make: cook the mushrooms and lentils, blend everything up, roll, bake and enjoy!
- lentils – use brown or green
- mushrooms – use baby bella, white or cremini, I recommend using mushrooms even if you’re not a big fan, you can’t really taste them but they add a “meaty” flavour to the final meatballs
- oat flour – make your own from rolled oats if you don’t have any on hand
- flax – needed for binding, be sure to use ground flax!
Complete ingredient list with amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions
Before You Start: Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, make some by blending a heaping 1/3 cup rolled oats.
Step 1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions or bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the lentils, cover, reduce to a light simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender.
Step 2. Add the olive oil and mushrooms to a skillet and cook over low to medium heat until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and are starting to turn golden brown.
Stir them often to prevent burning. This may take up to 15 minutes.
Step 3. Add everything, except for the oat flour, to a food processor. Once the mushrooms and lentils are done cooking, add those to the food processor as well.
Step 4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the oat flour very well. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Roll the batter into meatballs a little larger than golf balls. You should get 12-15 meatballs. Place on the prepared baking tray and give them a light mist of cooking oil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray after 10 minutes, until they’re firm and golden brown.
Serve the meatballs with tomato sauce and fresh basil. Enjoy!
No problem! Pop some rolled or quick oats into a blender or the food processor before you start and blend into a fine flour. You’ll need a little more than 1/4 cup to make 1/4 cup of oat flour.
The meatballs are naturally gluten-free, just be sure to use gluten-free certified oats if needed.
- Serve with your favourite tomato-based sauce such as marinara or bolognese and/or any variety of pasta. I’d recommend the classic spaghetti and meatballs!
- Fresh basil and vegan parmesan make great toppings.
- For a low-carb option, serve with tomato sauce and zucchini noodles.
- Pile on a toasted bun with marinara sauce and parmesan to make a meatball sub.
- Fridge: Let them cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-6 days.
- Freezer: Let cool then store in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge.
- Reheating: Reheat in a pan on the stovetop, in the oven or in the microwave until heated to your preference. Can be enjoyed cold too, try adding them to a salad!
- Chickpea Meatloaf
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Bolognese Sauce
- Red Lentil Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 14 meatballs
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Amercian
- Diet: Vegan
Hearty, “meaty” vegan meatballs made with lentils and mushrooms! Enjoy these delicious plant-based meatballs with pasta and your favourite tomato sauce such as marinara or bolognese.
- 1 cup dried brown lentils (190 g)
- 8 oz baby bella or cremini mushrooms, diced small (125 g)
- ¼ cup oat flour (30 g)
- 2 tbsp ground flax (14 g)
- 5 tbsp warm water (75 mL)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (28 g)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (10 g)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (15 g)
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- Rinse and cook lentils according to package directions. Drain. If you don’t have instructions, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the lentils, cover and simmer lightly for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add olive oil to a saucepan and cook the diced mushrooms over low to medium heaat until they have released all moisture and turn golden (about 15 minutes). Stir often to prevent burning.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the oat flour to a food processor.
- Once mushrooms and lentils are cooked, add to food processor as well. Pulse several times until it resembles ground meat.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the oat flour very well. Let rest for 10 minutes for flour to absorb moisture.
- Roll into balls a bit larger than a golf ball and spread out on baking sheet. You should get 12-15 meatballs. Mist with a light coating of olive oil cooking spray or use an oil mister to spray with a light mist of any cooking oil.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray after 10 minutes, until they are firm and golden brown.
- Enjoy with your favourite tomato-based sauce and/or pasta of choice.
Serving: Serve with tomato sauce, pasta or zucchini or carrot noodles and fresh basil. Try them on a toasted submarine with marinara sauce or bolognese sauce and vegan parmesan. Enjoy warm or cold on salads.
Storing: Cooked meatballs can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, stovetop in a pan or in the oven until heated to your preference.
- Serving Size: 1 meatballs
- Calories: 77
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 170 mg
- Fat: 1.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 12 g
- Fiber: 2.3 g
- Protein: 4.5 g
Keywords: vegan meatballs, lentil meatball recipe
The insides of my meat balls were so soft. Should I cook them longer next time?
If I used canned brown lentils do you think they would turn out? Also would I need to use about 2 cups of them? Recipe looks simple and delicious!
You’d need 2 cups, yes. It should work but I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t guarantee how they’ll turn out. Let me know if you try it!
I can’t have oats. Could I use chickpea flour instead?
I haven’t made these with chickpea flour but it might work. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. Let me know if you do!
Giving you 5 stars for sharing this amazing recipe and step-by-step instructions on how to make it. You’re awesome! Thanks!
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!
This recipe looks delicious!! I would love to make it this weekend but I’m unfortunately allergic to mushrooms, is there anything I could substitute that with?
Hmm, they’re a main part of this recipe but you could maybe try zucchini or a mixture of zucchini and onion, walnuts (no need to cook before) or just increase the lentils a bit. The mushrooms add a “meaty” flavour and texture so I’m not sure they’ll turn out without them. Zucchini would probably be your best best. Let me know if you try it!
I never had success with vegan meatballs until this recipe. It’s a keeper!!
Woohoo! So glad you enjoyed!
could i make these without the oil? would they turn out?
I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tested them without it. I think they’d turn out but may be a little dry. Thanks!
I made this recipe tonight and combined it with pasta and sauce. the taste of the meatballs was great but the consistency was too smooth. I think I over blended the batter in the food processor and I purchased sliced baby bellas and cut them into small cubes. The sauce was amazing so as for the taste of the meal it was excellent and consumed without complaint. Next time I will make necessary adjustments to get the meatballs to the consistency I prefer. great recipe
Thank you so much for the feedback, Gregory! Let me know if you try them again!
I was surprised by how well these stayed together. I used green lentils instead of brown but followed everything else exactly. They were delicious! I froze the leftovers and am looking forward to eating them again *very* soon 😃
These lentil meatballs were seriously delicious 🤤. So delicious in fact that I think you may need to edit the name of them to “Seriously Delicious Lentil Meatballs”!! Let the people know what they’re getting!
Just made these and will make them again – perfect texture and taste !
I made these for pasta night and loved them! They were pretty simple to make and I was sure how easily they formed when making the balls. I did add extra oat flour though. They cooked great had great flavor! I have the rest of the batch in the freezer for my next meal since they make a decent amount. I did roll them sorta small.
These were awesome!! Used them in a homemade spag sauce. As well had some for some meatball subs later. Excellent easy and hold so well!!
Seriously one of my favorite savory recipes ever. Even before eating them, just smelling them in the oven…I knew they would turn out well. The combination of mushrooms, herbs, cooked (green) lentils, and tomato generates this very aromatic dish. Pairs well with roasted cauliflower & carrot noodles 🙂 thank you so much!
That’s awesome, Julia! So glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for the review!
The best recipe ever.
So glad you enjoyed them!!